Skelaxin vs. Baclofen

Skelaxin vs. Baclofen

Skelaxin and Baclofen are medications that help relax the skeletal muscles which are the muscles that control body movement. Skelaxin is used for short term pain reliever of the muscles and skeletal conditions. It is used as an alternative to Physical Therapy. The Baclofen drug is for long term use of muscle spasms and skeletal conditions such as muscle rigidity, muscle clonus and certain disorders like multiple sclerous. Baclofen chemically is related to gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) which in the brain is a natural occurring neurotransmitter. GABA that is released by some nerves causes the activity of other nerves to decrease. It is thought that Baclofen acts like GABA and blocks the activity of some nerves that control the contractions and relaxation of the skeletal muscles in the brain. The side affects of both of these drugs that are similar are: dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, and vomiting. The different side effects of Skelaxin are: allergic reaction, anemia, upset stomach, rash, low white blood cell count, yellow skin and eyes. The different side effects of Baclofen are weakness, insomnia, seizures, low blood pressure, constipation, depression, and increased urinary frequency, or urinary retention. If oral Baclofen is suddenly stopped it may cause a withdrawal reaction such as hallucinations and seizures. If suddenly stopped taking intrathecal Baclofen the following may occur: rebound spasticity, high fever, muscle rigidity, and muscle breakdown (rhabdomyolysis) that can cause several organ failures such as kidneys and even death.

Key Points:

  • 1Both are muscle relaxants that can help people with chronic problems with their muscles and joints.
  • 2Skelaxin is short term and more designed for a minor injury that is healing.
  • 3Baclofen is long term and is better for a person suffering from chronic or sporadic problems over time.


Based on the response, the dose can be increased by 5 mg every three days to a maximum of 80 mg/day in divided doses.

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