Soma (Carisoprodol)


Indications

SOMA is indicated for the relief of discomfort associated with acute, painful musculoskeletal conditions in adults.

SOMA should only be used for short periods (up to two or three weeks) because adequate evidence of effectiveness for more prolonged use has not been established and because acute, painful musculoskeletal conditions are generally of short duration [see Dosage and Administration (2)].

contraindications

SOMA is contraindicated in patients with a history of acute intermittent porphyria or a hypersensitivity reaction to a carbamate such as meprobamate.

adverse reactions

6.1 Clinical Studies Experience

Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect rates observed in practice.

The data described below are based on 1387 patients pooled from two double blind, randomized, multicenter, placebo controlled, one-week trials in adult patients with acute, mechanical, lower back pain [see Clinical Studies (14)]. In these studies, patients were treated with 250 mg of SOMA, 350 mg of SOMA, or placebo three times a day and at bedtime for seven days. The mean age was about 41 years old with 54% females and 46% males and 74 % Caucasian, 16 % Black, 9% Asian, and 2% other.

There were no deaths and there were no serious adverse reactions in these two trials. In these two studies, 2.7%, 2%, and 5.4%, of patients treated with placebo, 250 mg of SOMA, and 350 mg of SOMA, respectively, discontinued due to adverse events; and 0.5%, 0.5%, and 1.8% of patients treated with placebo, 250 mg of SOMA, and 350 mg of SOMA, respectively, discontinued due to central nervous system adverse reactions.

Table 1 displays adverse reactions reported with frequencies greater than 2% and more frequently than placebo in patients treated with SOMA in the two trials described above.

Table 1. Patients with Adverse Reactions in Controlled Studies
Adverse Reaction

Placebo
(n=560)
n (%)

SOMA 250 mg
(n=548)
n (%)

SOMA 350 mg
(n=279)
n (%)

Drowsiness 31 (6) 73 (13) 47 (17)
Dizziness 11 (2) 43 (8) 19 (7)
Headache 11 (2) 26 (5) 9 (3)

6.2 Post-marketing Experience

The following events have been reported during postapproval use of SOMA. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Tachycardia, postural hypotension, and facial flushing [see Overdosage (10)].
Drowsiness, dizziness, vertigo, ataxia, tremor, agitation, irritability, headache, depressive reactions, syncope, insomnia, and seizures [see Overdosage (10)].
Nausea, vomiting, and epigastric discomfort.
Leukopenia, pancytopenia

warnings and precautions

5.1 Sedation

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 (6.1)] 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.

5.2 Abuse, Dependence, and Withdrawal

Carisoprodol, the active ingredient in SOMA, has been subject to abuse, dependence, and withdrawal, misuse and criminal diversion.. Abuse of SOMA poses a risk of overdosage which may lead to death, CNS and respiratory depression, hypotension, seizures, and other disorders.

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.

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.

5.3 Seizures

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 (10)].

overdosage

Overdosage of SOMA commonly produces CNS depression. Death, coma, respiratory depression, hypotension, seizures, delirium, hallucinations, dystonic reactions, nystagmus, blurred vision, mydriasis, euphoria, muscular incoordination, rigidity, and/or headache have been reported with SOMA overdosage. Serotonin syndrome has been reported with carisoprodol intoxication. Many of the carisoprodol overdoses have occurred in the setting of multiple drug overdoses (including drugs of abuse, illegal drugs, and alcohol). The effects of an overdose of carisoprodol and other CNS depressants (e.g., alcohol, benzodiazepines, opioids, tricyclic antidepressants) can be additive even when one of the drugs has been taken in the recommended dosage. Fatal accidental and non-accidental overdoses of SOMA have been reported alone or in combination with CNS depressants.

Treatment of Overdosage: Basic life support measures should be instituted as dictated by the clinical presentation of the SOMA overdose. Vomiting should not be induced because of the risk of CNS and respiratory depression, and subsequent aspiration. Circulatory support should be administered with volume infusion and vasopressor agents if needed. Seizures should be treated with intravenous benzodiazepines and the reoccurrence of seizures may be treated with phenobarbital. In cases of severe CNS depression, airway protective reflexes may be compromised and tracheal intubation should be considered for airway protection and respiratory support.

For decontamination in cases of severe toxicity, activated charcoal should be considered in a hospital setting in patients with large overdoses who present early and are not demonstrating CNS depression and can protect their airway.

For more information on the management of an overdose of SOMA, contact a Poison Control Center.

description

SOMA (carisoprodol) Tablets are available as 250 mg and 350 mg round, white tablets. Carisoprodol is a white, crystalline powder, having a mild, characteristic odor and a bitter taste. It is slightly soluble in water; freely soluble in alcohol, in chloroform, and in acetone; and its solubility is practically independent of pH. Carisoprodol is present as a racemic mixture. Chemically, carisoprodol is N-isopropyl-2-methyl-2-propyl-1,3-propanediol dicarbamate and the molecular formula is C12H24N2O4, with a molecular weight of 260.33. The structural formula is:

Other ingredients in the SOMA drug product include alginic acid, magnesium stearate, potassium sorbate, starch, and tribasic calcium phosphate.

Soma Package Photos

About the Author

Truman Lewis
Truman has been a bureau chief and correspondent in D.C., Los Angeles, Phoenix and elsewhere, reporting for radio, television, print and news services, for more than 30 years. Most recently, he has reported extensively on health and consumer issues for ConsumerAffairs.com and FairfaxNews.com.