Soma Drug Facts | A Center for Addiction Recovery

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Information provided below is courtesy of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Soma Overview

Soma Addiction TreatmentSoma is the brand name of the medication Carisoprodol, which is used to treat chronic pain. Soma is available as a prescription only, and is known to hold minimal potential for abuse. The pain relief offered by Soma is considered safer than others, due to the fact that it relieves pain without the addictive potential of opioid based medication. However, if Soma is taken in conjunction with other substances such as alcohol or other controlled substances, the "high effects" can be heightened and the potential for addiction rises considerably.

Addictive Qualities

Soma is used to relieve pain and typically produces sedative qualities in users. It is used to relax muscles and reduce spasms. In some individuals, the liver readily metabolizes Carisoprodol into another drug called Meprobamate. While Carisoprodol is not particularly addictive, Meprobamate produces hypnotic effects which could create a psychological addiction.

Dependence and Tolerance

The most common long-term side effect found with most prescription medication is the risk of developing a dependency or addiction to the drug. While Soma does not hold a particularly high risk for the development of these ailments, it is often paired with other drugs such as codeine or hydrocodone, which are strong prescription pain killers, in order to enhance the effects of Soma. When paired with alcohol or other substances for enhanced effects, there is a high risk for dependency or addiction.

Effects of Soma Abuse

Short-Term Effects

There are both less serious and more serious side effects due to the medication. Less serious side-effects should be monitored for worsening or intensifying symptoms, such as:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Tremor
  • Headache
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Sleep irregularities
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Hiccups or upset stomach

There are more serious side effects, though not as commonly found in individuals who use Soma. However, if the below listed side effects are experienced, the medication should be stopped and a doctor should be notified immediately of the symptoms. Some symptoms may require immediate hospitalization. More serious side effects include:

  • Paralysis
  • Extreme weakness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Seizure
  • Vision loss
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
Long-Term Effects

Prolonged use of Soma, which is characterized by frequently taking the medication for over a 9-week period, can result in several hazardous side effects.

  • Racing heartbeat
  • Chest tightness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Damage to organs such as liver, kidney and heart

Organ poisoning is a high possibility with most medications that are taken long-term. Organ failure can result in seizures, heart attack and even death. If an individual taking Soma experiences any severe side effects, it is important to receive immediate medical attention to assess the damage and risk of continuing use.

Withdrawal and Detoxification

Most instances of Soma addiction are due to the medication being combined with other drugs or alcoholic substances. Soma alone poses low risk for mild psychological dependence. In the case that an individual is addicted to Soma, and combines this drug with other substances like alcohol or opioids, the mixture can generate a severe psychological addiction and/or physical dependence on Soma. Below is a list of withdrawal symptoms associated with Soma dependence.

  • High stress
  • Memory problems
  • Sleep irregularities
  • Inability to think clearly
  • Loss in coordination
  • Emotional fluctuations or numbness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Stomach irregularities
  • Tremors

While the symptoms above are typically associated with addiction to Soma, withdrawal symptoms can vary widely if the addiction involves other substances, particularly alcohol or prescription painkillers. Soma detoxification should be carried out in a medically managed detoxification facility. This allows for medical personnel to oversee the detox process, to ensure that the process is carried out effectively with the highest level of comfort and guidance. After detoxification, which can last from 3 to 7 days, a rehabilitation program is recommended, especially when dealing with more than one substance of abuse.

At A Center for Addiction Recovery we help clients with a Soma addiction to discover or rediscover the original problem or problems. Next we teach them how to overcome their problems with real-life solutions by equipping them with tools and life skills to confront and handle common obstacles encountered in life. Only when both the underlying reasons for the Soma addiction and the Soma addiction problem are resolved can a person become a healthy and happy member of society.

For information about prescription drug rehab, please contact us at 1 (800) 570-4562