Carisoprodol is marketed under brand names like Soma, Soprodal, and Vanadom.
A new report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that emergency department visits involving carisoprodol increased from 15,830 in 2004 to 31,783 in 2009, the latest year Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) reports are available.
Carisoprodol is intended for the short-term treatment of acute muscle pain, especially for pain resulting from a severe injury. But use of the drug can be dangerous if combined with the use of other prescription drugs, illicit drugs and/or alcohol, the SAMHSA report said.
All Age Groups Involved
Some of the report's finding about carisoprodol-involved ER visits include:
- ER visits increase for all age groups increased.
- Visits tripled for patients aged 50 or older.
- Most visits involved other pharmaceuticals (77%).
- 35% of the visits required follow-up hospitalization.
Most ER visits were due to use of other drugs in combination with carisoprodol:
- 55% narcotic pain relievers
- 47% bezodiazepines
- 12% alcohol.
The full report, "ED Visits Involving the Muscle Relaxant Carisoprodol," is available online.