More than 60,000 implanted pumps for the use of Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy (ITB) have been implanted worldwide since 1992. Studies show that ITB Therapy reduces spasticity and spasms. Speak to your doctor about ITB Therapy if you did not have relief, or had side effects you could not tolerate from taking baclofen by mouth.7
How ITB Works7
ITB therapy stands for Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy, which refers to baclofen medication that is administered directly into the spinal cord. In order to support ITB, an implantable pump is placed under the skin of your abdomen by a surgeon. Baclofen is filled into the chamber of the pump. The pump is programmed to send medication continuously and is monitored and refilled by your doctor as needed for your specific needs. The liquid baclofen medication passes from the pump through a tiny tube into the space around your spine, referred to as the intrathecal space. The sealed ITB pump has an internal chamber which holds enough liquid baclofen to provide up to 180 days of treatment doses for some patients. The pump can be programmed to meet your specific needs.
Why Pump Therapy is Different7
Baclofen taken by mouth must move through your digestive system before reaching a certain point in your central nervous system. An ITB pump sends the medicine right to the fluid in your spine. Because of this, it works at a lower dose than oral baclofen and may result in lessened side effects.
In oral therapy, you may need to take baclofen as often as often as 3 to 4 times a day. With an ITB pump, you do not need to take baclofen orally, but instead, the drug is being released reliably at the right dose into your system, as programmed by your doctor.
ITB Therapy has proven useful for long-term management of severe spasticity for some patients:
Patients who did not see response from oral dosage of baclofen may see therapeutic effects from ITB.
Patients who experience dose limiting side effects from oral baclofen may be able to tolerate ITB at lower doses and see therapeutic effects they could not experience from oral baclofen. ITB works at a lower dose than oral baclofen because it is delivered directly to the area where it is needed.
Refilling and Programming the Pump7
You will need to see your doctor or healthcare professional for refills. They will make sure the pump is working the right way and monitor the dose to meet your needs. The pump chamber is refilled via needle injection through the skin into the chamber of the pump, a process that is quick and convenient.
The pump battery can last 4 to 7 years before it needs to be replaced. The pump can be replaced or removed by your surgeon if needed.
ITB Therapy is a service mark of Medtronic, Inc.