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Soma And Constipation- Exploring Their Relation and Management

Soma And Constipation- Exploring Their Relation and Management


Constipation is a condition where a person passes uncomfortable and infrequent bowel movements. 

Constipation from the Soma pill has not been identified as a predominant adverse effect by the FDA. It is caused due to the presence of aspirin and its anticholinergic activity, and affects 3.65% of users. 



Can Soma cause constipation? 

This is a common question often wondered by avid muscle relaxer users. Even though constipation is not associated with chronic health issues, it may develop hemorrhoids and bowel incontinence in the long run. 

The prevalent use of the Soma pill (872202 prescriptions in 2019) has resulted in a few cases of gastrointestinal adverse effects, making it a subject of concern [1]. 


Understanding Soma Pill And Constipation

Soma pill is the brand name of Carisoprodol, a centrally acting skeletal muscle relaxant that is prescribed for short-term acute pain. The therapeutic use of Carisoprodol is also seen to manage signs of anxiety, migraine, fibromyalgia, and back pain. 

Constipation is a condition that causes bowel movements to become less frequent. It is often characterized by less than three bowel movements in a week and results. Constipation can result from inadequate intake of fiber or a change in the diet. 

Studies show that about 2.5 million people in the United States visit a doctor due to constipation [2]. 


Do Soma Muscle Relaxers Cause Constipation? 




A definitive answer to whether muscle relaxers or Soma pills cause constipation can be challenging. It is not a prevalent adverse effect and may or may not occur in everyone taking this medication. 

A few reputable and trusted websites list severe constipation and stomach cramps with the Soma pill, whereas others indicate the possibility of diarrhea from Carisoprodol use [3,4].

Anecdotal experiences also report cases of both constipation and diarrhea from Soma administration. This blog, however, focuses on evaluating the relationship between Soma and constipation. 


Why Do Muscle Relaxers Cause Constipation? 

The Soma pill is formulated with numerous compounds that may react differently in the body. The factors that contribute to constipation associated with the Soma pill are listed below. 

Presence Of Aspirin In The Formulation

A 2007 study suggests soma-associated constipation is caused by the presence of aspirin in its formulation [5]. 

The Anticholinergic Activity Of Carisoprodol

Carisoprodol, the active compound of the Soma pill, has a weak anticholinergic property [6]. These are medications that block the action of neurotransmitter acetylcholine. They relax the smooth muscles in the gut and blood vessels, resulting in constipation [7]. 


Soma And Constipation - A Phase IV Clinical Study Of FDA Data

A phase IV clinical study reported by eHealthMe suggests that as of 27 May 2023, 558 people (3.65%) reported having Constipation from the Soma pill [8]. 

The graph below represents the number of cases reported for constipation associated with Soma pills between the years 1998 and 2022. 




Assessing Robaxin and Flexeril for Constipation Risk

Similar to the Soma pill, constipation caused by muscle relaxers is not a generalized adverse effect. 

Each muscle relaxer is formulated differently with dissimilar bioavailability (the drug's ability to be absorbed) in the human body. 

Since we have already evaluated the possibility of Soma constipation, we list the possibility of constipation with Flexeril and Robaxin here. 

Can Flexeril Cause Constipation? 

Muscle relaxers such as Flexeril cause constipation and are reported as one of its most common side effects. 

Constipation associated with Cyclobenzaprine (the generic name of Flexeril) has been reported by a 48-year-old woman. The patient was receiving 10mg of Flexeril three times daily [9]. 

Does Robaxin Cause Constipation? 

Methocarbamol, the active compound of Robaxin, is stated to cause bloating and constipation in a few users [11].

According to GoodRx, constipation associated with Robaxin accounts for 1 to 3 percent of users. 


How To Identify Constipation Caused By Soma




The following symptoms can identify constipation associated with the Soma pill-

  • Difficult and painful bowel movements after administering the Soma pill. 

  • The feeling of being unable to clear the entire bowel.

  • Other Gastrointestinal issues include nausea and bloating. 

  • If you get fewer bowel movements during Carisoprodol treatment. 

  • Experiencing hard and dry stools after administration of Soma pain medication. 


Soma Constipation- Complications And Risk Factors

Constipation, in general, rarely causes complications. But, people with long-term constipation may have a few health issues. 

The risk factors that are associated with Soma Constipation are mentioned below. 

  • Swollen veins in the rectum or hemorrhoids. 

  • Possibility of tears in the lining of the anus. 

  • Piling up of stool in the anus or rectum. 

