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Soma (Carisoprodol)

Soma (Carisoprodol) acts in the body as a muscle relaxant that helps alleviate pain. Learn key information about Soma (Carisoprodol), its usage, precautions, and adverse effects.

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Medicine: Carisoprodol (Generic Soma)
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Soma (Carisoprodol): a quick patient’s guide

If you think of “Brave New World” first when hearing “Soma” you may be wrong. Soma is also a trademark of Meda Pharmaceuticals Inc., a pharmaceutical company based in Somerset, New Jersey. Its main active ingredient is carisoprodol, a centrally-acting skeletal muscle relaxant. Initial approval for use in the US was issued in 1959.

Soma (Carisoprodol) comes in 250 mg and 350 mg tablets; it is a prescription-only drug. Moreover, it is considered a Schedule IV controlled substance. Carisoprodol is not an opioid analgetic, but it can still cause a sense of euphoria when overdosed or used in combination with other drugs.

It appeared in a study dedicated to a combination called "Houston Cocktail" or "Holy Trinity" that consisted of hydrocodone, alprazolam, and carisoprodol.

Interactions and drug synergy were giving users a powerful sensation similar to heroin euphoria. Therefore, Soma (Carisoprodol) is characterized by a high risk of drug abuse.

Mechanism of action

It has not been established clearly how exactly carisoprodol works. In research conducted on animals, the myorelaxant effect of the drug was connected with altered interneuronal activity in the spinal cord and in the descending reticular formation of the brain.

The metabolite (a compound created after the substance is processed in the body) of carisoprodol is called meprobamate. It has anxiolytic and sedative properties. It is yet unclear how these effects of meprobamate affect the efficacy and safety of Soma (Carisoprodol).


Soma (Carisoprodol) is indicated for the alleviation of pain associated with acute musculoskeletal issues in adults. It has a limited period of use: no longer than 2–3 weeks. Longer treatment is irrational since:

  • There is no clinical evidence of the patient’s benefits provided by prolonged use.
  • Prolonged use increases the risk of abuse, dependence, and overdose.
  • Acute musculoskeletal issues usually have limited duration.

How to use

It is recommended to take a 250 or 350 mg Soma (Carisoprodol) tablet three times per day and at bedtime. The absorption of carisoprodol was not affected by a fat and nourishing meal taken shortly prior; therefore, the medication can be taken with or without food.

Who cannot take Soma (Carisoprodol)?

Soma (Carisoprodol) is contraindicated to:
  • people with a history of allergic reactions to the substance, its metabolites, or auxiliary components of the pill;
  • people who have acute intermittent porphyria.

Warning and precautions

Soma (Carisoprodol) causes sedation which may lead to deterioration of physical and mental performance and create dangerous situations during driving or machinery operation.

The sedative properties of Soma (Carisoprodol) can be additive with the effect of other CNS depressants, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, etc.

Soma (Carisoprodol) is prescripted very cautiously to people with a history of abuse of such substances or who currently are treated with them.

Prolonged use of Soma (Carisoprodol) increases the risk of a withdrawal syndrome that manifests with abdominal cramps, vomiting, headache, insomnia, hallucinations, psychosis, tremors, muscle twitching, and ataxia.

Overdose and abuse of Soma (Carisoprodol), especially in combination with other CNS depressants, can cause seizures or even become lethal.

Pregnancy and lactation

There is no conclusive evidence that Soma (Carisoprodol) treatment during pregnancy poses a significant risk to the well-being of the fetus. Carisoprodol and its metabolite, however, were found present in breast milk.

Soma (Carisoprodol) prescription for pregnant and nursing persons occurs after careful evaluation of the risk/benefits ratio.

Side effects

The list in this section includes all effects reported by the patients who used Soma (Carisoprodol). It is impossible to establish if they have a cause-and-effect relationship.

  • tachycardia;
  • postural hypotension;
  • facial flushing;
  • drowsiness;
  • dizziness;
  • vertigo;
  • ataxia;
  • tremor;
  • agitation;
  • irritability;
  • headache;
  • depressive reactions;
  • syncope;
  • insomnia;
  • seizures;
  • nausea;
  • vomiting;
  • epigastric discomfort.

We remind you that in case of noticing any worsening in your mental and physical health that you suspect may be caused by your medication, you should consult your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Drug interactions

Soma (Carisoprodol)’s effect can be additive to CNS depressants. It is also not recommended to use Soma (Carisoprodol) and its metabolite simultaneously.

Carisoprodol, Soma (Carisoprodol)’s active component, is metabolized in the liver by the CYP2C19 enzyme. When Soma (Carisoprodol) is co-administered with medications that either induce or inhibit this enzyme, exposure of carisoprodol and meprobamate (its metabolite) can be affected.

It is yet unclear what effect precisely it has on Soma (Carisoprodol)’s potential safety and efficacy.

Examples of drugs that affect the CYP2C19 enzyme:

  • omeprazole;
  • fluvoxamine;
  • rifampin;
  • St. John’s Wort;
  • low-dose aspirin.

It is important to be open and honest with your doctor about the medications you take. If you are under medical treatment, tell your doctor about it and ask about potential interactions.


Soma (Carisoprodol) is the brand name of carisoprodol. This centrally-acting skeletal muscle relaxant is used to alleviate muscle pain caused by various acute conditions in adults.

It also has a sedative effect that can be additive to the impact of other CNS depressants, including alcohol. The sedative properties of Soma (Carisoprodol) also make it incompatible with driving and machinery operating.

Carisoprodol has a long history of illegal use. When overdosed and/or combined with other drugs, it can cause a euphoric state and lead to abuse, dependence, and an increase in the risk of seizures, coma, and death. Therefore, Soma (Carisoprodol) is a Schedule IV controlled drug.


What is Soma (Carisoprodol)?

Soma (Carisoprodol) is a brand of carisoprodol manufactured by an American company Meda Pharmaceuticals Inc. Carisoprodol is a muscle relaxant used as a pain reliever.

Is Soma (Carisoprodol) an over-the-counter drug?

No, it is a strictly controlled, prescription-only medication. Such precautions are necessary because of the high risk of abuse, dependence, and illegal use of the drug.

Can Soma (Carisoprodol) cause adverse reactions?

Yes, it has side effects that vary from pulse acceleration to vertigo and syncope. Soma (Carisoprodol) overdose can result in seizures, coma, or death. If you suspect you are experiencing an adverse reaction to Soma (Carisoprodol), contact your healthcare provider and ask for guidance.

What are contraindications to Soma (Carisoprodol)?

Soma (Carisoprodol) is contraindicated to patients with acute intermittent porphyria or known hypersensitivity to the drug or its components.

What is prohibited when taking Soma (Carisoprodol)?

The medication is incompatible with alcohol as it can cause dangerous side effects. It is also sedative which is why driving and tasks that require high alertness are prohibited.

How should you take Soma (Carisoprodol)?

The patient should strictly follow the doctor’s instructions. The serving dosage of Soma (Carisoprodol) is individual and can be 250 or 350 mg taken three times per day and before sleep. The medication can be taken with food or without it.