Intrathecal Baclofen Clinic

Service overview

Baclofen is a muscle relaxant drug used to decrease spasticity. Baclofen can be taken orally or when the side effects of increasing oral dosage become a concern, it may be delivered into the spinal fluid (intrathecally) via a surgically implanted pump and catheter. 

The Intrathecal Baclofen (ITB) Clinic admits patients with complex disabilities and implanted ITB pumps that require ongoing care that cannot be provided in their local area or local services.  

The vast majority of patients seen in this clinic have a diagnosis of cerebral palsy and we have very close links with the Young Adult Complex Disability Service (YACDS) which is responsible for transitioning these patients from the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) into adult health services  provided (mainly) by St.  Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne. 

This service provides:

  •  Regular refill of intrathecal pumps which distribute baclofen only for the management of spasticity.
  •  Dosage monitoring and dosage adjustment of baclofen delivered by the in situ pumps

Team members

  • Rehabilitation Consultant

  • Rehabilitation Registrar

  • Clinic co-ordinator

Service delivery

  • The ITB Clinic runs weekly 

  • Intrathecal baclofen pump refills are completed within 1-2 weeks of low volume pump alarm date 

  • Out of hours support for pump management 

Eligibility criteria

  • ITB pump management that is NOT used for opioid delivery 

  • St Vincent’s Hospital, Fitzroy being the geographically closest clinic capable of managing the patient 

  • Must reside in Victoria 

Referral process 

  • Two referrals are required for each patient 

  • Referral from GP (ideally indefinite) 

  • Referral from treating specialist regarding pump and clinical history 

  • Referrals can be sent to Attn: ITB clinic 

  • Patients are assessed via the Spasticity Management Clinic within the Young Adult Complex Disability Service or the Rehabilitation department 

Contact details

Intrathecal Baclofen Clinic phone: 03 9231 4672