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Soma classification: Is Soma A Controlled Substance?

Soma classification: Is Soma A Controlled Substance?


Soma, or Carisoprodol, was classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance in 2011 by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). 

The high prevalence of misuse and abuse of carisoprodol is a key reason for its being classified as a controlled substance. Thus, the Soma pill should always be taken under the consultation of a physician. 



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?” along with discussing soma classification and drug schedule. 


Soma And Controlled Substance- Overview 

Carisoprodol, the generic version of the Soma pill, is a centrally-acting skeletal muscle relaxant that treats short-term acute pain [2]. It has a 30 minutes 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. 

Now that we know what the soma pill is, let us understand what controlled substances are. 

A controlled substance is a compound that is regulated by the government 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]. 

Some common examples of Controlled substances are steroids, opioids, depressants, hallucinogens, stimulants, and muscle relaxers.  

Under the 812 section of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), all the substances that were controlled in 1970 (the year when the act was passed) are listed [4]. Since then, many compounds have been removed, added, or transferred from one schedule to another. Any alteration or addition to the drug schedule is done by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and by petition by the following parties. 

  • Manufacturer

  • Medical Society 

  • State or local government agency

  • Pharmacy association

  • Public interest group 

  • Any individual citizen [5]. 


Is Soma A Controlled Substance?

Yes, Soma is a controlled substance. 

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has classified Carisoprodol or the Soma pill, as a Schedule IV controlled substance as of December 12, 2011 [6]. 

So, what does it mean, and how does it impact carisoprodol possession and distribution? 

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

  • Only dealers registered with the DEA can possess Carisoprodol. 

  • All the prescriptions for the Soma pill should be considered a controlled substance prescription [6].  



Carisoprodol 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. 

  • They are not available over the counter and can be bought only through medical prescriptions. 

  • Regular monitoring of health is essential. 

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



Carisoprodol Schedule

Depending on the drug's abuse potency and medical use, a medication or a compound used to formulate a drug is classified into five distinct schedules or categories. 

Carisoprodol, or Soma pill, is a Schedule IV prescription medication under the Controlled Substances Act. 

What is a Schedule IV drug?

These medications and substances have a low potential for dependency or abuse. Some examples are Soma, Xanax, Ambien, etc. However, a comparison between Soma and Xanax indicates Alprazolam has a higher abuse potential than Carisoprodol. 


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. You can check the Carisoprodol regulations of your state from the table mentioned below. 

Soma Regulation In Texas 

Carisoprodol is the 6th most commonly abused drug in Dallas, Texas.  

In 1981, the Texas Legislature advised pharmacies to electronically send prescription information to the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). This information is used by the board to identify pharmacists, doctors, and dentists who may be inappropriately prescribing these medications. 

Since March 1, 2020, prescribers have been required to review a patient's PMP history before prescribing Carisoprodol [7]. 

Soma Regulation In California

Similar to the other states, in California, Carisoprodol or the Soma pill is considered a controlled substance, whereas possession of the medication without a prescription is considered a misdemeanor offense. 

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


Legal punishments

Possession of Soma pills or misusing this prescription drug is considered a felony and is punishable by up to 1 year in county jail [8]. 


Reasons for getting arrested for Soma 

  • Illegal use and abuse

  • Driving after administering the muscle relaxant. It is, however, important to note that the Soma drug test is not frequently done. So, if you do not experience dizziness and drowsiness from the Soma pill, follow all law and order, and you will not be attested. 


Soma Regulation on other states of USA-


US States

Carisoprodol Schedule 


Schedule IV prescription Drug. 


Schedule IV prescription Drug. 


Schedule IV prescription Drug. 


Monitored through a prescription monitoring program. 


Schedule IV prescription Drug. 


Schedule IV prescription Drug. 


Schedule IV prescription Drug. 


Schedule IV prescription Drug. 


Schedule IV prescription Drug. 


Schedule IV prescription Drug. 


Schedule IV prescription Drug. 


Schedule IV prescription Drug. 

New Mexico

Schedule IV prescription Drug. 

North Dakota

Monitored through a prescription monitoring program. 


Schedule IV prescription Drug. 

In Florida, the Carisoprodol-related death in 2005 exceeded opioids and other abused substances [9].  


Schedule IV prescription Drug. 


Schedule IV prescription Drug. 


Schedule IV prescription Drug. 

West Virginia

Schedule IV prescription Drug. 


Legal Status Of Soma Or Carisoprodol In Other Countries 

  • Norway- Taken off the Market and is not available 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. 


Why Is Soma A Controlled Substance?

Soma pill or Carisoprodol is determined as a controlled substance after collecting evidence for the following eight factors. 

  • Factor 1-Determining the actual and relative abuse potency of the drug. 

  • Factor 2-Existing knowledge of the pharmacological effect of the medication. 

  • Factor 3- The current state of Carisprodol’s available scientific information. 

  • Factor 4- The history and current abuse pattern of Carisoprodol. 

  • Factor 5-The duration, scope, and significance of the abuse potency of Carisoprodol. 

  • Factor 6- Public health risk assessment. 

  • Factor 7- Potency for physiological dependence. 

  • Factor 8- If the medication or any compound in the formulation is an immediate precursor of an existing controlled substance. 


Key statistics on Carsioprosol 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 Prescribing And Refilling Regulations

After 2014, many changes have been made to the prescribing and refilling regulations for Soma pills. Given below are the regulations that are followed in Nevada, USA. 

For Pharmacists and Pharmacies 

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

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

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

As of 2011, a pharmacy may only refill Soma pill prescriptions under the following conditions-

  • The prescription is written by a DEA-registered medical professional. 

  • The prescription has all the information required by 21 CFR § 1306.05, which are- 

    • 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, dosage form, the direction of use, and quantity prescribed, along with the name and the address of the physician. 

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

For Practitioners 

  • All prescriptions written for the Soma pill or for Carisoprodol should be written, considering the rules for prescribing controlled substances. Thus, 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.  

However, considering all legal factors along with custom act rules and regulations, there are numerous online pharmacies that retail Soma online without a prescription. This is done to ease and make medicines affordable and convenient. But it is advisable to maintain the right dosage while getting muscle relaxers online to avoid overdosing and side effects. 


Soma Medication Class: Is Soma A Barbiturate?

No, the Soma pill is not classified as a Barbiturate.

Barbiturates is a medication class that acts as a central nervous system depressant for seizures, headaches, and insomnia. However, Meprobamate, the primary metabolite of Carisoprodol, is considered similar to Barbiturates. 

The two key reasons to make Meprobamate similar to Barbiturates are-

  • Ability to cause central nervous system depression. 

  • Abuse potency. 


Soma Abuse Potential



Now that we are aware that one of the key reasons for making Soma a controlled substance is its abuse potency, so 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. 


Is Carisoprodol A Controlled Substance- Our Final Thought

Yes, Soma or Carisoprodol is a controlled substance. It is thus a prescription drug and is not available over the counter. 

Key Takeaways-

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

  • It is a Schedule IV drug indicating a low risk of abuse and dependency. 

  • The higher chances of misuse of this muscle relaxer are responsible for it being classified as a controlled drug. 

  • Soma pills will not be prescribed or be 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 Schedule IV 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. 



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.


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  4. List of Controlled Substances, 

  5. The Controlled Substances Act, 

  6. Carisoprodol - DEA Diversion Control Division.

  7. Controlled Drugs, 

  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,