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Carisoprodol, known for its generic name Soma, is a muscle relaxant used to treat muscular pains and injuries like sprains and strains. It is best used along with physical; therapy for maximum efficacy. It is marketed in the United Kingdom as Carisoma (the English prefer to use benzodiazepines as muscle relaxant though) and in the United States as Soma. It is simply known as Carisoma in other countries.

The usual recommended daily dose is up to three tablets. However, patients should strictly follow the dosage stated in their prescription as an overdose can result to serious side effects. It is important to take note of the increasing number of people brought to the emergency department due to Carisoprodol intake. Data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network shows that the number has increased from 7,771 people sent to the ER involving the use of this medication in 1995 to 19,513
people in 2005.

Caution should be exercised in the intake as well as in the storage of this medication since it is habit forming and can easily be abused by anyone. Someone who overdoses out of Carisoprodol can collapse or stop breathing so it is best to get immediate medical attention for possible poisoning. Among the other symptoms of an overdose are: heart palpitations, hallucinations, breathing and vision problems

This medication is not recommended for patients with porphyria, epilepsy, those who have liver or kidney problems and those who are either pregnant or lactating. If it is really necessary to take this medication under those circumstances then it is best to inform the doctors about the said conditions. Carisoprodol reacts strongly with other medications like sedatives or tranquilizers and even vitamins. It also causes drowsiness so a patient taking this medication should first observe its effects on his concentration skills before attempting to drive or perform actions requiring concentration skills.

Among the side effects of Carisoprodol are:

    * Heart Palpitations
    * Clumsiness
    * Headache
    * Vomiting
    * Upset Stomach
    * Allergies or Rashes
    * Burning sensation in the eyes
    * Fever

However, there can be other uncommon but serious side effects that can be felt by someone who has an allergic reaction to carisoprodol and this is better discussed with a medical expert.

Despite these side effects, a person should not stop taking in Carisoprodol immediately without consulting his doctor as it can result to serious withdrawal symptoms like nausea, seizures, sleeping problems and stomach pains. Someone who has been using this medication for a long period is usually advised to gradually
stop taking in Carisoprodol until the body gets used to it.


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