"Medscape Medical News
March 19, 2013 -- People with low back pain may benefit from a hands-on treatment known as osteopathic manual therapy (OMT) more than they do from ultrasound therapy.
A new study suggests that OMT leads t"...
SOMA has sedative properties (in the low back pain trials, 13% to 17% of patients who received SOMA experienced sedation compared to 6% of patients who received placebo) [see ADVERSE REACTIONS] and may impair the mental and/or physical abilities required for the performance of potentially hazardous tasks such as driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery. There have been post-marketing reports of motor vehicle accidents associated with the use of SOMA.
Since the sedative effects of SOMA and other CNS depressants (e.g., alcohol, benzodiazepines, opioids, tricyclic antidepressants) may be additive, appropriate caution should be exercised with patients who take more than one of these CNS depressants simultaneously.
Abuse, Dependence and Withdrawal
Carisoprodol, the active ingredient in SOMA, has been subject to abuse, dependence, withdrawal, misuse, and criminal diversion. [see Drug Abuse and Dependence]. Abuse of SOMA poses a risk of overdosage which may lead to death, CNS and respiratory depression, hypotension, seizures, and other disorders [see OVERDOSAGE].
Post-marketing experience cases of carisoprodol abuse and dependence have been reported in patients with prolonged use and a history of drug abuse. Although most of these patients took other drugs of abuse, some patients solely abused carisoprodol. Withdrawal symptoms have been reported following abrupt cessation of SOMA after prolonged use. Reported withdrawal symptoms included insomnia, vomiting, abdominal cramps, headache, tremors, muscle twitching, ataxia, hallucinations, and psychosis. One of carisoprodol's metabolites, meprobamate (a controlled substance), may also cause dependence [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
To reduce the risk of SOMA abuse, assess the risk of abuse prior to prescribing. After prescribing, limit the length of treatment to three weeks for the relief of acute musculoskeletal discomfort, keep careful prescription records, monitor for signs of abuse and overdose, and educate patients and their families about abuse and on proper storage and disposal.
There have been post-marketing reports of seizures in patients who received SOMA. Most of these cases have occurred in the setting of multiple drug overdoses (including drugs of abuse, illegal drugs, and alcohol) [see OVERDOSAGE].
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
Long term studies in animals have not been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of carisoprodol.
SOMA was not formally evaluated for genotoxicity. In published studies, carisoprodol was mutagenic in the in vitro mouse lymphoma cell assay in the absence of metabolizing enzymes, but was not mutagenic in the presence of metabolizing enzymes. Carisoprodol was clastogenic in the in vitro chromosomal aberration assay using Chinese hamster ovary cells with or without the presence of metabolizing enzymes. Other types of genotoxic tests resulted in negative findings. Carisoprodol was not mutagenic in the Ames reverse mutation assay using S. typhimurium strains with or without metabolizing enzymes, and was not clastogenic in an in vivo mouse micronucleus assay of circulating blood cells.
SOMA was not formally evaluated for effects on fertility. Published reproductive studies of carisoprodol in mice found no alteration in fertility although an alteration in reproductive cycles characterized by a greater time spent in estrus was observed at a carisoprodol dose of 1200 mg/kg/day. In a 13-week toxicology study that did not determine fertility, mouse testes weight and sperm motility were reduced at a dose of 1200 mg/kg/day. In both studies, the no effect level was 750 mg/kg/day, corresponding to approximately 2.6 times the human equivalent dosage of 350 mg four times a day, based on a body surface area comparison. The significance of these findings for human fertility is not known.
Use In Specific Population
Pregnancy Category C
There are no data on the use of SOMA during human pregnancy. Animal studies indicate that carisoprodol crosses the placenta and results in adverse effects on fetal growth and postnatal survival. The primary metabolite of carisoprodol, meprobamate, is an approved anxiolytic. Retrospective, post-marketing studies do not show a consistent association between maternal use of meprobamate and an increased risk for particular congenital malformations.
Animal studies have not adequately evaluated the teratogenic effects of carisoprodol. There was no increase in the incidence of congenital malformations noted in reproductive studies in rats, rabbits, and mice treated with meprobamate. Retrospective, post-marketing studies of meprobamate during human pregnancy were equivocal for demonstrating an increased risk of congenital malformations following first trimester exposure. Across studies that indicated an increased risk, the types of malformations were inconsistent.
In animal studies, carisoprodol reduced fetal weights, postnatal weight gain, and postnatal survival at maternal doses equivalent to 1-1.5 times the human dose (based on a body surface area comparison). Rats exposed to meprobamate in-utero showed behavioral alterations that persisted into adulthood. For children exposed to meprobamate in-utero, one study found no adverse effects on mental or motor development or IQ scores. SOMA should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the risk to the fetus.
Labor and Delivery
There is no information about the effects of SOMA on the mother and the fetus during labor and delivery.
Very limited data in humans show that SOMA is present in breast milk and may reach concentrations two to four times the maternal plasma concentrations. In one case report, a breast-fed infant received about 4-6% of the maternal daily dose through breast milk and experienced no adverse effects. However, milk production was inadequate and the baby was supplemented with formula. In lactation studies in mice, female pup survival and pup weight at weaning were decreased. This information suggests that maternal use of SOMA may lead to reduced or less effective infant feeding (due to sedation) and/or decreased milk production. Caution should be exercised when SOMA is administered to a nursing woman.
The efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics of SOMA in pediatric patients less than 16 years of age have not been established.
The efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics of SOMA in patients over 65 years old have not been established.
The safety and pharmacokinetics of SOMA in patients with renal impairment have not been evaluated. Since SOMA is excreted by the kidney, caution should be exercised if SOMA is administered to patients with impaired renal function. Carisoprodol is dialyzable by hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
The safety and pharmacokinetics of SOMA in patients with hepatic impairment have not been evaluated. Since SOMA is metabolized in the liver, caution should be exercised if SOMA is administered to patients with impaired hepatic function.
Patients with Reduced CYP2C19 Activity
Patients with reduced CYP2C19 activity have higher exposure to carisoprodol. Therefore, caution should be exercised in administration of SOMA to these patients [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Last reviewed on RxList: 3/1/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Soma Information
Soma - User Reviews
Soma User Reviews
Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Chronic Pain/Back Pain
Find tips and advances in treatment.