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Tramadol hcl, does it work and is it addictive?
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Tramadol hcl, does it work and is it addictive?

I was just perscribed tramadol for back pain. I was taking norco for years but the doc says this is less addictive. havent taken it yet. The label says 1 pill every 4 hours. Just nervous with new meds. Any advice would be great.
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19 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
Yes to both of your questions.  It will work but there are many people who have posted on this site about Tram being so addictive.   Coming off of Tram seem to be almost the equivalent of coming off of Heroin.   I'm sure there will be others who will answer your question that have first hand experience.  All the best.
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199177_tn?1332183097
It's very addicting it's my DOC dont take it .It will make your hyro wd seem like a picinic .
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521742_tn?1255110615
I agree with avis- I took ultram when I got off norco and had very bad w/d's when I stopped. I took it as prescribed and only for a month. Stay away from the ulram its an EVIL little pill.
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199177_tn?1332183097
SOME INFO ON TRAMADOL  
I have seen alot of info latley on tramadol some every incorrect .So I thought I would put some infromation together so everyone will have a better understanding of it .

It is addicting
You do have ephoria
It should NOT be used by ANYONE with addiction issues.

What is the most important information I should know about tramadol?
Physical Dependence and Abuse

ULTRAM may induce psychic and physical dependence of the morphine-type (μ-opioid) (see DRUG
ABUSE AND DEPENDENCE). ULTRAM should not be used in opioid-dependent patients. ULTRAM
has been shown to reinitiate physical dependence in some patients that have been previously dependent on
other opioids. Dependence and abuse, including drug-seeking behavior and taking illicit actions to obtain
the drug, are not limited to those patients with prior history of opioid dependence

You should not take tramadol if you have ever been addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Seizures (convulsions) have occurred in some people taking tramadol. You may be more likely to have a seizure while taking tramadol if you have a history of seizures or head injury, a metabolic disorder, or if you are taking certain medicines such as antidepressants, muscle relaxers, or medicine for nausea and vomiting.

Take tramadol exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take it in larger doses or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Do not take more than 300 milligrams of tramadol in one day.

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. A tramadol overdose can be fatal. Overdose symptoms of a tramadol overdose may include drowsiness, shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, extreme weakness, cold or clammy skin, feeling light-headed, fainting, or coma. Tramadol may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Tramadol should never be given to another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. Tramadol can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Do not stop using tramadol suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, sweating, nausea, diarrhea, tremors, chills, hallucinations, trouble sleeping, or breathing problems. Talk to your doctor about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication. Do not crush the tramadol tablet. This medicine is for oral (by mouth) use only. Powder from a crushed tablet should not be inhaled or diluted with liquid and injected into the body. Using this medicine by inhalation or injection can cause life-threatening side effects, overdose, or death.

What is tramadol?

Tramadol is a narcotic-like pain reliever.

Tramadol is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Tramadol extended-release is used to treat moderate to severe chronic pain when treatment is needed around the clock.

Tramadol may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.


What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking tramadol?

You should not take tramadol if you have ever been addicted to drugs or alcohol, if you are currently intoxicated (drunk), or if you have recently used any of the following drugs:
alcohol;

narcotic pain medicine;

sedatives or tranquilizers (such as Valium);

medicine for depression or anxiety;

medicine for mental illness (such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia); or

street drugs.

Seizures have occurred in some people taking tramadol. Your risk of a seizure may be higher if you have any of these conditions:

a history of drug or alcohol addiction;

a history of epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

a history of head injury;

a metabolic disorder; or

if you are also taking an antidepressant, muscle relaxer, or medicine for nausea and vomiting.

Talk with your doctor about your individual risk of having a seizure while taking tramadol.

Before taking tramadol, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

kidney disease;

liver disease;

a stomach disorder; or

a history of depression, mental illness, or suicide attempt.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take tramadol.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tramadol may also cause serious or fatal side effects in a newborn if the mother uses the medication during pregnancy or labor. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Tramadol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Tramadol should not be given to a child younger than 18 years of age.
Tramadol may be habit-forming. Tell your doctor if you feel the medicine is not working as well in relieving your pain. Do not change your dose without talking to your doctor. Do not stop using tramadol suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, sweating, nausea, diarrhea, tremors, chills, hallucinations, trouble sleeping, or breathing problems. Talk to your doctor about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication. Store tramadol at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep track of how many pills have been used from each new bottle of this medicine. Tramadol is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if any person in the household is using this medicine improperly or without a prescription
Seizure Risk
Seizures have been reported in patients receiving tramadol within the recommended dosage range. Spontaneous post-marketing reports indicate that seizure risk is increased with doses of tramadol above the recommended range. Concomitant use of tramadol increases the seizure risk in patients taking:

•Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI antidepressants or anorectics),
•Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and other tricyclic compounds (e.g., cyclobenzaprine, promethazine, etc.), or
•Other opioids.
Administration of tramadol may enhance the seizure risk in patients taking:

•MAO inhibitors (see also WARNINGS - Use with MAO Inhibitors),
•Neuroleptics, or
•Other drugs that reduce the seizure threshold.
Risk of convulsions may also increase in patients with epilepsy, those with a history of seizures, or in patients with a recognized risk for seizure (such as head trauma, metabolic disorders, alcohol and drug withdrawal, CNS infections). In tramadol overdose, naloxone administration may increase the risk of seizure.

