Alternatives To Soma: Is Flexeril Or Robaxin Better?

Last Updated: June 3, 2020

Authored by Roger Weiss, MD

For some, carisoprodol is the right medication, but for others, Soma alternatives are needed. This can mean weighing the difference between Soma vs. tramadol. Or it might mean looking into carisoprodol over-the-counter counterparts. However, before users make the switch, they need to be informed regarding Soma alternatives.

Soma Alternatives

The Soma pill is a muscle relaxant used to treat musculoskeletal pain, so any alternative to the drug needs act on the body in the same way. Users of the drug who want to try an alternative treatment option are in luck, as many other medications fall into the muscle relaxant category. Users currently taking carisoprodol 350 mg can discuss these options with their doctor.

Soma vs. Flexeril

Both carisoprodol and Flexeril treat musculoskeletal pain and relax the muscles. Neither option is designed for long-term use, so when comparing carisoprodol vs. Flexeril, it should be for use that is no more than several weeks. Users can get either Flexeril or Soma in generic versions.

Another difference between carisoprodol and Flexeril is that carisoprodol is not considered to be the first choice in treatment, while Flexeril is. Flexeril can also be used in the treatment of fibromyalgia, while carisoprodol cannot.

The side effects of the two medications are roughly the same, sharing effects such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

Both medicines are around 200 dollars for a one-month supply but can be accessed for less in generic form. Users tend to rate the drugs as being equally valid.

Robaxin vs. Soma

When looking at Robaxin vs. Soma, there is a lot that is similar between them. While methocarbamol is not the same as carisoprodol, they do both relax the muscles, come in generic versions, and are offered in pill form.

Still, the medications are unique from each other. Some differences between them include:

  • Likelihood of addiction: carisoprodol is considered highly addictive while Robaxin is not
  • Alternative options for ingestion: carisoprodol comes in pill form only, while Robaxin also has the option of injections
  • Number of side effects: Robaxin has significantly more side effects than carisoprodol
  • Cost: Robaxin is one of the cheapest muscle relaxants available, even in the name-brand form

Ultimately, there are benefits and drawbacks to each medication. When comparing Robaxin vs. Soma, it is essential to keep in mind which features matter most. While carisoprodol is generally rated more highly by users than Robaxin, that doesn’t mean it is inherently the better choice.

Baclofen vs. Soma

When looking at Baclofen compared to Soma, there isn’t much in common. Both are muscle relaxants and have good ratings from users, and they are roughly the same price. However, Baclofen is not like carisoprodol beyond that.

When looking at Baclofen vs. Soma, some differences include:

  • Baclofen is strictly for muscle conditions caused by multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injuries
  • Baclofen is considered a first-choice treatment while carisoprodol is not
  • Seniors can safely use Baclofen, unlike carisoprodol
  • Those who have had a stroke should not use Baclofen
  • Baclofen can be used long term

For those who meet the requirements for Baclofen use, it could be a quality alternative.

woman comparing Soma vs Baclofen

Meprobamate vs. Soma

Meprobamate has very little in common with carisoprodol. This is because it is not a muscle relaxant, but rather an antianxiety drug. Its ability to relax the muscles is a side effect, rather than its design. Users tend to rate carisoprodol more highly than meprobamate for muscle relaxation and pain. Additionally, when comparing meprobamate and Soma, the latter costs more per pill but is ultimately cheaper since fewer pills are used. Meprobamate may be the right choice for those with both pain and anxiety but otherwise is unlikely to be the best alternative, especially since it has some mental health side effects that carisoprodol does not.

Zanaflex vs. Soma

Examining Soma vs. tizanidine, the two drugs are quite similar. Both treat muscle spasms and are available in generic forms. Neither is considered a first-option medication, and both can be problematic when used by elderly patients.

Zanaflex is considered stronger than carisoprodol by some, and it also comes with significantly more side effects, many of them dangerous. People tend to rate Zanaflex lower in terms of effectiveness. Given that when comparing Soma vs. tizanidine, generic versions of the former come out significantly cheaper, Zanaflex isn’t going to be the best alternative.

Soma vs. Valium

Comparing Valium vs. Soma can be difficult because the medications are from two different drug classes. Valium is a benzodiazepine while carisoprodol is a muscle relaxant. Technically, both will relax the muscles, but in the cast of Valium, that is more a side effect than the purpose of the drug.

