SOMA

Return to Pain Articles    
 
Return to Substance Abuse Articles      

Soma or carisoprodol has been used as a muscle relaxer for many years.  It is not a controlled drug and many doctors prescribe without realizing the full range of problems involved with its use.

I hate this medication.  I have seen it throw people out of recovery.  I have detoxed people who have come to me using upwards of 40 pills daily.  And most had begun taking the medication without any knowledge of what they were getting themselves into.

Muscle relaxers as a group consist of several different medications and have different mechanisms of action.  Robaxin is different from Flexeril and both are different from the others.  Most of these drugs work in the central nervous system and many have a sedating effect.  When muscle tone is tested, we see that none of these drugs actually relieve muscle spasm.  They work by some central nervous system mechanism.  It would not surprise me that any of the drugs were addictive.  However, I have only run into a problem with Soma.

One problem is that a metabolic byproduct of Soma is meprobamate.  This is a drug that has been used for years as a tranquilizer.  It is similar to barbiturates, a family that contains Seconal, Tuinal, and Fiorinal.  These are addictive medication that can lead to seizures and severe anxiety upon cessation.

Soma is also short acting which makes especially problematic.  As it wears of people begin to have a sedative withrawal with irritability and sense of being ill

I consider Soma to be a barbiturate and I approach its’ detox the same way I approach a Fiorinal/Fioricet detox. See article on Treatment of Sedative Withdrawal Syndrome.  On the rare occasions I prescribe it, I think of it as prescribing a tranquilizer.

Return to Pain Articles    
 
Return to Substance Abuse Articles