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Soma Vs Tizanidine- Comparing Muscle Relaxant Choices

Soma Vs Tizanidine- Comparing Muscle Relaxant Choices


Soma Vs. Tizanidine is a comprehensive comparison of two popular muscle relaxers. Soma (Carisoprodol) is prescribed for individuals requiring a stronger muscle relaxant. It has fewer drug interactions and a faster action time. Conversely, Zanaflex (Tizanidine) is recommended for mild body pain. It has a higher risk of drug interaction and may take up to 60 minutes to work.



If you have been suffering from acute skeletomuscular body pain, you must have come across Tizanidine and Soma pills. Tizanidine vs. Soma is an interesting debate, as they both have similar benefits and potency in treating body pain. 

So, if you are curious about which muscle relaxer is best for you, this comparison guide is for you.

This blog compares and provides a detailed insight into their similarities and differences. Both of these analgesics have a profound pharmaceutical legacy with mainstream customer acceptance. So, let us evaluate which of Soma and tizanidine is the best muscle relaxer. 


Tizanidine Vs Soma- An Outline

Soma Pill is a popular Carisoprodol brand commonly prescribed for treating short-term acute pain. It is available as Soma 500 mg and 350mg tablets with a recommended dose of three to four pills a day. 

Tizanidine is an FDA-approved muscle relaxer prescribed for treating spasticity. It is available under the brand name Zanaflex. Zanaflex is also known as U 169 round pills, as it is a white pill with a U 169 imprint. 


Tizanidine Vs Carisoprodol- Similarities And Differences

While Soma and Tizanidine (Zanaflex) are similar, you should know a few striking differences between them. 

A few similarities and differences between the two muscle relaxers are listed below [1,2]. 



Tizanidine / Zanaflex

Soma Pill

Generic name



Brand name


Soma Pill


Unichem Pharmaceuticals 

HAB Pharmaceuticals

FDA approval 

Yes, in the year 2002. 

Yes, in the year 1959. 

Legal status

  • UK: POM (Prescription only)

  • US: Rx-only

  • US: Schedule IV

  • Canada: Schedule I, sub-schedule F1

  • European Union- With prescription only. 

  • Aus: With prescription only. 

Class of drug

Muscle relaxant

Muscle relaxant

Structural differences 




The Zanaflex tablets contain tizanidine hydrochloride as the active compound. Other inactive compounds in Zanaflex are stearic acid, silicon dioxide colloidal, anhydrous lactose, and microcrystalline cellulose. 

The Soma pill is composed of Carisoprodol and aspirin as the active compound. The inactive components include microcrystalline cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, stearic acid, FD&C Red #40, FD&C Yellow #6, povidone, and starch. 

Pill Identification



The Tizanidine Hydrochloride pill is a round white pill with U 169 imprint on one side of the tablet [3]. 



The Soma pill is a white round pill. Based on the manufacturing company, the imprint on the tablet varies. The Soma 2410 v pill is a 350mg tablet manufactured by Vintage Pharmaceuticals [4]. 


Carisoprodol Vs Tizanidine- Working Mechanism 

Soma pill

Carisoprodol, the active compound present in the formulation of the Soma pill, is a centrally-acting muscle relaxer. It works within 30 minutes of intake and is metabolized in the liver to form meprobamate. 

Meprobamate plays a crucial role in contributing to its analgesic abilities and has a longer half-life than Carisoprodol. The muscle relaxer works by blocking the pain stimulation from traveling from the affected region to the brain receptor. Thus helping to get relief from pain. 


Tizanidine is a muscle relaxer that helps reduce muscle spasticity by acting on the central nervous system. It causes a reduction in amino acids such as aspartate and glutamate, which are responsible for muscle spasms. 


Soma Vs Tizanidine- Dosage And Administration




Soma and Tizanidine are available as oral tablets. The correct intake of medications maintains their effectiveness and lowers the risk of side effects. 

The dosage and administration guidelines for taking these muscle relaxants are mentioned below. 



Soma pill 



Soma pill is available as Soma 350mg and 500 mg. 

The Tizanidine tablet has three strengths- 2mg, 4mg, and 6mg. 

