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Soma pain medicine to treat musculoskeletal pain

Carisoprodol, a centrally acting muscle relaxant, is a prescription medication marketed since 1959. It is taken for the treatment of painful acute skeletal muscle conditions in combination with physical therapy, rest and other measures. Soma pain medicine is very effective in deal with muscle pain and injuries. It is a schedule IV controlled substance since January 11, 2012.

This drug is available as single-entity pills that contain 250 mg or 350 mg carisoprodol or as combination pills containing 200 mg carisoprodol, 16 mg codeine phosphate, and 325 mg aspirin.

As per IMS health, around 8.5 million carisoprodol products were dispensed in the United States in the year 2013. The standard soma dosage is 250 mg to 350 mg three times a day and before going to bed for adults. It should not be administered to children under the age of sixteen years and to older adults above the age of 65 years.

Pharmacology:

Carisoprodol does not have a direct effect on skeletal muscle in human beings. The skeletal muscle relaxant action of this drug may be linked to its sedative properties. It is a fast-acting medication and its effects last for four to six hours. It is broken down in the liver and eliminated by way of kidneys. Carisoprodol’s major metabolic pathway entails its conversion to meprobamate, a medication with barbiturate-like biological actions.

What are the contraindications associated with soma use?

Soma medication is contraindicated in individuals with a history of intermittent acute porphyria or who are hypersensitive to a carbamate such as meprobamate.

Use of soma in lactating women

Limited data is human beings have shown that this drug passes into the breast milk and can reach concentrations two to four times the maternal plasma concentrations. According to a case report, a breast-fed infant received around four to six percent of the maternal dose per day by way of breast milk but did not experience harmful effects. However, the production of milk was not adequate and the infant was supplemented with formula. This information shows that the use of soma in lactating women may result in reduced infant feeding because of sedation and also decrease in milk production. Extra caution should be taken on administering this medication to lactating mothers.

Use of soma in people with renal impairment

As this drug is eliminated by the kidneys, extra care should be taken in case soma is given to patients with impaired kidney function. Carisoprodol, the primary ingredient in the drug, is dialyzable by peritoneal dialysis hemodialysis.

Use of soma in people with hepatic impairment

This drug is broken down in the liver; hence extra caution should be taken if it is administered to individuals with impaired liver function.

Use of soma in patients with decreased CYP2C19 activity

Individuals with decreased CYP2C19 activity have a greater exposure to carisoprodol. Thus, care should be taking while giving this medication to such patients.

What are the abuse rates of soma and alcohol?

According to an old study between the years 1986 to 1997, 24 deaths were reported from overdose that occurred from the combination of alcohol, soma and sometimes, benzodiazepines. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported two deaths from exposure to carisoprodol in the year 2012.

As per the report by the National Highway traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), individuals who ingest this drug, particularly at substantially big or recreational doses, are quite likely to suffer from driving impairment. The effects of the drug on driving are similar to the effects of alcohol. However, soma drug cannot be detected through a breathalyzer test.

Fatal side effects occurring from drug abuse that can be worsened if taken with alcohol include:
  1. Facial flushing
  2. A head rush as blood pressure drops
  3. Tachycardia
  4. Respiratory distress

Long-term harm from mixing soma and alcohol:

Combining any medication with alcohol may result in fast damage to the kidneys as well as liver. Alcohol abuse for many years may damage the liver, leading to poor appetite, loss of energy, weight loss, fatigue, belly pain, jaundice, nausea and also difficulty in processing toxins through your body. With the failing liver, the kidneys try to filter out the toxins missed by the liver. Normally, kidneys do not perform this function; hence it can cause damage to the kidneys and even failure. Both these conditions may prove life-threatening.

When you combine alcohol with medications, including soma, the liver needs to process additional chemicals. As a consequence, liver can get damaged which in turn, can also lead to kidney damage. In addition to this, both alcohol and soma, may lead to memory problems, hence loss of memory is quite likely when both the substances are taken for non-medical purposes.

The long-term effects of carisoprodol abuse include the following:
  1. Gastrointestinal damage
  2. Trouble with speech
  3. Cardiovascular damage
  4. Transient quadriplegia (spinal damage due to hypertension of the neck)
  5. Temporary loss of vision or double vision

Drug abuse and dependence:

Discontinuation of this drug post chronic administration may lead to the occurrence of withdrawal symptoms. Further, there are published reports of carisoprodol dependence in human beings. In vitro studies have shown that this drug exhibits barbiturate-like effects. Soma pills are very effective in providing relief from the discomfort and muscle pain.

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