7 Things Everyone Should Know About Carisoprodol
How It Works
Carisoprodol works as a muscle relaxant to provide relief from musculoskeletal pain. There is no consensus among experts on how this medicine works, but most believe it alters brain activity and the flow of electrical impulses in the spinal cord to achieve its desired goals.
Carisoprodol belongs to the group of medications called centrally acting skeletal muscle. It is also a member of the class of muscle relaxants called carbamates.
This medicine is most beneficial for adults who suffer from muscle and skeletal pain. Doctors primarily prescribe it to treat muscle spasms and musculoskeletal conditions in adults. This medicine works best if used as a short-term treatment option for people with severe pain.
Generic carisoprodol tablets are also available in the market, which you can buy easily. The main advantage of using the generic form of a drug is that it works similarly as the brand name drug but costs less in comparison.
This medicine is only suitable for consumption for people between the ages of 18 and 60. Considering you don’t have any other physical or psychological health problem, you are prone to the following side effects of this medicine:
- Dizziness, headache, decreased blood pressure, heart palpitations, insomnia, nausea, abdominal pain, flushing, etc.
- Sedation is also a side effect of carisoprodol that makes it dangerous for you to drive or operate machinery.
- You cannot dink alcohol while using it, as it will increase your risk of getting adverse effects.
- There a potential for abuse of this drug, and it can also be addictive if used for prolonged periods.
- Misuse of carisoprodol can result in cardiovascular problems and even death.
- Abruptly stopping this medicine consumption can result in withdrawal symptoms, including vomiting, headache, hallucination, muscle twitching, insomnia, etc.
- It loses efficacy if used for more than 2-3 weeks.
- In rare cases, it might also cause seizures, especially if you consume it with other seizure-inducing medicines.
- People with poor metabolism might not feel the effects of this drug, as it gets activated in the liver through the CYP2C19 enzyme.
- FDA does not approve of using this drug for people younger than the age of 16.
- It is also harmful to people with conditions like liver or kidney disease, acute porphyria, reduced CYP2C19 activity, history of substance abuse, etc.
- It might also interact with other drugs, including opioid pain medications, benzodiazepines, etc. to produce harmful effects.
- This medicine is also a Schedule IV controlled substance in the United States, meaning you will need a prescription to buy it.
What To Expect
If you are willing to use carisoprodol, you should keep in mind that it is a potent muscle relaxant. However, the scope of its use is very narrow due to the possibility of abuse, dependence, and sedative effects. It also only lasts for a short duration and requires multiple doses per day to treat the pain.
These tips can help a person to maximize the benefits and minimize the risk of adverse effects of this drug.
- A doctor can recommend using this medicine either with or without food.
- Consume this medicine as prescribed by the doctor to minimize the chances of facing harmful effects.
- Avoid using it for more than 2-3 weeks at a time.
- Try not to discontinue using it suddenly. If you no longer need this drug, ask the doctor to lower the dosage gradually over time.
- Never alter the prescribed dose without first consulting with the doctor.
- Avoid driving or operating dangerous machinery under the influence of this drug, as it can make your sleepy.
- Avoid drinking alcohol as it might make the sleepiness worse.
- Talk to the healthcare provider if you believe you are developing a physical or mental dependence on it.
- Stop using it if you experience the intolerable adverse effects of this medicine.
- Before you get any other over the counter or prescription medicine, make sure it does not interact with carisoprodol to cause harmful results.
- Talk to the doctor for an alternate treatment plan if this drug does not make your muscle pain any better.
Effectiveness And Response
Carisoprodol is a fast-acting muscle relaxant and starts to work as soon as you consume it. Within 1.5 to 2 hours after taking the single dose, you can expect to see the drug’s peak effects. Doctors usually prescribe using it three times a day, but in certain situations, you might take it for four times per day.
While it helps relax the muscles and provide relief from severe pain, it does not work directly on the muscles. This drug works by affecting the brain’s chemical composition to change how your body will respond to the feeling of pain.
Several over the counter and prescription medications may interact with carisoprodol to decrease its effects, change for how long it works, or increase its adverse effects. Carisoprodol might also dampen the effects of other drugs.
While it is not always harmful to mix two or more medicines, take caution if you are using potent drugs that can have severe side effects. Try consulting a doctor if you have to use another medicine for whatever reason and get tips on managing the interaction to avoid adverse effects.
Following are the medications that can interact with carisoprodol:
- Anti-anxiety medicines
- Antidepressants – amitriptyline, imipramine, nortriptyline, and monoamine oxidase inhibitors
- Opioid analgesics – oxycodone and morphine
- Medicines that metabolize through CYP2C19
- Sodium oxybate
- Anticonvulsants – carbamazepine or phenytoin
- Antihistamines that cause sedation – diphenhydramine
- Botulinum toxin
- Clopidogrel and ticlopidine
- Other muscle relaxants – cyclobenzaprine
- Sleeping pills and other drugs that cause drowsiness
- Medications that help treat mental illness – clozapine and thioridazine
Apart from these drugs, alcohol can also worsen the side effects of this medicine and makes you extremely drowsy and dizzy.