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All about: Carisoprodol

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Generic name: Carisoprodol
Brand names: Soma

Why is Carisoprodol prescribed?

Soma is used, along with rest, physical therapy, and other measures, for the relief of acute, painful muscle strains and spasms.

Most important fact about Carisoprodol

Soma alone will not heal your muscles. You need to follow the program of physical therapy, rest, or exercise that your doctor prescribes. Do not attempt any more physical activity than your doctor recommends, even though Soma temporarily makes it seem feasible.

How should you take Carisoprodol?

Take Soma exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

--If you miss a dose...

Take it as soon as you remember if only an hour or so has passed. If you do not remember until later, skip the dose you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container.

What side effects may occur?

Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Soma.

  • More common side effects may include:
    Agitation, depression, dizziness, drowsiness, facial flushing, fainting, headache, hiccups, inability to fall or stay asleep, irritability, light-headedness upon standing up, loss of coordination, nausea, rapid heart rate, stomach upset, tremors, vertigo, vomiting

Allergic reactions usually seen between the first and fourth doses of Soma in patients who have never taken Carisoprodol before include: itching, red welts on the skin, and skin rash. A more severe allergic reaction may include symptoms such as asthmatic attacks, dizziness, fever, low blood pressure, shock, stinging of the eyes, swelling due to fluid retention, and weakness.

Why should Carisoprodol not be prescribed?

If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to Soma or drugs of this type, such as meprobamate (Miltown), you should not take Carisoprodol. Make sure your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced.

Unless you are directed to do so by your doctor, do not take Carisoprodol if you have porphyria (an inherited blood disorder).

Special warnings about Carisoprodol

In rare cases, the first dose of Soma may cause unusual symptoms that appear within minutes or hours of taking the medication. Symptoms reported include: agitation, confusion, disorientation, dizziness, double vision, enlargement of pupils, extreme weakness, exaggerated feeling of well-being, lack of coordination, speech problems, temporary loss of vision, and temporary paralysis of arms and legs. These symptoms usually subside within a few hours. If you experience any of them, contact your doctor immediately.

Soma may impair the mental or physical abilities you need to drive a car or operate dangerous machinery. Do not participate in hazardous activities until you know how Carisoprodol affects you.

If you have a history of drug dependence, make sure your doctor is aware of it before you start taking Carisoprodol.

Withdrawal symptoms, including abdominal cramps, chilliness, headache, insomnia, and nausea, have occurred in people who suddenly stop taking Soma.

Take Carisoprodol cautiously if you have any kidney or liver problems.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Carisoprodol

Soma may intensify the effects of alcohol. Be careful drinking alcoholic beverages while you are taking Carisoprodol.

If Soma is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Soma with the following:

Antidepressant drugs such as Elavil, Tofranil, and Nardil
Major tranquilizers such as Haldol, Stelazine, and Thorazine
Sedatives such as Nembutal and Halcion
Tranquilizers such as Librium, Valium, and Xanax

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

The effects of Soma during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. This drug appears in breast milk and could affect a nursing infant. If Carisoprodol is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment is finished.

Recommended dosage


The usual dosage of Soma is one 350-milligram tablet, taken 3 times daily and at bedtime.


The safety and effectiveness of Carisoprodol have not been established in children under 12 years of age.


A severe overdose of Soma can be fatal. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical help immediately.

  • Symptoms of Soma overdose may include:
    Breathing difficulty, coma, shock, stupor

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