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Carisoprodol DEA Schedule- Why Is Soma A Controlled Substance?

Carisoprodol DEA Schedule- Why Is Soma A Controlled Substance?


Soma was classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance in 2011 by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The schedule indicates that Soma has a high potency of misuse and abuse. 

That is why Soma is not available as an over-the-counter drug. It is advisable to take Soma only after consulting a healthcare professional.



Carisoprodol, the active compound of the Soma pill, is classified as Schedule IV controlled medication due to its potency to cause dependency and abuse. 

Soma pill was the 343rd most commonly prescribed drug in the USA in 2019 [1]. Making it one of the most prescribed muscle relaxers on the market. However, with such wide use, there is a large chance of misuse. Thus, this blog overviews and answers the question, “Is Soma a controlled substance?” and discusses the Soma drug class schedule. 


Understanding Soma Pill And Controlled Substance

Soma (generic name Carisoprodol) is a centrally-acting skeletal muscle relaxant that treats short-term acute pain [2]. It has a 30-minute onset of action, and the effects of the muscle relaxant last for 5 to 6 hours. 




Along with treating skeletomuscular pain, Soma can help with menstrual pain, migraine, back pain, and fibromyalgia. 

DEA Schedule Classification

A controlled substance is a compound that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) categorizes due to its abuse potential. When a substance is classified as controlled, the regulation applies to how the compound is handled, made, used, stored, and distributed [3]. 

Based on the DEA scheduling system, drugs are classified from Schedule I (highest potential for abuse, not accepted for medical use) to Schedule V (lowest potential for abuse, accepted for medical use). It is based on the drug's pharmacological properties, abuse potential, and medical efficacy.

Understanding this Soma scheduled class is essential for awareness of the risks and misuse, ensuring safe and responsible usage. It will also help adhere to regulatory guidelines to prevent adverse health risks.


Is Soma A Controlled Substance?

Yes, the DEA has classified the Soma pill as a controlled substance as of December 12, 2011 [6]. 

The Schedule IV Soma classification means it has a low potential for dependency or abuse compared to other higher-scheduled drugs. 

It was also seen in a comparative blog of Soma and Xanax, where the abuse potency of Carisoprodol was lower than that of Alprazolam (Xanax). 



Soma Controlled Substances: Disclaimer

  • FDA does not recommend the long-term use of the Soma pill. 

  • Sharing controlled or scheduled medication with others is not advisable. 

  • Every licensed organization possessing Carisoprodol should maintain an inventory of the stock. 

  • Only dealers registered with the DEA can possess Carisoprodol [6].

  • They are unavailable over the counter and can only be bought through medical prescriptions. 

  • Any discomfort or side effects should be immediately reported to a physician. 



Why Is Soma A Controlled Substance?

Soma pill or Carisoprodol is determined as a controlled substance due to its potency for abuse and dependency.  




Key statistics on Carisoprodol being classified as a controlled substance-

  • Carisoprodol abuse is prevalent throughout the USA. 

  • The street price of Soma ranges from $1 to $5 per tablet.

  • A surge in people visiting multiple doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions for the Soma pill. 

  • Until 2014, Carisoprodol was determined to be among the top 25 most frequently abused drugs by the National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS). 

  • According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, 2236 cases of Carisoprodol misuse were reported. 


Soma Regulation In The USA Based On States

Even though the schedule and monitoring are similar across the United States, there may be a few changes to these regulations depending on the state. 

Soma pill is a Schedule IV drug in all the states of the USA. However, in Ohio and North Dakota, a prescription monitoring program is implemented. 

Is Soma A Controlled Substance In Texas?

Yes, the Soma pill is a Controlled drug in Texas. In fact, in the United States, Carisoprodol is the 6th most commonly abused drug in Dallas, Texas.  

Since March 1, 2020, prescribers must review a patient's PMP ( Prescription Monitoring Program) history before prescribing Carisoprodol [7]. 

Is Soma A Controlled Substance In California?

Similar to the other states, in California, Carisoprodol or the Soma pill is considered a controlled substance. Its possession without a prescription is considered an offense. 

Further, Carisoprodol is considered one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs in Northern California, along with Vicodin, benzodiazepines, and OxyContin. 

Legal Status Of Soma In Other Countries 

  • Norway- Taken off the Market and unavailable in local pharmacies. 

