Muscle Relaxant Soma – Newest Drug Seen in Emergency Rooms
According to a November press release by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, carisoprodol also known as Soma, Soprodal, and Vanadom have been the cause of increasing emergency room visits from 15,830 in 2004 to 31,763 visits in 2009.
The Soma brand of muscle relaxant is typically used for short term treatment of acute muscle pain. It is dangerous when combined with other drugs, including prescription, illicit drugs, and alcohol.
The news release indicated that:
- Visits involving carisoprodol misuse increased for all age groups, with visits involving patients aged 50 or older tripling between 2004 and 2009.
- The majority of emergency department visits involving the misuse of the drug also involved other pharmaceuticals (77 percent); the most common combinations involved narcotic pain relievers (55 percent), followed by benzodiazepines (47 percent ). Alcohol was involved in 12 percent of carisoprodol-related visits.
- Overall, more than one-third of emergency department visits related to carisoprodol misuse (35 percent) required follow-up hospitalization.
When abused, the drug can cause physical and psychological dependence and it is not suggested that the drug be used for more than two weeks. Similar drug use patterns were found for both men and women.
Narcotic pain relievers were the most common type of prescription drugs used in combination with carisoprodol.
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