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Carisoprodol Patient Tips

How it works

Carisoprodol exerts its muscle relaxing effects by an unknown mechanism, most likely related to its activity on neurotransmitters in the spinal cord and brain.


Used for the short-term relief of discomfort associated with acute, painful musculoskeletal conditions in adults.


If you are between the ages of 18 and 60, take no other medication or have no other medical conditions, side effects you are more likely to experience include:

  • Can cause sedation which may impair your ability to drive or operate machinery. Avoid alcohol.
  • May also cause dizziness, headache, heart palpitations and a drop in blood pressure on standing. Facial flushing, insomnia, nausea and abdominal discomfort have also been reported.
  • High potential for abuse. May be sought after by drug abusers or people with addiction disorders. Misuse may cause sudden death or cardiovascular events (such as heart attack or stroke).
  • Reports of seizures exist, particularly when used with other seizure-inducing drugs.
  • May not be as effective in people classed as "poor metabolizers" as the drug undergoes activation in the liver, specifically through an enzyme called CYP2C19. Poor metabolizers make less active drug from carisoprodol.

Notes: In general, seniors or children, people with certain medical conditions (such as liver or kidney problems, heart disease, diabetes, seizures) or people who take other medications are more at risk of developing a wider range of side effects. For a complete list of all side effects, click here.

Bottom Line

Carisoprodol is a muscle relaxant; however, use is limited by potential for dependence, sedative effects, and short-lasting effects requiring multiple doses per day.


  • Should only be used for two to three weeks.
  • May cause drowsiness or impair reaction times and affect ability to drive or operate machinery. Avoid alcohol.
  • Administer at the lowest effective dosage and take exactly as directed by your doctor; never increase dosage without your doctor's advice. Avoid sudden discontinuation as this can precipitate a withdrawal reaction.

Response and Effectiveness

Peak effects reached within 1.5 to two hours after a single dose. Dosage may need to be given up to four times a day.


Carisoprodol [package insert]. Revised 12/2015. Vensun Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Accessed 02/2016

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use carisoprodol only for the indication prescribed.

  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. It is an informational resource designed as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of this information. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2017 Revision Date: 2016-02-23 00:00:00