baclofen vs. Soma

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Relaxes your muscles. Lioresal (Baclofen) is effective for long term spastic conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and others.Relaxes your muscles. Soma (Carisoprodol) is widely used to treat muscle spasms and is available as a generic, but it's not considered a first-choice treatment for muscle spasms. It's also not meant for long-term therapy.
How it works
Lioresal (Baclofen) is a muscle relaxer. It works in the nervous system to calm down muscle spasms without interfering with normal muscle function.Soma (Carisoprodol) is a muscle relaxant. It works in the brain to help calm down muscle spasms.
Type of medication
Muscle relaxerPrescription only
Muscle relaxerPrescription only
Available as
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
Reviews for Lioresal (Baclofen)
of people say Lioresal (Baclofen) is worth it
say it works well
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Soma (Carisoprodol)
-6% vs. Lioresal (Baclofen)
-25% vs. Lioresal (Baclofen)
+12% vs. Lioresal (Baclofen)
Side effects

We haven’t found good data for baclofen side effects.

FDA side effect reports for baclofen »
  • Drowsiness 11%
  • Dizziness 6%
  • Hedache 3%
  • Any side effect 2%
More Soma side effects »
Risk factors for serious side effects
  • Stopping Lioresal (Baclofen) too quickly
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Higher dose
  • Using other medicines that can cause seizures
  • History of seizures
  • Alcoholism
  • Eating disorders
  • Brain infections
Detailed Lioresal (Baclofen) risks & warnings »
  • Taking other medications that also cause sleepiness
  • Recreational drug use
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Prior history of drug abuse
  • Prior history of overdoses of drugs of abuse, recreational drugs or alcohol
Detailed Soma (Carisoprodol) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy category
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

See the FDA package insert
  • Don't drink alcohol while using this.
  • Don't drink alcohol while on this medication.
  • Taking Soma (Carisoprodol) can make you feel sleepy and dizzy, especially if you're taking other medications that can also make you feel sleepy, or if you're taking recreational drugs or drinking too much alcohol. Avoid driving or doing other tasks that require concentration until you know how this medication affects you. Get up very slowly from a seated or lying down position.
  • There have been reports of seizures in people taking Soma (Carisoprodol). However, this has been rare and only reported in people who were also overdosing on other medications, recreational drugs or alcohol.
No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
Kidneys and liver
No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
Upsides and benefits
  • Lioresal (Baclofen) is effective for treating muscle spasms, as well as being an effective muscle relaxant.
  • Can be used long term.
  • Relieves pain associated with muscle spasms.
  • A better option for seniors compared to other muscle relaxants since it has less side effects than the other meds.
  • Lioresal (Baclofen) is available as a generic and is a relatively inexpensive medication.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in two different strengths, although the smaller strength is only available as brand name and thus more expensive.
Downsides and risks
  • If taking regularly, you shouldn't stop taking Lioresal (Baclofen) abruptly. You'll need to get off of it slowly.
  • Be careful if taking other drugs that affect your ability to stay awake, since Lioresal (Baclofen) can make you much more tired.
  • Not first line for treating muscle spasms.
  • Can cause dizziness and sleepiness.
  • Not meant for long term therapy.
  • Can cause dependence and withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it suddenly.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
  • Can cause dizziness and fatigue.
  • Avoid activities requiring mental alertness (like driving) until you know how it affects you.
  • Can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness if you're taking it with high blood pressure medications.
  • Side effects are more prevalent in the elderly.
  • Don't drink alcohol while using this.
  • Can be taken as needed or 'around-the-clock'. Ask your doctor about what'll work best for you.
  • If taking regularly, you need to work with your doctor to get off the medication slowly (also called tapering) to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, and sleepiness.
  • Take the medication at the same time each day.
  • Not to be used for long-term treatment (2 to 3 weeks maximum)
  • Don't drink alcohol while on this medication.
  • Can cause stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.
Learn more
More about baclofenSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
More about SomaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert