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Carisoprodol vs Tramadol - Is Soma Better than Tramadol?

Carisoprodol vs Tramadol - Is Soma Better than Tramadol?


The brief Soma vs Tramadol comparison shows Carisoprodol is a better analgesic choice for short-term acute pain and is much cheaper than Tramadol. In contrast, the latter 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, unaware of the kind of analgesic that works best for your pain. Confused? Let me break it down for you. 

Soma and Tramadol are undoubtedly two effective analgesics available today; however, they belong to different drug classes and work on dissimilar pain causes. 

A National Institute of Health survey estimates about 11 percent of Americans experience body pain every day for about three months [1]. It's also one of the leading reasons Americans incorporate complementary health approaches to managing pain.

Soma and Tramadol have been preeminent analgesics, paving their way toward improving acute and chronic pain. Their impeccable potency makes it a common ground for users to compare Soma and Tramadol. So, this blog addresses the pharmacological similarities and differences between the two analgesics and helps you choose the proper pain medication. 


Similarities and Differences between Soma and Tramadol

Soma and Tapentadol, both effective analgesics, showcase similarities and differences. This alikeness and dissimilarity can significantly contribute to people choosing between the two pain medications.  





Generic name



Brand name

Soma pill



HAB Pharmaceuticals

Zydus Cadila Healthcare Ltd

FDA approval 

In 1959

In 2008

Legal status

USA (Schedule IV)

USA (Schedule IV)

Australia (Prescription only)

UK (Schedule III)

 Canada (Prescription only) 

Class of drug

Muscle relaxer 

Opioid pain medication 

Structural differences 




The active compound is Carisoprodol. The inactive compounds of the muscle relaxer are stearic acid, croscarmellose sodium, microcrystalline cellulose, starch, hypromellose, povidone, magnesium stearate, and FD&C Red #40, FD&C Yellow #6.

The active compound is Tramadol Hydrochloride. The other ingredients include sodium starch glycolate (Type A), Cellulose, silica colloidal anhydrous, magnesium stearate, and microcrystalline. 


Carisoprodol vs Tramadol- Doses and Administration 




The correct dosage administration is crucial to keep adverse effects at bay. The Soma pill is available in two dosages-

Beginners are advised to take a lower dose of the muscle relaxer that can be gradually increased depending on the severity of the pain. The maximum dose of the Soma pill is three to four times a day and is not prescribed for long-term use.

The standard dose of Tramadol is 100mg; however, it is best to begin with a lower dose of 25mg. The maximum dose of Tramadol is 400mg daily and can be administered three to four times based on the pain.

Carisoprodol is available as oral pills, whereas Tramadol is retailed in the form of capsules, solutions, tablets, and suspensions.

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.


Differences Between The Uses and Mechanisms of Tramadol and Soma


Soma pill-

Carisoprodol is a centrally-acting muscle relaxer prevalent in treating short-term acute pain. When taken in association with rest and physical therapy, it acts against skeletal muscle conditions caused by injury, strain, and sprain.

The Soma pill working mechanism that helps relieve the pain affects communication between the nerve and the central nervous system. It metabolizes in the liver and is further excreted by the kidneys.

Patients with a lower level of CYP2C19 (enzyme for metabolization) lead to increased concentration of Carisoprodol in the body.

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

About 25 percent of the Carisoprodol dosage taken is converted to meprobamate, indicating that it is 3.25 times stronger than Carisoprodol. In simpler terms, 200mg of meprobamate is equivalent to 650mg of Carisoprodol [2].



Tramadol is a centrally-acting opioid agonist analgesic. In patients with moderate to severe intramuscular, intravenous, and postoperative pain, the use of Tramadol can be effective. The National Health Services identifies Tramadol as a secondary pain medication for treating fibromyalgia.

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 metabolism to form five different metabolites. Of these, desmetramadol is one of the most significant metabolites as it has 200 times the affinity of Tramadol. Furthermore, the elimination half-life of desmetramadol is 9 hours compared to Tramadol, which is about 6 hours [3].


Soma vs. tramadol- Efficacy & Time of Action

The onset and time of action play a crucial role in determining the efficacy and potency of Tramadol and Soma pills. A long onset time can be a deal breaker for most people, as none of us would like slow-acting pain medication. 

