Generic Name: carisoprodol (kar eye soe PROE dole)
Brand Names: Soma, Vanadom
Medically reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD Last updated on Mar 18, 2019.
What is carisoprodol?
Carisoprodol is a muscle relaxer that blocks pain sensations between the nerves and the brain.
Carisoprodol should only be used for short periods (up to two or three weeks) because there is no evidence of its effectiveness in long term use and most skeletal muscle injuries are generally of short duration. Carisoprodol is considered a controlled substance in the United States.
You should not take carisoprodol if you have porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system).
Carisoprodol may be habit-forming. Never share this medicine with another person. Misuse of habit-forming medicine can cause addiction, overdose, or death.
Carisoprodol can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase drowsiness and dizziness caused by this medicine.
You may have withdrawal symptoms when you stop using this medicine after using it over a long period of time. Do not stop using this medication suddenly without first talking to your doctor. You may need to use less and less before you stop the medication completely.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to carisoprodol or meprobamate, or if you have:
porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system).
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
kidney disease; or
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.
Carisoprodol can pass into breast milk and may cause drowsiness in a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
This medicine is not approved for use by anyone younger than 16 years old.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine.
How should I take carisoprodol?
Take carisoprodol exactly as it was prescribed for you. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.
Carisoprodol may be habit-forming. Misuse can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.
Carisoprodol is usually taken 3 times per day and at bedtime and should be only be taken for 2 or 3 weeks.. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.
Do not stop using this medicine suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.
Carisoprodol is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include rest, physical therapy, or other pain relief measures. Follow your doctor's instructions.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Keep track of your medicine. Carisoprodol is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using it improperly or without a prescription.
Carisoprodol dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Muscle Spasm:
250 to 350 mg orally 3 times a day and at bedtime
Duration of therapy: Up to 2 to 3 weeks
-This drug should only be used for short periods (up to 2 or 3 weeks) as there is inadequate evidence of effectiveness for more prolonged use and acute, painful musculoskeletal conditions are generally of short duration.
Use: For the relief of discomfort associated with acute, painful musculoskeletal conditions
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of carisoprodol can be fatal, especially if you take it with alcohol or with other drugs that can slow your breathing.
Overdose symptoms may include vision problems, confusion, hallucinations, muscle stiffness, loss of coordination, weak or shallow breathing, fainting, seizure, or coma.
What should I avoid while taking carisoprodol?
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.
Avoid driving or hazardous activity until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or drowsiness can cause falls, accidents, or severe injuries.
Carisoprodol side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to carisoprodol: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:
a seizure (convulsions); or
Common carisoprodol side effects may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect carisoprodol?
Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.
Using carisoprodol with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous side effects or death. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.
Many drugs can interact with carisoprodol. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medicine only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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- Drug class: skeletal muscle relaxants