Suicide Risk

•Do not prescribe ULTRAM ER for patients who are suicidal or addiction-prone.
•Prescribe ULTRAM ER with caution for patients taking tranquilizers or antidepressant drugs and patients who use alcohol in excess.
•Tell your patients not to exceed the recommended dose and to limit their intake of alcohol.
Serotonin Syndrome Risk

The development of a potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome may occur with use of tramadol products, including ULTRAM ER, particularly with concomitant use of serotonergic drugs such as SSRIs, SNRIs, TCAs, MAOIs and triptans, with drugs which impair metabolism of serotonin (including MAOIs) and with drugs which impair metabolism of tramadol (CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 inhibitors). This may occur within the recommended dose. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY-Pharmacokinetics).

Serotonin syndrome may include mental-status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, hyperthermia), neuromuscular aberrations (e.g., hyperreflexia, incoordination) and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
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Avatar_m_tn
As ppl said, it is quite addictive.  That being said, its usefulness as an analgesic is, IMHO, questionable.  Anything that tramadol will provide pain relief for, ibuprofen will probably work just as well (i.e. it is a crappy pain killer).  So given the trade-off, very little pain relief with a high addiction potential and I say stay away from the garbage.

peace
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636538_tn?1223532936
I have just stopped taking Tramadol a couple of weeks ago.  I used it as prescribed for 6 1/2 weeks, and didn't know about its physically addictive nature (I am an RN!)  Please go to my page and read my story.  Print it out if you want and take it to your doctor....I don't care.  This drug is, in my opinion, very dangerous in many ways and should be avoided.  I take Ibuprofen now, but have only just stopped feeling the last of the withdrawal effects.  (I hope)

Don't let your doctor convince you that these are worst-case-scenarios, or scare tactics, as some have been told.  Take along the IP address of this site if need be.  I've even offered to talk to people's practitioners for them once I thoroughly researched this medication and found out its true nature and effects.  Best of Health!
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Avatar_m_tn
Agree completely.

Docs are by and large morons in any case.  They take 1 semester of pharmacology in med school.  I mean, anytime you get scripted by a croaker they are just checking the med in a text or on their comp for dosage info, etc.  They actually get most of the information on a drug from the drug company sales reps if you can believe that.  Thats how the Oxycontin epidemic got started 10 years ago, because docs bought that oxycodone was not very addictive from the Purdue drug company sales reps.  HAH can you believe that?  An MD not knowing that the opioid oxycodone is highly addictive!  I mean, come on, I am a software developer and I know that all opioids are addictive.  You can get hooked on Lomotil.  The fools.

Moral of this story kids is this.  If you want to know about a medication, speak with a pharmacist.  Really.  Docs do not know **** about what they are prescribing, and if the general public knew how little they actually know, they would be staying away from the doctors office in droves.  That being said, as an old doctor shopper from way back, it is that very weakness that allows people like me to get oxycontin or dilaudid prescriptions; by playing on the doctors two greatest weakness', their lack of knowledge of medications and their massive EGOs ;)  So, ask your pharmacist about your meds.  They know the score.
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Avatar_m_tn
I agree, most doctors really don't know anything about the medication they give out to people.  I never understood that, one of the Main things they do for you at the doctors office is write you a script or two, you would think they would know a little more about what it is they are handing out.
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Avatar_n_tn
I just spent 4 months in rehab to come off this medication. DO NOT TAKE IT.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am to trying to kick Tramadol.  You don't even want to know how many I use to take a day, but I can tell you it was greater than 30.  I am now in counceling and they want me to go get a blood level test to see if I am tapering off the drug like I said I am.  I didn't even know you could take a blood test for Tramadol, I didn't think it would show up. Anyway I am down to about 10 pills a day now but I am worried about the test.

Can you tell me how hard was rehab.  I am so afraid and don't want to be away from my family.  They tell me in group that it is a control issue.  What are anyone's thoughts?
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320944_tn?1245970199
Stay away from Tramadol, read my story I think the title was busted for calling in my own RX for tram. To make a long story short I have lost 2 jobs, went to jail and have another felony charge pending (the detective has not filed the paperwork with the state yet). All of these things happened to me because of tramadol. I am 41 and have never been addicted to anything or in trouble with the law (until I was introduced to tramadol). PLEASE AT ALL COSTS STAY AWAY FROM THIS DRUG!!!!! If you need to chat do not hesitate to contact me. P.S. at the time of my second bust I was up to 35, 50mg tramadol pills per day!!!!!!
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176495_tn?1301284012
I'm taking it for back pain..doesn't do much..most I take is 6 50mg/day for about 4-5 months..just got a new script for 90 and I'm going to start tapering off..

