carisoprodol, Soma

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GENERIC NAME: carisoprodol

BRAND NAME: Soma

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Carisoprodol is an oral muscle relaxant. Its exact mechanism of action is unknown. It may work by altering communication among nerves in parts of the brain that control the sensation of pain and in the spinal cord. The FDA approved carisoprodol in April 1959.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

 PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 250 and 350 mg.

STORAGE: Tablets should be stored between 15-30 C (59-86 F).

PRESCRIBED FOR: Carisoprodol is used together with rest and physical therapy for the short-term relief of acute painful muscle and skeletal conditions in adults. It is only used for 2 to 3 weeks.

DOSING: The recommended dose of carisoprodol is 250 or 350 mg three times daily and at bedtime.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Carisoprodol interacts with other medications and drugs that slow the brain's processes, such as alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazepines (for example, lorazepam [Ativan]), and narcotics, accentuating their effects and causing drowsiness.

Omeprazole (Prilosec) and fluvoxamine (Luvox) may reduce the elimination of carisoprodol, leading to increased side effects.

St John's Wort and rifampin (Rifadin) increase the elimination of carisoprodol, possibly resulting in a reduced effect.

PREGNANCY: There are no adequate studies of carisoprodol in pregnant women.

NURSING MOTHERS: Carisoprodol accumulates in breast milk in concentrations twice those of the mother's blood. The effects of carisoprodol on the infants of lactating mothers are unknown. Therefore, caution should be used when using carisoprodol in women who are breastfeeding.

SIDE EFFECTS: Among the most common side effects of carisoprodol are headache, drowsiness, and dizziness. Agitation, nervousness, tremor, irritability, inability to sleep, fainting, abnormal heart beat, seizures, and depression also may occur. Carisoprodol is not a controlled substance. Patients may become dependent on carisoprodol and discontinuation after long-term use may cause withdrawal symptoms.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Last Editorial Review: 3/26/2012




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