Compare Soma vs. Zanaflex

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

Soma
(Carisoprodol)

Zanaflex
(Tizanidine)

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.Relaxes your muscles. Zanaflex (Tizanidine) isn't a first-choice treatment for muscle spasms. Try other options before using this.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
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4.642512077294686Soma
Reviews for Soma (Carisoprodol)
59%
of people say Soma (Carisoprodol) is worth it
36%
say it works well
10%
say it's a big hassle

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Side effects
SomaZanaflex
  • Drowsiness 11%
  • Dizziness 6%
  • Hedache 3%
  • Any side effect 2%
More Soma side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Zanaflex »
How it works
SomaZanaflex
Soma (Carisoprodol) is a muscle relaxant. It works in the brain to help calm down muscle spasms.Zanaflex (Tizanidine) is a muscle relaxer. It works in the nervous system to calm down muscle spasms without interfering with normal muscle function.
Type of medication
SomaZanaflex
Muscle relaxerPrescription only
Muscle relaxer
Centrally-acting alpha agonist
Prescription only
Available as
SomaZanaflex
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
SomaZanaflex
Risk factors for serious side effects
SomaZanaflex
  • 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 »
    • Age 65 years or older
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • Age 65 or greater
      Detailed Zanaflex (Tizanidine) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      SomaZanaflex
      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
      Alcohol
      • 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.
      • Don't drink alcohol while using this.
      Food
      No specific food-related info.
      • Need to be consistent every day in taking this with or without food.
      • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent in how you take it every day.
      • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      No specific sleep-related info.
      • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
      • Can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness if you are taking meds for high blood pressure.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      SomaZanaflex
      • Available in generic.
      • Available in two different strengths, although the smaller strength is only available as brand name and thus more expensive.
      • Relieves muscle spasms well.
      • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent in how you take it every day.
      • Available as a generic.
      • Available in a tablet or capsule form. It also comes in a capsule that can be opened and sprinkled in applesauce for people that can't swallow pills.
      Downsides and risks
      SomaZanaflex
      • 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.
      • This isn't a first-choice muscle relaxing medication. Other drugs work better and have fewer side effects.
      • Zanaflex (Tizanidine) can lower blood pressure, so be careful if you are already on a blood pressure medication.
      • Need to be consistent every day in taking this with or without food.
      • Elderly individuals have more side effects when taking Zanaflex (Tizanidine).
      • Can't stop taking this abruptly if you use it regularly.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      SomaZanaflex
      • 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.
      • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
      • Avoid activities requiring mental alertness (like driving) until you know how it affects you.
      • Can cause extreme drowsiness or dizziness if you are taking meds for high blood pressure.
      • Side effects are more prevalent in the elderly.
      • Don't drink alcohol while using this.
      • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
      Learn more
      More about SomaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about ZanaflexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert