Soma is a prescription medication approved to treat muscle spasms caused by injury or other muscle problems. It is a muscle relaxant that should only be used temporarily, for up to two or three weeks. Soma comes in tablet form and is usually taken three times daily and at bedtime. Some of the common side effects of the drug include dizziness, headache, and drowsiness.
What Is Soma?
Soma® (carisoprodol) is a prescription muscle relaxant. It is meant to be used temporarily (up to two or three weeks) to treat muscle spasms due to injury or other muscle problems. Even though Soma is not a controlled substance, it has the potential to be abused (see Soma Abuse) and should be used cautiously in people with a tendency toward alcohol or drug abuse.
(Click Soma Uses for more information on what the drug is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
Who Makes Soma?
Brand-name Soma is made by MedPointe Pharmaceuticals, while the generic version is made by several different manufacturers.
How Does It Work?
It is not known exactly how Soma works to relieve muscle spasms. However, it is known that it works mostly in the brain stem and spinal cord and not directly on the muscles. Also, the liver metabolizes the drug into meprobamate, a barbiturate medication with anti-anxiety and sedative properties. It is thought that it is this metabolite that contributes to the abuse potential of Soma. Interestingly, although meprobamate is a controlled substance in the United States, Soma is not categorized as a controlled substance.
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National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed June 19, 2008.
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