You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking carisoprodol if you have:
- A history of drug or alcohol abuse
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Acute intermittent porphyria
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Soma and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Soma and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Carisoprodol to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
It is not known exactly how carisoprodol works to relieve muscle spasms. However, it is known that it works mostly in the brain stem and spinal cord and not directly on the muscles. Also, the liver metabolizes the drug into meprobamate, a barbiturate medication with anti-anxiety and sedative properties. It is thought that it is this metabolite that contributes to the abuse potential of carisoprodol. Interestingly, although meprobamate is a controlled substance in the United States, carisoprodol is not categorized as a controlled substance.