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

In comparison, the effect of Tramadol begins after an hour of administration, and it reaches its peak in 2 to 4 hours [5]. Tramadol's Immediate-release lasts 4 to 6 hours, and its extended-release formulation lasts 12 to 24 hours. 

According to the FDA, the half-life of Carisoprodol is 3 hours, and that of Tramamadol is between 5 to 9 hours. However, the half-life of meprobamate (a metabolite of Carisoprodol) is 6 to 17 hours [4,5]. 


Safety Guidelines For Pregnancy and Breastfeeding


Soma and tramadol- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding


Carisoprodol Pregnancy Warnings:


Clinical observations:

Administration of Carisoprodol in pregnant mice at 1, 2.6, and 4.1 times the maximum recommended dose for humans showed postnatal weight gain, reduced fetal growth, and postnatal survival at 2.6 and 4.1 times. Case studies on meprobamate during the first trimester do not increase the risk of significant congenital disabilities [6]. 

Soma pills should be given to pregnant women if a physician prescribes them after assessing their potential health risks and benefits.

Carisoprodol Breastfeeding Warnings:

Excreted into human milk: Yes 

Caution: Monitor the infant for signs of sedation.

Clinical observations:

A case report on the use of the Soma pill in nursing mothers shows that infant receives an average dose of about 6% of the maternal weight-adjusted dose. The study also indicates that maternal use of the Soma pill may lead to less effective infant feeding due to decreased milk production and sedation [6]. 

Nursing or breastfeeding mothers should be given Soma dosage after consulting a doctor.



Tramadol Pregnancy Warnings:

Tramadol use is not recommended 

AU TGA pregnancy category:

US FDA pregnancy category: Not Assigned

Clinical observations:

Tramadol can cross the placental barrier at a concentration ratio of 0.83. Several animal studies indicate that Tramadol can affect the fetus's organ development, mortality rate, and bone growth at high doses. In addition, prolonged use of opioid analgesics during pregnancy may result in physical dependence in the neonatal, respiratory depression, and neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome after birth. There are also reports of stillbirths, neonatal seizures, and fetal death [7]. 

Tramadol Breastfeeding Warnings:

Excreted into human milk: Yes  

Caution: Infants should be monitored for respiratory depression and sedation.

Clinical observations:

A study conducted on 75 mothers showed that the amount of Tramadol in breast milk represents a maximum of 2.6% of the proposed dose. Some serious adverse effects in breastfed infants include serious breathing issues, excessive sleepiness, and difficulty breastfeeding [7]. 

The administration of Tramadol in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers must be done after consulting a doctor. 


Soma With Tramadol Interactions

The drug interaction of Soma and Tramadol with other treatments and medication is high and may often result in adverse effects. 


Tramadol drug interaction- 

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







Benadryl (diphenhydramine)



















Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine)



Tramadol and Food/Alcohol Interaction:


The consumption of Alcohol with Tramadol can result in central nervous system depression. It can also cause impairment of judgment and psychomotor skills, and thinking ability. Patients are also advised to avoid activities requiring mental alertness.


Carisoprodol Drug interaction:

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




Norco (acetaminophen / hydrocodone)

Ambien (zolpidem)

Vicodin (acetaminophen / hydrocodone)

Lyrica (pregabalin)

OxyContin (oxycodone)

Xanax (alprazolam)


Benadryl (diphenhydramine)


Lexapro (escitalopram)


Cymbalta (duloxetine)


Carisoprodol and Food/Alcohol interaction:

The Soma pill's interaction with alcohol can cause difficulty concentrating, dizziness, and drowsiness. It can also cause impairment of judgment and thinking. The operation of heavy machinery and driving is not advisable in such conditions [9].


Health Risks of Combining Carisoprodol And Tramadol

Mixing the Soma with Tramadol can cause serious health issues, thus resulting in drowsiness and sedation. In a few cases, such interactions may even be fatal. Anecdotal evidence on the pharmacodynamic interaction between Tramadol and Soma indicates that both act on the CNS, thus increasing the risk of respiratory depression. In severe cases, it may result in withdrawal symptoms [10]. 


