Introduction to the Drug
Soma (generic name: carisoprodol) is a medication that acts as a muscle relaxer and analgesic. It does its job by preventing sensations of pain from reaching the brain. The medication can be used to treat acute pain brought on by injuries, chronic musculoskeletal conditions, and others. It can be used together with other treatments, such as rest and physical therapy, to relieve muscle sprains and strains. The drug is more likely to be recommended to patients with acute but temporary pain because of its habit-forming qualities. Your doctor will ultimately decide whether you should be allowed to take the drug or not, based on your condition, your history of drug use and illness, and your current array of medication.
Soma tablets may be bought in 250 mg and 350 mg doses. They are round, white tablets mainly because the generic component is a white crystal-like powder that has a mild odor but a distinctive bitter taste. The powder is easy to dissolve into water and even in other liquids, such as acetone, chloroform, and alcohol. Soma also contains some alginic acid, calcium phosphate, magnesium stearate, starch, potassium sorbate and tribasic calcium phosphate.
As mentioned earlier, Soma can be used to relieve people who are suffering from injuries or any muscular or skeletal conditions that cause pain. Soma is designed to relieve acute pain, which usually does not last long. So, it is not expected that you would be taking the drug for more than two to three weeks. The drug can relieve even tough pain through its strong formulation. Regular paracetamol, on the other hand, won’t be able to take away acute pain or to help you get some rest if you have just been injured, have just gone through surgery or have chronic musco-skeletal conditions that cause intense pain.
Soma is a muscle relaxer. So, it can also relieve tight, sprained or strained muscles.
Soma should not be taken together with alcohol. Those with a history of drug or substance addiction should not take the muscle relaxer because it can be habit-forming. Soma is under the Schedule IV category of the Controlled Substances Act. This means that there is a potential for the medication to be abused but the potential is not as strong as in the case of substances placed under Schedules I, II and III.
It is important that you discuss your health and family history with your doctor. Talk about your other health conditions and the medications that you are taking for them. It is for your doctor to decide if you should take Soma or not.
You should not take Soma if you are allergic to its components, which are meprobamate (Miltown, Equanil) or carisopodrol. Mention all your allergies to your doctor so that he can determine if Soma can potentially cause an allergic reaction from you.
You should not take the muscle relaxer if you have porphyria, kidney disease or liver disease. You may also not be allowed to take the drug if you have epilepsy or any other seizure disorder. Your doctor could decide not to let you take the drug at all if you have any of the above conditions. However, he may in some cases decide to prescribe you the medication, but with adjusted doses. You may then be required to go through special tests to check if you can take Soma safely.
Soma is not prescribed to patients with kidney or liver disease because its effects on a person with either renal or hepatic impairment are not known. Studies have not proven if the drug could, in fact, aggravate present symptoms experienced by the patient. The doctor may, in some instances, prescribe Soma if the benefits exceed the risks.
Drugs that Interact with Soma
You may be on the watch if you are taking other medications. It is best to prepare a list of the medications that you are currently taking or have just recently taken. Include in the list all medications, even those you feel are quite harmless. Medications that you may likely forget to include are herbal drugs, vitamins, and other drugs that you can easily buy over the counter. Make sure you include them this time around. Bring the list to your doctor on your checkup. He will decide if you can take Soma or if you have to give up another drug, instead.
You must first inform your doctor if you are planning to take a new drug once you have already started taking Soma. Again, this is to avoid any unwanted interactions.
It is vital that you know which drugs will interact negatively with Soma. Some of them will make Soma less effective, while others will elevate the risks of potential side effects. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide you all the possible drug interactions, but here are some of the more common drug interactions that you should definitely be aware of.
Soma has sedative qualities. So, it can make you very drowsy. Combining it with other drugs that cause drowsiness can be dangerous. Drugs, such as antihistamines,anti-anxiety drugs, sleep inducers, other muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers, such as codeine, are included in the list of drugs that may have negative interactions with Soma. Be especially wary of pure codeine, which is a Schedule II controlled substance. Cough and cold medicines can also cause extreme sleepiness unless you are taking non-drowsy formulas. Know all your medications’ ingredients and their effects. The best course of action, however, is still to have your list ready to be perused by your doctor or pharmacist.
Combination Variations of Soma
You may also consider combination variations of Soma. Soma can be bought as a Soma Compound, in which carisoprodol is combined with aspirin. It can also be bought as Soma Compound with codeine. As the name suggests, the compound has another additive, which is codeine. Your doctor will know which type of Soma is best for you.
Effects on Pregnancy, Delivery and Lactation
If you are pregnant, planning to get pregnant or breastfeeding, you must inform your doctor before you get prescribed with any strong painkiller, such as Soma. Soma’s effects on the unborn fetus, the baby upon delivery, and on the breastfeeding baby are not known. So, it is best to avoid the drug unless your doctor tells you that you can take it with adjusted dosage.
Soma is able to get through breast milk. Just how dangerous this is, however, is still being studied. There is an instance, however, during a study in which a breastfeeding baby was observed after having ingested about 4 to 6% of an adult’s recommended daily dosage of Soma through breast milk. The baby did not show any adverse effects even after ingesting a certain dosage of Soma. However, there are not a lot of other cases to support the stand that the drug is completely harmless to breastfeeding infants.
Soma is a Pregnancy Category C drug. This means that it will only be prescribed by a doctor if the benefits exceed the possible risks posed by it. During the first three months of pregnancy, you must completely avoid taking Soma to avoid possibly causing birth defects. On the last few months of pregnancy, on the other hand, you may take it but only if you really have to or if the benefits exceed the risks significantly.
While a breastfeeding infant was observed to have not displayed any adverse effects by ingesting a certain amount of Soma, it is not recommended that a child less than 16 years old should take the drug, on adjusted dosage or not.
The safety and efficacy of the drug have not also been studied for patients who are over 65 years old. So, Soma is also not recommended for geriatric patients.