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Carisoprodol Vs Tramadol- Evaluating Pain Management Options

Carisoprodol Vs Tramadol- Evaluating Pain Management Options


Carisoprodol is a better analgesic choice for short-term acute pain and is a much cheaper treatment option than Tramadol. In contrast, Tapentadol is advisable for severe chronic pain.



If you're looking for comparative studies between "Carisoprodol vs Tramadol," chances are you're struggling with body pain.

Soma and Tramadol are undoubtedly two effective analgesics. However, they belong to different drug classes and work on dissimilar causes of pain. 

A National Institute of Health survey estimates about 11 percent of Americans experience body pain every day for about three months [1]. 

Soma and Tramadol have been two leading analgesics, paving their way toward improving acute and chronic pain. Their impeccable potency makes it a common ground for users to compare them.


Similarities Between Carisoprodol And Tramadol

Some of the key similarities between Soma and Tramadol are listed below. 


Soma pill, the brand name of Carisoprodol, is manufactured by HAB Pharmaceuticals. Whereas Zydus Cadila Healthcare Ltd manufactures Tramadol. 

FDA Approval

Both Soma pills and Tramadol pain medication are approved by the FDA in the USA. Carisoprodol was approved in 1959, whereas Tramadol got its approval in 2008. 

Legal Status

Tramadol and Carisoprodol are Schedule IV controlled substances in the USA. 






Prescription only

Prescription only


Schedule III

Prescription only


Prescription only

Schedule I, sub-schedule F1


Pregnancy Category

Both Soma pill and Tramadol are Category C pregnancy medications. Their use during breastfeeding and pregnancy should only be done under the supervision of a physician. 


Carisoprodol vs Tramadol- Differentiating Factors 

The notable differences between the Soma pill and Tramadol are listed in the table below. 

Dosage And Administration

The Soma pill is available in two dosages-


Soma 350 mg, also known as Dan 5513 white round pill, and O 111 pill.

Recommended for Beginners. 

Soma 500mg

Advisable when the lower dosages fail to provide effective relief. 


The maximum dose of the Soma pill is three to four times a day.

On the other hand, Tramadol is available in dosage strengths of 50mg, 75mg, 100mg, 150mg, 200mg, 300mg, and 400mg. 

  • Standard dose of Tramadol- 100mg

  • Maximum dose is 400mg daily. 

  • Dosage Frequency- It can be administered three to four times based on the severity of the pain.

Soma pill and Tramadol intake are not advised for over three continuous weeks. Long-term use of Carisoprodol and Tramadol may increase the user's risk of addiction and dependency.

Risk Of Drug Interactions

A drug interaction occurs when two or more medicines are taken together. It can lower the effectiveness of the medicine and increase the risk of side effects. 

  • Six hundred forty drugs are recognized to interact with Tramadol. They are categorized as 300 major, 338 moderate, and three minor symptoms [8]. 

  • Carisoprodol is accounted to interact with 346 drugs, of which 26 are major, 319 are moderate, and one is minor interaction [9]. 

Onset Of Action

The onset of action of Carisoprodol is 30 minutes, and the pain-relieving effects last for 5 to 6 hours [4].

In comparison, the effect of Tramadol begins after an hour of administration [5]. It is available in two formulations- 

  • Immediate-release tablets- Medications that dissolve rapidly in the body to show quicker effects. The action of Tramadol IR lasts 4 to 6 hours. 

  • Extended-release formulation- These are medications that are designed to gradually release the active compound over a period of time. The effect of Tramadol ER lasts 12 to 24 hours. 


The half-life of a medication is the time taken by the body to reduce the drug's active compound to half. 

According to the FDA, the half-life of Carisoprodol is 3 hours, and that of Tramadol is between 5 to 9 hours. 


The cost of Soma 500mg and Soma 350mg at Healthnaturo is $ 1.34 per pill. In comparison, the price of Tramadol is $3.5 per pill [14].  

Abuse Potential

Tramadol is a prescription narcotic and has been criticized for being a “risky” choice. It can be very addictive and lead to death associated with overdosing.

According to a National Survey of Drug Use and Health study, about 1.8 million Americans have abused Tramadol alone or in combination with other compounds over the past three years [12]. 

Carisoprodol, on the other hand, also has a potency for abuse but is much lower when compared to Tramadol. It can cause a euphoric high, sedation, elevated mood, hallucinations, increased energy, and socialization at higher doses. 

Soma abuse also causes drowsiness, loss of coordination, slower reaction time, and confusion. 


Clinical Uses Of Tramadol And Soma Pill

Soma pill is a skeletal muscle relaxant that is prescribed for treating short-term acute pain. It is specifically recommended for treating sprains, injuries, and muscle strain. Soma pill for managing menstrual cramps is also gaining recognition due to its ability to provide quicker relief. 

