Compare Soma vs. Skelaxin

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

Soma
(carisoprodol)

Skelaxin
(metaxalone)

Relaxes your muscles. Soma (carisoprodol) is used for muscle spasms and muscle pain but it's not considered a first-choice treatment and not meant for long-term therapy.Relaxes your muscles. Skelaxin (metaxalone) is used for muscle spasms and musculoskeletal pain with mixed results.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.74Soma
Reviews for Soma
61%
of people (All ages) say Soma is worth it
39%
say it works well
9%
say it's a big hassle
220 reviews
Have you used Soma (carisoprodol)?
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Have you used Skelaxin (metaxalone)?
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Side effects
SomaSkelaxin
  • Drowsiness 7%
  • Dizziness 6%
  • Headache 3%
More Soma side effects »

The Skelaxin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Skelaxin side effects »
How it works
SomaSkelaxin
Soma (carisoprodol) is a muscle relaxant. It works in the brain to help calm down muscle spasms.How Skelaxin (metaxalone) works is not exactly known. It is believed that it works on the brain to help relieve muscle pain and relax muscles.
Type of medication
SomaSkelaxin
Prescription only
Available as
SomaSkelaxin
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
SomaSkelaxin
  • Musculoskeletal Pain
Risk factors for serious side effects
SomaSkelaxin
  • Taking other medications that also cause sleepiness
  • Recreational drug use
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Elderly
  • Prior history of drug abuse
Detailed Soma (carisoprodol) risks & warnings »
  • Taking other medications that also cause sleepiness
  • Recreational drug use
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Taking antidepressants
  • Higher than recommended doses of Skelaxin (metaxalone)
Detailed Skelaxin (metaxalone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy
Alcohol
SomaSkelaxin
  • Don't drink alcohol while on this medication.
No alcohol related info.
Food
SomaSkelaxin
No food related info.
  • Can be taken with or without food. However, Skelaxin (metaxalone) may be stronger when taken with food, especially if you are older. Be on the lookout for more pronounced drowsiness or sleepiness.
Kidneys and liver
SomaSkelaxin
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • People who have any liver or kidney problems should not use Skelaxin (metaxalone). Skelaxin (metaxalone) is broken down by the liver, and eliminated from the body via the kidneys. If either of those are not working at their best, you could have high levels of Skelaxin (metaxalone) in your body and more side effects.Your liver could also worsen. Talk to your doctor as you may need to get routine blood test for your liver and kidneys if you already have liver/kidney problems.
Sleep
SomaSkelaxin
No sleep related info.
  • Taking Skelaxin (metaxalone) with alcohol or narcotics can worsen the drowsiness.
  • Can make you very drowsy or sleepy
Upsides and benefits
SomaSkelaxin
  • Patients treated with Soma (carisoprodol) experienced improvement in function.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in two different strengths.
  • Can be used for muscle spasms and muscle pain if other medications have not worked.
  • Available as generic.
  • Slightly less sedation and side effects compared to other muscle relaxants.
Downsides and risks
SomaSkelaxin
  • Not first choice for treating muscle spasms or muscle pain, because it can cause dependence.
  • Can cause dizziness and sleepiness.
  • Not meant for long-term therapy, because it hasn't been shown to be effective after taking it for a short period.
  • Can cause withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it suddenly.
  • Effects don't last that long. You need to take Skelaxin (metaxalone) up to 3-4 times daily.
  • Several studies showed mixed results when Skelaxin (metaxalone) was compared with a sugar pill for treatment of muscle spasms and musculoskeletal pain.
  • Can make you very drowsy or sleepy
  • Even though a generic is available, it is still fairly expensive.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
SomaSkelaxin
  • Take the medication at the same time each day.
  • Soma (carisoprodol) is not meant to be used long-term. It should be used for only 2 to 3 weeks maximum.
  • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, and sleepiness.
  • Don't drink alcohol while on this medication.
  • Soma (carisoprodol) can cause stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.
  • Can be taken with or without food. However, Skelaxin (metaxalone) may be stronger when taken with food, especially if you are older. Be on the lookout for more pronounced drowsiness or sleepiness.
  • Skelaxin (metaxalone) can make you feel very tired or sleepy. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how it affects you.
  • Taking Skelaxin (metaxalone) with alcohol or narcotics can worsen the drowsiness.
  • Skelaxin (metaxalone) can also have a more pronounced effect on women.
Learn more
More about SomaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Soma (carisoprodol)?
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More about SkelaxinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Skelaxin (metaxalone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it