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1349329 tn?1276985202

Tramadol *****,

I was prescribed Tramadol early this year for "Chronic Pain."  The  Dr. and the Pharmacist said that it was not addictive.

I have not abused the Medication.  I take 100mg 2 times a day.

I have also been doing exercise and physical therapy for my pain.  I decided to cut back and get off the Tramadol a couple of weeks ago because I'm not having bad pain, and it has been aliving Hell.  Just cutting down 50mg at a time gave me extreme anxiety.  so I thought I would just quit altogether and try to go "Cold Turkey."  If I thought I was in Hell before, I really was in Hell then.

The Anxiety was so bad  I couldn't stand it.  I only went a day and a half and today I took my regular dose again.

The Anxiety is greatly diminished and I don't feel so sick, but I am super-scared as to how I will get off this medication.

I have an appointment with my Dr. tomorrow to discuss it, but I don't really know what the Dr. can do for me.

I'm thinking I'll just have to do a really slow taper, just a quarter tablet at a time.
63 Responses
599071 tn?1300068702
I'm so sorry you are in this position, another victim of this **** drug.  The good news is that you hit on the truth a lot earlier than many of us who were on tramadol for years before appreciating what it was doing to our systems.

You are spot on with your instinct to slowly taper off.  It's highly likely that this will significantly diminish withdrawal symptoms & allow your serotonin levels to adjust thereby reducing the anxiety & depression.

Many doctors still don't seem aware that Tramadol has a very similar chemical structure to Effexor.   However, more doctors seem to know about the tapering requirements for anti-depressants so you may get more assistance if you tell your doctor the emotional effects will likely be somewhat tapering off that drug.

High doses of the B group vitamin Inositol, (6 grams, twice daily), pretty much cured my withdrawal related anxiety after 6 years use on the same dose as you.

Don't be scared, with a slow enough taper, withdrawals will be very manageable.  If you are feeling too uncomfortable just stay on your reduced dose a day or two longer before lowering the dose again.

It's so depressing to find that 2 years since I quit, there remains such a lack of knowledge about tramadol in the medical profession.

Best wishes.

M
495284 tn?1333894042
COMMUNITY LEADER
madtram gave you excellent advice.......

madtram......welcome back!!!  Its been a long time!!
599071 tn?1300068702
Thanks Sarah, I would like to be on more often but have had family challenges.  As you see from my last post, my sister nearly odosed on her anti-alcohol meds & the docs thought she was brain dead, before she finally came out of a coma, two weeks ago.

The costs of addiction are high enough for those who at least have fair warning of what they are getting into but I especially feel for those tram users who think they are taking a pill with no more risks than aspirin.
495284 tn?1333894042
COMMUNITY LEADER
I hope your sister will be okay~~~~Having a family member who is ill is very emotionally draining.

I am still so shocked by all the tramadol that is being prescribed and the doctors not telling of all the dangers.  You wonder what it will finally take before this med is discontinued.....
1349329 tn?1276985202
Thank you for your support and suggestions.

Regarding the B Vitamin, what type of supplement provides that much B.

I have a Sub-Lingual form, but the dosages of the different B's are listed in Milligrams and Micrograms.  Also, it's pretty nasty tasting, and it takes almost an hour for the Tablet to dissolve under my tongue.

However, I've heard that a Sub-Lingual is the best way to absorb it.

When you say "6 Grams" are you referring to a "Sub-Lingual" or a "Swallow" type.

Also, I'm not sure how to taper.  I was thinking 1/2 tablet a day for a week or two, then another half tablet again for a week or two, etc.

How long did it take you to taper off this awful medication.

Thank you.

  
176495 tn?1301280412
my wife is a nurse and can't believe tramadol is addictive.."Look at me, I said...look at me a few months ago when I tried to cold turkey"  Look in here at all the people hooked on these devils.   Look it up on google...

and yet doctors prescribe it like they're handing out M & M's...I was getting scripts for a 120...a 15 day supply!!! with up to 5 refills!

