Baclofen-Induced Coma Reversible by Dialysis in a Patient Affected by Acute Kidney Injury

Oliver Malle, Tadeja Urbanic Purkart, Karin Amrein



Baclofen is commonly used to treat muscular spasticity and other conditions such as pain, alcohol withdrawal, and myoclonus. It is contraindicated in chronic kidney disease. As it is eliminated predominantly by the kidneys, acute kidney injury can lead to acute baclofen overdose with central nervous system affection due to drug accumulation. Currently, there is no consensus about the treatment of baclofen intoxication.

A 67-year-old woman was admitted with altered mental status and vomiting. Initially, she was unresponsive/lethargic and kept the intermittent ability of nonverbal communication gradually sliding into a comatose state with apneas. Initial neurologic and radiologic examinations ruled out a structural lesion of the central nervous system. Laboratory data showed acute kidney injury and suspected urinary tract infection with extremely high inflammation parameters. The patient had a history of multiple sclerosis and received daily oral baclofen. Baclofen-induced coma secondary to baclofen overdose caused by renal insufficiency was suspected and renal dialysis started within 24 hours. Cystoscopy and implantation of a ureteric stent were necessary because of obstructive nephropathy. During hemodialysis, the patient’s mental status steadily improved. The patient woke up and was oriented and cooperative. Both clinical and laboratory data were widely normalized within days.

Diagnosis of baclofen overdose can be challenging, but adequate supportive therapy, including hemodialysis, should be considered to reduce the length of comatose state and the risk of aspiration pneumonia.


Coma; Baclofen; Acute Kidney Injury; Dialysis

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