Tramadol is a narcotic-like pain reliever. Doctors use this medicine to treat moderate to severe pain in adults.
Tramadol’s extended-release form is for around-the-clock treatment of pain. You should not use the extended-release form of Tramadol on an as-needed basis for pain.
What Are The Uses of Tramadol?
Tramadol is helpful in the treatment of moderate to severe pain. Doctors also prescribe Tramadol as part of combination therapy. Tramadol relates to a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics. It works by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain.
How Does Tramadol work?
Tramadol belongs to a family of drugs known as opioid agonists. These drugs can treat similar conditions.
Tramadol functions by changing how your brain senses pain. It is similar to endorphins in your brain. Endorphins bind to receptors, which then reduce the pain messages that your body sends to your brain. Tramadol works similarly by reducing the amount of pain your brain thinks you’re having.
How to Use Tramadol?
Take Tramadol exactly as prescribed. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Tramadol can hinder or stop breathing, especially when you begin using this medicine or whenever you alter the dosage. Avoid taking this medicine in larger amounts or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if the treatment doesn’t seem to work.
Even at regular doses, this medicine may be habit-forming. Sharing this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction, can be a problem. Misuse of pain medications can lead to addiction, overdose, or death, notably in a child or someone who uses the medicine without a prescription. It’s against the law to sell or give away this medicine.
Discontinue taking all other around-the-clock narcotic pain medications when starting to take Tramadol.
You can take Tramadol with or without food, but take it the same way every time.
Avoid crushing, breaking, or opening an extended-release tablet or capsule (Ultram ER, ConZip). To evade exposure to a potentially fatal dose, swallow it whole.
The practice of inhaling the powder or injecting the drug into your vein by mixing it into a liquid can cause deaths.
If you take the tramadol extended-release tablet, the tablet shell may pass into your stools (bowel movements). It is common and does not imply that you are not receiving adequate medicine.
Avoid abrupt discontinuation of this medicine, or you could experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
Store at room temperature and keep it safe from heat and moisture. Keep track of your medicine. You should be aware if anyone is misusing your medication because Tramadol is a drug of abuse.
Avoid keeping leftover opioid medication. Just one dose can cause death if someone using this medicine improperly or accidentally. You can ask your pharmacist regarding the location of a drug take-back disposal program. If there is no such program, mix the leftover medication with coffee grounds or cat litter in an adequately sealed plastic bag and throw the bag in the trash.
Can Tramadol be Addictive?
Many people believe Tramadol is not addictive. It’s not right, and this fake sense of security can drive some people to acquire an addiction without even realizing it.
Taking Tramadol without a prescription or taking it in higher doses, frequently or longer than prescribed, is considered drug abuse. Blending Tramadol with other substances to increase its effects is also abuse.
It’s essential to recognize the signs of tramadol abuse as early as possible to prevent an addiction from developing. Symptoms and side effects of tramadol abuse include:
- Pinpoint (tiny) pupils
- Appetite change
- Nausea or vomiting
- Impaired coordination
- Slurred speech
Tramadol misuse or abuse can lead to severe adverse effects, such as seizures. Seizures most likely occur when taking large dosages (usually 400mg or more daily) for long periods. Attacks are also more common when taking Tramadol with antidepressants.
Even when the drug is appropriately used and under doctor supervision, tramadol users can experience adverse reactions, such as dizziness and nausea. Tramadol abuse can make the drug more dangerous and increase the user’s risk of adverse side effects or overdose.
Taking Tramadol and other substances are called polydrug use, and it also increases the risk of severe and sometimes fatal side effects.
What to Know Before Using Tramadol?
Avoid taking Tramadol if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- A blockage in your stomach or intestines
- Severe asthma or breathing problems
- If you have recently taken sedatives, alcohol, narcotic medications, tranquilizers, or narcotic medications
- If you have received an MAO inhibitor in the preceding 14 days (such as phenelzine, linezolid)
Doctors do not recommend Tramadol’s use, not in children younger than 12 years old. Anyone younger than 18 years old should not take Ultram ER.
- Anyone below 18 years old who recently underwent surgery to remove the tonsils or adenoids should not use this medicine.
- Don’t give this medicine to children between 12 to 18 years of age who have conditions that may lead to breathing problems.
- Some people taking Tramadol have experienced seizures. Consult with your doctor about your seizure risk, which may be higher if you have ever had:
- A seizure disorder, head injury, or epilepsy
- You also use certain opioids, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, or other medications.
- Using Tramadol during pregnancy can lead your baby to become dependent on the drug. It can result in life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after birth. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may require medical treatment for a few weeks. Inform your doctor about your pregnancy or if you plan to become pregnant.
- Avoid breastfeeding while taking this medication. Tramadol can pass into breast milk and lead to breathing problems, drowsiness, or death in a nursing baby.
For ensuring the safety of Tramadol for yourself, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- Sleep apnea
- Breathing problems
- Kidney or liver disease
- Urination problems
- Problems with your thyroid, gallbladder, or pancreas
- A stomach disorder
- Mental illness, or suicide attempt