Standard dose

The Soma 350mg dosage is recommended for beginners, which can be gradually increased to Soma 500 mg if needed. 

The standard dose of Zanaflex is 4mg. 

Maximum dose

The maximum Soma dosage advised a day is 1400mg. 

Do not take more than 36mg in a day. 

The maximum single dose that is recommended is 16 mg. 

Dose Interval 

The dose gap of 5 to 6 hours should be maintained. 

Maintain a dose gap of 6 to 8 hours. 


Not advisable 

Not advisable 


Soma Pill Administration

  • Duration of therapy: 2 to 3 continuous weeks. 

  • To avoid withdrawal symptoms, do not discontinue the medication without consulting a doctor.

  • The Soma pill must be swallowed with water without being broken or crushed.

  • Long-term use of the muscle relaxer can cause dependency. 

  • A heavy meal can affect the metabolic activity of the medication. Thus, it is advised to have a light meal before or after the intake of the Soma pill. 

Tizanidine Pill Administration 

  • It can be taken with or without food. However, this regime should be maintained till the end of the treatment. 

  • Before completely discontinuing the medication, the dose should be lowered to avoid withdrawal symptoms. 

  • The Tizanidine pill should be taken by mouth as a whole. 

  • Long-term use of the muscle relaxer is not recommended. 


Tizanidine High Vs Soma- A Study On Their Abuse Potency 




Drugs that offer a depressant effect are often used recreationally for their euphoric high. Thus, centrally acting muscle relaxers such as Tizanidine and Soma pills are often abused.

Is Tizanidine Addictive?

Tizanidine can be addictive like most prescription medications. Some people deliberately misuse the muscle relaxer, whereas others may develop an addiction from long-term use.  

In higher doses, Tizanidine can induce a sedative and drowsy feeling, making it common for abuse. Prolonged use and abuse symptoms may include tachycardia, hypertension, and spasticity. However, symptoms may be hard to identify in people with short-term abuse. Long-term abuse can result in urination problems, sporadic muscle movements, abnormal liver function, and chronic runny nose and sore throat.

Is Carisoprodol Habit-Forming?

The sedating effect of the Soma pill on the central nervous system is a major cause for its abuse potential. The Soma muscle relaxer is abused with numerous other compounds to enhance its sedative effect. When co-administered with opioids, it is often referred to as the “Houston Cocktail,” providing similar results as heroin. Long-term use of the Soma pill is not advisable as it increases the risk of dependency and addiction.

Sudden discontinuation of the muscle relaxer can cause withdrawal symptoms and thus should follow the tapering off method. Soma withdrawal timeline or duration usually lasts for 48 hours. If the symptoms persist longer, get immediate medical help. 


Zanaflex Vs Soma- Drug Interaction

When two or more medicines are taken together, they can interact to lower their effectiveness or increase the risk of side effects. Thus, it is advisable to avoid co-administering two or more medicines simultaneously. 

The common medications that should not be taken with the Soma pill and Zanaflex are listed below. 

The Zanaflex drug is known to interact with 589 medicines, whereas Soma can interact with about 348 medications. A few drugs that should not be taken with Zanaflex and Soma together are mentioned below. However, this is not a complete list of all possible drug interactions [5,6]. 


Drug Interaction of Soma pill and U 169 Zanaflex pill 

Zanaflex Pill

Soma Pill 






























Precaution And Warning

Preventive measures must be followed before consuming Soma and Zanaflex pills to avoid any possible side effects. 

  • Elderly people above the age of 65 years are not advised to take the medication without a prescription.

  • People with high pressure should take the analgesics only after consulting a doctor. 

  • Soma pills and Zanaflex are not recommended to be taken with alcohol. It increases the risk of being drowsy and dizzy. 

  • The operation of heavy machinery or driving is not advisable as it causes sedation. 

  • Pregnant and lactating women should avoid administering the medications as they may affect the growth and health of the infant. 

  • Before using the muscle relaxer, ensure you do not suffer from kidney, liver, or heart disorders.

  • Inform your physician about the administration of the medication before undergoing surgery. 


