Description and Ingredients
The white, round Soma tablets come in 250mg and 350mg doses. Soma is a crystalline, white powder with a bitter taste and a mild, characteristic odor. It’s soluble slightly in water; soluble freely in alcohol, acetone, and chloroform; and its solubility is practically pH-independent.
Soma (carisoprodol) is a racemic mixture. Carisoprodol is chemically N-isopropyl-2-methyl-2-propyl-1,3propanediol dicarbamate. It has a 260.33 molecular weight.
Other ingredients in Soma include magnesium stearate, alginic acid, starch, tribasic calcium phosphate, and potassium sorbate.
Usage and Dosage
Carefully follow the prescription label’s directions. The Soma tablet is taken 3 times daily and during bedtime, even if you have or haven’t eaten. Soma should be taken no longer than 3 weeks.
Sufficient evidence for Soma’s effectiveness for use longer than 3 weeks has not yet been established. Moreover, painful, acute musculoskeletal disorders are generally shorter than 3 weeks.
If you skipped a dose, take that dose as soon as you remember it. If you’re almost up for the next dose, don’t take the missed dose and just take the next dose at the usual time. You should not take two doses of the medication at the same time.
Take each dose of carisoprodol with a glass full of water. Store the medication at room temperature away from heat and water.
How Soma Can Affect the Body
Soma comes in tablet form, and it is also in combination products that include codeine and aspirin. While you can take Soma during bedtime even if you haven’t eaten the moment you take it, the three times you take during the day should be accompanied with food or milk. The medication can lead to an upset stomach.
Carisoprodol is absorbed in the body and starts to take effect after 30 minutes, with its effectivity lasting from 4 to 6 hours. In the body, Soma is broken down into meprobamate. Peak concentrations are observed for carisoprodol in one hour and nearly 3 hours in the meprobamate metabolite.
Carisoprodol’s half-life is around 100 minutes. However, depending on a person’s metabolism, that half-life can extend by up to three times as much. Meprobamate’s half-life is longer – from 6 to 17 hours. This can lead to accumulation with several doses.
Both the meprobamate metabolite and carisoprodol are expelled through the urine, and can be detected for a few days in the urine after use.
Important Information before Taking Soma
Soma can be habit-forming and must only be taken by the individual the medication was prescribed for. The person prescribed with the medication should not give it to another person, especially if that person has a history of drug addiction or abuse. Secure the medication in a place that can’t be accessed by others.
Among muscle relaxants, Soma (carisoprodol) has the greater abuse potential and causes the most drowsiness. In anecdotal reports, drug users may use carisoprodol with two other medications: hydrocodone and Xanax (benzodiazepine alprazolam) to create a cocktail called ‘The Holy Cocktail’ or ‘The Trinity.’
Due to its abuse potential, and the serious side effects risk, keep Soma away from teenagers, children, and other individuals who have not been prescribed with it. Moreover, carisoprodol is a USFDA scheduled drug and is governed by the Controlled Substances Act.
You could experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking Soma, after using the medication over a lengthy duration. Withdrawal symptoms can include sleep problems, stomach pains, nausea, headaches, and seizures.
Talk to your doctor first before abruptly stopping the medication. You may have to take reduced doses before you completely stop taking the medication.
Soma (carisoprodol) can lead to side effects that may affect your reactions or thinking. Be careful when driving or doing anything that needs you to be alert and awake.
Don’t take alcohol together with Soma. Alcohol can increase dizziness and drowsiness caused by carisoprodol.
Potential Side Effects
Like in most medications, you can experience side effects if you take Soma. Thus, get medical attention if you have allergic reaction symptoms that include difficulty in breathing, hives, or swelling of your lips, face, throat, or tongue.
Stop taking the medication and seek medical help immediately if you suffer more serious side effects like:
- Lack of coordination or extreme weakness;
- Loss of feeling/paralysis;
- Rapid heartbeat;
- Fainting or feeling light-headed;
- Convulsions or seizures;
- Confusion, agitation; or
- Vision loss.
Other side effects, although less serious, include:
- Tremor, dizziness, drowsiness
- Feeling irritable, depression
- Blurred vision
- Vomiting, nausea, upset stomach, hiccups; or
- Insomnia (sleep problems)
Things to Discuss with the Doctor Before Taking Soma
Do not take Soma if you have allergies to meprobamate or carisoprodol, or if you’re suffering from porphyria. Before taking Soma, tell the physician if you are allergic to any medication, or if you have:
- Liver disease;
- Seizure disorders like epilepsy; or
- Kidney disease.
If you are experiencing any of these conditions, you may need to have your Soma dose adjusted or you may need to take certain tests to see if you can take Soma safely.
Soma can be harmful to an unborn child. If you plan to become pregnant or are pregnant during treatment, talk to the doctor. It is not established whether carisoprodol can seep into breast milk or if it could harm a baby that’s still nursing.
Do not take Soma without informing the doctor if you’re breastfeeding, and do not give the medication to a child who’s younger than 12 years of age.
Precautions Before Taking Soma
To avoid drug interactions and side effects, discuss with your doctor all non-prescription and prescription medications you plan to take or are taking. These include sedatives, muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, vitamins, and medications for coughs, colds, and allergies.
You should also discuss with the doctor any supplements that you may be taking, including protein powders, nutritional shakes, herbal treatments, alternative supplements, or any other supplements. Be honest with your doctor if you’re taking recreational or illegal drugs.
You should not take carisoprodol with:
- Sodium oxybate (Xyrem)
- Clopidrogel (Plavix)
- Ticlopidine (Ticlid)
- Drugs with doxylamine
Soma can also have interactions with other drugs, especially those that affect the nervous system, including:
- Drugs to promote wakefulness like Provigil (modafinil) and Nuvigil (armodafinil)
- Sleep medications like opiates
- Certain medicines for psychological conditions like depression
- Anxiety medications like benzodiazepines
- Analgesics or painkillers
- Drugs that manage muscles seizures and disorders
- Other nervous system-affecting drugs including Apokyn (apormorphine), guanabenz, Aldomet (methyldopa), and guanfacine (Tenex, Estulic, Intuniv)
Medications that are immune system-suppressing may also interact with Soma, including Nulojix (belatacept) or Humira (adalimumab). Allergy medications like Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and other similar medications can also interact with Soma.
People taking acrivastine – a chemotherapy drug – should not take it concurrently with carisoprodol. Other drugs that may interact with Soma include Thalidomid (thalidomide) and Actemra (tocilizumab).