Carisoprodol | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

carisoprodol, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Soma
  • Vanadom (Discontinued)
A discontinued drug is a drug that has been taken off the market due to safety issues, shortage of raw materials, or low market demand.
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Highlights for carisoprodol

Oral tablet
1

Carisoprodol is used to treat muscle pain.

2

This drug comes in the form of a tablet you take by mouth.

3

Carisoprodol is available as a brand-name drug called Soma. It’s also available as a generic drug.

4

The more common side effects of this drug can include headaches, dizziness, or drowsiness.

5

This drug should only be taken for up to 2–3 weeks

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Drowsiness

Carisoprodol can cause drowsiness. Don’t drive or use dangerous machinery until you know how this drug affects you.

Dependence

The use of carisoprodol can cause dependence (addiction). If this occurs, stopping this medication suddenly can cause withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can include sleep problems, vomiting, stomach pain, headache, or shakiness and muscle twitching. They can also include hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t real) or psychiatric problems. To help prevent dependence, don’t take this medication for longer than 3 weeks.

Seizures

Carisoprodol may cause seizures. This risk is higher if it’s used with several drugs that are abused or used in overly high doses. 

Drug features

Carisoprodol is a prescription drug. It comes in the form of a tablet you take by mouth.

Carisoprodol is available as a brand-name drug called Soma. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less.In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version. Talk to your doctor to see if the generic version will work for you.

Carisoprodol may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

Carisoprodol is used as a short-term treatment for muscle pain.

How it works

Carisoprodol belongs to a class of drugs called muscle relaxers.

See Details

How it works

Carisoprodol belongs to a class of drugs called muscle relaxers. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

It’s thought that carisoprodol works by preventing your nervous system from sending pain signals to your brain.

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carisoprodol Side Effects

Oral tablet

More common side effects

The more common side effects that can occur with use of carisoprodol include:

  • headache

  • dizziness

  • drowsiness

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Heart problems. Symptoms can include:

    • fast heartbeat
    • low blood pressure, which may cause fainting
    • flushing of the face (sudden reddening)
  • Nervous system problems. Symptoms can include:

    • trouble making your muscles move the way you want them to
    • feeling agitated or irritated
    • depression
    • seizures
    • shakiness
  • Stomach problems. Symptoms can include:

    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • pain in the abdomen (stomach area)
  • Blood problems, such as a decrease in white blood cells or other types of blood cells. These problems raise your risk of infection.

Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

Carisoprodol may cause drowsiness. Don’t drive or use dangerous machinery until you know how this drug affects you.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
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carisoprodol May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Carisoprodol can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Alcohol interaction

Carisoprodol can make you drowsy. The use of drinks that contain alcohol can make your drowsiness worse. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor about whether this drug is safe for you.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Interactions that increase your risk of side effects
  • Side effects from other drugs: Taking carisoprodol with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from these drugs. Examples of these drugs include:
    • Benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam, diazepam, or flurazepam.
      • Increased side effects can include drowsiness.
    • Opioids, such as morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, or codeine.
      • Increased side effects can include drowsiness.
    • Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline, doxepin, or imipramine.
      • Increased side effects can include drowsiness.
    • Meprobamate.
      • Increased side effects can include drowsiness. This is because your body turns carisoprodol into meprobamate. This increases the amount of meprobamate in your body, along with its side effects.
  • Side effects from carisoprodol: Taking carisoprodol with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from carisoprodol. This is because the amount of carisoprodol in your body may be increased. Examples of these drugs include: 
    • Drugs such as omeprazole or fluvoxamine.
      • If you take these drugs with carisoprodol, your doctor may monitor you more closely for side effects.

