Soma is a drug that doctors prescribe to treat muscle pain and discomfort. It has sedative effects and can be habit-forming. Doctors recommend taking Soma for short periods to avoid addiction to the drug.
Soma is also a drug that some people may take recreationally. It has sedative effects and alters activity between neurons in the brain and spinal cord.
This article reviews Soma, its uses, side effects, and interactions with other medications. It also advises avoiding addiction and answers some frequently asked questions.
According to Drug Enforcement Administration, Soma is the trade name of the drug carisoprodol. This medication is useful when people combine it with rest and physical therapy to relieve painful musculoskeletal conditions.
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Soma comes in tablet form and was first available as a generic drug in the United States in 1959.
Learn more about benzodiazepines.
However, Soma does not do this by directly relaxing skeletal muscles. Instead, studies indicate that it alters activity between the spinal cord and neurons in the brain. This causes the drug to work similarly to benzodiazepines, providing therapeutic and soothing properties.
Soma’s sedative properties can complement pain treatment in combination with other treatments, medications or procedures. Its main substance is meprobamate, a controlled tranquilizer. However, meprobamate can be habit-forming.
Some people take Soma recreationally for its sedative effects, but they can become addicted with repeated use.
Soma’s elimination half-life is about 2 hours, which means it takes 2 hours for the drug in a person’s system to halve. However, the half-life of meprobamate is 10 hours.
This means that meprobamate can build up in a person’s system if they take multiple doses over the course of a day. This increases the risk of side effects and the potential for addiction.
Additionally, people with certain conditions may metabolize soma and meprobamate more slowly than others. Therefore, the drugs stay longer in their body, which increases the risk of adverse effects.
The package insert recommends that a person not take the drug for more than 2 to 3 weeks to minimize side effects.
Side effects of carisoprodol
People who overuse the drug may also suffer from high blood pressure.
Soma overdose has many side effects, including:
If people suddenly stop taking Soma after taking it for a long time, they may experience withdrawal symptoms.
According to National Library of Medicine (NLM), people should avoid drinking alcohol while taking Soma. Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists the following drugs that may interact with this drug:
- tricyclic antidepressants
Some people combine Soma with opioids and benzodiazepines to increase the “high” they feel from the drugs. However, these combinations may cause cumulative sedative effects. Soma can also interact with aspirin and lead to negative effects.
A healthcare professional will check a person’s medical history and any medications they are taking before prescribing Soma. They must be sure that the individuals do not have a history of drug abuse and that the drug will not cause adverse health effects.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about Soma.
Where can I find help and information?
A person should discuss their Soma prescription with a doctor to make sure they understand how much to take and how long they will be taking the medication. They may also read the drug label to check for potential side effects.
Anyone concerned about substance abuse can contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The SAMHSA National Helpline is free, confidential and open all day, every day of the year. A person can call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or contact their free and confidential service referral and treatment information service by text message.
Is it safe to use Soma during pregnancy?
Soma is pregnancy category C, which means that there may have been observable adverse drug effects in animal studies. Alternatively, this classification means that research on pregnant women has been limited or inconclusive. However, the NLM says some studies suggest the drug appears in the placenta and may negatively affect fetal growth and postnatal survival.
People who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant should avoid taking Soma. Human studies also show that it is detectable in breast milk and that a person’s breast milk supply may decrease. Additionally, physicians should monitor infants who have been exposed to Soma due to the risk of sedation.
Soma is the brand name of the drug carisoprodol. It may benefit people with musculoskeletal pain by acting as an analgesic or tranquilizer.
However, Soma can be addictive, and some people take it recreationally for its sedating effects. Its main ingredient, meprobamate, is a controlled substance. This is due to its ability to affect brain receptors, which can lead to addiction and misuse.
Soma can cause a range of side effects. Doctors recommend people not to take the drug for more than 3 weeks to avoid side effects and addiction.