Soma Side Effects

Estimated reading time: 31 minute(s)

Commonly known as soma, carisoprodol is a prescription-based skeletal muscle relaxant that relieves muscle pain due to strains and sprains. Available as tablets, it is meant to be taken orally multiple times daily while managing an underlying injury. Most doctors consider combining this medication with physical therapy and other treatments and are extremely careful with its prescription, as it can lead to several side effects. While most soma side effects are physical, they can also cause abuse and addiction, negatively affecting all aspects of life.

Common Soma Side Effects

Carisoprodol can cause sedation, muscle relaxation, and anxiety reduction in its users. However, apart from these positive effects, it also tends to trigger unintentional side effects. These side effects become particularly severe and even dangerous for someone abusing soma. According to experts, the following are some common soma side effects to watch out for:

  • Drowsiness
  • Skin rash
  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Headache
  • Increased clumsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart rate

Side effects like fever, shortness of breath, burning in the eyes, and weakness, especially if the drug is used for the first time, may indicate an underlying reaction. Such reactions can be dangerous; hence, urgent medical attention is warranted. People abusing carisoprodol can experience additional adverse side effects on the body. These side effects may include the following:

  • Agitation
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Tachycardia
  • Disorientation
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Hypotension
  • Cervical spine injury
  • Euphoria
  • Extreme weakness
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Double vision
  • Temporary loss of vision
  • Dilated pupils

While most side effects mentioned above are short-lived, they can cause permanent damage to the body, especially in people who have been abusing soma for a long time. The liver, heart, kidneys, and brain can all experience adverse effects due to this drug.

Soma for Anxiety: Can it Lead to Overdose?

People using carisoprodol, even for legitimate medical conditions like anxiety, are prone to experiencing an overdose. Such overdoses can be extremely dangerous and require urgent medical attention. According to health authorities, the following are the signs to look out for if you suspect someone has overdosed on soma:

  • Chills
  • Vomiting
  • Palpitations
  • Extreme sedation
  • Shock
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coma

Severe overdoses involving soma can cause permanent brain damage and even death. The risk is automatically higher if a person has been overusing or using the drug in a manner other than prescribed. Repeated carisoprodol abuse has also been known to cause unintentional overdoses. Ironically, people who have undergone a detoxification process for carisoprodol addiction are more vulnerable to overdosing on the drug. This is because their tolerance levels quickly decrease once they stop using carisoprodol or reduce its dose. In such circumstances, their body may overdose even with a moderate amount of soma.

Is Carisoprodol Addictive?

According to research so far, carisoprodol carries the potential to cause addiction just like other sedatives, including benzodiazepines. This medication breaks down in the body to form an addictive substance called meprobamate. Note that most people use soma for its soothing and relaxing properties, and many who develop an addiction to it have been using it with a legit prescription. The chances of becoming addicted to soma are greatly increased for people who start abusing it or self-medicating by taking it in larger doses than recommended. Addiction is also more likely to set in in people using soma in ways other than intended, such as mixing the pills in water and injecting it into veins.

In addition to people using soma for medical reasons, many continue sourcing it through illicit means to experience euphoria or augment the effects of another sedative. Because the medication is relatively easier to access, an increasing number of people are developing dependence on it. According to drug control authorities, the use and abuse of carisoprodol have jumped over the years, and in 2007, its incidence of abuse was comparable to that of Librium and Klonopin.

Addiction to a prescription-based medication, such as soma, can drastically affect different parts of a person’s life. This relapsing, enduring brain disease can lead to drug-seeking behaviors and a consistent use pattern despite the negative consequences. People who fall prey to addiction think about drug use most of the time and spend less time with family and friends. Addiction may also cause them to stop enjoying things they once loved, quickly deteriorating their quality of life.

Following are some symptoms of carisoprodol addiction:

  • Stealing or forging prescriptions
  • Unexplained mood swings
  • Taking higher doses than prescribed
  • Excessive hostility
  • Poorer energy levels than usual
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Seeking prescriptions from multiple doctors

In general, if your soma use has been interfering with your daily functioning in any way, it may indicate a possible addiction. Hence, doctors must always carefully monitor people using carisoprodol and keep screening them for dependence and other relevant issues.

Soma Side Effects: Important Warnings

If you have started using carisoprodol, remember the following warnings to minimize the side effects.

Drowsiness warning

Carisoprodol is capable of inducing severe drowsiness. Hence, experts advise you not to run heavy machinery or drive until you know how it affects you.

Seizure warning

Carisoprodol use can lead to the possibility of seizure. The risk is particularly higher if you use the medication with other drugs with similar effects.