  • Canada- Schedule I, sub-schedule F1 prescription drug. 

  • Sweden- Taken off the Market but can be bought online from licensed pharmacies. 

  • Mexico- Soma pill is a prescription drug in Mexico and is available as Somacid. 


Soma Prescribing And Refilling Regulations

After 2014, many changes have been made to the prescribing and refilling regulations for Soma muscle relaxants. 

For Pharmacists and Pharmacies 

  • Any prescriptions written after the regulation should be treated as a controlled substance prescription. 

  • All prescriptions written before the regulation is passed will be treated as controlled substances upon the next refill. 

  • All prescriptions for the Soma pill should be reported to the Prescription Controlled Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force.

For Practitioners 

  • A prescription should not be written for over 6 months, and a refill can be given for up to 5 months.

  • For practitioners dispensing the Soma pill, a record must be maintained for the prescriptions.  


Regulations For Buying A Soma Pill In The USA 

As of 2011, a pharmacy may only refill or retail Soma pills in the USA under the following conditions-

  • A prescription written by a DEA-registered medical professional. 

  • The prescription has all the information required, as mentioned below- 

    • The Soma prescription should have the exact date on which the prescription was written

    • The full name and address of the patient

    • The name of the medication

    • The strength of the pill and dosage form

    • The direction of use

    • Quantity prescribed, along with the name and the address of the physician.

    • Computer-generated prescriptions should be signed by the doctor. 


Soma-Associated Euphoria And Abuse Potential




Let us have a look at how and why Carisoprodol is abused and how it can be avoided. 

Soma pill is abused due to the following factors-

  • Soma pill, or Carisoprodol, can produce a euphoric and sedative effect that addicts often seek. 

  • The use of this muscle relaxer with other compounds and drugs, such as Xanax, can intensify their effects.

Signs And Symptoms Of Soma Abuse

The key symptoms of Soma dependency include- 

  • Seizures.

  • Flushed Skin.

  • Insomnia.

  • Rapid Heart Rate.

  • Dizziness.

  • Withdrawal 

  • Loss of physical Coordination.

The appearance of any one of these signs may be a sign of abuse or addiction and should be immediately reported to a physician. 


Our Final Thought On Soma Schedule And Regulations 

Yes, Soma or Carisoprodol is a controlled substance, and it is classified as a Schedule IV drug by the DEA. It is a prescription drug and is not available over the counter. 

Key Takeaways-

  • Carisoprodol was declared a controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2011. 

  • Soma pills will not be prescribed or refilled for over 5 to 6 months at a time. 


Health Naturo strictly adheres to the rules and regulations set by federal and State law while retailing the Soma pill as a controlled drug. Our primary goal is to make Carisoprodol or Soma muscle relaxers affordable and readily available to our patients while complying with the DEA’s guidelines. 

If you have any questions or queries about the Soma pill, its regulation in the USA, or your country, you can reach us at [email protected]

Our author, Dr. Kelly Walker, is always open to your suggestions on the blog. You can reach her at [email protected].


Soma is a controlled substance in the states of Arizona, Kentucky, West Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Oregon, Arkansas, Minnesota, Hawaii, New Mexico, Indiana, and Florida.

Soma pill or Carisoprodol is not often prescribed by physicians as they have a protocol to follow before prescribing this muscle relaxer.

Soma pills have a sedative effect and thus can be habit-forming. Physicians recommend Soma pills for just three weeks to avoid dependency.

Long-term use of the Soma pill is not recommended as it can cause dependency along with respiratory issues, seizures, and organ damage.

No, Carisoprodol is not an opioid and, thus, is not considered a narcotic medication.


  1. Carisoprodol - Wikipedia

  2. Carisoprodol: Abuse Potential and Withdrawal Syndrome, ingentaconnect. 

  3. Controlled substance, cancer.gov. 

  4. List of Controlled Substances, deadiversion.usdoj.gov. 

  5. The Controlled Substances Act, dea.gov. 

  6. Carisoprodol - DEA Diversion Control Division.

  7. Controlled Drugs, www.pharmacy.texas.gov. 

  8. Soma, bartkasperolaw. 

  9. Abuse Potential of Soma®: the GABAA Receptor as a Target, NCBI. 

  10. DEA Classifies Soma as a Schedule IV Controlled Substance, careerstep. 

  11. Carisoprodol, deadiversion.usdoj.gov.