Avisg...what's the best method of tapering?  I was addicted to vicodin and kicked it pretty much CT..don't want to do that with tramadol..but I want to get off of ALL pills..this one to start.

can you help me with a taper plan?  I usually take 3 in the mid day, and 3 in the afternoon.  Of course not per the prescription..but I don't want to go any farther on these things..of course..the doc said nothing about addiction.


Jim
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199177_tn?1332183097
Jim, try droping one pill off every 5 to 7 days try the 5 days first if that proves to be hard move up 7 days .let me know how that works for you .
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176495_tn?1301284012
OK...I'll give that a shot...thanks very much.


Jim
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Avatar_n_tn
I have just come off of Oxycontin, due to the addictive nature of this drug ( I had a realy rough time dealing with the withdrawls, I live by myself and went through the withdrawls at home alone). I was using Oxycontin as prescribed for 5 years, my Doctor handed them out to me like she was handing out lollies !
I was on 40 milligrams per day, 20mgs in the morning and 20mgs in the evening, way way too much, but, like many others who suffer cronic (chronic) pain, I trusted her, BIG mistake.
I have now found a new Doctor,I have been prescribed Tramadol.( I was told Tramadol SR not a narcotic, and is not addictive, I have since found out this is not the case)
I am scared of what it may do to me, I am on 200mg twice a day, I have been using it for 5 months now.
Can any one here direct me to a medication that is strong, BUT is not a Narrcotic ?.
Any help offered would be sincerely appreciated.
AND as some of you have mentioned, many Doctors are narrsistic ego maniacs, who care and know little about the suffering they are imposing upon any patient who trusts these morons many Doctors DO NOT have your best interests at heart where your health is concered !!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I have been on opioid s for a solid three years.  I started for back pain degeneration disc disease. I was on three narco 10s a day.  Then 20 mg of methadone a day.  Then the docs found out my previous drug history, and put me on subutex.  I only take 1 mg per dose 2 times a day.  If I exceed that I throw up severely.  Now the doctor is threatening to make me go to suboxyn.  Last month she cut me off subutex, I argued with her for an hour and left her office without a new script, because she wanted to give me suboxyn strips!!! Last time I tried to take a suboxyn, I had a 14 day script I throw up within a half hour of ingesting the drug no matter how small I cut it.   I am told this is my only choice because of my past.  subutex is a good drug but I am prescribed 6 m.g. per day and only take 2 max of 3 on days the pain requires it.  I only dose 1 on days I can  deal with the pain so I built a huge supply of it.  I have received a call from My doctor asking why I did not schedule another appointment?   I said for what to obtain a drug that makes me so sick I can not eat and throw up daily?  So now I have an appointment with the actual head doctor of the pain clinic.  I am bringing in my built up supply and showing him, I have not abused my meds.   I have not had a script filled since 2 months ago and am sitting on 50 pills 8 mg. each.   I cut into 1/8ths which will last a few months.  I am telling him to either switch drugs or get him to continue my current one.   But I wont take suboxyn, that also costs 300 a month compared to 85 for my current script.  I am tired of the bull ****!!!  I pay cash out of pocket I have no insurance.  My brother was on tramadol for 5 years and said he had very little trouble quitting them. I Guess different people have a different reaction.
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Avatar_f_tn
i have taken tramadol 50 mg for 5 months now for a back injury. sometimes the pain is really bad and sometimes it is not. sometimes i have to take 6 a day and some days i forget to take it at all. i have never had one single side effect that i am hearing about here. i guess i am just lucky?
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Avatar_m_tn
Tramadol is like any other pain killer: used in moderation, it's great -- used to excess, it's hell.  I have a chronic neck injury, and referred pain that gives me headaches.  My physician prescribed 25mg. tramadol tabs every 4 hours.  I never, ever take that much medication.  My rule is: only at bedtime to get comfortable enough to sleep, or for extreme breakthrough pain.  And I never take a full tablet: usually half a tramadol with a 500mg. tylenol will control the pain, and relax my neck muscles enough that I can get comfortable.

In sum, like they say: too much of a good thing is almost always a problem.  If you just ease up with it, and use tramadol sensibly, it's a great medication because you can think and maintain normal function under its influence.
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Avatar_f_tn
Tramadol is a fantastic medication. I am severely allergic to OxyContin oxycodone, endone, and all other types of anti inflamatories and analgesics. I have ehlers danlos syndrome Hypermobility type. I have constant chronic and never ending pain in loose, over hypermobile joints and loose tendons throughout my body, plus spine degeneration and constant dislocations and sublaxations. I cannot take any slow release medications, even tramadol makes me sick. I have had a bit of a quality of life with Tramadol 50mg capsules. No sickness, no side effects and I am allergic to nearly everything! Thank goodness it is on the market or I would have committed suicide by now. The terrible depression and anxiety constant pain for a lifetime causes is much worse than not taking this medication for me. I have been taking it for about 3 years. As said in other comments, any abuse of medication can have ill effects.
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