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J Addict Dis. 1999;18(2):51-6.

Carisoprodol (soma): abuse potential and physician unawareness.

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G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center, University of Mississippi School of Medicine, Jackson 39216, USA.


Carisoprodol is a noncontrolled skeletal muscle relaxant whose active metabolite is meprobamate, a Schedule IV controlled substance. Although several case reports have shown that carisoprodol has abuse potential, it continues to be widely prescribed. The usage patterns of 40 patients who had taken carisoprodol for three or more months (20 of whom had no history of substance abuse and 20 of whom carried a diagnosis of substance abuse or dependence) were reviewed and compared and a survey was conducted to assess physician awareness of the abuse potential of the drug. Findings showed that some patients using carisoprodol for over three months may abuse the medication, especially those individuals with a history of substance abuse. A significant percentage of the physician population is unaware of the potential of carisoprodol for abuse and of its metabolism to meprobamate, a controlled substance. Physicians should exercise caution when prescribing carisoprodol, especially if the patient has a history of substance abuse.

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