IRFANA PARVEEN
By Irfana Parveen

B.Sc (Psychiatry Ward)

20 January 2023
Medically reviewed by
ROBAXIN VS SOMA
Table of Contents

A person suffering from Muscle pains is related to underlying causes like infection, injury, or disease conditions. It may be acute or chronic pain. Some people tend to feel pain in their arms due to heavy lifting exercises, Physical activities. 

Muscle Pain is likely to feel a sharp, deep, steady pain in random specific areas. It can affect all age groups. If you have extremely Painful Muscle Aches, with the following symptoms of neck stiffness, trouble breathing, and extreme weakness, you should immediately consult your doctor. 

Like, many muscle relaxants are available to treat your condition, but Mostly prescribed drugs like Robaxin and Soma come under the category of Muscle relaxing agents. The drug's effectiveness, action, side effects, and pros and cons are mentioned below. 

What Is Robaxin?

Robaxin belongs to the class of Muscle relaxers. Methocarbamol is a drug that comes under the brand known as Robaxin. Medicine drugs treat skeletal muscle conditions like pain, muscle spasms, or any injury. It is a short-term pain reliever that also includes any strains and fractures. It is usually recommended along with physical therapy with any other treatments. 

What Is Soma?

Carisoprodol is a generic version of a brand called Soma. It is a Medication used to treat similar conditions like Muscle Pain, injury, and muscle sprain. It is a Food and Drug Administration-approved drug, available only after the prescription.

It is one of the most effective drugs to relax muscles from pain and ease your symptoms. It comes under the tablet form of a drug.  

How Does Robaxin Work?

Robaxin belongs to the class of skeletal muscle relaxants; the drug acts on the central nervous system and helps to relax the muscle agents. It is mainly prescribed for the treatment of acute musculoskeletal pain. The drug reduces muscle pain, Tissue trauma, and Muscle strains and feels less sedative. 

The drug is completely absorbed in the body with its concentration and starts to work within 2 hours; you can feel the pain-relieving effect in 30 minutes. The drug should be used only for two or three weeks only due to its abuse of the drug. 

How Does Soma Work?

Soma belongs to the classification of Muscle relaxant agents. The drug works within 30 minutes in your system. It helps to prevent your nervous system, to restrict the pain signals to the brain region.

So your brain won't send pain signals to your body. The drug interferes with the muscle reflexes, which helps to decrease your pain symptoms and make you feel relieved and relaxed.

It should be used only for a short period of two or three weeks. The drug has a high potential level of addiction to the drug. So it is advisable to use it for a limited time; consult your healthcare provider before taking the medication. 

While taking the drugs like muscle relaxants, you should avoid drinking alcohol because it leads to drowsiness and extreme sleepiness. So it should not be mixed with the drug to prevent the consequences.
Robaxin and Soma are available only after the prescription; Both help to treat musculoskeletal conditions.
Both the drug Robaxin and Soma are not narcotic substances. Narcotic substances are called an opioid and pain relievers; these drugs may come in as controlled substances due to their abuse and addiction.

Precautions - Safety Measures Before Consuming

Each drug has Safety measures to ensure it is safe for you; it will help you determine who should use the drug and how to be cautious with other health conditions. Each health is different, so before taking any medicine; you should speak to your doctor about your Conditions and symptoms and clarify the doubts. 

Precautions Of Robaxin

Before taking the medication, you should make sure to inform your doctor if you have any,

  • The drug contains some inactive ingredients, so inform your doctor if you have any allergic reactions or conditions you are having. 
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney dysfunction
    Myasthenia Gravis
  • The drug is not safe for children under the age of 16 years old. 
  • Older adults over 65 should avoid using the drug due to the side effects of risk of injury, falling, etc. 
  • The drugs may cause harm to your unborn baby, so inform your doctor during pregnancy or planning for pregnancy.
  • Please do not take the drug while breastfeeding; it will lead to some risk to your health, causing unwanted effects. 

Precautions Of Soma

  • The drug makes you extremely tired, so avoid driving. This will lead to dangerous effects. 
  • The use of Soma for more extended periods and stopping the medication suddenly will lead to developing withdrawal symptoms. 
  • If you have any history of seizures, speak to your doctor, it will risk higher effects when used in high doses.
  • Allergy Warning: It can cause severe allergic reactions like,
    • Trouble in breathing
    • Swelling in face, lips, and tongue
    • Avoid drinking alcohol as it causes severe interaction. Make sure to inform your doctor about your daily habits. 
  • People with Liver disease: The drugs make it harder to process in your body by the liver; if your liver is not working correctly, it will take time to process the drug, so inform them beforehand if you have any liver disease. 
  • The drug will be harmful during pregnancy, so consult your doctor.
  • The drug is not allowed in breastfeeding mothers; it may affect your newborn, so avoid using it. 

Possible Side Effects

Side effects are the adverse reactions to the drug; each drug has its own set of effects which will be seen in the initial period and goes on its own; you should be aware of the adverse reactions with proper medical help. 

If you face severe side effects for several days, contact emergency medical help immediately and stop using the drug. Some of the side effects of the drugs are listed below such as,

Side effects of Robaxin

Side effects of Soma

Fever

Headache

drowsiness 

Drowsiness

confusion 

Heart problem

memory problem

fast heartbeat

Blurred vision 

Seizure

Seizure

Depression

Chest tightness

Vomiting

Controlled Substance

Controlled substances are drugs categorized by their potential for abuse and addiction present to it. Some medicines are considered controlled substances by the government because they may lead to developing a dependence on the drug.

