Why is this medication prescribed?
Carisoprodol is used with rest, physical therapy, and other measures to relax muscles and relieve pain and discomfort caused by strains, sprains, and other muscle injuries. Carisoprodol is in a class of medications called skeletal muscle relaxants. It works by acting in the brain and nervous system to allow the muscles to relax.
How should this medicine be used?
Carisoprodol comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It usually is taken with or without food three times a day and at bedtime. Do not take this drug for more than 3 weeks without talking to your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take carisoprodol exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Carisoprodol can be habit-forming. Do not take a larger dose or take it more often or for a longer period of time than prescribed by your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking carisoprodol,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to carisoprodol, meprobamate, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in carisoprodol tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements you are taking or plan to take.Be sure to mention any of the following: aspirin; benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Diastat, Valium, Valtoco), estazolam, flurazepam, lorazepam (Ativan), and triazolam (Halcion); fluvoxamine (Luvox); medications for allergies, coughs, or colds; omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegrid); opioid (narcotic) pain medications such as hydrocodone (Hysingla, in Anexsia), meperidine (Demerol), methadone (Methadose), morphine, oxycodone (Oxaydo, Xtampza, in Percocet, others), and tramadol (Conzip, Qdolo, Ultram, in Ultracet, others); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane); sedatives; sleeping pills; tranquilizers; and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) such as amitriptyline, amoxapine, clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Silenor), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), protriptyline, and trimipramine. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- Tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially St. Johns wort.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had porphyria (an inherited blood disease that may cause skin or nervous system problems). Your doctor will probably tell you not to take carisoprodol.
- Tell your doctor if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol, use or have ever used street drugs, or have overused prescription medications. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had seizures or kidney or liver disease.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking carisoprodol, call your doctor.
- Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking carisoprodol if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually take carisoprodol because it is not as safe or effective as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.
- You should know that this drug may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how carisoprodol affects you.
- Ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking carisoprodol. Alcohol can make the side effects from carisoprodol worse.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Carisoprodol may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- Fast heart rate
- Upset stomach
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- Difficulty breathing
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from moisture and heat (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can’t be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- Loss of muscle coordination, severe muscle stiffness or twitching, or hallucination (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- Difficulty breathing
- Slow or shallowing breathing
- Changes in vision
- Increased size of the pupil (the black circle in the center of the eye)
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Carisoprodol is a controlled substance. Prescriptions may be refilled only a limited number of times; ask your pharmacist if you have any questions.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.