What is Carisoprodol?
Carisoprodol is a class of medicines called skeletal muscle relaxants, and muscle relaxant blocks pain sensations between the nerves and the brain. Carisoprodol is short-term pain management; the patient should ideally use it for up to three weeks. You will notice the effects within half an hour, which may last up to six hours after ingestion. Carisoprodol is used to treat musculoskeletal pain, prescribed with mandated rest and physical therapy. It is primarily used to relieve pain and discomfort caused due to strains, sprains, and other muscle injuries.
How does Carisoprodol function?
Carisoprodol is a muscle relaxant to relieve pain caused due to muscle spasms. It functions as a muscle relaxer that inhibits or blocks pain sensations between the nerves and the brain.
Carisoprodol has a rapid 30-minute onset of action, appears to have strong anxiolytic effects on its own, and reaches its peak concentration in about 2 hours. Carisoprodol is a centrally working skeletal muscle relaxant that does not act directly on the muscle but on the central nervous system or CNS, thus inhibiting pain signals.
What are the side effects caused by Carisoprodol?
Common side effects include-
The common side effects of Carisoprodol should reduce with time, and it is advised that you inform your doctor if they persist and don’t go away.
The severe side effects of Carisoprodol are-
- Allergic reactions like rash, swelling of the tongue or throat, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing
- High levels of serotonin in the body (agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, loss of coordination or muscle stiffness)
The severe side effects of Carisoprodol are unlikely. If you notice any severe side effects caused by Carisoprodol, it would be best to look for medical assistance.
In the case of an older adult, you may be more susceptible to the side effects of Carisoprodol. You are advised to monitor your dosage intake regularly, and if you notice your side effects getting worse, you should inform your doctor. If you stop using Carisoprodol abruptly, you may face withdrawal symptoms like stomach cramps, trouble sleeping, headache, and nausea. It would be best for you to taper your dosage with time as instructed by your doctor to prevent withdrawal.
How long does Carisoprodol stay in your system?
While it is different for each person, Carisoprodol has an average half-life, and some of the metabolites of Carisoprodol can stay in your body for a longer duration. The half-life of a substance is the amount of time it takes for half of the active drug to leave your body. The half-life of Carisoprodol is averaged at 11 hours. It takes a drug 5 to 6 half-lives to leave your body, meaning it takes Carisoprodol 2 to 3 days to leave your system entirely.
Some tests can still detect the presence of Carisoprodol-
Blood – Carisoprodol is readily absorbed in your bloodstream and can be detected 24 hours after your last dose
Urine – Urine tests are very common and can find Carisoprodol for several days after your previous dose
Hair – Hair follicle tests can detect Carisoprodol for a longer duration of 30 days as it takes hair longer to grow.
Factors influencing the time it takes Carisoprodol to leave your body are age, body mass, genetics, metabolism, liver and kidney function, other medications you may have, and the dosage prescribed to you.
Precautions to be taken while using Carisoprodol
Carisoprodol can be habit-forming and addictive, and there is a higher risk of addiction if you have a history of misuse or abuse of substances. It would be best to take the dose as prescribed to you in moderation. Carisoprodol can make you drowsy and dizzy. It would be best if you don’t use CNS (Central Nervous System) depressants like alcohol and cannabis products as they can aggravate your side effects.
How should you have Carisoprodol?
Carisoprodol is orally prescribed to treat muscle pain and discomfort. You can have it with or without food, and research showed that food intake did not impact the drug’s effects. The dosage of Carisoprodol prescribed by your doctor depends on your medical condition and response to treatment. It is a short-term treatment; ideally, doctors prescribe it for three weeks.
If you have been using Carisoprodol for a long time, you may develop dependence or tolerance. If you think the dose prescribed to you is not working, it would be best to inform your doctor instead of increasing your dosage. The standard dosage is to be taken thrice daily, including once at bedtime. Pain medications work best if you have them when the first signs of pain are noticed. If you wait until the pain becomes unbearable, Carisoprodol may not work well.