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Tramadol withdrawal from "small" doses and short durration?
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Tramadol withdrawal from "small" doses and short durration?

Hi there,

I'm new to this but am wondering if anyone can help me.  I've seen posts about tramadol withdrawal symptoms, but everyone seems to be taking way more than I have been.  I was in a snowboarding accident in February and injured my back.  I injured my ankle but over time back pain was becoming an issue, interfering with my daily life and ability to exercise.  I finally went to the doctor in May after a spasm that caused me to be barely able to move.  They gave me Vicodin and began a pretty steady treatment from May to about September.  I started to "like" the Vicodin for more than just pain relief so I asked for something milder.  I was given Tramadol and instructed to take 100 mgs twice per day.  I stuck to this for the most part.  Sometimes I would take one in between for breakthrough pain, but mostly I was just taking 100 mgs at about 10:00 am and then another 100 before bed.  I ran out of the medication on Thursday (it is now Sunday) and took my last does of  50 mgs at 10:00 am on Thursday.  Realizing that my pain is much better, I have decided not to ask to have them refilled.  However, I think I am having withdrawal symptoms.  I'm shaking, I can't stop moving, I got cold and sweaty at work on Friday, and I couldn't sleep if you gave me 1 million dollars.  I work full time and go to school full time.  My finals are coming up this week and I simply cannot function.  I called my doctor and she indicated that "I was on too small of a dose for too short of a time to experience withdrawal symptoms."  Frankly, I think she is a little bit delusional about the addictive properties of this drug.  I have been dx with restless leg syndrome in the past, but have ceased to take the meds because I thought it was "made up."  But it is back with a vengence without the tramadol.  I do have a rx for carbidopa that I have filled, and took last night, which has helped the nighttime leg movement a little bit.  But every morning I have woken up at 4:00 and now I am a zombie.  

So, the question...am I crazy that this "small" amount that I was taking can cause withdrawals?  How long are the symptoms likely to last?  Aside from what I am doing, not drinking caffeine, exercise, yoga, taking hot baths before bed, is there anything else that can help for sleep?  Is there an over the counter sleep aid that anyone has found particularly useful?  

Thanks in advance.
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13 Comments Post a Comment
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199177_tn?1332183097
yes they sure can you are doing everything right to get threw this it has to run it course first 5 days are the worst honestly the easiest way to get your sleep back on track it not to take anything you will feel better soon ok :) keep doing what you are doing
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372416_tn?1242669352
I do agree w/avisg that not taking anything for sleep is probably best in the long run, however if it will affect finals & study, then maybe over the counter Tylenol PM.  But be sure to take it early, as it can cause a hangover if you're not used to them.

Best Wishes.
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Avatar_f_tn
Caffeine makes RLS worse????  Can you tell me what else might make it worse?  I'm going through getting off Trams now and did not know about the caffeine.  The RLS is actually in my arms too.  Is that normal?
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401095_tn?1351395370
often people have in their arms as well..exercising and staying active can help alot..here is list of supps to take with tonic water that can help in my journal....massage..hot baths, tight wraps and a good nights sleep will help,,,muscle relaxers help many...hang in there
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes, caffine makes RLS far worse.  I would avoid if possible during the day.  Even the amount in chocolate can affect it as well.  This is just what I know about regular RLS, not necessarily related to Tramadol.  
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Avatar_f_tn
If you are taking 100mg twice a day then you are at the dose I was when I started about 3months ago..4 tablets of 50mg.  That actually is alot.  Ultram or Ultracet is usually what is prescribed for tramadol and with that only 37.5mg of tramadol is in those tablets.  So 50mg of tramadol is considered alot according to "me".

My doctor said the EXACT thing.  Small dose.  Do you know he even told me that I could take more and for alot longer BEFORE he would be concerened.  Well, I took his word on that and upped my dose to 6 a day..2 in am, 2p, late afternoon and early even.  Ya know..to spread out the good times.

I now feel I just set myself up for worse w/drawals. Doctors just do not understand this drug.  Unfortunately for me is, I believe it is not just bad but really bad..like meth.  When I read the withdrawals from Vicodin they seem mild.  I read one poster who described coming off meth..serious body aches, tremors, chills, Rls in legs and arms..headache..complete and total listlissness. that is me in the mornings..and I havent even started the withdrawal yet.

This totally *****.  Definitly if you know what is good for you stop taking Trams.

Only reason I have not yet is I can't find a time to be sick. I have a Christmas vaca coming up with my daughter, work and no time off.  I can't afford to be sick.  Anyway, I dont think others issues help..or I would never have started. It takes good ole fashioned "will" to want to get off these. I heard the horror stories before and didnt listen.  Now I am right in the middle.
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673183_tn?1232736478
Hi there, I agree with mercedes175. I was taking 35-40 ultracet per day. Absolutely loved the high it gave me. This was the first drug that I ever took that made me high and i got hooked right away. My docotor told me it wasn't addictive and that even being on them for a long period of time wouldn't damage my liver and kidneys. Either he was trying to make an addict out of me or he just didnt know the potential and seriousness of this drug.It  is a devil drug. I am clean for 3 weeks now and only got there with the help of the Thomas Recipe on the home page. Although there is not a day goes by that I don;t think of them, I know I have got to stay off them for the sake of my husband and son.And Mercedes, i didnt take time off work to get clean, I just started myself on some ativan for the first week, to help with the anxiety and restlessness, as well as immodium for the diarreah (diarrhea) and extra strength tylenol for the aches and pains. I have to say that it have worked so far. I think you can do it by yourself if you really want to.If i can go from 35-40 per day to nothing, you can do it as well. I wish you the very best of luck with this. Keep me posted and let me know how you do.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for your encouragement.  I am making an appt with my doctor this week to get some help with the body aches I anticipate getting 100 times worse.  This past Saturday..I tried a test ..I didnt take my first 2 pills till 11:00a edt..usually take around 8:00a...I woke up feeling better than most mornings so thought I would test alittle deeper into withdrawal..by 12:00 I was sick.  Worst headache and all over body aches. The listnessness was starting...I caved and took 2.  This was mainly because I had my dauther this w/end and wasnt prepared for the full blown sickness.

