Compare Valium vs. Soma

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

Valium
(Diazepam)

Soma
(Carisoprodol)

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.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.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.115466101694915Valium
Reviews for Valium (Diazepam)
69%
of people say Valium (Diazepam) is worth it
52%
say it works well
16%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Soma (Carisoprodol)
59%
10% vs. Valium (Diazepam)
36%
16% vs. Valium (Diazepam)
10%
+6% vs. Valium (Diazepam)
Side effects
ValiumSoma

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

More about Valium side effects »
  • Drowsiness 11%
  • Dizziness 6%
  • Hedache 3%
  • Any side effect 2%
More Soma side effects »
How it works
ValiumSoma
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.Soma (Carisoprodol) is a muscle relaxant. It works in the brain to help calm down muscle spasms.
Type of medication
ValiumSoma
Anti-anxiety
Benzodiazepine
Prescription only
Muscle relaxerPrescription only
Available as
ValiumSoma
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
ValiumSoma
Risk factors for serious side effects
ValiumSoma
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
  • Taking longer than 4 weeks
  • History of drug abuse
  • Long-term use
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
      • Current liver problems
      Detailed Valium (Diazepam) 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
      ValiumSoma
      DFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      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
      • 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.
      • Not safe to use with 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.
      Food
      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.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
      • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
      • Stopping Valium (Diazepam) suddenly may cause withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, agitation, flu-like symptoms, trouble sleeping, and muscle pain or burning. Withdrawal symptoms can last 6 weeks or longer. Work with your doctor to gradually reduce your dose.
      No specific sleep-related info.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      Upsides and benefits
      ValiumSoma
      • 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.
      • 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
      ValiumSoma
      • 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.
      • 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
      ValiumSoma
      • 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.
      • 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 ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about SomaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert