Carisoprodol-Related Emergency Visits Up in United States

Most ER visits involving carisoprodol involve another drug; usually narcotics or benzodiazepines

THURSDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Carisoprodol misuse- or abuse-related emergency department visits increased in the United States between 2004 and 2009, with the majority of visits involving other pharmaceuticals, according to a report published online Nov. 3 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The report authors, from SAMHSA in Rockville, Md., assessed carisoprodol-related emergency department visits in 2009, and compared trends in 2004 and 20009. Emergency department visits involving carisoprodol, drug and alcohol combinations involved in these visits, and disposition of the visits were assessed.

The authors report that carisoprodol misuse- or abuse-related emergency department visits doubled: from 15,830 visits in 2004 to 31,763 visits in 2009, with similar trends between males and females. Among individuals aged 50 years or older, carisoprodol misuse- or abuse-related visits tripled, from 2,070 visits in 2004 to 7,115 visits in 2009. Other pharmaceuticals were involved in 77 percent of the carisoprodol-related visits, with carisoprodol combining with narcotic pain relievers and benzodiazepines in 55 and 47 percent of these visits, respectively. Misuse or abuse of illicit drugs was found in 15 percent of carisoprodol-related visits, while alcohol was involved in 12 percent of these visits. Hospitalization was required for 35 percent of carisoprodol-related visits, 36 percent of visits involving carisoprodol and narcotics, and 42 percent of visits involving carisoprodol and benzodiazepines.

"Misuse and abuse of carisoprodol is a small but growing problem in the United States and is worthy of public health attention," the authors conclude.

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