Carisoprodol Vs. Tramadol: Which Is A Better Pain Management Option?

Carisoprodol Vs. Tramadol: Which Is A Better Pain Management Option?

The Comparative Study between Carisoprodol vs.Tramadol lays down all the similarities and differences between both pain relievers. This analysis depicts that Carisoprodol is a short-term acute pain reliever, whereas Tramadol is a chronic pain reliever.

You must have heard about Carisoprodol and Tramadol for pain relief treatment. Both of them are two effective pain medicines available in the market today, but they have various dissimilarities as they belong to different drug classes.

In this blog, we have provided detailed information about the similarities and differences between the two analgesics so that it becomes easy to choose the right option.

Carisoprodol And Tramadol: An Introduction

Carisoprodol, under the brand name Soma, is an FDA-approved drug that has been marketed since 1959.

The medication is a muscle relaxant typically used for muscle strains and sprains. It comes under Schedule IV Controlled Substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

Tramadol, under the brand name Ultram, is an opioid analgesic that is used for mild-moderate pain. The use of Tramadol was approved in the year 1995. Tramadol is considered a non-controlled analgesic.

Mechanism Of Action of Pain Relievers

Carisoprodol is considered a Centrally-acting Muscle relaxant prevalent in treating short-term acute pain. Carisoprodol’s Working Mechanism generally helps in relieving pain. It also affects the communication between the nerves and the central Nervous System. 

The drug metabolizes in the liver and is excreted in the kidney through Urine. Carisoprodol in the liver is metabolized into Meprobamate, which accounts for its Abuse Potential. Patients with a lower level of CYP2C19 (enzyme for metabolization) have a higher concentration of Carisoprodol in the body.

Tramadol is a central Opioid Analgesic that treats moderate to severe intramuscular, intravenous, and postoperative pain and Fibromyalgia.

The working Mechanism of the drug includes blockage of the body pain sensations to the brain receptors. This gives a  sense of pain relief. It also restricts the serotonin reuptake that blocks the pathways transmitting pain.

The drug also undergoes hepatic metabolism to form different metabolites [1].

Uses and Benefits of Carisoprodol and Tramadol 

Carisoprodol is used to relieve discomfort associated with acute painful musculoskeletal conditions. It is used with rest and physical therapy to relax muscles from strains, sprains, and muscle injuries.

Tramadol is a medication used for short-term relief of severe pain. However, the drug should only be used when no other medication successfully manages pain and is not well tolerated. It is not recommended for the treatment of acute, chronic pain.

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Tramadol for Back Pain

Health Experts and Professionals recommend a lower dosage for back pain, which might slowly increase with time.

Soma for Back Pain

Soma is prescribed to treat musculoskeletal pain in the lower back.

Similarities Between Soma And Tramadol

Soma and Tramadol are both pain medications. There are certain similarities that both drugs hold. Some of them are listed below:




Schedule IV Controlled Substance

Schedule IV controlled drug

Pregnancy Category C

Pregnancy C Category 

Availability of Lower Cost Generic.

Low Cost Generic is available.


Distinctions Between Tramadol And Soma

The pain relievers also have some distinctions between them-





Drug Class

It is a skeletal muscle relaxant.

It is a Narcotic Analgesic (Opioid).


It relieves discomfort associated with acute and painful musculoskeletal conditions.

Relieves pain that is moderate to severe, which includes pain after surgery or fibromyalgia.

Dosage Form

The tablet is available for oral consumption and comes in tablet form.

It is available as an Oral tablet IV, IM, and rectal formulation.

Recommended Dosage

The recommended daily dosage is 50-350 mg. It should be taken 2-3 times a day at bedtime.

The recommended daily dosage is 50-100 mg. 

The maximum dose that can be consumed is 300 mg/day.

Brand Name 

Painosoma, Soma


Onset Of Action

It works rapidly, within 30 min.

It takes less than an hour.


It is metabolized in the liver 


It is also metabolized in the liver via CYP2D6 and CYP3A4

Half-life Elimination

It takes 2.5 hours. 

It takes 5-6 hours.


HAB Pharmaceuticals

Zydus Cadila Healthcare Ltd

FDA approval

FDA- approval in 1959

FDA- approval in 2008


Administration Of Both The Drugs

Administration of Carisoprodol

It is a drug that comes in tablet form and is taken by mouth.  The drug can be taken with or without food. You should not take the drug for more than three weeks. 

The dosage of Carisoprodol should be proper and should not be taken more or less. The drug can be habit-forming, so you should not take a larger dose than prescribed [2].

Administration of Tramadol

The medication can be taken by mouth. The regular dosage is generally taken with or without food every 4-6 hours as needed. It should be taken once a day at the same time of the day.

It should be taken exactly as directed by the physician; otherwise, it might cause a lot of side effects. [3].

Carisoprodol Vs. Tramadol: Which Is More Stronger?




There is no proper evidence to state which analgesia is more effective since both medications have similar efficacy for different types of Pain. 

