Soma Side Effects: Long- And Short-Term Reactions

Last Updated: December 19, 2019

Authored by Roger Weiss, MD

While proven to be effective in relieving discomfort associated with painful muscle conditions, Soma side effects are widespread, and this drug has the greatest abuse potential. Life-threatening conditions like coma and soma deaths may occur when too much of the drug is taken and left untreated.

Common Soma Side Effects

Soma acts on the central nervous system. In the body, carisoprodol is metabolized by CYP2C19 to meprobamate, a tranquilizer. A review of studies shows that the drug’s sedative effect causes common side effects like:

  • Soma headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Agitation
  • Tremor
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia

These effects are mild and may go away within a few days or weeks. Considering these adverse reactions, is soma an opiate? It is not. It has become a popular alternative for drug users addicted to opiates.

Less Common Carisoprodol Side Effects

Carisoprodol also has weak anticholinergic properties, which best explains how does soma cause constipation and the other less common side effects like:

  • Dry eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Urinary retention

Other infrequent adverse reactions of carisoprodol include:

  • Bronchospasm
  • Hiccups
  • Stomach upset
  • Hives
  • Inflammation of the skin
  • Itching
  • Rash
  • Flushing
  • Wheezing

itching woman with rash

Taking carisoprodol can also cause metabolic changes, too, which significantly affects weight. Does soma cause weight gain? Yes! The sedative effects of this drug like drowsiness and dizziness will decrease physical activity. However, others may experience soma weight loss caused by nausea, vomiting, and stomach upset, which refrains a person to eat normally.

Severe Adverse Reactions

Serotonin syndrome is the most common. It is usually caused by an increase in soma dosage. It elevates serotonin level in the body. 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 side effects that require immediate medical attention include:

  • Increased heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • 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

Allergic reaction to carisoprodol is rare but possible. Symptoms of intolerance or allergy include:

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

Black Box Warnings

  • Abuse and Addiction: Soma, due to its sedative effects, is being 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 present 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.
  • Suicide: Carisoprodol has also been directly and indirectly implicated in fatalities and suicide attempts.
  • Lactation: Published literature report 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: Another frequently prescribed medication for muscle spasm is Valium. Checking on soma vs valium will not give much difference. They share a risk of tolerance and dependency. Combining these two drugs will be a disaster. Soma with codeine also causes several adverse reactions like headache, blurred vision, depressed mood, sleep problems, and more. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also take caution when taking this combination of drugs.

woman reading prescription on a bottle

Factors Affecting The Development of Soma Pill Side Effects

Several factors play a role in the occurrence of soma 350 mg side effects.

  • 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 side 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 the way 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?

  • Before taking carisoprodol, check any allergy to meprobamate and other related compounds.
  • Discussing medical history, family history of a substance use disorder, and the use of certain medications with a doctor are necessary.
  • Alcoholic beverages can alter the drug’s metabolism, hence should be avoided.
  • For patients who have used Soma pill high for quite a long time, side effects can be severe or even deadly. While the mild symptoms may go away on its own after a few days or weeks, severe side effects that will require medical intervention.
  • If one tests positive in a carisoprodol drug test, medical detoxification should be warranted.

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

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Published on: June 7th, 2019

Updated on: December 19th, 2019

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.


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