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Carisoprodol, marketed under the brand name Soma among others, is a prescription drug marketed since 1959. Carisoprodol is a centrally acting skeletal muscle relaxant of the carbamate class and produces all the effects associated with barbiturates.
Carisoprodol Quick View :
Carisoprodol is a prodrug and is both structurally and pharmacologically related to meprobamate. The major metabolic pathway of carisoprodol involves its conversion to meprobamate, a barbiturate-like drug.
|Appearance||white crystalline powder|
In the United States, Carisoprodol is a Schedule IV controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The diversion and abuse of the drug increased in the last decade.
Carisoprodol is a muscle relaxer that works by blocking pain sensations between the nerves and the brain.
Carisoprodol is used together with rest and physical therapy to treat injuries and other painful musculoskeletal conditions.
Carisoprodol may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Carisoprodol Medical uses:
Muscle relaxation (and relief from hypertonia)
Carisoprodol, meprobamate, and related drugs such as tybamate, have the potential to produce physical dependence of the barbiturate type following periods of prolonged use. Withdrawal of the drug after extensive use may require hospitalization in medically compromised patients. In severe cases the withdrawal can mimic the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal including the potentially lethal status epilepticus.
Discontinuation of carisoprodol, as with all GABA-ergics, can result in persistent cognitive changes which persist for weeks, months, or rarely even years including greatly increased anxiety and depression, social withdrawal, hair-trigger agitation/aggression, chronic insomnia, new or aggravated (often illogical) phobias, reduced IQ, short term and long term memory loss, and dozens of other sequelae.
Carisoprodol Recreational use and abuse:
Recreational users of carisoprodol usually seek its potentially heavy sedating, relaxant, and anxiolytic effects. Also, because of its potentiating effects on narcotics, it is often abused in conjunction with many opioid drugs. Also carisoprodol is not detected on standard drug testing screens. On March 26, 2010 the DEA issued a Notice of Hearing on proposed rule making in respect to the placement of carisoprodol in schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act.
Carisoprodol is sometimes mixed with date rape drugs.
Carisoprodol produces the same enzyme-inducing effects as barbiturates and may be used to potentiate pro-drug opioids, most commonly codeine and hydrocodone, by increasing the amount of pro-drug converted into the active metabolites (morphine and hydromorphone, respectively).
This mechanism, in conjunction with the combined euphoria, sedation, and anxiolytic effects of the two drugs makes the practice incredibly dangerous and unintentional overdoses are not uncommon. Many overdoses have resulted from recreational users combining these drugs to combine their individual effects without being aware of the enzyme-induction induced potentiation.