What Is Soma (Carisoprodol)?

Soma is a brand-name prescription medication used for treating muscle pain. The generic name of Soma is carisoprodol. Soma acts as a skeletal muscle relaxant. Even though Soma is classified as a carbamate drug, its effects are similar to those of the barbiturate drug class. The carbamate drug class was popular before the use of benzodiazepines and has largely been replaced these drugs. Soma can be used for general pain relief and to help people fall asleep. When someone takes Soma, the drug blocks pain sensations transmitted between the brain and the nerves. Used in conjunction with rest and physical therapy, Soma is often prescribed to treat pain or injuries.

Soma Usage

The typically prescribed dosage of Soma is 350 mg. This dose is effective for most people and should not bring about some of the more profound side effects of the drug. Soma’s side effects can include extreme drowsiness, sedation, dizziness and headache. Less common side effects can include anxiety, dry mouth, irritability, nervousness and nausea. Soma is intended as a short-term treatment. It is taken by mouth, usually up to four times a day. The medication should be used no longer than three weeks unless instructed by a physician.

Common Effects of Soma Usage

The most common effects of Soma usage are not very severe. As long as someone takes this drug as prescribed, side effects may include drowsiness, headache or other mild side effects. However, Soma can lead to addiction and dependence. While the typical therapeutic dosage of 350 mg is unlikely to lead to these effects, Soma abuse can. Some people may experience mild euphoria with Soma usage, which can create a cycle of abuse and addiction. Withdrawal is another common effect of Soma usage. Withdrawal occurs when someone has become dependent upon Soma. In severe cases, Soma withdrawal can have similar symptoms to those associated with alcohol withdrawal.

Soma Addiction & Abuse Symptoms & Side Effects

People often wonder if Soma is addictive. Prescription drug abuse is an increasingly troubling trend in the United States. Drug abuse doesn’t necessarily mean someone is addicted to a drug. What it does mean is that someone can be at a higher risk of addiction. Soma abuse includes taking the drug in any way outside of what’s prescribed or instructed by a doctor. Soma abuse can include taking a higher dose or taking it more often than prescribed. Other Soma abuse signs can include taking it without a prescription or combining it with other substances to increase the effects. Another sign of Soma abuse is taking it for longer than prescribed.

Short-Term Effects

When someone is abusing Soma, the short-term effects can include a sense of euphoria, as well as drowsiness and sedation. A person who is abusing Soma may seem like they’re intoxicated from alcohol since it is a depressant. Other short-term Soma effects can include sleep disturbances, irritability and impaired coordination. People who are abusing Soma may have problems with memory, judgment and concentration. They may also start to experience psychological symptoms like depression.

Long-Term Effects

The longer someone uses or abuses Soma, the more likely they are to become addicted or dependent upon it. People who use Soma long-term may also show changes in mood and thoughts of suicide. As someone continues to use Soma, their life may be consumed with obtaining and using the drug. People who are addicted or dependent upon Soma may have declining performance at school or work. Relationships may become strained as well. Long-term use of Soma can result in physical health problems, such as organ damage, seizures and respiratory problems.

Soma Addiction

The best way to reduce the risk of Soma addiction is to only take it for a short time and to follow prescription instructions. Signs of Soma addiction include the compulsive use of the drug or being unable to stop using. Someone addicted to Soma will often continue to take it despite negative consequences and effects. Someone who is addicted to Soma may “doctor shop” to get multiple prescriptions or steal it from friends or family.

What Makes Soma Addictive?

Soma has effects that some people find to be appealing, particularly when it’s used at higher doses. Some people seek out the euphoric, sedating and relaxing effects. These effects are the result of how Soma interacts with the GABA receptors in the brain. This can trigger a dopamine and reward response. These reward responses are how addiction develops. Polysubstance abuse is also quite common for people who are abusing Soma since the drug is considered to be a potentiator for other CNS depressants like opioids and alcohol. That means it heightens their effects, leading some to combine them together.

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Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.