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tramadol
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tramadol

OK I have 3 questions about this little devil pill...

A little history: I was prescribed tramadol for chronic daily tension headaches. I have been on it for about 3 months, I'm supposed to take 4-6 a day, but I take more like 10-15 and I'm already physically dependent. I have tried to cut down, and I get terrible headaches, cramps, aches, vomiting, unbearable fatigue and depression. I want to stop taking it because it doesn't help my headaches much, and I don't want to need a pill to feel normal.

1. Is it really worth tapering, or am I just prolonging my misery? I tried cutting down to 6 a day and felt terrible. Would I be better off going cold turkey?? And how long will I feel like dying if I do?

2. I know that the max dose is 8 a day, but I have read about people taking up to 30 a day. Is this medically possible? What is the dose that would cause you to actually overdose and die?

3. Can tramadol affect a menstrual cycle? I am usually very regular, and am suddenly 10 days late for no good reason. (NOT pregnant, for sure)

Thanks so much!!

(I would really like to hear from people with personal experience with tramadol as well as the professional)
Related Discussions
242532_tn?1269553979
Tramadol has the same kind of dependency as morphine once you are hooked, and it sounds like you are, so you should see a drug rehab.specialist to walk you through the withdrawals.  There are dangers to be avoided, so be under a doctors care for this....
22 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Well...I cant answer all of your questions but I can tell u this...I was on Tramadol for 6 months for my chronic back pain and I stopped cold turkey a little over two weeks ago due to the myriad of symptoms I was having (depression, night sweats, hot flashes and generally feeling like whale sh1t)I am male so I can't speak to the mens/cycle problems but it made my prostate problems worse and my sex drive was near zero while on it...It messes with the dopamine and seratonin thus the mood problems it creates and the dependency to get another pill to get over the whale do-do feelings...I went thru hell the first week I was off it and it was really hard the first 3-4 days...I quit about 15 days ago and I still have wierd anziety feelings and little hot flashes but they are not nearly as bad as they were. Get some Klonopin or Xanax to help with the insominia and anziety and read up on the Thomas recipe for quitting. Tapering is best but you have got to do it slowly....I wanted it over with so I suffered..ALOT...Do a google search for tramadol/ultram withdrawl (withdrawal) and you will see what i mean....Good luck..you'll feel better in a couple of weeks but it won't come as fast as you want it to......
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Avatar_n_tn
Stop while you still have a chance. Tramodol is addicting and will destroy your ammuine system. You never know when your body will give out and die.Get help stopping. Alot of times it is easy to switch to another drug to get off a drug. Get proff. help.
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Avatar_n_tn
It's also bad for your liver and kidneys.  Taper down.  

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Avatar_n_tn
I think the last 2 posters misunderstood my question.

I said that I WANT to quit, but I am wondering if tapering is better, or if I would just be prolonging my misery.

I want to know if people (who have taken tramadol) think that I would be better off going cold turkey and being completely miserable for a couple of weeks, or better off tapering and feeling a little miserable for a couple months...

And I don't really know how to taper, one pill a day? a week? I tried cutting my dose in half and that was a disaster.

I don't want to talk to my doctor, I don't want anything about dependency on my records, I want to be able to get pain meds when I need them.

Thanks again everyone!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Tapering is absolutely better.  That stuff is horrible to come off of.  I was on it for 8 months for the same reason as you.  When I finally decided to quit, I was up to around 20 per day.  The withdrawls included horrible headache, night sweats, totally lethargic, switching between constipation and diareah and cramps (I'm assuming that was related to the constipation).  It was HORRIBLE.  I ended up tapering.  I did find that if I took a pill when the withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms started to get unmanagagable, I was ok.  It took about a month to completely come off.  Since then, I've been taking percocette on an as needed basis.  If I take it too many days in a row, I get rebound headaches but it's nothing like coming off tramadol.

It did not affect my period so I'm not sure about that.  

I definately think it will be better for you both physically and mentally to taper down.

Good luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow, what a crappy answer.

I pay money to post a question, then wait three days for a completely irrelevant answer. You didn't address any of my concerns. I know I'm dependent, but I don't think it's necessary at this point to check myself in to rehab and have a druggie reputation on my medical records for the rest of my life.

I asked 3 very specific questions, and you completely ignored all them. All you did was write your general opinion on the entire situation. You probably didn't even read my questions.

I hope you don't get paid very much for this, because you SUCK!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,
Sorry that you didn't get a more detailed response.......
I was on this site for several years before they shut down the "substance abuse/addiction" forums; and over the years came in contact with several friends with similar Ultram/Tramadol experiences.
Not sure if you searched for "Ultram"........as there are several threads in the archives, including some pretty decent responses from one of the Doctors that monitored the boards ( specifically Dr. Robert Bosian)

Tapering was the preferred method of detoxing, even though it is painful throughout the taper; and the slower the better (i wish i could say it wasn't).

