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    Is Soma Really As Bad As Cocaine?
    Tokara2007 posted:
    I suffer from chronic pain.

    My back has a degenerative disk which has caused sciatic problems, and in recent months, my right hip began to hurt every time I went to bed causing me to have problems sleeping.

    The actual cause of the hip pain has not yet been determined. Though, it is most likely related to the sciatic nerve or bursitis (my mom has bursitis in her right hip as well).

    Every pain killer I was prescribed either didn't work, or if it worked I ended up waking up 2 to 3 hours later only to find I was itching all over and unable to get back to sleep for the rest of the night.

    The result was exhaustion.

    With all the problems I was having with pain killers, I looked into muscle relaxants as an option.

    Although, people are not supposed to do so, my mom had some muscle relaxants she gave me to try because I was desperate to get some rest and wasn't going to be seeing my health care provider for over a week.

    The muscle relaxant she gave me was Soma. It worked great, and there were no side effects.

    When I finally was able to see my health care provider, and I told her what I was taking she informed me she never prescribes Soma because as she put it "It's as bad as cocaine." and she prescribed a different muscle relaxant instead.

    I was extrememly disappointed, for after all the problems I had been having trying to get relief and finally finding something which worked with no ill effects, she refused to even consider prescribing it.

    I have no history of drug abuse and only take pain killers/muscle relaxants at night before bed (usually one or two) to insure I get the rest I need.

    No matter how bad my pain is during the day, I endure it, and I have told my health care provider more than once I don't like having to take ANY pills at all (I took after my dad, he was very anti pill).

    So, I would like to know if what my health care provider said and her decision to "never" prescribe Soma even in a case like mine is reasonable.

    Also, can one develop a habit even if only taking one or two pills a night?

    Thank you.
    _swank_ responded:
    There is much written on this board about the difference between addiction and dependence. I'm not going to repeat it, just scroll back.

    Soma is as safe as any other drug if taken as prescribed. I've taken it many times and nothing bad happened. That being said, if what you're looking for is something to help you sleep ask your doctor for a sleeping pill. I've had great success with Ambien. I did not sleep all that well on Soma but I've never found anything that has worked as well as Ambien. Everyone reacts differently to meds so it may not work for you.

    The best thing for you to do is get a diagnosis and find out what's causing your pain. If it's bursitis then there are a lot of very effective treatments for that. Better to treat the cause than the symptom.
    dngrus03busa responded:
    Cocaine could be better for someone then soma's would be. Any medication can be bad for certain people, especialy when taken those medications when they are not prescribed to you. If whatever your doc gives you does not work then tell them and eventualy you will find a muscle relaxer that works for you, or at least helps.
    Rachel_Corey responded:
    I've never heard anything like that, but I know a lot of doctors are just uncomfortable and hesitant to prescribe drugs. My doctor prescribed it to me years ago for just some minor back pain I was having (can't even remember exactly what was going on). How do you know the different one you were given isn't going to work as well? Did you ask the doctor what the difference is and why she thinks it's safer? Individual doctors also have different histories...maybe your doctor has had certain patients who had problems with Soma, hence, she has a bias for the drug. If you get really desperate, you could always try another doctor.
    cweinbl responded:
    The comparison of Soma to cocaine made me laugh. They are anything but similar.

    Soma is a muscle relaxer - a "downer." Soma is a central nervous system depressant. One of the side effects is drowsiness (which is probably why you thought it was helping).

    Cocaine is central nervous system stimulant - generating increased energy and alertness. While Soma is metabolized slowly, cocaine is metabolized very rapidly, with effects wearing off as early as half an hour after ingestion or inhalation.

    The two drugs are opposites. Perhaps your doctor compared them in the sense that they can both be purchased illegally on the street and that they can both be addictive (cocaine much more so than Soma).

    Your post complained mostly of insomnia, secondary to sciatica. Sciatica is compression of the sciatic nerve root. As such it is more likely to cause neuropathic pain than nociceptive pain. Soma is designed as a muscle relaxer, not as a treatment for neuropathic pain. If you believe that it helps you sleep, it is probably because drowsiness is a side effect. Soma is a very old medication and there are newer drugs for muscle contractions that have fewer side effects. However, have you considered that the best treatment for your insomnia might be a sleeping aid, such as Ambien? Either way, you should not be taking someone else's medication. You might want to discuss this with your doctor before taking more of a medication that was not prescribed for you.
    annette_030 responded:
    Everyone has their own opinion about various drugs, and everyone reacts differently to them. That said, I tend to agree with your doctor. Soma is a favored drug of heroin addicts if they can't get opiates. I took it one time and had a terrible reaction to it.

    There are many newer muscle relaxants that work better and have fewer side effects.

    I am not clear if you are taking it for pain, for sleep, or to actually reduce muscle spasms. I would try what your doctor suggests and see how it goes.

    Take care, Annette
    Tokara2007 responded:

    It appears the post I made yesterday in response to your comments was deleted for some reason.

    What I wanted to do was thank you for your response.

    However, I am not a heroin addict, nor do I have any history of drug abuse at all.

    Additionally, my health care provider is well aware I only take such medications at night to help me get the rest I need.

    After falling asleep at the wheel on the highway in 2004, it's clear getting proper rest is imperative.

    My health care provider is also well aware of the fact I am not fond of taking pills of any kind.

    Even if I have a headache, I'll wait as long as possible before taking anything for it, and in some cases, the headache will go away on its own.

