Soma: a powerful muscle relaxant and rules of its safe administration
Soma is a medicine with a controversial history and nowadays not all countries allow its utilization. However, it has a proven efficiency in relieving musculoskeletal pain of different origins and may be quite helpful for patients who suffer from this problem.
Learn more about the side effects and precautions associated with this medicine, as well as its benefits and helpful action.
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The brief history and action of the medicine
The process of the creation of new medicines is often based on the structural changes to the previously existing molecules. Acting this way scientists try to improve the efficiency and at the same time reduce side effects and make the safety profile better.
This is exactly the story of Soma that contains carisoprodol as an active ingredient. The future medicine was presented to the scientific society of the USA in the middle of the XX century as an analogue or possible substituent for meprobamate.
The initial idea was to develop a similar molecule but with better muscle-relaxing properties and less risk of forming addiction or overdose. Carisoprodol appeared to have really stronger muscle relaxant and analgesic effects. Therefore, it was introduced into the clinical practice for muscle relaxation in the case of injuries, sprains and strains along with physical therapy and rest.
In addition, Soma revealed sedating and anxiolytic effects that were quite strong and this led to the misuse of the drug. Thus, its utilization was taken under strict control and some countries have even forbidden it.
Dosage and administration
Soma is produced in the form of oral tablets with a dosage from 250 to 350 mg. It is usually prescribed three times per day for no more than 2 or 3 weeks. The doctor must prescribe it and follow the course of the treatment to avoid the formation of addiction or withdrawal syndrome.
Contraindications and side effects
The list of main contraindications is as follows:
- porphyria (a genetic disease);
- allergic reactions to carisoprodol or meprobamate;
- children and elderly people. There were no scientific investigations for an early age, dosage and risks. As for elderly patients, they are more prone to possible side effects, so it is better to avoid the utilization of the medicine;
- pregnancy and breastfeeding period. There is no evidence of the safety of the utilization of the medicine during this time and possible consequences for the baby.
Patients with different kidney and liver issues should be also very careful with this medicine. Its active ingredient is transformed in the liver and eliminated through the kidneys. Thus, it can lead to some problems with these organs too.
As for the side effects, the most common of them include drowsiness, dizziness and headaches. They occur not very often and the reaction to this medicine is quite individual.
Still, the medicine may cause an increase in serotonin levels in the body. This condition can be accompanied by agitation and hallucinations, flu-like symptoms with fever, sweating and shivering, tachycardia, stiffness and twitching of the muscles, loss of coordination and digestive system issues like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
The most serious complication that may occur during the treatment or in the case of its abrupt stop is seizures. That is why its intake must be carefully controlled by the specialist, who will monitor the dose and the response of the patient.
Precautions and interaction with other substances
Carisoprodol may influence thinking and the swiftness of reactions. Therefore, the patient must be very careful while driving or doing anything that requires alertness. It is better to avoid such activities during the first week of the treatment to discover whether there is such an impact.
It is prohibited to drink alcohol during the treatment or take any other medicines with a sedative effect, especially opioids or similar drugs. Such a combination increases drowsiness and dizziness and may lead to difficulties with breathing, coma and even death.
It is known that Soma potentiates the effects of such drugs and can cause mild euphoria even by itself. However, such combinations are life-threatening, they lead to addiction and were one of the reasons to stop utilizing Soma in clinical practice.
Last but not least, keep in mind the possibility of withdrawal symptoms occurring after one stops using Soma, especially if the treatment lasted longer than a few weeks. The intake of this medication must not be stopped suddenly. First, talk to your doctor and start to decrease the dose gradually to avoid side effects and unpleasant conditions.
Altogether, Soma belongs to the medicines that are powerful but dangerous at the same time. It can be more than helpful for the treatment of various conditions but may cause addiction and severe side effects. Therefore, the prescription and utilization of this medicine must be carefully controlled. In this case, the treatment can be successful and without any unpleasant consequences.