Soma is a brand name drug, also known as carisoprodol in its generic form. Soma is used as a short-term treatment for muscle pain and it’s usually prescribed in conjunction with rest and physical therapy. The prescribing guidelines for Soma indicate that it shouldn’t be used for more than three weeks unless instructed by a doctor. The reason that Soma is a short-term medication is because the drug has a potential for dependence and addiction. Soma is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance in the United States, under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Common side effects of Soma can include:
There are severe Soma side effects to be aware of as well. Some of the Soma side effects that require immediate medical attention include feeling lightheaded or fainting, loss of feeling, extreme weakness, lack of coordination, rapid heartbeat, changes in vision or seizures. Other severe Soma side effects may include depression or irritability, nausea, vomiting or sleep disturbances. Since Soma does have a potential for abuse, patients should let their doctor know if they have any history of drug abuse or addiction before taking the drug.
The normal daily dosage of Soma is around 350 mg per day, taken in divided doses. For most people, this dose doesn’t produce serious side effects. However, a Soma overdose is possible. Soma overdose can occur on its own when someone takes very large doses of the drug in an attempt to get high. Soma overdoses commonly occur when the drug is mixed with other substances, such as alcohol or narcotic pain medications. These substances heighten or potentiate the effects of Soma, increasing the possibility of an overdose. Signs of a Soma overdose can include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Slow or shallow breathing
- Changes in vision
- Fainting or feeling lightheaded
- Stiffness of muscles
If someone is experiencing a Soma overdose, they need emergency care right away. Certain antidotes can be given if opioids are also involved. For the Soma overdose itself, there isn’t a specific antidote. The most important thing is to make sure the person receives immediate emergency medical care.
Soma abuse is common. Millions of people have reported using this drug recreationally, outside of how it’s prescribed. There have also been thousands of visits to the emergency room related to the drug. Any time someone uses Soma outside of how it’s prescribed, it’s considered to be abuse. Soma abuse can include taking larger doses than prescribed or taking it more often than prescribed. Taking Soma without a prescription at or taking it with other substances to heighten its effects indicate Soma abuse as well.
Soma is a depressant. The drug’s short-term effects are related to the fact that Soma acts on the brain and body similarly to barbiturates. People who are abusing Soma in the short-term will show signs related to its depressant effects. For example, short-term signs of Soma abuse can include drowsiness, sedation, or even euphoria when high doses are used. Short-term effects may also include dizziness, vertigo, tremors, agitation, depression and irritability. People who are abusing Soma may experience nausea and stomach aches, weakness and double version. There is a condition called transient quadriplegia that can occur as well, which results in weakness the limbs. This is a serious condition that may require hospitalization.
Two of the most serious long-term effects of Soma abuse are addiction and dependence. A person who is struggling with prescription drug addiction will make the substance their top priority. There also the issue of dependence. Dependence happens someone has been abusing Soma. The body becomes accustomed to the presence of the drug, and when someone suddenly stops using it they will go through withdrawal. Soma withdrawal can be serious for some people and is similar to alcohol withdrawal. Some patients who experience Soma withdrawal require hospitalization.
For anyone struggling with prescription drug abuse, or any substance abuse, The Recovery Village is here now to talk or answer questions.
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.