  • The pelvic floor muscle may get damaged due to the strain exerted during bowel movements. 


Who Are At Risk? 

People who are at a higher risk of experiencing Soma constipation are-

  • Older adults due to changes in digestive function.

  • People with weaker metabolisms 

  • Individuals with a history of constipation or gastrointestinal issues. 

  • People with poor dietary habits, lack of physical activity, and inadequate fluid intake. 


Guidelines On How To Use Soma Responsibly

Using Soma (carisoprodol) responsibly prevents constipation and other potential side effects. Here are some guidelines to help you minimize the risk of constipation- 

Follow The Prescribed Dosage: 

Beginners should start with a lower dose of Carisoprodol, such as Soma 350 mg.

Short-term use: 

Soma is typically prescribed for three weeks. Prolonged use can increase the risk of developing tolerance, dependence, and constipation. 

Avoid Alcohol And Other Sedatives:

Combining Soma with alcohol or other sedative drugs can enhance its effects and increase the risk of constipation. Alcohol can reduce the secretion of certain hormones, which are responsible for holding water in the body. It may, therefore, result in dehydration, thus increasing the risk of constipation. 


Can Muscle Relaxers Cause Loss Of Bowel Control?

Muscle relaxants can influence the regulation of the bladder and cause loss of bowel function in some patients. Since they promote muscle relaxation, it may affect the muscles responsible for maintaining bowel control. This leads to issues like diarrhea in some individuals. 

In a survey reported by Rxlist, approximately 1 to 3% of volunteers treated with Flexeril 10mg reported gastrointestinal issues. Discomfort including pain, diarrhea, gastritis, and vomiting were reported [10]. 


How To Manage Constipation Caused By Soma?

Muscle relaxer-associated constipation is not severe and usually lasts until the analgesic is eliminated. Muscle relaxers such as the Soma pill stay in the system for 24 hours, whereas other muscle relaxers such as Robaxin and Flexeril stay in the blood for 2 to 3 days. 

The following tips can help you improve constipation caused by taking the Soma pill.

  • Staying hydrated is essential.

  • Consume foods rich in fiber. 

  • Exercise and stay active 

  • Eat foods rich in probiotics. 

Can You Take A Laxative With A Muscle Relaxer?

We do not advise using laxative medications, as they might interact with muscle relaxers and develop adverse effects. However, you may try natural laxatives such as flax seeds, chia seeds, coconut water, and aloe vera.


Soma Constipation - Our Final Verdict 

Yes, in a few users, the use of a Soma pill or other muscle relaxer may cause constipation. 

The properties contributing to Soma constipation are due to its anticholinergic activity and the presence of aspirin in the formulation. 

Signs of muscle relaxer constipation include painful bowel movements, nausea, vomiting, and a feeling of incomplete stool passage. Certain lifestyle modifications, such as proper hydration, eating a balanced diet, and taking probiotics, can help improve the condition. 


Yes, muscle relaxers can cause bowel problems resulting in constipation and diarrhea. It may also result in other gastrointestinal issues, such as nausea and vomiting.

There is no specific evidence of muscle relaxers' benefits in improving constipation. Studies indicate its association in causing constipation and diarrhea.

Some side effects of muscle relaxers are constipation, vomiting, diarrhea, agitation, palpitation, dry mouth, and blurry vision.

Using any medication with muscle relaxers is not advisable without consulting a doctor as it might cause drug interaction lowering their efficacy. However, no reported side effects of taking muscle relaxers with Dulcolax Laxative were reported.

Constipation due to medication such as Soma or Flexeril can be treated by staying hydrated, eating enough fiber, exercising regularly, consuming probiotics, and taking natural laxatives.

The anticholinergic properties of Cyclobenzaprine can cause constipation along with urine retention, blurry vision, dry mouth, and increased intraocular pressure.

Bloating and gastric issues are reported with cyclobenzaprine


  1. Carisoprodol Drug Usage Statistics, United States, 2013 - 2020, clincalc. 

  2. Constipation, clevelandclinic.  

  3. Soma compound side effect center, Rxlist.

  4. Soma, Drugs. 

  5. Risk factors for chronic constipation and a possible role of analgesics, PubMed. 

  6. Carisoprodol Therapy and CYP2C19 Genotype, NCBI. 

  7. What to do when medication makes you constipated, Harvard. 

  8. Soma and Constipation - a phase IV clinical study of FDA data, ehealthme. 

  9. Cyclobenzaprine: Constipation and difficulty in maintaining balance: case report, proquest. 

  10. Soma compound side effect center, Rxlist.