Carisoprodol, sold under the brand name Soma among others, is a medication used for musculoskeletal pain. It is used with rest, physical therapy, and other measures to relax muscles and relieve pain and discomfort caused by strains, sprains, and other muscle injuries. Use is only approved for up to three weeks. Effects generally begin within half an hour and last for up to six hours. It is taken orally. Carisoprodol is considered a controlled substance in the United States.
How should carisoprodol be used?
Carisoprodol comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken three times daily and at bedtime. It may be taken with or without food. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take carisoprodol exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Carisoprodol may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- fast heart rate
- stomach upset
- skin rash
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- difficulty breathing
- burning in the eyes
Carisoprodol Safety Information
Before taking carisoprodol,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to carisoprodol, meprobamate (Equanil, Meprospan, Miltown, Neuramate), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in carisoprodol tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially medications for allergies, coughs, or colds; muscle relaxants; sedatives; sleeping pills; tranquilizers; and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking carisoprodol, call your doctor.
- talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking carisoprodol if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually take carisoprodol because it is not as safe or effective as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.
- you should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how carisoprodol affects you.
- remember that alcohol can add to the drowsiness caused by this drug.
You should not take carisoprodol if you have porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system). Carisoprodol may be habit-forming. Never share this medicine with another person. Misuse of habit-forming medicine can cause addiction, overdose, or death.
Carisoprodol can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase drowsiness and dizziness caused by this medicine.
You may have withdrawal symptoms when you stop using this medicine after using it over a long period of time. Do not stop using this medication suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.