Carisoprodol Side Effects: Long- And Short-Term Reactions

Last Updated: August 31, 2021

Authored by Roger Weiss, MD

Reviewed by Michael Espelin APRN

While proven effective in relieving pain and discomfort associated with painful muscle conditions, Soma side effects are widespread, and everyone reacts to medications differently. However, the patients taking the drug must have information about the Carisoprodol warnings and their health’s short-term and long-term reactions. If they experience them, they know which ones are common and need to talk to their doctor about.

Common Soma Side Effects

Soma acts on the central nervous system. In the body, Carisoprodol is metabolized by CYP2C19 to meprobamate, a tranquilizer.

Is Soma a controlled substance? It is a schedule IV controlled substance, and a prescription medication. It means that in the US the use of this drug is controlled. A review of studies shows important information that the drug’s sedative impact causes common Carisoprodol side effects.

These Effects Are:

  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Agitation
  • Tremor
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia

These reactions are mild and may go away within a few days or weeks. Although it is important to note that if the patient sticks to their prescription information, they’re most likely to make it through the mild reactions, and their health will be okay.

Man experiencing dizziness and difficulty standing.

Still, some patients can start noticing that they’re experiencing several of the Carisoprodol side effects. In that case, it might be a good idea to talk to the doctor in charge of the treatment so they can adjust the dosage accordingly to protect their health. It can make the treatment more comfortable. Most of the reactions of this drug are common, and most people might experience them; others are rare.

The causes of these rare reactions lie in the Carisoprodol mechanism of action. For example, the drug has weak anticholinergic properties. And anticholinergic drugs often cause constipation. So it best explains how Soma causes constipation and the other less common Carisoprodol side effects like dry eyes, dry mouth, or urinary retention.

Other Infrequent Adverse Reactions of Carisoprodol Include:

  • Bronchospasm
  • Hiccups
  • Stomach upset
  • Flushing
  • Wheezing

Soma Weight Loss and Gain

Since some of the most common adverse reactions of taking Soma is that the patient may experience nausea and an upset stomach, it’s possible that their appetite might reduce at first. If this happens, it may cause the patient to go into a caloric deficit and lose weight.

However, the medications can just as easily cause weight gain instead. Muscle relaxers relax the muscles in the entire body, decreasing pain symptoms, and as they do that, they tend to increase drowsiness. If the patient is spending more and more time resting or sleeping, their activity rates will drop, and with it, if they continue to eat the same way, there’s a higher chance that they will gain a considerable amount of weight. Both can affect the patient’s overall health.

Severe Adverse Reactions

Because of the strength of the drug, the side effects of Soma muscle relaxer may be intense. The drug could lead to reactions that may be detrimental to the patient’s health. Even when patients take the dosage they’ve been prescribed for their treatment, they can still deal with the adverse reactions, but generally, they present if the drugs are taken in a higher amount than prescribed.

Patient talking to a doctor about Carisoprodol side effects she is experiencing.

One of such severe reactions is serotonin syndrome. Symptoms may start to occur within several hours after intake. Patients typically present with diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, sweating, increased heart rate, twitching and muscle stiffness, loss of coordination, agitation, and hallucinations. Evidence shows that cases of Carisoprodol intoxications usually present with serotonergic signs and symptoms.

Other Dangerous Soma Pills Adverse Effects That Require Immediate Medical Attention Include:

  • Increased heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Decreased blood cell count, especially WBC
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Dark urine
  • Yellowing of the eyes and skin
  • Erythema multiforme
  • Fever after drug administration
  • Giant hives
  • High blood eosinophil count
  • Hearing loss
  • Severe allergic reaction

Signs of Allergic Reaction

Although it’s pretty uncommon for a patient to get an allergic reaction from Soma, if the patient is predisposed to allergic reactions or their body just doesn’t react well to the drugs, they may develop a full-blown allergic reaction.

Red hands because of a Soma allergy.

Symptoms of Intolerance or Allergy Include:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Swelling in the face, lips, tongue, and throat or other parts of the body
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nasal congestion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting

Carisoprodol Warnings

Because there are some dangers associated with Soma use, patients need to keep in mind certain Carisoprodol warnings. Following the doctor’s advice can save users from unwanted reactions and risks.