    Importantly, with all the problems I had with other medications, to have finally found one which worked wonderfully to help me sleep and allow me to wake up pain free, I felt it was unreasonable for her to be so quick to dismiss using Soma in my particular case and instead prescribe me a completely different medication I have never taken before.
    annette_030 responded:
    It sounds like you are taking Soma primarily for sleep. I understand your frustration at finding a drug that seems to work for you and then the doctor not wanting to prescribe it. Since Soma is not a sleep aid, I can also understand your doctor wanting you to try what she thinks is appropriate. Since she knows you well from what you say, give it a shot. If it doesn't work, tell her and maybe she will let you try the Soma again. You might also just ask her why she won't let you continue to use it.

    I did not meant to imply that you were a heroin addict or drug abuser, but because those patients frequently ask for Soma and doctors want to protect themselves from any seeming connection to those kinds of patients, some doctors avoid prescribing certain drugs, especially for an unapproved use.

    Hope you find something that works for you that your doctor is willing to prescribe for you.

    Take care, Annette
    annette_030 responded:
    You have to remember that you came in and told her you were taking someone else's drugs which is illegal. That may have triggered her comments and very careful prescribing.

    Take care, Annette
    Bigpharma responded:
    Wow, I am in shock and think most of the other comments must be from sales reps. I too was recently told that my doctor would not prescribe Soma as the street value of this drug was so high. Imagine my shock, since I have also had pill after pill shoved down my throat by doctors too include narcotics without a blink of an eye. I read all the side effects of medications given to me and WOW again! I just wanted to respond to you and let you know I heard you, I actually heard you had pain...I have chronic pain and the pain killers just don't work, so when I asked for Soma from a new doctor imagine my surprise when I was treated like a drug addict, I asked did something change overnight, did soma become a narcotic, i mean if it is so bad and all? She said people like the way it makes them feel, I laughed my A-- off, you mean they liked not being in pain, I am curious what your doctor would rather give you and strongly feel that your case may be like i left the office there was a sales rep for bigpharma there, I said what muscle relaxer afre you guys pushing these days, I mean what kinda trips are they getting outta it, all doctors are good for anymore are prescriptions..please they patch you up and send you back out into the cotton fields so massa can get his earnings, no i am not black but I think you get the picture, so i looked into it and do see that Soma is the prefered choice among pain sufferers, i hear they are prescribing methadone for pain now...omg..what a joke, these Doctors are lying...I also heard the FDA is trying to make Soma a narcotic class, would think they would have done that when the drug came out, I mean you have to be kidding me, I didnt know you could buy soma over the counter in mexico like asprin, I mean tylenol is more dangerous than my dear pain sufferer, you are not crazy, soma does work better than pain killers and I think the manufacturers of other meds are just mad, and well we all know doctors do what big pharma tells them too!!!
    cweinbl responded:
    Soma is an old muscle relaxant. It is not an analgesic and it is a favorite among drug abusers because it can produce a powerful euphoria when mainlined; similar to heroine. And, because newer muscle relaxants have fewer side effects, Soma is rarely prescribed today.

    Yes, you can experience dependence upon Soma in a brief amount of time. That's just one more reason to use a newer muscle-relaxant. One major side effect is drowsiness. This can inhibit someone's ability to work, drive, concentrate or operate machinery.

    Because Soma is not an analgesic. it only helps those chronic pain patients with muscle spasms. It will not help those of us with arthritic pain, neuropathic pain or damage to body tissues.
    Simpler13 responded:
    Tokara- i just signed up for web md- so that i could post in response to your SOMA post. I was very recently prescribed the medication, but only after having tried cyclobenzaprine- or flexiril, for a good amount of time first. I honestly believed that no muscle relaxers provided any kind of help- until my doctor prescribed me SOMA. I feel that this medication works wonders on muscle spasms. And Tokara- I have almost exactly the same medical problems as you do. I am sorry that you are in the predicament of a Doctor that is too scared to prescribe a medication because of the exaggerated conflict that surrounds it. I will tell you though, Before trying it- I read a lot on the internet and apparently California ( where I live) is the last remaining or one of the last remaining states that have not changed soma to a schedule 2 narcotic. It is being abused A LOT recently. And those people are the problem because someone that it was made for, someone that could really benefit from it- is now being denied.

    When i asked my doctor to prescribe me something other than flexiril- i used the correct medical name - carisoprodol. Im not sure if saying that, rather than soma, will get you any further, but i believe that hearing names like soma, oxycodone, immediately put a bad image into a doctors head. Especially with Pain Management doctors who have been trained to look for certain clues to decopher an addict from a genuine pain sufferer. This may be the case with your doctor referring to soma as being "as bad as cocaine". Next time, do a little research and refer to these types of medications by their main medication name and not the generics that are heard frequently. Ive noticed that it has helped in my medical past.

    Good luck in the future , and I hope you can get this medication prescribed to you. It has worked wonders for my muscle spasms, and I highly recomend it.
    davedsel57 replied to Simpler13's response:
    Hello Simpler13 and welcome.

    Just for your information, if you will look in the upper right hand corner of the post you will see that this discussion is 5 years old. The original poster has not been back.

    Thank you for sharing with us what has worked for you. I hope you continue to be successful in your pain management efforts.
    Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.


    BigDJohnson responded:
    My Wife and I take soma's for ciatic pain as well and I was wondering if these have any known negative side effects too, we don't experience any but we are wondering to if possibly they might be harming us in other way's without us knowing it. We only have been taking a couple once in a while and don't want to be on pain killers or soma's either. I'm sorry to hear of your prescriber to be a little narrow minded when it comes to mucle relaxers, anyway's, just trying to reach out to other's and share a response to give you support with your pain that you experience with your ciatic pain too. God Bless
    ctbeth replied to BigDJohnson's response:
    Below is a link to the Web MD info page on Soma: Oral.aspx?drugid=12153&drugname=Soma Oral

    If you have further questions, it may be preferable to ask your MD, who knows your condition(s)

    Good luck

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