A scientific case study demonstrates that the combination of Soma and Tramadol is illicitly used to achieve psychotropic effects. These analgesics should be therefore, prescribed with caution for patients with a history of abuse [11]. 


Tramadol and soma high- Which is more prone to abuse? 


“Just because a medicine is prescribed does mean it is safe and cannot cause abuse and addiction.”

Tramadol is a prescription narcotic, and ever since it has been recognized as a prescription analgesic, it 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]. 




Tramadol can cause a high that elevates the mood, makes people feel relaxed, reduces anxiety, and dulls the pain. Like most prescription drugs, if taken as advised by the doctor, the risk of addiction and abuse is significantly reduced. 

The US Drug Intelligence Center classifies Carisoprodol as one of muscle relaxers' most significant threats to abuse [13]. Carisoprodol 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. 

Tramadol and Soma high can have severe consequences if administered incorrectly. These analgesics should not be overdosed and must be taken as a doctor advises. 


Soma vs. Tramadol- Assessments of Side Effects 




With the advancement of online pharmacies, there is an acceleration in users who buy Soma and Tramadol online. Such non-prescription users are often more vulnerable to experiencing side effects due to their lack of product information.  

The side effects of Tramadol commonly noted in users 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, tremor, 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. 


Soma vs. Tramadol- Warning And Precaution 

While administering Soma and Tramadol, following particular warning and prevention measures ensures a lower risk of experiencing adverse effects. 

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

  • Soma and Tramadol can cause drowsiness and dizziness; therefore, the operation of heavy machinery and driving should be avoided. 

  • 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; however, 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. However, the administration of the Soma pill is not recommended for patients below 16 years. 


Which Of Soma And Tramadol Is Affordable?

None of us would like to burn a hole in our pocket to buy pain medication. Most of us are constantly surfing the internet to find affordable options. So, which among Soma and Tramadol is an inexpensive analgesic? 

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].  


User review of Carisoprodol and Tramadol

Testimonials and reviews of Soma and Tramadol are an outline of their benefits and user experience. The user review for Tramadol on the website Drugs has an average rating of 6.8 out of 10. 61% of the people reported having a positive experience, whereas 25% claimed to suffer adverse effects. 


Carisoprodol review from Drugs indicates an average rating of 9.1 out of 10 for muscle spasms. 90% of all people noted experiencing a positive effect, and 5% suffered from a negative experience.  



Is Tramadol Stronger Than Carisoprodol? 

Tramadol and Soma pills are two classes of analgesics that treat different conditions in people. There is no definite answer to the question, “is Tramadol stronger than Carisoprodol.” 

To make the comparison between Carisoprodol vs. Tramadol simpler for you and to answer your question, here are a few critical points of the two analgesics to consider. 

  • 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, whereas that of Tramadol is 3 to 6 hours. 

  • 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. 

  • Soma and Tapentadol reviews indicate Carisoprodol to be a more preferred analgesic among people with a higher user rating than Tramadol.


Carisoprodol vs. Tramadol- Our Final Thought 

In this comparative study between Carisoprodol vs. Tramadol, the Soma pill emerges as a better option for people struggling with short-term acute pain. In contrast, Tramadol is best suited for chronic pain. 




  • Tramadol is available in different dosage forms- Tablets, solutions, capsules, and suspensions.
  • Tramadol can be administered by people 12 years and older. 
  • Soma pill is cheaper compared to Tramadol. 
  • It takes 30 minutes for Soma to start acting.
  • The risk of addiction to the Soma pill is lower.  
  • Soma pill is not a Controlled substance. 
  • Carisoprodol has a lower risk of experiencing side effects. 
  • Soma pill is only available as tablets.
  • Carisoprodol is advised for people 16 years and older. 
  • Tramadol takes 30 to 60 minutes to show a result. 
  • The chances of abusing Tramadol are high.
  • Tramadol is considered a controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 
  •  The occurrence of side effects in Tramadol is comparatively higher. 


In the long run, it is essential to identify the kind of pain (acute or chronic) you are suffering from to determine which, among Soma and Tramadol, is the right choice for you. 


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