Perhaps this w/end I will try.  I am leaving for Ohio on 12/23...my concern is when I get through the first 4 days..will I be strong enough to go on a flight and hang around family?  I just don't want to be sick..and spoil my daughters vacation.  I was originally thinking when I get back from Christmas..but don't want to delay this too much longer..I am already deep in this by taking 6-8 pills a day.  I know I am going to be sick.
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Avatar_f_tn
Today I called my doctor's office and was absolutely hystarical.  I seriously feel like I want to die.  I cannot afford to be like this right now.  I have a terrible headache.  I am shaking.  I went on 3 hours of sleep again last night.  I begged them to do something.  Their solution?  They refilled my Tramadol and told me to taper off.  Told me to take 1 pill twice a day for 5 days and then one pill once a day for 7 days.  Why would I want to put it back into my system?  This is a ridiculous notion right?  I assume that this is NOT something that I should consider?  Thoughts?
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Avatar_f_tn
I have not gone to my doctor yet but I assume your doctor is like mine..thinks Tramadol is very mild...my doctor actually told me he wouldnt mind me taking more (at the time I was taking 4)..said he would be comfortable me taking up to 6 and alot longer.  He said the withdrwals were no more than tired and mild nasuea for about 4 days.  I plan on educating him when I go back to him.  I am making a face to face and setting him straight.  

I was going to ask for Clonidine?  I may have that spelled wrong. I have heard it is GREAT for withdrwals.  My doctor won't let me have Suboxone due to he has it in his head Trams are not strong enough. Yet I believe with all my heart that the withdrawals are worse than perkosets and vicodine. I think this is the worst situation next to the dam withdrwals is that we have doctors "convinced" this is a mild drug. So anything we say we are just drama queens, right?

go prepared.  The good news about Clonidine it is a medicine that is less harsh than sub and your doctor may give it to you to get you off his back.  I heard it makes you relax, sleep, helps with the RLS, anxiety.  It is actually primarily used for blood pressure but has been used alot for opiate and alchohol withdrawal.  I hope my doctor will bless this.

I read where it made all the difference for some people. I have not heard anything negative.  I can relate to the headaches..I have that too.

I feel for you.  this totally is awful ...who wants to be this sick.  God bless..
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Avatar_n_tn
I am in the midst of my second tramadol withdrawal and thought I would share my experience in the hopes of helping someone else. First- anyone that says a "small" amount of tramadol won't lead to a terrible withdrawal is completely wrong.  I was given tramadol for pain maintenance after several shoulder surgeries. Last year I was taking about 2 a day - 100mg total- and stopped when I found out I was pregnant. I was ignorant about it the first time around that it took my several weeks to find out why I kept getting so sick- until I finally linked my recurring "flu" to days when I didn't take a second dose.  When I decided to stop, I did it cold turkey.  I thought I was going to die.  From shakes, sweats, restless legs, not sleeping, flu symptoms, etc. - it was the worst thing I have ever been through in my life. That time I remember it being about 5 or 6 days until I started to feel better.  A few months after giving birth this June, I started taking 2 a day again.  Once again, I decided to come off of them- but this time I have tried to stick to an actual tapering regimen. I went down to 50 mg a day for about 10 days.  The first few days I was tired and mopey, but nothing like the withdrawals from before.  I was able to sleep at night with just a hot shower.  Before I could taper down more- I had an emergency root canal last week and was put on Vicodin- which seemed like a perfect time to play sick and stop the tramadol for good.  I can feel some if the effects of the withdrawal, but the Vicodin is taking away the worst part and at least letting me sleep at night.  I have been on Vicodin a number of times for different surgeries and migraines and have never had problems coming off it.  I will know better in a few days -but at least for me I feel like this might be the answer -an easier way to handle withdrawal. Of course- I guess it only works if you are a person that doesn't experience withdrawal from Vicodin.  And of course, I can't comment on those trying to withdrawal from higher doses of Tramadol as I have never been there. All I can do is sympathize.  If withdrawal from just a small amount of Tramadol is so incredibly difficult, I can't even imagine the pain from taking large amounts.  The drug is truly evil.  I am very surprised that it is legal and is recommended as a non-narcotic alternative.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks everybody for your helpful comments.  I have decided NOT to take my doctors advice about tapering.  It's been 5 days, so I assume I am through the worst of it.  It can't possibly get any worse.  I've just decided to ride it out.  I got myself a melatonin/valerian root supplement to see if that helps me sleep.  I think that along with the carbidopa I should have been taking for my pre-existing RLS might help.  I feel good about tonight.  If anything, I think I am just exhausted so I think I might be able to get a few precious hours of sleep.  I can see where "tapering" might be a good idea, but I just can't see going back to it when I've already gone 5 days.  The b*$ch of it is, I wasn't even taking it to get high or anything.  I had back pain.  It makes sense, that if you don't hurt any more then you don't take the drug anymore.  Silly me, eh?
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Avatar_f_tn
all you who are starting wd from tram , check out emilypost.  put it in search here on the forum.  it is the most complete source ,  many people posting, lots of ideas,  and a thread that is still current called "day45 again".  
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