Warning for people with porphyria

Do not take soma if you have been diagnosed with porphyria; the medication can worsen this condition.

Warning for people with mutated CYP2C19 enzyme

This enzyme helps the body process and break down carisoprodol. Some people are naturally born with a genetic mutation that slows down the working of this enzyme. Consequently, the body cannot rapidly remove the drug from the body, leading to a buildup that may mimic an overdose. For such people, doctors usually prescribe a lower dose of soma.

Warning for people with liver problems

As soon as soma makes its way into the bloodstream, it enters the liver to break down. If the liver is not working well, the body may start processing the drug more slowly, leading to greater side effects. To minimize this risk, a doctor may prescribe a lower dose of carisoprodol to people with compromised liver health.

Warning for people with kidney problems

The kidneys are primarily responsible for clearing soma from the body. If these organs are not working well, the body may slow in excreting the drug from the system, leading to its buildup and intensifying the side effects. Hence, people with renal issues must commence on a lower dose of carisoprodol.

Allergy warning

In some people, carisoprodol may lead to a severe allergic reaction. The symptoms of this reaction may include tongue or throat swelling and breathing problems. If you suspect that you are experiencing an allergic reaction to soma, call the local poison control center or visit the emergency room immediately, as things can quickly get serious. Never try taking soma again if you have had an allergic reaction.

Alcohol interaction warning

Carisoprodol has powerful sedative effects and can induce extreme drowsiness in its users. Combining the drug with alcohol, intentionally or unintentionally, can make the effect worse and put the user in different sorts of danger. Talk to a doctor about using carisoprodol if you are drinking.

Warning for pregnant women

Soma is currently categorized as a category C pregnancy drug, meaning that while animal studies confirm its negative effects on the developing fetus, there are not enough human trials to correspond. Until more clarity is available, talk to a doctor regarding the safety of using soma during pregnancy. It is also crucial to let your doctor know if you are already on carisoprodol but planning to become pregnant.

Warning for breastfeeding females

Carisoprodol can pass into breast milk to cause side effects in a child. The drug can also mess with the amount of milk the body creates. Hence, talk to a doctor about the safety of using soma if breastfeeding.

Managing Carisoprodol Side Effects: What To Do?

If you have been suffering from carisoprodol side effects, contacting a healthcare practitioner is the best way to manage them. These practitioners will evaluate your case and determine what’s causing the problems. They may switch you from this medication to a safer alternative to check how it works for you.

If you struggle to stop using soma, you may have developed an addiction to it. This is dangerous as the body fails to stop craving the substance despite acknowledging its side effects. In such circumstances, most experts recommend detoxifying to avoid the withdrawal side effects and slowly taper off the medicine without any dangers. Remember that the full tapering process may take up to a week.

Always remember that addiction is much more than physical dependence on a substance. Some people may experience withdrawal while stopping carisoprodol but may not have an underlying addiction. Moreover, they may not compulsively seek out soma and use it. However, if there are visible signs of addiction, a physician may refer you to a rehabilitation center where addiction specialists take care of you.

Unfortunately, no medications have been approved by the FDA so far to manage addiction to soma or other muscle relaxants. Hence, therapy remains the mainstay of treatment and may include individual and group therapy. Some people may also join support groups or seek help from self-help measures to recover from carisoprodol abuse. So far, different types of therapy have proven effective in managing soma side effects and abuse. The ultimate choice of therapy can vary from one client to another based on their personal circumstances to provide them with the best outcomes.


Do soma side effects include withdrawal?

Many people who use soma or carisoprodol for a long time ultimately depend on the drug. Once this physical dependence sets in, their body requires higher doses of the substance to feel the same effects and function normally. Under these circumstances, stopping the substance altogether or even reducing its dose may trigger a withdrawal reaction which may include the following side effects:

  • Insomnia
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle twitching
  • Loss of control over body movements
  • Tremors

Do people using soma require any clinical monitoring?

People taking carisoprodol must keep visiting the doctor to get monitoring for certain health issues. This monitoring ensures that such people remain safe as long as they are on Soma. The following are some parameters that require regular monitoring with this drug use:

  • Testing liver and kidney functions through a blood sample to check whether these organs work fine. If not, a doctor may consider reducing the dose.
  • Monitoring for signs of dependence or misuse so that a timely diagnosis can be made and help can be sought

Does soma make you sleepy?

Soma can induce drowsiness in many people. Hence, those using the medication for the first time must practice caution and not engage in any activities that require precision and focus under its influence until they understand how the drug affects them.

How long does soma effects last?

The effects of soma muscle relaxers generally begin within 30 minutes of taking the medication and continue for up to six hours. Abusing the medication can change how long do somas last.

Get in Touch for Help