...and yes people have reached 30 (or more) per day...

The overdosing and menstrual questions, i again would refer you to the Ultram archives; as i would hate to give you some mis-information.

Take Care
percs
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Avatar_n_tn
Geez.......i responded to your post earlier and I don't see it.

Please search for "Ultram" and you will find some very useful information.
Take Care
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144586_tn?1284669764
I was placed on that drug once, and "it stinks". I experienced brai  dysfunction and got off it ASAP.
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Avatar_n_tn
The last poster mentioning brain dysfunction got me thinking.  In October of last year, I had a seizure after taking just 10 ultram.  Last month my brother-in-law had a seizure after taking approx. 15.  You never know when it is too much.  You could feasibly take 10 a day for a month, but then one day 10 is way too many and off you go to the hospital.  After we had the seizures, neither one of us ever took them again.  Withdrawals are awful, but try to think of it like this:  Once they are over with, you'll never have to deal with it ever again!  Try to rest as much as possible.  It's not considered laziness, you're body needs to repair itself.  Keep your eye on the prize and you'll do fine.  Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the support. I went cold turkey Friday and through the amazing power of prayer I am doing fine. No depression, no stomach problems, just feeling lethargic and having horrible restless feelings, unable to sit still and rest. I had a really rough night Sat. so I went to urgent care Sun. morning and they gave me 10 xanax. I took 2 and was knocked out cold for about 10 hours and woke up feeling almost normal!! my headache is terrible, but that's normal for me. so anyway, thanks again for the support.
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144586_tn?1284669764
I was placed on tramadol after a severe spinal injury. My personl opinion is that the drug should be banned. I had headaches, severe loss of mental acuity, and took a heck of a long time to clear out of my sytsem. I believe it affected by driving reflexes and almost caused a fatal accident.
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Avatar_n_tn
I was given Tramadol and told to take 8 a day and found out yesterdy from my doctor that these are addictive. I am so thankful that I have only been taking these for two weeks. I stopped taking them now for 24 hours but have experienced flu like symptons, sweats and just very werid sensations all day, I don't know how long this will last for?
I have read everyone elses exp and I feel so sorry for other people who have been through much worse exp than me.
Why are these drugs still be handed out like candy? If they know that these are the effects, why do they still hand them out?
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Avatar_n_tn
Someone please help me!!! I feel so ashamed and embarrassed.  I was taking vicodin for over 7 months and became addicted to them. Never thought that would happen. I finally decided to do something about it.  So I told my doctor and she put me on Tramdol to get me off vicodin.  However, I just found out that Tramdol is just as bad.  I was taking the Tramdol for the past 3 weeks.   I went cold turkey 2 days ago.  I
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Avatar_n_tn
Firstly........DO NOT FEEL ASHAMED!!!
I could tell you countless stories exactly like yours (and countless on top of that).

Yes, it gets better!!!

How much hydrocodone were you on when you "stepped down" (yeh right Doc!!) to tramadol?? And how much tram were you on??

If you have access to that Doc., try and secure some Clonidine (assuming you do not have any pre-existing medical/BP conditions).  There are multiple auxillary measures to help you through the first tough part of a CT detox.  Do not underestimate the benefits of hot soaks and as much exercise as you can muster.

The very good news is you have "only" had a 7 month run, so as tempting as it probably is to grab a vic or tram to get rid of this lousy feeling........DO NOT (of course i'm assuming you do not have a condition that requires narcotic anymore).

You have an excellent chance of kicking this **** right now, so please do it!!  It will dramatically improve shortly!!; so just hang in there.

percs
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Avatar_n_tn
IF YOU TAPER OR COLD TURKEY IT'S STILL GOING TO BE PAINFUL AND HARD.  MENTALLY YOU'LL WANT THE WARM FEELING OPIATES GIVE YOU.  PHYSICALLY YOU'LL NEED IT.  MY ADVISE AND IM NOT A DOCTOR OF MEDICINE, IS TO TRY BUPRENORPHINE.  FOR SOME REASON IT'S REAL HARD TO GET HERE IN THE STATES.  BUT IF YOU LIVE CLOSE TO CANADA OR MEXICO, YOU CAN GET IT.  BURPRENORPHINE IS AN ANTOGONIST/AGONIST.  WHICH MEANS IT WILL TAKE THE TRAMADOL OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM AND AT THE SAME TIME REPLACE YOUR OPIATE RECEPTORS WITH THE LESS ADDICTIVE BUPRENORPHINE.  THE W/D'S FROM BUPRE ARE NOT BAD AND IT'S THE ONLY OPIATE THAT'S EASY TO TAPER, YOU'LL ACTUALLY WANT TO TAPER BECAUSE THEY JUST MAKE YOU A LITTLE SLEEPY WHILE EXPERIENCING NO WITHDRAWALS.  TRAMADOL IS ****, IT'S NOT A REAL NARCOTIC BUT I'VE HEARD PEOPLE GET SEIZURES FROM IT.  IT'S BAD STUFF. GET OFF IT.  AS FOR COMMENT ON THE DOC.  BE LUCKY THAT' HE'S EVEN GIVING YOU ADVICE, YOU PAID 5 BUCKS, YOU'RE A BIT UNGRATEFUL.
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Avatar_n_tn
My best friend is addicted to tramadol. He has been taking between 25 and 30 pills per day for 2 years.

