COMMON BRAND(S): Soma
GENERIC NAME(S): Carisoprodol
How to use Carisoprodol
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor. Do not increase your dose or use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed. Your condition will not improve any faster, and your risk of side effects will increase.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. This medication should only be used short-term (for 3 weeks or less) unless directed by your doctor.
If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as stomach cramps, trouble sleeping, headache, nausea). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used carisoprodol for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal.
Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Clinical Studies Experience
Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect rates observed in practice.
The data described below are based on 1387 patients pooled from two double blind, randomized, multicenter, placebo controlled, one-week trials in adult patients with acute, mechanical, lower back pain [see Clinical Studies]. In these studies, patients were treated with 250 mg of SOMA, 350 mg of SOMA, or placebo three times a day and at bedtime for seven days. The mean age was about 41 years old with 54% females and 46% males and 74 % Caucasian, 16 % Black, 9% Asian, and 2% other.
There were no deaths and there were no serious adverse reactions in these two trials. In these two studies, 2.7%, 2%, and 5.4%, of patients treated with placebo, 250 mg of SOMA, and 350 mg of SOMA, respectively, discontinued due to adverse events; and 0.5%, 0.5%, and 1.8% of patients treated with placebo, 250 mg of SOMA, and 350 mg of SOMA, respectively, discontinued due to central nervous system adverse reactions.
Table 1 displays adverse reactions reported with frequencies greater than 2% and more frequently than placebo in patients treated with SOMA in the two trials described above.
Table 1: Patients with Adverse Reactions in Controlled Studies
|SOMA 250 mg
|SOMA 350 mg
|Drowsiness||31 (6)||73 (13)||47 (17)|
|Dizziness||11 (2)||43 (8)||19 (7)|
|Headache||11 (2)||26 (5)||9 (3)|
The following events have been reported during postapproval use of SOMA. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Tachycardia, postural hypotension, and facial flushing [see OVERDOSAGE].
Central Nervous System
Nausea, vomiting, and epigastric discomfort.
Before taking carisoprodol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to meprobamate, tybamate, or mebutamate; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: a certain blood disorder (acute intermittent porphyria), kidney disease, liver disease, seizure, personal or family history of a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol).
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially drowsiness, or confusion. These side effects can increase the risk of falling.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
The sedative effects of SOMA and other CNS depressants (e.g., alcohol, benzodiazepines, opioids, tricyclic antidepressants) may be additive. Therefore, caution should be exercised with patients who take more than one of these CNS depressants simultaneously. Concomitant use of SOMA and meprobamate, a metabolite of SOMA, is not recommended [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
CYP2C19 Inhibitors And Inducers
Carisoprodol is metabolized in the liver by CYP2C19 to form meprobamate [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY]. Co-administration of CYP2C19 inhibitors, such as omeprazole or fluvoxamine, with SOMA could result in increased exposure of carisoprodol and decreased exposure of meprobamate. Co-administration of CYP2C19 inducers, such as rifampin or St. John’s Wort, with SOMA could result in decreased exposure of carisoprodol and increased exposure of meprobamate. Low dose aspirin also showed an induction effect on CYP2C19. The full pharmacological impact of these potential alterations of exposures in terms of either efficacy or safety of SOMA is unknown.
Drug Abuse And Dependence
Soma contains carisoprodol, a Schedule IV controlled substance. Carisoprodol has been subject to abuse, misuse, and criminal diversion for nontherapeutic use [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Abuse of carisoprodol poses a risk of overdosage which may lead to death, CNS and respiratory depression, hypotension, seizures and other disorders [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and OVERDOSAGE]. Patients at high risk of SOMA abuse may include those with prolonged use of carisoprodol, with a history of drug abuse, or those who use SOMA in combination with other abused drugs.
Prescription drug abuse is the intentional non-therapeutic use of a drug, even once, for its rewarding psychological effects. Drug addiction, which develops after repeated drug abuse, is characterized by a strong desire to take a drug despite harmful consequences, difficulty in controlling its use, giving a higher priority to drug use than to obligations, increased tolerance, and sometimes physical withdrawal. Drug abuse and drug addiction are separate and distinct from physical dependence and tolerance (for example, abuse or addiction may not be accompanied by tolerance or physical dependence) [see Drug Abuse And Dependence].
Tolerance is when a patient’s reaction to a specific dosage and concentration is progressively reduced in the absence of disease progression, requiring an increase in the dosage to maintain the same. Physical dependence is characterized by withdrawal symptoms after abrupt discontinuation or a significant dose reduction of a drug. Both tolerance and physical dependence have been reported with the prolonged use of SOMA. Reported withdrawal symptoms with SOMA include insomnia, vomiting, abdominal cramps, headache, tremors, muscle twitching, anxiety, ataxia, hallucinations, and psychosis. Instruct patients taking large doses of SOMA or those taking the drug for a prolonged time to not abruptly stop SOMA [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness/dizziness, seizures, slow/shallow breathing, mental/mood changes (such as confusion, hallucinations), inability to move your legs/arms, shaky/unsteady movement, vision changes (such as blurred vision).
Do not share this medication with others. Sharing it is against the law.
This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another condition unless your doctor directs you to do so. A different medication may be necessary in that case.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company
Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.
SOMA has sedative properties (in the low back pain trials, 13% to 17% of patients who received SOMA experienced sedation compared to 6% of patients who received placebo) [see ADVERSE REACTIONS] and may impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks such as driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery. There have been post-marketing reports of motor vehicle accidents associated with the use of SOMA.
Since the sedative effects of SOMA and other CNS depressants (e.g., alcohol, benzodiazepines, opioids, tricyclic antidepressants) may be additive, appropriate caution should be exercised with patients who take more than one of these CNS depressants simultaneously.
