Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Musculoskeletal

Lioresal Alternatives

(baclofen)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Musculoskeletal
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Compare Lioresal (baclofen) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Lioresal (baclofen) or used for similar purposes.

Lioresal
(baclofen)

Zanaflex
(tizanidine)

Valium
(diazepam)

Tegretol
(carbamazepine)

Neurontin
(gabapentin)

Relaxes your muscles. Lioresal (baclofen) is a first choice treatment for muscle spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injuries, but it's not recommended for other types of muscle spasms.Relaxes your muscles. Zanaflex (tizanidine) isn't a first-choice treatment for muscle spasticity. Try other options before using this.Helps you relax. Valium (Diazepam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety and for pain and sleeplessness from muscle spasm. Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.Prevents seizures, stabilizes mood, and relieves nerve pain. Tegretol (Carbamazepine) is useful for preventing seizures and relieving certain types of nerve pain, but interacts with many drugs.Treats tingling and burning nerve pain. Neurontin (Gabapentin) is an old seizure disorder medicine that's now used to treat nerve-related pain caused by different conditions.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.79baclofen
Reviews for baclofen
61%
of people (All ages) say baclofen is worth it
55%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
Have you used Lioresal (baclofen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Zanaflex
81%
-20% worse vs. baclofen
73%
-18% worse vs. baclofen
19%
+4% better vs. baclofen
Have you used Zanaflex (tizanidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Valium
70%
-9% worse vs. baclofen
53%
+2% better vs. baclofen
15%
Same vs. baclofen
976 reviews
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Tegretol
56%
+5% better vs. baclofen
43%
+12% better vs. baclofen
23%
+8% better vs. baclofen
Have you used Tegretol (carbamazepine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Neurontin
57%
+4% better vs. baclofen
40%
+15% better vs. baclofen
19%
+4% better vs. baclofen
620 reviews
Have you used Neurontin (gabapentin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
baclofenZanaflexValiumTegretolNeurontin
  • Drowsiness 27%
More baclofen side effects »
  • Dry mouth 39%
  • Sleepiness 38%
  • Weakness 25%
  • Dizziness 12%
  • Urinary tract infection 3%
  • General infection 1%
  • Liver test abnormality 4%
  • Constipation 3%
  • Hay fever 1%
  • Speech disorder 3%
More Zanaflex side effects »

