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 used for muscle spasms and muscle pain but it's not considered a first-choice treatment and not meant for long-term therapy.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.15Valium
Reviews for Valium
70%
of people (All ages) say Valium is worth it
53%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
976 reviews
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Soma
61%
+9% better vs. Valium
39%
+14% better vs. Valium
9%
-6% worse vs. Valium
220 reviews
Have you used Soma (carisoprodol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ValiumSoma

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

More about Valium side effects »
  • Drowsiness 7%
  • Dizziness 6%
  • Headache 3%
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
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ValiumSoma
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Rectal gel
  • Pill
Used for
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
Detailed Valium (diazepam) risks & warnings »
  • Taking other medications that also cause sleepiness
  • Recreational drug use
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Elderly
  • Prior history of drug abuse
Detailed Soma (carisoprodol) 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
ValiumSoma
  • 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.
  • Don't drink alcohol while on this medication.
Kidneys and liver
ValiumSoma
  • Processed by the liver, so might not be the best choice if you have liver problems.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Sleep
ValiumSoma
  • Can cause temporary dizziness and drowsiness.
  • Can cause memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.
No sleep 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.
  • Patients treated with Soma (carisoprodol) experienced improvement in function.
  • Available in generic.
  • Available in two different strengths.
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 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.
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.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about ValiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Valium (diazepam)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about SomaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Soma (carisoprodol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it