However, there are a few critical points that are laid down on behalf of both the anesthetics.

  • The Onset Of Action of Carisoprodol is comparatively less than Tramadol.

  • The effects of Tramadol might last for a shorter period as compared to Carisoprodol.

  • Drug Interactions with Tramadol are much higher than with Carisoprodol

  • Comparing the review of both drugs indicates Carisoprodol to be a more preferred analgesic among people than Tramadol, with a higher user rating

  • The side effects of Carisoprodol are comparatively less severe than Tramadol [1].

Carisoprodol Vs. Tramadol: Precautions And Warnings

 While administering both drugs, certain precautions and warnings need to be taken for a lower risk of health risks.

  1. Avoid the consumption of Alcohol along with both drugs.

  2. You should avoid any kind of activities that require your quick reactions, like driving while consuming both drugs.

  3. If you miss a dose, you should consume it as soon as you remember it. However, you should completely avoid it if your next dose is approaching. 

  4. You should not overdose on the substance.

  5. The recommended age for Tramadol is 12 years, whereas the recommended age for Carisoprodol is 16 years or above.

  6. Sudden cut off of the substance is not advisable and should only be done with the advice of your healthcare provider.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Without the proper consultation of the doctor, Women should not take Soma as it falls under the C category.

Soma should not be used at the time of breastfeeding. This can enter into the breast milk and might harm your baby. It should only be used with the supervision of your medical experts if necessary. An adequate study should be made on the effectiveness of the drug.

Similarly, in the case of Tramadol, the Use is not recommended for both pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, it can only be done with the proper supervision of your health experts [4]. 

Side Effects Of Both Drugs

Every medication ensures some Side effects. However, it varies from person to person and the amount of consumption. Some of the Side Effects can be expected and critical [4].


Carisoprodol Side Effects: Common and Severe.

Tramadol Side Effects: Common and Severe.

Skin Rashes


Upset stomach and vomiting

Dry Mouth



Irrational Heart Rate


Increased Clumsiness







Drug Interactions

The Interaction of both drugs is high and might result in adverse aftereffects.

Tramadol Drug Interactions

Overall, 640 drugs in total interact with Tramadol. The categorization is as follows:

300- Major, 338-Moderate and 3-Minor Symptoms.

Some Drug Interactions are as follows:





















Benadryl (diphenhydramine)


- Tramadol Food and Alcohol Interaction

Interaction of both analgesics might result in Central Nervous System Depression. 

Carisoprodol Drug Interactions

It includes 346 Drugs, out of which

Major Interactions include 26 Drugs, Moderate Interactions include 319 Drugs, and 1 drug has Minor Interaction.

Some of the Drug Interactions of  Carisoprodol include:





Lexapro (escitalopram)












- Carisoprodol Food And Alcohol Interaction 

Avoid Alcohol while consuming this medicine. This medicine might make you feel dizzy and drowsy.

Which Is More Prone To Abuse: Carisoprodol Or Tramadol?

Even though both Carisoprodol and Tramadol are Schedule IV controlled substances still, they may have abuse potential. 

Carisoprodol causes addiction, according to Current Drug Abuse Reviews. This medicine breaks down in the body to produce meprobamate (a metabolite), which can be addictive, and many people abuse this drug for its sedative and relaxation effects. 

Most individuals abuse tramadol for its euphoric effects, and its abuse has become relatively common. Research from WHO showed that tramadol creates a craving response that is similar to oxycodone. As a result, individuals who are addicted to stronger types of opioids have also become addicted to Tramadol.  

Soma Vs. Tramadol: Our Final Verdict

In the Comparative Analysis between Carisoprodol Vs. Tramadol, we can conclude that among both analgesics, Soma is the most preferred option for short-term acute pain with lesser side effects. However, Tramadol is used for chronic pain, so this option is best suited for you in the long run.

Author’s Note: The abovementioned description is based on facts as per our research. However, one should consult their Health Experts before taking this Medicine.


The use of Narcotic pain and cough medications together can cause Central Nervous System Depression, which can lead to serious side effects, including coma, respiratory distress, and even death.

Tramadol is a medication that belongs to a group called Opiates or Narcotics. The drug is used for treating moderate-severe pain, for example, after an operation or serious injury.

Carisoprodol is a prescription drug that has been marketed since 1959. It is a Centrally acting muscle relaxant.

The generally recommended dose of Carisoprodol is 250-300 mg for children and teenagers younger than 16 years of age. However, the Use of Carisoprodol below 16 years of age must be consulted with your health experts.

No, Tramadol is not a muscle relaxer but an Opioid Analgesic.

Carisoprodol is a Schedule IV Controlled Substance.


  1. Carisoprodol Vs. Tramadol: Is Soma Effective Than Tramadol, Practicalanxietysolutions.

  2. Carisoprodol, MedlinePlus.

  3. Tramadol, MedlinePlus (Gov).

  4. . Is Soma better than Tramadol? Comparison, Differences, Painosoma.

Author’s Note

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