They include opioids, stimulants, depressants, anabolic steroids, oxycodone, methadone, and codeine are under this category. Some medicines are accepted for medical use with proper guidance from physicians; use them with caution measures. 

Is Robaxin A Controlled Substance?

Robaxin is not a controlled substance declared by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). But it shows some abuse potential to the drug users, so it should be used with some caution measures, especially for people with a history of alcohol disorder; the drug mixed with alcohol leads to severe life-threatening one, so it should be used with proper guidelines from your health care provider. 

Is Soma A Controlled Substance?

Muscle relaxants are not DEA-controlled substances; They are non-addictive ones; while the drug soma comes under the scheduled drug list due to its abuse and addiction among the drug, it should not be used for extended periods. Due to the effects of the drug, like sleepiness, some people tend to Misuse this drug and habit forming, so it should be used for the short term. 

Common Between Robaxin and Soma

  • Robaxin and Soma are prescribed for similar conditions and belong to the group of Muscle relaxants. 
  • Both drugs should be used for a short-term period of up to 3-4 weeks to relieve pain related to Musculoskeletal disorders. 
  • It has common side effects like headaches, drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and vomiting. 
  • It is not recommended to use during pregnancy. 

Difference Between Robaxin And Soma

Robaxin is known as Methocarbamol, and Soma is known as Carisoprodol; both are skeletal muscle relaxants. Robaxin comes in tablet and injection form, while some come in tablet form. Soma should not be used for more extended periods, used for two or three weeks, etc.

It relieves your discomfort, such as acute pain related to Musculoskeletal conditions. Robaxin can be used alongside treatment with any other physical therapy. 

Apart from that, both drugs differ in dosage, duration, cost, and consumption. The half-life of Soma is an average of up to three weeks last, due to the addiction. Another hand, Robaxin induces drowsiness, which makes it challenging to perform the task.

Pros And Cons

Every medication has its Pros and Cons, which determine its medicinal usage. The doctor would suggest it according to the diagnosis. As such, Robaxin and Soma have their Pros and Cons.

Robaxin

Pros

  • The drug works quickly, within 30 minutes.
  • It is available in an affordable generic name
  • It can cut or crush pills.
  • The drug has fewer side effects when compared to other muscle relaxers. 

Cons

  • It leads to drowsiness and dizziness
  • It takes quickly to wear off
  • Not advised to use people over 65 years old.
  • If you are using Mestinon, the drug will prevent muscle weakness. 

Soma

Pros

  • The drug works quickly.
  • It would be best if you took only when needed and showed effective results
  • Also available at affordable prices

Cons

  • It is not a first-choice drug for muscle relaxants
  • Soma causes you sleepiness and dizziness.
  • It can lead you to habit-forming the drug for more than 2 to 3 weeks.
  • They are not used in people with acute rare blood conditions called porphyria. 

Which Is More Effective, Robaxin or Soma?

Recently, there has been a lot of data compared to muscle relaxants. A 2004 study published that fair evidence Soma is compelling among others when compared with another placebo for acute pain or neck pain, on with the drug efficacy of Robaxin. The researchers said it was insufficient to determine the relative results of these medications. 

The American Pain Society and American College of Physicians recommend Acetaminophen or Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for the first line of pain treatment in most cases because these drugs have fewer side effects and are well tolerated.

A 2014 review states that skeletal muscle relaxants are first-line effective; if not, they can be started with Muscle relaxants. Hence, Muscle relaxants effectively treat muscle pain, spasms, etc. But it has some side effects; Soma is considered abusive and addictive. Or patients with a history of substance use disorder can go with Robaxin, which is less abused. 

Muscle relaxants are effective compared to placebo studies; 50% have side effects. 
Hence, if you need a muscle relaxer, the healthcare provider determines the drugs according to your condition,  symptoms, or history. Both drugs are not used in adults over 65 due to increased risk factors. 

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

So far, we understand the drug Robaxin and Soma; both are Muscle relaxants, Used in Muscle pain, sprains,  Muscle spasms, or any injury. Regarding their effectiveness, it is necessary to remember that the drug features matter more; Soma is more highly used than Robaxin. It does not mean Robaxin won't work effectively; it is also used in similar cases. 

The drugs do not come in under controlled substances; Both drugs have some potential for Abuse and misuse, So it should not be advisable to use them for extended periods. The pills should take only two or three weeks.

Before taking the drug, You should consult your healthcare provider; you should need a prescription to buy the medicines. 

  • Forsyth, H. Francis. "Methocarbamol (Robaxin) in orthopedic conditions: Preliminary report of one hundred cases." Journal of the American Medical Association 167.2 (1958): 163-168. From https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1958.02990190017004 Obtained on 20/01/2023
  • Littrell, R. A., L. R. Hayes, and V. Stillner. "Carisoprodol (Soma): a new and cautious perspective on an old agent." Southern medical journal 86.7 (1993): 753-756. From https://doi.org/10.1097/00007611-199307000-00006 Obtained on 20/01/2023
  • Reeves, Roy R., Harold B. Pinkofsky, and O. Stephen Carter. "Carisoprodol: a drug of continuing abuse." Journal of Osteopathic Medicine 97.12 (1997): 723-723. From https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.1997.97.12.723 Obtained on 20/01/2023
  • Geisser, Michael E., and Miles O. Colwell. "Chronic Back Pain: Conservative." Handbook of pain syndromes: Biopsychosocial perspectives (1999): 169. Obtained on 20/01/2023
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