Compare Soma vs. Valium

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

Soma
(carisoprodol)

Valium
(diazepam)

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.Helps you relax. Valium (Diazepam) is okay for occasional or short-term use (up to 4 weeks) for anxiety and for pain and sleeplessness from muscle spasm. Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to similar drugs.
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)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Valium
70%
-9% worse vs. Soma
53%
-14% worse vs. Soma
15%
+6% better vs. Soma
976 reviews
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
SomaValium
  • Drowsiness 7%
  • Dizziness 6%
  • Headache 3%
More Soma side effects »

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

More about Valium side effects »
How it works
SomaValium
Soma (carisoprodol) is a muscle relaxant. It works in the brain to help calm down muscle spasms.Valium (Diazepam) is a fast-acting benzodiazepine. It affects neurotransmitters in the brain and calms the nervous system. This reduces anxiety and muscle spasms, and causes sleepiness.
Type of medication
SomaValium
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
SomaValium
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
Used for
SomaValium
Risk factors for serious side effects
SomaValium
  • 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 more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
  • Alcohol
Detailed Valium (diazepam) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with real people found harmful effects on unborn babies, but the benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Alcohol
SomaValium
  • Don't drink alcohol while on this medication.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
Kidneys and liver
SomaValium
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
Sleep
SomaValium
No sleep related info.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
Upsides and benefits
SomaValium
  • Patients treated with Soma (carisoprodol) experienced improvement in function.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in two different strengths.
  • Effective at relieving short-term anxiety and sleeplessness.
  • Can be used together with antidepressants to manage anxiety disorders. Especially helpful for anxiety symptoms while you wait for an antidepressant to kick in (it can take several weeks).
  • Effective at relieving muscle spasms caused by a variety of conditions.
  • Less severe withdrawal symptoms compared to other benzodiazepines.
Downsides and risks
SomaValium
  • 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.
  • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
  • Can be habit-forming, so it's not typically used for long-term treatment, or for people who've had problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
  • Most people find that it gets less effective over time.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
SomaValium
  • 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.
  • Good for short-term relief of anxiety symptoms.
  • Starts working in 30 minutes when swallowed.
  • Helpful with muscle spasms.
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Addictive. Long-term use can cause dependence or abuse.
  • Not safe to use with alcohol.
Learn more
More about SomaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Soma (carisoprodol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it