Soma Vs Zanaflex U169 pill- Side Effects

Improper dosing and drug interaction are a few common reasons for side effects from the Soma pill and Tizanidine. However, it is not a complete list of all the possible side effects [7,8]. 


Side Effect

Soma Pill


Cardiovascular Signs

Sudden drop in blood pressure, rapid or irregular heartbeat, chest pain, and facial flushing. 

Slow heartbeat, heartburn. 

Gastrointestinal issues


Vomiting, nausea, dry mouth, diarrhea, constipation, tarry stools, and stomach discomfort. 

Dry mouth, constipation, liver test abnormality, vomiting, nausea, stomach pain. 

Central Nervous System issues

Dizziness, seizures, Drowsiness, confusion, vertigo, headache, loss of coordination, irritability,  agitation, tremors, depressive reactions, insomnia, and fainting. 

Dizziness, nervousness, drowsiness, tingling sensation in the arms and legs, and uncontrolled muscle movement. 

General side effects 

Swollen glands, chills, unusual tiredness. 

Flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite, lack of energy.

Eye issues

Uncontrolled eye movements, blurred vision, difficulty moving the eyes, increased blinking, sensitivity of the eyes to light. 

Changes in vision, yellowing of the eye. 

Dermatological issues

Pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin, ulcers, sores, and white spots on the lips or mouth.

Yellowing of the skin, rash, itching/swelling. 

Respiratory Troubles 

Shortness of breath, cough. 

Trouble breathing, runny nose. 


Appearance or worsening of any of these conditions should be reported to a physician. Your doctor may recommend a lower dose or discontinue the medication based on your condition. 


U 169 Vs Soma- Our Final Thought 




We can summarize Zanaflex U 169 Vs. Soma pill as follows-

Carisoprodol is advised for people who require a higher dose for pain relief. It is also less likely to interact with most drugs and has a faster onset of action. On the contrary, Zanaflex is prescribed to people who need a lower dose of the muscle relaxer. It is, however, more prone to cause drug interaction and takes 60 minutes to start acting. 


Soma pill 



It has 30 minutes of onset of action.

Long-term use is not recommended as it can cause dependency. 

The recommended dose is three to four times a day or when needed. 

Sudden discontinuation can cause withdrawal signs.

It is an affordable pain medication. 

It can cause side effects, usually mild and not life-threatening. 

Higher user reviews and ratings. 


Lower risk of a drug interaction. 





Available in lower doses.

It has a slower onset of action than the Soma pill, acting within 60 minutes of administration. 

It is available as capsules and tablets. 

Prolonged use can cause addiction and dependency. 

The pill can be taken three to four times a day. 

Abrupt discontinuation of the medication can cause withdrawal symptoms.

Dependency potential is low. 

Zanaflex can cause side effects and thus should be taken with caution. 


It can drop the blood pressure.


Higher risk of a drug interaction. 


Yes, long-term use of Tizanidine can cause dependency.

Yes, Zanaflex (Tizanidine) can directly affect the sleep cycle. It promotes the relaxation of the muscle and helps a person sleep better.

Yes, Zanaflex and Soma pills are both prescription muscle relaxers for treating muscle tightness and cramping.

A few muscle relaxers proven more potent than Zanaflex are Soma pill, Methocarbamol, and Robaxin.

The significant difference between the Soma pill and Tizanidine is its medical usage. The FDA approves the Soma pill for treating muscle discomfort from muscle sprain and strain. Tizanidine can help treat muscle stiffness, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and multiple sclerosis (MS).

Compared to Tizanidine, Soma muscle relaxers are stronger and have better pain relief benefits.


  1. Carisoprodol, wiki
  2. Tizanidine, wiki
  3. Tizanidine Pill Images - Pill Identifier - Drugs.com
  4. Carisoprodol Pill Images - Pill Identifier - Drugs.com
  5. Carisoprodol Interactions Checker - Drugs.com
  6. Tizanidine Interactions Checker - Drugs.com
  7. Carisoprodol (Oral Route) Side Effects - Mayo Clinic
  8. Tizanidine: MedlinePlus Drug Information