God help me as I get through my last day on them (took my last one at around 11AM)..I feel fine..we'll see what tomorrow brings.

Jim
599071 tn?1300068702
You need to get inositol on its own.  They have it at places like iherb, not sure about Walmart as I am in Australia.  It comes in both high dose tablets or capsules & powder forms & both seem to work fine for me.  The powder has no strong taste so you can have with water or juice & may be absorbed more quickly.
Try 6 grams single dose twice a day to start.

For other single b vitamins, high doses of sublingual b12 can also be helpful, I have a nice tasting cherry flavoured one.  A total b group supplement like you are taking can also be helpful but won't have enough inositol or b12 to get the direct benefits on your nervous system.

There is no exact science to tapering as all our bodies respond differently so it's best to do a bit of self experimentation. Reducing by half a tablet a week is a good start but if that's too much of a shock to your system, try reducing by a quarter instead or holding the same dose for 2 weeks.  All that matters is to not ever increase the dose, as so long as you continue to taper down, you will reach your goal of being tramadol free.

I knew very little about tramadol when I quit.  I had withdrawal symptoms for a long time while I was still on the drug, due to tolerance.  (Thankfully it didn't occur to me to increase my dose to more than 100 to 200mg per day).  The level of ignorance about tram was such that I was diagnosed with strange viruses & chronic fatigue, rather than anyone blaming the tramadol.

When I did some further research & found Emily Post on this site, I was so shocked to realise that all my symptoms matched others going through tramadol withdrawal, I pretty much quit cold turkey.  I would not recommend this as it can be very hard on the system.

If you would like daily support from others going through tram withdrawal now, I highly recommend Emily's journal, there is a wealth of information from people who have come off doses ranging from 8 grams a day for long periods to short term low dose users.

The link for the current thread is http://www.medhelp.org/user_journals/show/207363/Tramadol--Ultram-Recovery-Room-Part-35?personal_page_id=142
It's worth reading the whole journal though.

Great job, Jim, so glad you feel fine so far.  Be kind to yourself.

M
348629 tn?1212325673
I hate that drug, i was hooked for a very long time now im over two years clean, i dont get on this site much anymore but im pretty sure that this is how i overcame it just by talking with all the people. Addiction ***** looking back at all my old posts is a major wake up call to  remind me to never follow that path once again. Good luck with this as long as you want to stop you will.
1349329 tn?1276985202
I haven't been able to sleep for several days now, even though I went back on it.  I'm starting to feel pretty sick and weird/wired.

I left a message for my Dr. this morning so I'll see what he says, but I don't think I can take not sleeping too much longer.
176495 tn?1301280412
Thank you Madtram...appreciate it...I'm doing fine...too busy at work but I'm feeling fine...off to see my therapist in 45 mins and I can't wait...got a lot to dump on him this week...he'll have to see HIS therapist when I'm through.


Jim
1349329 tn?1276985202
Well I talked to my Dr. today and his advice is to take Valium 3x a day for the withdrawal anxiety while I'm tapering off, and to help for sleep.

I would like to do this, as the anxiety has been pretty bad, but I'm worried about then having to come off the Valium, because wouldn't it be the same type of withdrawal?
176495 tn?1301280412
a different type of withdrawl...you MUST HAVE YOUR DOCTOR GIVE YOU A TAPER PLAN FOR VALIUM OR SIMILAR MEDS...Seizures can take place if you just cold turkey it.

They can help for the anxiety, no question...and you likely will need help for that..but be careful..try taking walks, other excersize, etc as wel

Jim
1349329 tn?1276985202
I'm doing that, along with alot of other things I've read here.  I got the Inosital, I'm taking walks a couple of times a day, drinking Chamomile Tea, Calmes Forte, I just feel as though I'm losing my mind.

I've never had anxiety this bad, and I'm still on the same dose of Tramadol.  I have these, I don't know what to call them, "Surges of Panic" like electricity going through my body and my brain.

I can doze off for a little bit, but then I'm wide awake with this awful feeling shooting through my body.

