Which types of medications are used in the treatment of spasticity?

Updated: Jun 28, 2019
  • Author: Krupa Pandey, MD; Chief Editor: Stephen A Berman, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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Medications used in the treatment of spasticity include the following:

  • Skeletal muscle relaxants (dantrolene sodium, baclofen)

  • Benzodiazepines (diazepam)

  • Alpha2-adrenergic agonists (clonidine, tizanidine)

  • Botulinum toxins (onabotulinumtoxinA, abobotulinumtoxinA, incobotulinumtoxinA, rimabotulinumtoxinB)

Because tolerance can occur with medications, drug dosages should regularly be reviewed and implantable devices (pumps, stimulators) should be checked.

Gabapentin, clonazepam, progabide, piracetam, lamotrigine, and cyproheptadine are medications that potentially may affect spasticity. These agents are not indicated for spasticity and currently are under investigation, have undergone little clinical evaluation, or are not available in the United States.

Pharmaceutical cannabinoids and plant-based cannabinoids have been investigated for their therapeutic potential in treating spasticity. There is sufficient evidence that cannabinoids may be effective for symptoms of spasticity in MS but no strong evidence in other conditions. [57, 58]

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