Valium causes more actions on the body than carisoprodol, and as a result, has more side effects. It also has a higher potential for abuse and addiction. However, many people consider it to be a stronger drug, with longer-lasting results. Since it is also cheaper, it is considered by many to be an ideal alternative.

Skelaxin vs. Soma

Looking at metaxalone vs. carisoprodol, it quickly becomes clear that the two medications are very similar. Both are muscle relaxants by design, are available in generic, and have drowsiness and dizziness as their primary side effects.

Between the two medications, Skelaxin has fewer side effects. However, it does not last as long and needs to be taken as much as four times a day. While it is considered okay for long-term use, the cost of the medication is more than many in its class, even when using the generic. Overall, users do rate carisoprodol more highly, but evaluating Skelaxin vs. Soma is still worth doing if seeking an alternative.

comparing Soma and Skelaxin

Lorzone vs. Soma

Lorzone vs. Soma comparison is interesting as the two medications are seemingly very similar. They are both meant for short-term use, restricted in their application with elderly patients, and are considered secondary choices due to their significant side effects. There is little difference between the two. Ultimately, what sets them apart is that Lorzone is significantly more expensive than carisoprodol, and it is rated much lower by users.

Soma vs. Norflex

Both carisoprodol and Norflex are considered second-choice drugs in the treatment of muscle spasms and pain. Both medications are restricted in use with the elderly and those with glaucoma. Dizziness and drowsiness are the primary side effects of both medicines.

However, they do have some significant differences. Norflex is contraindicated for many conditions, including bowel and urinary problems. Norflex is also considered a dirty drug, meaning it has many effects on users beyond the intended ones.

Given that Norflex is cheaper than carisoprodol, if both the doctor and the patient consider it a good alternative, it should be considered. However, caution should be exercised.

Soma vs. Tramadol

Tramadol and Soma are two very different drugs. Tramadol belongs to the drug class opiate (narcotic) analgesics and is specifically designed to treat pain by acting on the opioid receptors, unlike carisoprodol, which treats pain by relaxing the muscles. Both medications are effective at treating different types of pain, and both are considered addictive.

Overall, they are of equal effectiveness but on different types of pain, with tramadol being the more affordable choice.

Reasons to Look for Soma Alternatives

The reasons people have for looking into carisoprodol alternatives are varied. For those using it for legitimate purposes, it could be that the medication is not working as it should, that the side effects are too extreme, or because they are worried about becoming addicted.

For those engaging in Soma recreational use, alternatives may be sought because they are struggling to get the drug itself. It could be driven by the rising Soma street value making it too expensive. Sometimes it even happens because they are trying to get clean and want to find a weaker alternative to wean off of. It is important to note that using options will generally not help someone beat Soma drug testing because if carisoprodol is being screened for, most alternatives will be picked up as well.

Natural Alternatives to Soma

Not all carisoprodol alternatives have to be prescription medications with the same Soma schedule classification. There are some natural alternatives as well, which can be thought of as Soma over-the-counter but without the addictive effects. Natural substitutes for carisoprodol include:

  • Peppermint extract
  • Cramp bark
  • Valerian
  • Kava
  • Passionflower

It is important to note that none of these will prevent carisoprodol withdrawal. If someone has been using the medication for longer than they should or in higher amounts than are safe, they need help to detox.

Getting Help With Detox

Anyone who wants to stop Soma use should do so in a supervised setting. At a drug rehabilitation center, the right detox treatments and guidance are available. Then once detoxed, other treatments can be used.

Page Sources

  1. Guay DR, Are there alternatives to the use of quinine to treat nocturnal leg cramps?,
  2. SHARON SEE, REGINA GINZBURG, Choosing a Skeletal Muscle Relaxant,

Published on: June 7th, 2019

Updated on: June 3rd, 2020

About Author

Roger Weiss, MD

Dr. Roger Weiss is a practicing mental health specialist at the hospital. Dr. Weiss combines his clinical practice and medical writing career since 2009. Apart from these activities, Dr. Weiss also delivers lectures for youth, former addicts, and everyone interested in topics such as substance abuse and treatment.


Leave a comment

  • Katie
    Have the makers of soma stopped making different types such as Dan, and the ones with the v on it or do they now only make the ones with the numbers on one side and nothing on the other side? Thanks