Tramadol is an opioid pain medication that is recommended for treating moderate to severe chronic pain. It is the second line of treatment for fibromyalgia; however, it is not currently approved by the FDA for this use. 

Tramadol And Soma For Back Pain

The use of Tramadol for chronic lower back pain was seen to be effective in a clinical trial by T J Schnitzer et al. It also has a user rating of 6.3 out of 10 for treating back pain on Drugs.com. 

Soma pill, too, can be prescribed for managing back pain. A study by Lee Ralph et al. indicates that patients with lower back spams have significantly improved from taking Carisoprodol. Another study found that Carisoprodol is superior to diazepam in managing lower back pain. 


Differences Between The Working Mechanism Of Soma And Tramadol

Soma Pill

The working mechanism of the Soma Pill includes altering the communication between the nerve and the central nervous system, thus providing quicker relief from body pain.  It metabolizes in the liver and is further excreted by the kidneys.

In the liver, the Carisoprodol is metabolized to meprobamate, which significantly accounts for the abuse potential of the Soma pill. 


Tramadol's working mechanism includes blocking the body's pain sensation from traveling to the brain receptor, thus inducing a sense of pain relief. It undergoes hepatic (in the liver) metabolism and elimination through the kidney. The elimination half-life of Tramadol is about 6 hours [3].


Health Risks Of Combining Carisoprodol And Tramadol

Mixing Soma with Tramadol can result in drowsiness and sedation. In a few cases, such interactions may even be fatal. When administered together, they act on the Central Nervous System, causing respiratory depression [10]. 


An Assessment Of Their Side Effects 




The side effects of Tramadol include slow breathing, dilated pupils, faster heartbeat, chills, teary eyes, stomach cramps, runny nose, and increased blood pressure.

 At the same time, the adverse effects of the Soma pill are drowsiness, dizziness, headache, irritability, nervousness, tremors, insomnia, and agitation. 


Apart from the side effects listed here, these analgesics have other possible adverse effects. Each individual reacts differently to the analgesic, thus portraying different severity and effects. 


Warning And Precaution 

While administering Soma and Tramadol, following a few preventive measures ensures a lower risk of experiencing side effects. 

  • The consumption of alcoholic beverages with Tramadol and Soma is not advisable. 

  • The operation of heavy machinery and driving should be avoided as they can cause drowsiness and dizziness.

  • Sudden discontinuation of these analgesics is not advisable and should be done after consulting a doctor. 

  • In case of a missed dosage, take it once you remember. Avoid the intake if it is already time for the next dosage. 

  • The use of Tramadol is advisable for adults and children over the age of 12 years. Whereas the Soma pill is not recommended for patients below 16 years. 


Is Tramadol Stronger Than Carisoprodol- Our Final Thoughts

Tramadol and Soma pills are two classes of analgesics that treat different conditions in people. Here are a few critical points to consider while choosing between the two. 

  • The onset of action of the Soma pill is less than that of Tramadol. 

  • The effects of Carisoprodol may last for 4 to 6 hours. Tramadol IR works for 3 to 6 hours, and its extended-release formula lasts for 12 hours. 

  • Carisoprodol can only help with acute pain. Whereas Tramadol is recommended for both acute and chronic body pain. 

  • Tramadol is known to cause more severe side effects than the Soma pill.

  • The possible drug interaction of Tramadol is much greater than that of Carisoprodol. 

Based on our findings and knowledge of the topic, the Soma pill emerges as a better treatment option for short-term acute pain. In contrast, Tramadol is best suited for chronic pain. 


No, the administration of Carisoprodol with Tramadol is not advisable. Such interactions can cause severe health issues in the user.

Tramadol has a wider analgesic action spectrum and is beneficial in treating acute and chronic pain. Whereas the Soma pill is effective in helping manage short-term acute pain. However, the onset of action of Carisoprodol is faster compared to Tramadol.

No, Tramadol is not a muscle relaxer but a synthetic opioid analgesic.


  1. NIH analysis shows Americans are in pain, National Institute of Health.

  2. Carisoprodol, Wikipedia

  3. Tramadol, Wikipedia

  4. How Long Does Soma (Carisoprodol) Stay in Your System?, Verywell Mind

  5. How Long Does Tramadol Stay in Your System?, Verywell Mind

  6. Carisoprodol Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings, drugs

  7. Tramadol Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings, drugs

  8. Tramadol interactions, Drugs

  9. Carisoprodol Interactions, Drugs.

  10. What happens if you take Tramadol with Soma?, Quora

  11.  Abuse of combinations of carisoprodol and tramadol, PubMed

  12. Misuse of Tramadol in the United States: An Analysis of the National Survey of Drug Use and Health 2002-2017, NCBI. 

  13. Soma addiction - it's a real thing, havenhelps. 

  14. Rochesterpainclinic