Baclofen vs Soma – Comparison of Uses & Side Effects

Baclofen

It is the generic name of a medication which belongs to two groups of medications known as antispastics and muscle relaxants. It can be found under the following brand names – Lioresal and Gablofen.

Mechanism of Action

It is thought to work by relaxing the muscles.

The US Food and Drug Administration first approved it in 1977. It is produced by Novartis.

Uses

This medication is used to treat muscle spasms and other symptoms in patients with disease or injury of the spinal cord. Also, when used at high doses, it has recently emerged as a treatment for alcohol dependence.

Moreover, it is used to treat muscle symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis, including pain, spasm, and stiffness.

Overdose

In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose is 5 mg orally taken 3 or 4 times a day.

The peak plasma concentration can be achieved in 2 to 3 hours after intake. Do not stop abruptly due to the risk of seizures.

Note – it takes about 3 to 4 days for the drug to show its effect.

Drug Interactions

It can negatively interact with many other drugs, including:

  • Benadryl (diphenhydramine);
  • Adderall (amphetamine/dextroamphetamine);
  • Synthroid (levothyroxine);
  • Lyrica (pregabalin);
  • Tylenol (acetaminophen);
  • Advil (ibuprofen);
  • Zyrtec (cetirizine);
  • MiraLax (polyethylene glycol 3350);
  • Nexium (esomeprazole);
  • Ambien (zolpidem);
  • Xanax (alprazolam);
  • Neurontin (gabapentin);
  • Valium (diazepam);
  • Norco (acetaminophen/hydrocodone);
  • Percocet (acetaminophen/oxycodone);
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine);
  • Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone);
  • Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine);
  • Singulair (montelukast);
  • Klonopin (clonazepam);
  • Topamax (topiramate);
  • Zoloft (sertraline).

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Studies have linked this medication to birth defects in animals. Therefore, it is considered unsafe to use during pregnancy. Tell your healthcare provider that you are pregnant or plan to fall pregnant before using this medication.

It is not known exactly whether this medication passes into human breast milk or if it could negatively affect a breastfed infant. Tell your healthcare provider that you are breastfeeding a baby before using this medication.

Alcohol

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this medication since alcohol use can substantially increase the risk of severe side effects.

Contraindications

Before taking this medication, tell your healthcare provider:

  • if you have epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • if you also use a narcotic (opioid) medication;
  • if you have a history of stroke or blood clots;
  • if you have kidney disease.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • weakness;
  • drowsiness;
  • urinating more often than usual;
  • headaches;
  • constipation;
  • nausea;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • dizziness;
  • tired feeling.

Less common side effects may include:

  • a seizure (convulsions);
  • confusion;
  • shallow breathing;
  • hallucinations.

Soma

It is the brand name of a drug called carisoprodol, that belongs to a class of drugs called muscle relaxants.

Uses

This medication is used as a short-term treatment for muscle pain.

Note – it is recommended to use this medication for a maximum of 14 to 21 days.

It was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2007. This medication is produced by Meda Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company with the headquarters in Somerset, United States.

Alcohol

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this muscle relaxant since alcohol use can substantially increase the risk of severe side effects.

Mechanism of Action

It works by blocking pain sensations between the brain and the nerves.

Drug Interactions

Because this muscle relaxant may negatively interact with other drugs you are using, tell your healthcare professional about all your current medicines, particularly:

  • antifungal medicine, such as – voriconazole or ketoconazole;
  • a sedative – alprazolam, diazepam, or Valium;
  • stomach acid reducers – lansoprazole, omeprazole, Prilosec, or Nexium;
  • rifampin;
  • fluvoxamine;
  • seizure medicine, such as –  oxcarbazepine or carbamazepine.

Contraindications

Before taking this muscle relaxant, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • a history of seizures.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • vomiting;
  • upset stomach;
  • hiccups;
  • blurred vision;
  • headaches;
  • depression;
  • drowsiness;
  • tremor;
  • feeling irritable;
  • nausea;
  • dizziness;
  • sleep problems (insomnia).

Less common side effects may include:

  • swelling of the tongue, lips, and mouth;
  • dizziness when you stand up;
  • feeling confused or agitated;
  • seizures;
  • new infections;
  • lightheadedness;
  • paralysis;
  • a severe skin reaction where the skin becomes extremely red;
  • poor coordination;
  • extreme weakness.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Avoid this medication if you are breastfeeding since it may pass into breast milk and may negatively affect the infant. Also, it may decrease the amount of milk your body makes.

There are no well-done studies to determine whether this muscle relaxant is safe to use during pregnancy. Tell your healthcare provider that you are pregnant or plan to fall pregnant before using this medication.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose is 250 mg to 350 mg taken 3 times a day. Its effects last anywhere from 2 to 7 hours and work very quickly after intake.

Bottom Line – Baclofen vs Soma

Baclofen (brand names – Lioresal and Gablofen) is a medication that is used for the alleviation of signs and symptoms of spasticity resulting from partial spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis.

Soma (active ingredient – carisoprodol) is a medication that is used together with rest and physical therapy to treat skeletal muscle conditions.

In conclusion, baclofen is typically prescribed for muscle spasticity with little effect on anxiety, while Soma is used together with rest and physical therapy for the short-term relief of acute painful muscle and skeletal conditions.

Regarding their price, the average retail price for 100 tablets of baclofen 10mg is $11, while the average retail price for 100 tablets of Soma 350mg is $990.

References       

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01751386
https://www.bmj.com/content/360/bmj.k930
https://academic.oup.com/alcalc/article/37/5/504/2095991

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here