What is carisoprodol, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

  • Carisoprodol is an oral muscle relaxant. Its exact mechanism of action is unknown. It may work by altering communication among nerves in parts of the brain that control the sensation of pain and in the spinal cord.
  • The FDA approved carisoprodol in April 1959.

What are the uses for carisoprodol?

Carisoprodol is used together with rest and physical therapy for the short-term relief of acute painful muscle and skeletal conditions in adults. It is only used for 2 to 3 weeks.

What brand names are available for carisoprodol?


Is carisoprodol available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for carisoprodol?


What are the side effects of carisoprodol?

The most common side effects of carisoprodol are:

Serious side effects of carisoprodol include:

Carisoprodol is not a controlled substance. Patients may become dependent on carisoprodol, and discontinuation after long-term use may cause withdrawal symptoms.

What is the dosage for carisoprodol?

  • The recommended dose of carisoprodol is 250 or 350 mg three times daily and at bedtime.
  • The recommended treatment duration is 2 to 3 weeks.
  • To avoid withdrawal symptoms, carisoprodol should be stopped gradually if it has been used for a long duration.

Which drugs or supplements interact with carisoprodol?

  • Carisoprodol interacts with other medications and drugs that slow the brain’s processes, such as alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazepines (for example, lorazepam [Ativan]), and narcotics, accentuating their effects and causing drowsiness.
  • Omeprazole (Prilosec) and fluvoxamine (Luvox) may reduce the elimination of carisoprodol, leading to increased side effects.
  • St. John’s Wort and rifampin (Rifadin) increase the elimination of carisoprodol, possibly resulting in a reduced effect.

Is carisoprodol safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

  • There are no adequate studies of carisoprodol in pregnant women.
  • Carisoprodol accumulates in breast milk in concentrations twice those of the mother’s blood. The effects of carisoprodol on the infants of lactating mothers are unknown. Therefore, caution should be used when using carisoprodol in women who are breastfeeding.

What else should I know about carisoprodol?

What preparations of carisoprodol are available?

Tablets: 250 and 350 mg.

How should I keep carisoprodol stored?

Tablets should be stored between 15-30 C (59-86 F).

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Medically Reviewed on 3/27/2019


Medically reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP; Board Certified Emergency Medicine


FDA Prescribing Information