The Valium FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Valium side effects »
  • Dizziness 32%
  • Somnolence 19%
  • Nausea 18%
  • Vomiting 15%
  • Ataxia 15%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Pruritus 6%
  • Dry Mouth 5%
  • Asthenia 4%
  • Rash 3%
More Tegretol side effects »
  • Dizziness 21%
  • Somnolence 16%
  • Peripheral edema 6%
  • Asthenia 1%
  • Diarrhea 2%
  • Infection 2%
  • Dry mouth 3%
  • Constipation 2%
  • Accidental injury 2%
  • Vomiting 2%
More Neurontin side effects »
How it works
baclofenZanaflexValiumTegretolNeurontin
Lioresal (baclofen) is a gamma-aminobutryic acid (GABA) agonist. It's not clear how it works, but GABA is believed to help calm down nerves. Muscle spasms are thought to be started by overactive nerves.Zanaflex (tizanidine) is an alpha2-adrenergic agonist that works in the nervous system to calm down muscle spasticity.Valium (Diazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and muscle spasms, and causes sleepiness.Tegretol (Carbamazepine) is an antiepileptic. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it seems to block certain kinds of nerve activity to reduce seizures and pain.Neurontin (Gabapentin) is an antiepileptic and nerve pain reliever. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it has a similar structure to GABA, a neurotransmitter that calms nerves in the brain and spinal cord.
Type of medication
baclofenZanaflexValiumTegretolNeurontin
Prescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
baclofenZanaflexValiumTegretolNeurontin
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Oral suspension
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Used for
baclofenZanaflexValiumTegretolNeurontin
Risk factors for serious side effects
baclofenZanaflexValiumTegretolNeurontin
  • Stopping Lioresal (baclofen) too quickly
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Higher dose
Detailed Lioresal (baclofen) risks & warnings »
  • Taking maximum doses of Zanaflex (tizanidine)
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Currently on blood pressure control medications
  • Taking other medications that also cause sleepiness
  • Recreational drug use
Detailed Zanaflex (tizanidine) risks & warnings »
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
  • Alcohol
Detailed Valium (diazepam) risks & warnings »
  • People also taking Depakote
  • Asian ancestry
  • History of depression
  • European, Chinese, or Japanese ancestry
  • Age 65 years or older
Detailed Tegretol (carbamazepine) risks & warnings »
  • Children ages 3 to 12
  • Taking with alcohol or drugs
  • Stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) suddenly
Detailed Neurontin (gabapentin) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Interactions
baclofenZanaflexValiumTegretolNeurontin
No interactions related info.No interactions related info.No interactions related info.
  • Interacts with many other medicines and supplements.
No interactions related info.
Alcohol
baclofenZanaflexValiumTegretolNeurontin
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while on Lioresal (baclofen) because it can make you very sleepy or slow your breathing down.
No alcohol related info.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
No alcohol related info.No alcohol related info.
Food
baclofenZanaflexValiumTegretolNeurontin
No food related info.
  • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
  • Need to be consistent every day in taking this with or without food.
No food related info.No food related info.
  • Take the extended-release tablet with food.
Kidneys and liver
baclofenZanaflexValiumTegretolNeurontin
No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
No kidneys and liver related info.No kidneys and liver related info.
Pain
baclofenZanaflexValiumTegretolNeurontin
No pain related info.No pain related info.No pain related info.No pain related info.
  • Studies show it's most effective for nerve pain from diabetes, shingles, and fibromyalgia (a painful muscle condition).
Sleep
baclofenZanaflexValiumTegretolNeurontin
  • Lioresal (baclofen) can make you feel very tired or sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Taking Zanaflex (tizanidine) can make you feel sleepy and dizzy, especially if you're taking other medications that can also make you feel sleepy, or if you're taking recreational drugs or drinking too much alcohol. Avoid driving or doing other tasks that require concentration until you know how this medication affects you.
  • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
No sleep related info.
  • Neurontin (Gabapentin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
Upsides and benefits
baclofenZanaflexValiumTegretolNeurontin
  • A better option for seniors compared to other muscle relaxants since it has fewer side effects than other similar medicines.
  • Lioresal (baclofen) is available as a generic and is a relatively inexpensive medication.
  • Relieves muscle spasticity.
  • Available as a generic.
  • Available in a tablet or capsule form. It also comes in a capsule that can be opened and sprinkled in applesauce for people that can't swallow pills.
  • Effective at relieving short-term anxiety and sleeplessness.
  • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in (it can take several weeks).
  • Effective at relieving muscle spasms caused by a variety of conditions.
  • Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other benzodiazepines.
  • Lowers the frequency of seizures, especially for people with tonic-clonic and partial seizures.
  • First-line option for trigeminal neuralgia (nerve pain involving the face, head, and neck), and can relieve other types of nerve pain.
  • May be helpful in stabilizing mood for people with bipolar disorder.
  • Originally used to treat epilepsy (partial seizures), but now it primarily treats neuropathic pain that's caused by nerve stimulation or damage.
  • Studies show it's most effective for nerve pain from diabetes, shingles, and fibromyalgia (a painful muscle condition).
  • It's available as a generic, so it's less expensive than similar medications.
Downsides and risks
baclofenZanaflexValiumTegretolNeurontin
  • Except for specific muscle spasms caused by brain injury or multiple sclerosis, Lioresal (baclofen) is not a recommended medicine.
  • If you've been taking Lioresal (baclofen) regularly for a long time, you'll need to get off of it slowly.
  • Lioresal (baclofen) can make you sleepy.
  • If you've had a stroke, Lioresal (baclofen) may not work as well, and you're more likely to experience side effects.
  • This isn't a first-choice muscle relaxing medication. Other drugs work better and have fewer side effects.
  • Takes over an hour to kick in and only lasts 3 to 6 hours.
  • Zanaflex (tizanidine) can lower blood pressure, so be careful if you are already on a blood pressure medication.
  • Need to be consistent every day in taking this with or without food.
  • Elderly individuals have more side effects when taking Zanaflex (tizanidine).
  • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Most people find that it gets less effective over time.
  • Interacts with many other medicines and supplements.
  • Higher risk of skin reactions compared to other antiepileptic medicines, ranging from mild to life-threatening rash.
  • Can cause blurry vision, dizziness, and upset stomach.
  • Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
  • Requires routine blood tests to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
  • Neurontin (Gabapentin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
  • You can't skip or miss doses since suddenly stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) can cause seizures. This is even more likely if you drink alcohol, so it might not be the best medication for heavy drinkers.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
baclofenZanaflexValiumTegretolNeurontin
  • Lioresal (baclofen) can make you feel very tired or sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Don't stop taking Lioresal (baclofen) suddenly without talking to your doctor if you've been on it for a long time. It can be dangerous. Your doctor will help you get off it slowly over time.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol while on Lioresal (baclofen) because it can make you very sleepy or slow your breathing down.
  • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
  • Avoid activities requiring mental alertness (like driving) until you know how it affects you.
  • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
  • The tablets are not the same as the capsules. This could mean differences in how your body reacts to it, or how it works for you.
  • If you have been on Zanaflex (tizanidine) for a long period of time, you should not stop this abruptly. This can result in rebound high blood pressure, muscle spasticity or fast heart beat. Talk to your doctor about how to slowly lower your dose.
  • Good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
  • Starts working in 30 minutes when swallowed.
  • Helpful with muscle spasms.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Addictive. Long-term use can cause dependence or abuse.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
  • Report skin rashes or blistering immediately.
  • Don't use if pregnant.
  • Requires routine blood tests.
  • Report confusion, persistent abdominal pain, yellowing of eyes/skin, or easy bruising to your doctor.
  • Takes up to 5 weeks to feel full effects on mood.
  • Side effects are common, but usually manageable.
  • Don't drive while taking Neurontin (Gabapentin) until you know how the medication affects you.
  • Neurontin and generic forms of Gabapentin have the same ingredients as Gralise and Horizant, but are dosed differently. Make sure you know which form you're taking since they are used for different purposes.
  • Take the extended-release tablet with food.
  • Stop taking Neurontin (Gabapentin) slowly over at least one week to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
Learn more
More about baclofenSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lioresal (baclofen)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ZanaflexSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Zanaflex (tizanidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about TegretolSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Tegretol (carbamazepine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about NeurontinSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Neurontin (gabapentin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it