Interactions that can make your drugs less effective
  • When carisoprodol is used with certain drugs, it may not work as well to treat your condition. This is because the amount of carisoprodol in your body may be decreased. Examples of these drugs include:
    • Drugs such as St. John’s wort or rifampin.  
      • If you take these drugs with carisoprodol, your doctor may increase your dosage of carisoprodol.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Carisoprodol warnings
porphyria
People with porphyria

Do not take carisoprodol. It may make your condition worse.

enzyme
People with an enzyme (CYP2C19) that works slowly

The CYP2C19 enzyme helps your body process carisoprodol. A genetic mutation causes the enzyme to process the drug more slowly. As a result, you may have higher levels of carisoprodol in your body. This raises your risk of side effects. Your doctor may prescribe you a lower dosage of this drug.

liver problems
People with liver problems

This drug is processed in your body by your liver. If your liver doesn’t work well, your body may process this drug more slowly. This may cause more side effects. To prevent this, your doctor may prescribe you a lower dosage of this drug.

kidney problems
People with kidney problems

This drug is cleared from your body by your kidneys. If your kidneys don’t work well, your body may clear this drug more slowly. This can increase the amount of the drug in your body and cause more side effects. To prevent this, your doctor may prescribe you a lower dosage of this drug.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

Carisoprodol is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus. 

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should be used only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

Carisoprodol may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breast-fed. This drug may also decrease the amount of milk your body makes.

Talk to your doctor if you breast-feed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breast-feeding or stop taking this medication.

seniors
For seniors

This medication hasn’t been studied in adults older than 65 years. It shouldn’t be used in people of this age group.

children
For children

This medication hasn’t been studied in children younger than 17 years. It shouldn’t be used in children of this age group.

call the doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor if:

  • You notice that your muscle pain is not improving while you take this drug.
  • You become pregnant while taking this drug.
allergies
Allergies

Carisoprodol can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include: 

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue 

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it or to a drug called meprobamate. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

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How to Take carisoprodol (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on: 

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Muscle pain

Generic: carisoprodol

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 250 mg, 350 mg

Brand: Soma

Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 250 mg, 350 mg
Adult dosage (ages 17–64 years)

Typical dosage: 250–350 mg, three times per day and at bedtime. This is a total of four times per day (1,400 mg/day).

Child dosage (ages 0–16 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children younger than 17 years. It shouldn’t be used in children of this age group.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

This medication hasn’t been studied in adults older than 65 years. It shouldn’t be used in people of this age group.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial

Carisoprodol comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all

If you don’t take this drug, your muscle pain may continue or get worse. If you stop taking this drug suddenly, you may have withdrawal symptoms. These can include sleep problems, vomiting, stomach pain, headache, or shakiness and muscle twitching. They can also include hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t real) or psychiatric problems. 

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. This risk is higher if it’s used with several drugs that are abused or used in overly high doses. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • low blood pressure
  • fast heartbeat
  • trouble breathing
  • seizures
  • delusions (believing in things that aren’t true)
  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t real)
  • unusual excitement
  • vision problems
  • muscle stiffness and lack of coordination
  • coma
  • death

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.   

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

You should have decreased muscle pain.

Carisoprodol is used for short-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking carisoprodol
take carisoprodol with or without food
You can take carisoprodol with or without food. Taking it with food may help to reduce upset stomach
timing
Take this drug at the time(s) recommended by your doctor
can cut or crush
You can cut or crush the tablet
storage
Store this drug carefully
See Details
medication is refillable
A prescription for this medication is refillable
See Details
Travel
Travel
See Details
clinical monitoring
Clinical monitoring
See Details
not usually stocked
Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead
Hidden costs
Hidden costs
See Details
prior authorization needed
Insurance
See Details

Store this drug carefully

  • Store carisoprodol at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
  • Keep this drug away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.
  • Keep this medication in a tightly closed container.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription. Carisoprodol should be taken only for two to three weeks.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

You and your doctor should monitor certain health issues. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include:

  • Kidney and liver function. Blood tests can check how well your kidneys and liver are working. If your kidneys or liver aren’t working well, your doctor may lower your dosage of this drug.
  • Abuse or dependence. This drug can cause dependence (addiction). Call your doctor if you feel that you’re using too much carisoprodol or that you need it to get through your day.

Hidden costs

You may need to have blood tests to check your kidney and liver function while you take this drug. The cost of these tests will depend on your insurance coverage.

Insurance

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

What does the pill look like?

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How Much Does carisoprodol Cost?

Oral tablet

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Lowest price for carisoprodol

Safeway $12.26
Publix $12.28
Membership warehouse $12.28
These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for carisoprodol on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for carisoprodol on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on November 9, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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