Medical Surgical Multiple Sclerosis MS #2


A client with a diagnosis of muscular sclerosis (MS) is prescribed baclofen. During instruction to the client, the nurse explains which of these is the preferred outcome of the drug?


  1. It will reduce the chance of getting viral infections.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because baclofen is not an antiviral. It is in the drug classification of skeletal muscle relaxants.

  2. It will help relieve muscular spasticity.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because baclofen is a centrally acting muscle relaxant with a main outcome of relieving muscle spasms that frequently occur with MS. It is thought to relieve nerve impulses from the spine that causes muscle contractions. When muscle spasms and muscle tightness is relieved, pain may also be relieved.

  3. It will decrease depression.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because it does not decrease depression. Studies show baclofen may increase risk of depression in elderly clients.

  4. It will help with insomnia.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because baclofen is not used for insomnia due to the adverse effect of sedation. There also can be a contradictory effect where the drug causes insomnia due to sedation during the daytime hours.


Baclofen is a skeletal muscle relaxant. It is used in clients with MS to relieve muscle cramps and spasticity.


Learning Outcomes

Baclofen is a muscular relaxant and antispasmodic. It is used to treat pain and improve muscle movement from stiffness associated with MS. It is given intrathecally or orally. Side effects include tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headaches. Drinking alcohol with baclofen may increase these side effects. Judicious use in the elderly demographics is recommended due to the risk of confusion, depression, and hallucinations. Clients should discuss with their doctor if they have a past medical history of kidney disease, epilepsy, mental illness, or stroke.

Test Taking Tip

Knowing drug classifications and their function on the body will assist students in answering this question.

Video Rationale