Soma vs Flexeril - Which Is Better For Neck Pain

Soma

It is the brand name of a drug called carisoprodol, a muscle relaxer which blocks pain sensations between the brain and the nerves.

This medication is produced by Meda Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company with the headquarters in Somerset, New Jersey, United States. It was first approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2007. According to IMS Health, there were over 10 million prescriptions of carisoprodol issued every year.

Uses

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

Dosage

The usual recommended dose is 250 mg to 350 mg taken 3 times a day, with or without food. It is recommended to use this medication for a maximum of 14 to 21 days.

Its effects last anywhere from 2 to 7 hours and work very quickly after intake. It typically only takes about 30 to 45 minutes to start working.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Carisoprodol

Common serious side effects may include:

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

Rare side effects may include:

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

Pregnancy

Since there are no clinical studies regarding the safe use of this medication during pregnancy, avoid it if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Also, avoid this medication if you are breastfeeding since it may pass into breast milk and may negatively affect the infant. In addition, it may decrease the amount of milk your body makes.

Drug Interactions

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

  • rifampin;
  • fluoxetine or fluvoxamine;
  • antifungal medicine, such as – voriconazole or ketoconazole;
  • St. John’s wort;
  • stomach acid reducers – lansoprazole, esomeprazole, pantoprazole, omeprazole, Prilosec, or Nexium;
  • seizure medicine, such as –  oxcarbazepine or carbamazepine;
  • a sedative – alprazolam, diazepam, lorazepam, Xanax, or Valium.

Flexeril

It is a muscle relaxant which contains cyclobenzaprine as its active ingredient. This medication is used to treat injury-related stiffness and pain. It acts on the central nervous system to produce its muscle relaxant effects.

Uses

This medication is used for treating people who have muscle spasms due to injuries, overuse, or similar problems. In addition to treating injuries, it is used to treat some muscle spasms and cases of fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by musculoskeletal pain accompanied by sleep, fatigue, mood, and memory issues.

Note – it is not recommended in people with glaucoma (a condition which causes damage to your eye’s optic nerve), seniors, or in patients with heart conditions, including – heart failure, rhythm problems, or recent heart attack.

Dosage

The usual recommended dose is 5 mg taken three times per day. The dosage may be increased up to 10 mg, depending on your condition. This medication is supplied for oral administration on a short-term basis (maximum three weeks).

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • problems in urinating;
  • abdominal pain;
  • fast heartbeat;
  • increased heart rate;
  • confusion;
  • trembling;
  • constipation;
  • tingling sensations;
  • depression;
  • lack of muscle coordination;
  • hallucinations.

Rare side effects may include:

  • seizures;
  • severe drowsiness;
  • fainting;
  • trouble breathing;
  • dry, hot, flushed skin;
  • changes in the skin color of the face;
  • irregular heartbeat;
  • shortness of breath;
  • increase in body temperature;
  • unexplained muscle stiffness;
  • severe unusual restlessness;
  • wheezing;
  • tightness in the chest;
  • skin rash or itching;
  • swelling of the area around the eyes;
  • hives on the face, mouth, lips, or tongue.

Alcohol

Alcohol can increase the side effects of this medication on the nervous system, causing drowsiness, dizziness, and problems concentrating. In addition, you may experience impairment in thinking and judgment.

Soma vs Flexeril – Which Is Better For Neck Pain?     

According to studies, in people with acute back pain or neck pain, cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) is consistently more effective than placebo for treating muscle spasms, relieving pain (including neck pain), and increasing function. Furthermore, there is some evidence that this medication is possibly superior to similar drugs for treating individuals with musculoskeletal conditions.

On the other hand, carisoprodol (Soma) should be phased out as a muscle relaxant in favor of much better and safer options. However, if it’s prescribed, this drug should only be used for short periods of time due to the lack of evidence for effectiveness when used longer.

In conclusion, cyclobenzaprine is more efficient in reducing neck pain. Nevertheless, both medications have plenty of side effects.

6 Home Remedies For Neck Pain

#1 Good Healthy Sleeping Positions & Patternssleep

If your neck is bothering you, you should pay attention to your sleep positions since when you sleep on your stomach, you may end up twisting your head one way or the other for hours at a time. Therefore, sleep only on your back or on your side – never on your stomach. In addition, aim for 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night (including weekends).

#2 Stay Hydrated

Maintaining good hydration habits may help to prevent cervical disc (comprised of 6 cervical discs which rest between the cervical vertebrae) degeneration, that is a leading contributor to neck pain.

#3 Acupuncture

This natural treatment method is based on the science that there are more than 2,000 points on the body which connect with 20 meridians. These meridians conduct energy throughout the human body.

According to research, acupuncture can be more effective at treating chronic neck pain than many allopathic remedies, plus, it has notable fewer side effects.

#4 Epsom Salt Bath

The magnesium sulfate in Epsom salt acts as a natural muscle relaxant which helps reduce pain and swelling.

#5 Reduce Your Stress Levels

Pay attention to what stresses you and sort it out to get rid of neck pain. The best methods to reduce stress include – mindfulness meditation, Tai Chi, and yoga.

#6 Turmeric

This spice is native to South East Asia and southeast India. Curcumin, the main active compound in turmeric, has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Also, combining turmeric with black pepper increases curcumin bioavailability by 2000 percent.

References

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/carisoprodol
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2656305/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2858432/

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