Letter to the Editor

Carisoprodol Should be Taken Off the Market

Authors: Jørgen G. Bramness, MD, PhD, Svetlana Skurtveit, MSc, PhD


To the Editor:

In an editorial in the February edition of the Southern Medical Journal, Reeves and Burke1 advocate that carisoprodol (Soma® Meda Pharmaceuticals, Inc; Somerset, NJ) should become a controlled substance. During the last few years, three other papers have been published by American researchers addressing the possible abuse of this centrally acting muscle relaxant.2–4 The research paper accurately points to the abuse potential of carisoprodol4 and the increasing extent of this problem,2,3 arguing that carisoprodol should be a controlled substance.1,2 We follow this research and debate with interest. For several years and on several occasions these researchers, along with other US data, have provided us with valuable information in our own research into this field. We would therefore like to offer a comment on these valuable publications.

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1. Reeves RR, Burke RS. Is it time for carisoprodol to become a controlled substance at the federal level? South Med J 2008; 101:127–128.
2. Reeves RR, Hammer JS, Pendarvis RO. Is the frequency of carisoprodol withdrawal syndrome increasing? Pharmacotherapy 2007;27:1462–1466.
3. Forrester MB. Carisoprodol abuse in Texas, 1998–2003. J Med Toxicol 2006;2:8–13.
4. Owens C, Pugmire B, Salness T, et al. Abuse potential of carisoprodol: a retrospective review of Idaho Medicaid pharmacy and medical claims data. Clin Ther 2007;29:2222–2225.
5. Bramness JG, Furu K, Engeland A, et al. Carisoprodol use and abuse in Norway: a pharmacoepidemiological study. Br J Clin Pharmacol 2007;64:210–218.
6. Høiseth G, Bramness JG, Christophersen AS, et al. Carisoprodol intoxications: a retrospective study of forensic autopsy material from 1992–2003. Int J Legal Med 2007;121:403–409.
7. Høiseth G, Sørlid H, Bramness J. Carisoprodol intoxications: contacts to the Norwegian Poisons information 1999–2004. Clin Toxicol (Phila) 2007;46:307–309.
8. Logan BK, Case GA, Gordon AM. Carisoprodol, meprobamate, and driving impairment. J Forensic Sci 2000;45:619–623.
9. Bramness JG, Skurtveit S, Mørland J, et al. The risk of traffic accidents after prescriptions of carisoprodol. Accid Anal Prev 2007;39:1050–1055.
10. Buajordet I, Madsen S. [Somadril recalled in Norway]. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 2007;127:1397.
11. Bramness J, Buajordet I, Skurtveit S. The role of pharmacoepidemiological studies in the market withdrawal of carisoprodol (Somadril®) in Europe. Nor J Epidemiol 2008;18:167–172.