Tramadol vs. Soma: Which is better?

Soma and Tramadol are both pain medications, and one is used to treat musculoskeletal pain, while one is used to treat moderate to severe acute and chronic pain. While one is an opioid, the other is a skeletal muscle relaxant. You can identify which would work best for you depending on your medical condition and the following description of the two drugs.

What is Soma?

Soma is used to treat musculoskeletal pain, prescribed with mandated rest and physical therapy. Soma is a class of medicines called skeletal muscle relaxants, and muscle relaxants block pain sensations between the nerves and the brain. Soma is short-term pain management, and the patient should ideally use it for up to three weeks only.

You will notice the effects of Soma within half an hour, which may last up to six hours after ingestion. Soma is primarily used to relieve pain and discomfort caused due to strains, sprains, and other muscle injuries.

How does Soma function?

Soma 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. It is prescribed for short-term pain treatment and is considered a controlled substance in the United States, which means it is likely to be abused. Soma 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.

Soma 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 is Tramadol?

Tramadol is a medication prescribed to relieve moderate to moderately severe pain. Tramadol is part of medication known as opioid analgesics. Opioids act in the brain to alter how your body feels and responds to pain. Tramadol is a synthetic opioid that acts on the central nervous system comprising the brain and spinal cord to reduce the feeling of pain.

Tramadol is a strong and high-dose pain medication, so it is advised that you keep it away from the reach of children. The dosage of Tramadol prescribed to you will be based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

How does Tramadol function?

Tramadol is a centrally acting (in the central nervous system) opioid agonist and SNRI (Serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor). It has a multimodal mechanism of action for treating moderate to severe pain. Tramadol affects neurotransmitters involved in pain modulation, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, which activate descending pain inhibitory pathways.

Tramadol affects several other pain modulators within the CNS or central nervous system and non-neuronal inflammatory markers and immune mediators. It is effective in reducing pain from labor, osteoarthritis, and cancer. Tramadol works to inhibit pain signals and reduce pain, thus changing how your body feels and responds to pain.

What are the common side effects of Soma and Tramadol?

Common side effects include-

  •  Headache
  •  Dizziness 
  •  Sleepiness. 
  •  Nausea
  •  Vomiting

You should inform your doctor if the common side effects don’t go away with time.

The unlikely but severe side effects include-

  •  Confusion
  •  Allergic reactions like rash, swelling of the tongue or throat, severe dizziness, or trouble breathing
  •  Seizures
  •  High levels of serotonin in the body (agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, loss of coordination or muscle stiffness)

If you notice any severe side effects, looking for immediate medical assistance would be best.

In the case of an older adult, you may be more susceptible to the side effects. You should monitor your dosage regularly and inform your doctor if your side effects aggravate.

How should you have Tramadol and Soma?

Soma and Tramadol are both orally administered and can be had with or without food. If you have nausea, you are advised to have it with food, or you can ask your doctor about other ways to deal with the symptoms. Tramadol is available in two strengths called 50mg and 100mg. You should have Tramadol every 4 to 6 hours as needed for pain.

On the other hand, Soma is available in 350mg strength and should be had thrice a day and once at bedtime. Pain medications work best when the first signs of pain are noticed. If you wait until the pain becomes unbearable, your pain medication may not work either. The dosage administered to you by your medical practitioner will be based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

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