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 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. Zanaflex (tizanidine) isn't a first-choice treatment for muscle spasticity. Try other options before using this.
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 Zanaflex
81%
-20% worse vs. Soma
73%
-34% worse vs. Soma
19%
+10% better vs. Soma
Have you used Zanaflex (tizanidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
SomaZanaflex
  • Drowsiness 7%
  • Dizziness 6%
  • Headache 3%
More Soma side effects »
  • Dry mouth 39%
  • Sleepiness 38%
  • Weakness 25%
  • Dizziness 12%
  • Urinary tract infection 3%
  • General infection 1%
  • Liver test abnormality 4%
  • Constipation 3%
  • Hay fever 1%
  • Speech disorder 3%
More Zanaflex side effects »
How it works
SomaZanaflex
Soma (carisoprodol) is a muscle relaxant. It works in the brain to help calm down muscle spasms.Zanaflex (tizanidine) is an alpha2-adrenergic agonist that works in the nervous system to calm down muscle spasticity.
Type of medication
SomaZanaflex
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
SomaZanaflex
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
SomaZanaflex
Risk factors for serious side effects
SomaZanaflex
  • 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 maximum doses of Zanaflex (tizanidine)
  • Age 65 years or older
  • Currently on blood pressure control medications
  • Taking other medications that also cause sleepiness
  • Recreational drug use
Detailed Zanaflex (tizanidine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy
Alcohol
SomaZanaflex
  • Don't drink alcohol while on this medication.
No alcohol related info.
Food
SomaZanaflex
No food related info.
  • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
  • Need to be consistent every day in taking this with or without food.
Sleep
SomaZanaflex
No sleep related info.
  • Taking Zanaflex (tizanidine) 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.
  • Can cause dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
Upsides and benefits
SomaZanaflex
  • Patients treated with Soma (carisoprodol) experienced improvement in function.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in two different strengths.
  • Relieves muscle spasticity.
  • 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 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.
  • This isn't a first-choice muscle relaxing medication. Other drugs work better and have fewer side effects.
  • Takes over an hour to kick in and only lasts 3 to 6 hours.
  • 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).
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
SomaZanaflex
  • 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 cause dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
  • Avoid activities requiring mental alertness (like driving) until you know how it affects you.
  • Can be taken with or without food, but you need to be consistent since food affects how the medication is absorbed and works.
  • The tablets are not the same as the capsules. This could mean differences in how your body reacts to it, or how it works for you.
  • If you have been on Zanaflex (tizanidine) for a long period of time, you should not stop this abruptly. This can result in rebound high blood pressure, muscle spasticity or fast heart beat. Talk to your doctor about how to slowly lower your dose.
Learn more
More about SomaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Soma (carisoprodol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ZanaflexSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zanaflex (tizanidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it