Is muscle relaxants safe for heart patients, or to be more precise, “does Soma affect the heart” is one question that wonders the mind of most people before taking the Soma pill. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2020, approximately 697,000 people died in the USA from heart issues . Cardiovascular disorders have invariably been associated with using Soma pills and muscle relaxers in general. Therefore, It is now more than ever essential to address the risk of Soma in heart patients.
Soma pill is a centrally acting muscle relaxer and the brand name of Carisoprodol. The prescribing information by FDA reports cardiovascular instances in their postmarketing evaluations . On that account, we explore and anatomize the effect of Carisoprodol on cardiac patients and its potential risk.
Do muscle relaxers affect the heart?
The muscle relaxers affect the heart by targeting afferent pathways. Thus the impact of muscle relaxers on the cardiovascular system originates from-
Affecting respiratory centers-
Muscle relaxers can cause respiratory depression, thus inhibiting neuromuscular transmission of the respiratory muscle . It can also cause respiratory arrest, a condition where breathing completely stops. Such episodes of hypoventilation may cause pulmonary hypertension, resulting in heart failure .
Affecting the circulatory system-
The absence or presence of circulatory effects induced by muscle relaxers is often cited while prescribing muscle relaxers in patients with heart disease. They exhibit a "respiratory sparing" action that affects the circulatory system by inhibiting parasympathetic* and sympathetic ganglia** . The parasympathetic effect is known to decrease the heart rate .
How does Soma affect the heart?
Soma affects the heart by inducing myocardial infarction in severe cases. Addicts who are likely to abuse Soma, heart patients, and people conjugating Carisoprodol with other treatments are at a higher risk of experiencing heart disorder from the Soma pill. The prevalent cardiovascular symptoms of taking the Soma pill include-
Heart arrhythmias: The administration of the Soma pill can cause heart arrhythmias characterized by heart rate or rhythm problems. The risk of experiencing heart arrhythmias increases in patients with a cardiac disorder or when taken in conjugation with antidepressants.
Heart attack: Carisoprodol is a Schedule IV drug with abuse potential. Misuse of the Soma pill can cause cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.
Tachycardia: It is a medical term for heart rate over 100 beats per minute. FDA reports the occurrence of tachycardia as a significant cardiovascular side effect of the Soma pill. A study on the clinical impact of Carisoprodol showed signs of tachycardia in subjects .
Can muscle relaxers stop your heart- Clinical Facts
Myocardial infarction (heart attack) can be sporadically associated with muscle relaxers. Not all muscle relaxers cause heart attacks, and their occurrence is more common in a few than others.
Carisoprodol and heart disorder: The risks of heart attack is much lower with the Soma pill compared to other muscle relaxers. The symptoms of heart issues on taking Carisoprodol include irregular heartbeat, palpitation, and tachycardia .
Flexeril and heart attack: Manufacturers believe that cyclobenzaprine can result in myocardial infarction in patients with heart blockage, congestive heart failure, hyperthyroidism, and arrhythmias .
Metaxalone and heart disorder: Metaxalone is commonly available under the brand name Skelaxin. It does not cause cardiac arrest but can result in palpitation.
Can muscle relaxers cause heart palpitations?
Heart palpitation is one of the predominant effects of muscle relaxers. It is also medically termed "heart-pounding," a condition where the heart rate increases. The risk of muscle relaxers causing heart palpitation is higher in people between 50 to 59 years old.
A phase IV clinical study by eHealthme analyzes Soma's effect in cardiac patients. The study was conducted on 15,267 people and reported to cause faster heart rate (palpitation) in two percent of the test subjects .
The above graphical representation from the same study indicates the cases of heart palpitation associated with administering the Soma pill.
Seek immediate medical attention if palpitation occurs with:
Shortness of breath
Safety tips to take muscle relaxers by heart patients
Heart disorder is one of the most common side effects of the Soma pill. The FDA also recognizes it as a crucial and prevailing adverse effect of the muscle relaxer.
Here is a few user guidance to take muscle relaxers by heart patients:
Get an electrocardiogram (ECG) done by consulting your Cardiologist before taking the Soma dosage.
Heart patients must not get Soma online without a doctor's consultation.
Do not take Soma pills over three weeks of continuous usage.
Any changes in the dosage must be done under the supervision of a physician.
Do not mix your heart medication with the Soma pill to avoid drug interaction and lower efficacy and potency of the drug.
Reviews illustrating if muscle relaxants safe for heart patients
The heart is a muscular organ, and muscle relaxants act on the muscle to induce its effects; most people wonder if they are safe for heart patients or if they will impact the functioning of the heart.
The heart is a cardiac muscle, whereas the Soma pill is a skeletal muscle relaxant that does not directly impact the heart. But "Cardiac symptoms" are among Carisoprodol's notable and distinct side effects.
The reviews and anecdotes by users on the effect of Soma on the heart will depict a clear image of the muscle relaxer and its effect on the cardiac system [11,12].
Our verdict on does Soma affect the heart
The use of Soma affects the heart by altering the heart rate, thus resulting in palpitation or slower heart rate in users. In severe cases, it may induce myocardial infarction, which is more frequent in cardiac patients administering Soma without a prescription, addicts, and users taking the muscle relaxer with other medications.
Not all muscle relaxers cause the same cardiac symptoms, but none of them can be completely ruled out to be safe for heart patients. Soma pills should be taken by such people only under the supervision of a medical practitioner.
* Parasympathetic- It is a part of the autonomic nervous system that balances the effects of sympathetic nerves (a network of nerves that helps the body activate a response that assists in dealing with stress and danger).
** Sympathetic ganglia- Ganglia is a collection of neuronal bodies in the peripheral nervous system (PNS). In comparison, sympathetic ganglia are autonomic ganglia located in the sympathetic nervous system.