Abuse, Dependence, And Withdrawal
Carisoprodol, the active ingredient in SOMA, has been subject to abuse, dependence, and withdrawal, misuse and criminal diversion. [see Drug Abuse And Dependence]. Abuse of SOMA poses a risk of overdosage which may lead to death, CNS and respiratory depression, hypotension, seizures and other disorders [see OVERDOSAGE].
Post-marketing experience cases of carisoprodol abuse and dependence have been reported in patients with prolonged use and a history of drug abuse. Although most of these patients took other drugs of abuse, some patients solely abused carisoprodol. Withdrawal symptoms have been reported following abrupt cessation of SOMA after prolonged use. Reported withdrawal symptoms included insomnia, vomiting, abdominal cramps, headache, tremors, muscle twitching, ataxia, hallucinations, and psychosis. One of carisoprodol’s metabolites, meprobamate (a controlled substance), may also cause dependence [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
To reduce the risk of SOMA abuse assess the risk of abuse prior to prescribing. After prescribing, limit the length of treatment to three weeks for the relief of acute musculoskeletal discomfort, keep careful prescription records, monitor for signs of abuse and overdose, and educate patients and their families about abuse and on proper storage and disposal.
There have been post-marketing reports of seizures in patients who received SOMA. Most of these cases have occurred in the setting of multiple drug overdoses (including drugs of abuse, illegal drugs, and alcohol) [see OVERDOSAGE].
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
Long term studies in animals have not been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of carisoprodol.
SOMA was not formally evaluated for genotoxicity. In published studies, carisoprodol was mutagenic in the in vitro mouse lymphoma cell assay in the absence of metabolizing enzymes, but was not mutagenic in the presence of metabolizing enzymes. Carisoprodol was clastogenic in the in vitro chromosomal aberration assay using Chinese hamster ovary cells with or without the presence of metabolizing enzymes. Other types of genotoxic tests resulted in negative findings. Carisoprodol was not mutagenic in the Ames reverse mutation assay using S. typhimurium strains with or without metabolizing enzymes, and was not clastogenic in an in vivo mouse micronucleus assay of circulating blood cells.
Impairment Of Fertility
SOMA was not formally evaluated for effects on fertility. A published reproductive study in which female mice received carisoprodol orally at doses of 300, 750, or 1200 mg/kg/day (approximately 1, 2.6, and 4.1 times the MRHD of 1400 mg per day [350 mg QID] based on body surface area [BSA] comparison) from 1-week prior to mating, to 27-weeks post-mating found no alteration in fertility although an alteration in reproductive cycles characterized by a greater time spent in estrus was observed at a carisoprodol dose of 1200 mg/kg/day. In a 13week toxicology study that did not determine fertility, mouse testes weight and sperm motility were reduced at a dose of 1200 mg/kg/day (maternal doses equivalent to 4.2-times the MRHD based on BSA comparison). In both studies, the no effect level was 750 mg/kg/day, corresponding to approximately 2.6-times the MRHD based on a BSA comparison. The significance of these findings for human fertility is not known.
Use In Specific Populations
Data over many decades of carisoprodol use in pregnancy have not identified a drug-associated risk of major birth defects, miscarriage, or other adverse maternal or fetal outcomes. Data on meprobamate, the primary metabolite of carisoprodol, also do not show a consistent association between maternal use of meprobamate and an increased risk of major birth defects (see Data).
In a published animal reproduction study, pregnant mice administered carisoprodol orally at 2.6and 4.1-times the maximum recommended human dose ([MRHD] of 1400 mg per day [350 mg QID] based on body surface area [BSA] comparison) from gestation through weaning resulted in reduced fetal weights, postnatal weight gain, and postnatal survival (see Data).
The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. All pregnancies have a background risk of birth defect, loss, or other adverse outcomes. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2 to 4% and 15 to 20%, respectively.
Retrospective case-control and cohort studies of meprobamate use during the first trimester of pregnancy have not consistently identified an increased risk or pattern of major birth defects. For children exposed to meprobamate in-utero, one study found no adverse effect on mental or motor development or IQ scores.
Embryofetal development studies in animals have not been completed.
In a published pre-and post-natal development animal study, pregnant mice administered carisoprodol orally at 300, 750, or 1200 mg/kg/day (approximately 1-, 2.6-, and 4.1-times the MRHD based on BSA comparison) from 7-days prior to gestation through birth and from lactation through weaning resulted in reduced fetal weights, postnatal weight gain, and postnatal survival at 2.6-and 4.1-times the MRHD.
Data from published literature report that carisoprodol and its metabolite, meprobamate, are present in breastmilk. There are no data on the effect of carisoprodol on milk production. There is one report of sedation in an infant who was breastfed by a mother taking carisoprodol (see Clinical Considerations). Because there have been no consistent reports of adverse events in breastfed infants over decades of use, the developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for SOMA and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed infant from SOMA or from the underlying maternal condition.
Infants exposed to SOMA through breast milk should be monitored for sedation.
The efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics of SOMA in pediatric patients less than 16 years of age have not been established.
The efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics of SOMA in patients over 65 years old have not been established.
The safety and pharmacokinetics of SOMA in patients with renal impairment have not been evaluated. Since SOMA is excreted by the kidney, caution should be exercised if SOMA is administered to patients with impaired renal function. Carisoprodol is dialyzable by hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
The safety and pharmacokinetics of SOMA in patients with hepatic impairment have not been evaluated. Since SOMA is metabolized in the liver, caution should be exercised if SOMA is administered to patients with impaired hepatic function.
Patients With Reduced CYP2C19 Activity
Patients with reduced CYP2C19 activity have higher exposure to carisoprodol. Therefore, caution should be exercised in administration of SOMA to these patients. [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].