The Warnings Include:

  • Abuse and Addiction. Soma, due to its sedative effects, is used recreationally. Buying Carisoprodol online is relatively easy. Carisoprodol’s functional similarities to CNS depressants contribute to its abuse potential and development of Soma addiction.
  • Dependence and Withdrawal. Dependence also occurs when someone has been abusing Soma. The body becomes accustomed to having Carisoprodol in the bloodstream, and sudden cessation will cause Soma withdrawals. Symptoms include nausea, headache, stomach pain, and insomnia, which may appear 12 hours after taking the last dose.
  • Lactation. Published literature reports that Carisoprodol and its metabolite are present in breast milk. There was one case of sedation in an infant who was breastfed by a mother taking Carisoprodol.
  • Drug Combinations. Soma comes with a warning that it shouldn’t be taken with narcotics, other medications, or alcohol. Soma and hydrocodone is a dangerous combination. In addition, using it with benzodiazepines, other opioids, alcohol, and tricyclic antidepressants poses a risk. Using two CNS depressants at once can cause extreme sedation effects such as drowsiness, which can be dangerous.

Factors Affecting The Development of Soma Pill Side Effects

Just like every other drug in the world, Soma affects different people differently. Not everyone is bound to have the same reaction to taking medicine. Therefore, it’s essential to have all the information about the factors that affect them. Several factors play a role in the occurrence of Carisoprodol 350 mg side effects.

Some of Them Include:

  • Genetics and ethnicity make inter-individual differences. People have different genes responsible for drug-metabolizing enzymes, receptors, and transporters.
  • Age also has a very critical impact on the development of adverse reactions. Very young are more vulnerable than other age groups. Elderly patients with co-occurring medical conditions have reduced capacity to eliminate drugs and are at high risk for developing adverse effects.
  • Women, as compared to men, have lower body weight, smaller organ size, and more body fat. Gastric motility is different, and their glomerular filtration rate is slower. These differences can significantly affect how the body deals with drugs by altering absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion.
  • Increased levels of reactive drug metabolites and impaired detoxification are important initiating factors. Patients with kidney and liver problems are at higher risk of developing Soma side effects long term.

How to Prevent or Treat Carisoprodol Side Effects?

Just because Carisoprodol use comes with a wide range of adverse effects, not everyone will experience all of them. However, there are some precautions that patients are advised to take to avoid as many adverse reactions as possible.

Patients May Prevent Potential Reactions by Keeping the Blow Information in Mind:

  • Before taking Carisoprodol, check any allergy to meprobamate and other related compounds.
  • Discuss medical history, family history of a substance use disorder, and the use of certain medications with a doctor.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages because they can alter the drug’s metabolism.
  • Avoid using other CNS depressants that also cause drowsiness.
  • For patients who have used Soma pills for quite a long time, reactions can be severe or deadly. While the mild symptoms may go away on their own after a few days or weeks, severe effects will require medical intervention.
  • If one tests positive in a Carisoprodol drug test, medical detoxification should be warranted.

Make sure to contact the prescribing doctor if any severe adverse reactions arise. Note that this medication is habit-forming, and prolonged use may require treatment in a medical facility. The rehabilitation centers mainly accept various insurance plans so that therapy can be affordable.

Hope Without Commitment

Find the best treatment options. Call our free and confidential helpline

Most private insurances accepted

Marketing fee may apply

Page Sources

  1. Dean, L. (2017). Carisoprodol Therapy and CYP2C19 Genotype. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK425390/
  2. Arima, H., & Oiso, Y. (2010). Positive effect of baclofen on body weight reduction in obese subjects: a pilot study. Internal medicine (Tokyo, Japan), 49(19), 2043–2047. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20930428/
  3. Bramness, J. G., Mørland, J., Sørlid, H. K., Rudberg, N., & Jacobsen, D. (2005). Carisoprodol intoxications and serotonergic features. Clinical toxicology (Philadelphia, Pa.), 43(1), 39–45. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15732445
  4. United States Food and Drug Administration. Soma Prescribing Information. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2009/011792s043lbl.pdf
  5. Dalen, P., Alvan, G., Wakelkamp, M., & Olsen, H. (1996). Formation of meprobamate from carisoprodol is catalysed by CYP2C19. Pharmacogenetics, 6(5), 387-394. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8946470/
  6. U.S. National Library of Medicine, Medline Plus, Carisoprodol. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682578.html

Published on: June 7th, 2019

Updated on: August 31st, 2021

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.

Medically Reviewed by

Michael Espelin APRN

8 years of nursing experience in wide variety of behavioral and addition settings that include adult inpatient and outpatient mental health services with substance use disorders, and geriatric long-term care and hospice care.  He has a particular interest in psychopharmacology, nutritional psychiatry, and alternative treatment options involving particular vitamins, dietary supplements, and administering auricular acupuncture.