The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new version of the muscle relaxant baclofen for treating muscle spasticity related to multiple sclerosis. Called Lyvispah, the formulation comes in dissolvable strawberry-flavored granules, making the medication easier to swallow than traditional pills or capsules. This is important for some people who experience dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, which is common for people living with MS.
Other formulations of baclofen are administered as tablets, or in some cases as an infusion through the spinal canal. The new formulation allows for more people with MS to have access to the drug to treat spasticity.
Muscle spasticity is a feeling of stiffness in the hands, arms, and legs that can cause unexpected muscle movements or spasms. Spasticity is common for those living with MS and may cause discomfort on a daily basis. Researchers have found that as many as 80 percent of people living with MS will experience spasticity. The symptom can have a significant impact on the quality of life and comfort of those living with MS, but treatments can help curb the effects of spasticity.
Baclofen is one of the most commonly used muscle relaxants used to soothe muscles and reduce discomfort. Lyvispah consists of specially made granules of baclofen that can be dissolved into a liquid and taken by mouth with water, soft foods, or through an enteral feeding tube.
The most common side effects of Lyvispah include:
Lyvispah, developed by Saol Therapeutics, will be available in 5-milligram, 10-milligram, and 20-milligram dosages when it enters the market later this year.