Just a month ago, when we were watching TV, he had a violent seizure. After he came to in the hospital, I asked him what he took. He said that, because he was particularly stressed out that day, he took around 55 pills.

In the past, he has tried to quit cold-turkey. Impossible, he says. He reported restless leg syndrome, crippling depression, muscle fatigue, migraines, sweats, and fever.

Despite not being a highly controlled substance, tramadol is highly addictive and dangerous at high doses. Be careful everyone!
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169037_tn?1212561247
DOING CLINICALS IN THE STUDY OF ADDICTIVE DISEASE/CHEM DEPENDC.. ABOUT THE VICODIN ISSUE, HYDROCODONE IS MORE ABUSED THEN ABOUT ANY OTHER OF THE OPIATE FAMILY-I AGREE W/ THE ADVICE ON CLONODINE( CATAPRESS PATCH IS BEST) AND A SLOW TITRATION DOWN. USUALLY THEY USE ATIVAN FOR WITHDRAWAL, PHENERGAN FOR THE NAUSEA, BENTYL FOR CRAMPING,IBU 800 Q8 FOR PAIN, FLEXERIL FOR MUSCLE SPASMS ASSOC. W/ OPIATE WITHDRAWAL!! CONSULT A LOCAL DETOX IF YOU CAN'T DO IT!IF YOU ARE A ADDICT IS IS UNLIKELY THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DO THIS ALONE, AND IF SO REMAINING OPIATE FREE IS GOING TO BE A TASK..TRY NA/AA..
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Avatar_n_tn
i have only been on this monster drug for 2 weeks when i tryed to stop cold turkey I had major anxiety, and by the 2nd day was was out of control I could not sleep I took about 7 showers and was not able to take care of my 2 small kids.  I than started tappering, I was taking about 6 a day, tappered to 4 a day for about a week, than down to 2 a day morning and night for a week and than went to half a pill 2 times a day for 2 days and than half a pill one time a day for 2 days and it has been over 24 hours since I last had a pill and I am feeling ok, I caught a cold so that makes things hard because colds them self make you feel icky.  I am not say it is easy at all because you still think about those horible pills off and on...  I am trying to keep my self busy today and with all hope the next day and the day after that it will get easier and soon it will all be in my past.  I feel for anyone struggling right now with these withdrawals.  I am lucky my hubby has been so good though it all it my kids I worry about I have missed alot
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey!
I have been on Tramadol for a little over a year for tension headaches. I, unlike most of the other posters here, have had quite a bit of luck with the drug for management of these headaches. In fact, it enabled me to pursue my graduate degree, and many other countless things I had been unable to do secondary to these debilitating headaches. I never ABUSED the drug. I have never taken more than the maximum dose prescribed. If anything, I have taken less. However, I am at the point now where I am noticing that although my headaches are essentially gone, I am having to sacrifice in other areas. As mentioned before by one of the other posters, I have had some mental/memory fogginess. I have had night sweats when trying to taper off. So badly, that I thought I was in early menopause, saw my gynecologist and went for bloodwork. I have had such a thing that some users call "zaps" where it almost feels like I'm about to have a seizure or something, crawl out of my skin, or like an electric bolt is shooting through my brain for an instant. It is because of these WD symptoms, while attempting a taper, that I want to ween off very badly. I can empathize with the desire to be free of the drug completely. But, I often think....I am only taking appx. 1 total tablet per day. I score the tablet and take 25mg in the am, and the same in the pm. It still gives me some relief. If I am satisfied with this low dose, and it is keeping my headaches in control, why am I so adamant to taper off the drug? It is a question I cannot answer. I have decided to do a very, slow taper, even with the minute dose I am taking. My sentiment is that the drug must be VERY addicting for even such a small dose to be causing these withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms when tapering. So, that is my reasoning for quitting. I also fear having a seizure, especially when I am alone. I do think, as a medical professional myself, that tapering from any chronic medication is best. Our bodies become tolerant and need to allow our systems to "come back" so to speak over time. My heart goes out to all chronic pain sufferers. It is a very difficult and complex issue to grasp if one is unable to empathize. Good luck to all.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have enphysema and on advair,  can tramadol be taken for severe leg pain and cramps,
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