Carisoprodol – A Muscle Relaxant

Carisoprodol, commonly branded as Soma, is one of the most widely used muscle relaxants in the world. The Carisoprodol tablet acts in relaxing the muscular system of the body by blocking the electrical communication among the nerves. This takes place in the reticular formation of the spinal cord and the brain. Carisoprodol is, in fact, the general name of this tablet and this tablet is used to bring short-term relief from painful muscle conditions. Generally, this drug is used in connection with the rest, physical therapy that a medical practitioner adopts in order to cure a patient from painful muscular conditions. The drug is available in the form of a 350 mg tablet and should be stored between a temperature range of 15 to 30 degree celsius.

As regards the prescription of this goes, a medical practitioner prescribes a dosage of the tablet three times in a day and once at bedtime. However, the prescription may differ from patient to patient depending on the severity of the painful condition. Therefore, any prescription of the medicine without prior recommendation from a medical practitioner can be harmful and may lead to side effects. When a person starts taking regular doses of the drug, it slowly interacts with other drugs and medications, such as alcohol, narcotics, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, etc. And in turn, slows down the processes in the brain, leading to less fatigue of the muscle. As for physical state and properties, Carisoprodol is a skeletal muscle relaxant, which is a crystalline powder, colorless, having a bitter taste and a mild characteristic odor.

The drug is soluble in water (slightly); however, freely soluble in chloroform, alcohol, and acetone. The drug is manufactured by Meda Pharmaceuticals Inc. and is marketed in the United States of America with the brand name called SOMA. In the United Kingdom and some other countries, the drug is sold with the names Carisoma and Sanoma. In addition to the generic form of tablet in which the drug is available commercially, it is also mixed with aspirin and can also be found along with caffeine and codeine as well in some preparations.

As with any other drug, the side effects of soma include

  • depression,
  • dizziness,
  • agitation,
  • sleepiness,
  • facial flushing,
  • headache,
  • fainting,
  • insomnia,
  • nausea,
  • poor body co-ordination,
  • vomiting,
  • rapid heart rate,
  • stomach problems,
  • shaking and tremors, among others.

Through this medicine, patients suffering from short-term pain problems and discomfort arising from muscle injuries (strains, spasms, and sprains) can be effectively treated. The drug straight away works on the nerves to provide instant relief from muscle pain. The drug also helps in relieving the pain by calming down the nervous system in the body.

Carisoprodol may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if a person has been taking the medicine for a very long time regularly, that too in high doses. In such a case, many withdrawal symptoms such as trouble sleeping, stomach cramps, nausea, and headache, among others may occur in case a person stops taking the medicine all of a sudden. In order to prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually.

In case any withdrawal symptoms are noticed in a person, it is advised to consult a medical practitioner as soon as possible and report all symptoms to him or her immediately. In the rarest of cases, this medicine can also lead to a severe abnormal drug-seeking behavior in the form of addiction or habit-forming. Before starting on consuming Carisoprodol, the person must seek prescription from a medical practitioner and should never, under any circumstances, increase the dose, start taking it more frequently or using the dose for a longer time than prescribed with taking prior advice from the doctor.