I did take a Valium this afternoon, and even that didn't totally take away the Anxiety, and this weird feeling.  Just made me doze for about 45 minutes and wake up feeling weird.

He said I could take 1 Valium during the day, and 3 at nightime for sleep.  Along with Trazodone.

I can manage the weirdness in the day if I can get at least a few hours of sleep at night.

I have never felt so helpless before.  I don't see much point in a taper if I'm not going to be able to sleep during the taper, and then more lack of sleep when I stop.

I can't concentrate or focus on anything like reading.

At least I can write about it here, and know other people are going/gone through the same thing.
1349329 tn?1276985202
Well, I don't know if this was the smartest thing to do, but after trying to get some sleep last night, after taking the Valium, still having major anxiety and not sleeping, I took some Vicodin and Dramaine.

It helped with the awful anxiety and I was able to get some sleep.

I don't have alot of Vicodin, but I'm going to take that and the Dramaine for the next few days and then stop when I run out.

I don't mean I'll take them all at one time, but schedule them throughout the day, and taper off them over the next week.  I don't ever want to take a Tramadol again.

I also found a Website "The Road Back," which had alot of good information about getting off medication.  Of course it involves supplements, which they supply, and I ordered 2 of them to try, and I'll see how that works as well.

One contains Passion Flower which I read is good for Anxiety, another one they mentioned was Biotin.

Please pray for me, or send positive energy that I will make it through this.
176495 tn?1301280412
on it's way!
1349329 tn?1276985202
Thanks.  I took another dose of the Vicodin at 8:30 this morning along with the Dramanine and I don't feel too bad right now.

My plan is to take 3, 4 times a day for 2 days, 2 4 times a day for 2 days, 1 1/2 4 times a day for 2 days, 1, 4 times a day for 2 days, then 1/2, etc., along with the Dramaine.  That gives me a 10-11 day taper, and then I'll stop.

In the meantime I will be exercising and taking my supplements to help boost my system for when I stop.

I'm just so amazed that the Dr. and the Pharmicist think this medication has no withdrawal effects, and here I've been suffering with Withdrawals going on 2 weeks just trying to taper.

I will not ever take any medication prescribed by a Dr. without researching it thoroughly first.

I had a similar incident 20 years ago after my Mother died.  It was a very Stressful time, and I was having alot of anxiety.  The Dr. I was seeing then prescribed Xanax for me, but never said it was addictive and that I should not stop taking it all at once.

After 2 months of being on this medication I was feeling alot better, and again, I never took more than prescribed, so I decided I didn't need it anymore and just stopped taking it.

I went through horrible withdrawals in the first 48 hours, had a seizure, and the Dr. put me back on it, telling me "then" that this was a highly addictive drug, and that you should never just "stop" taking it without tapering down.  However, going back on the the dose I had been on was not effective, and I didn't sleep at all for six weeks.  I found a Psych Dr. that specialized in getting people off Xanax, and she switched me to Klonopin and convinced me to try taking Trazodone.

After not sleeping for six weeks, I really was desperate, so I started taking the Trazodone and Klonopin I was able to start getting 2 or 3 hours of sleep at night, but it took 3 months to taper off the Klonopin, and I felt sick  the whole time, and another few months after I stopped taking the Klonopin to start feeling "Normal" again.

Even though I wasn't sleeping, I couldn't stand just sitting on the couch all day feeling crazy, so I started exercising alot, and my house was cleaner than it has ever been before or since.  I used to walk around town feeling like a "crazy person."  I even begged her to put me into a Psychiatric Facility, several times, but she encouraged me to stay at home.  She was a very good Dr. and was available for me during the several times I felt so weird and awful I just wanted to kill myself.

I never thought I'd find myself going through something like this again, and being older doesn't make it any easier.  I also have a Husband and a 13 year old daughter, and instead of spending the summer doing the things that I wanted to do with her, I'm struggling to get off this med.

I do try to do the best I can, and I have explained to her that I'm on a medication that is making me sick, but that I will get better.  Fortunately, at 13, she has a good friend network, and is involved with alot of her own projects, still I feel guilty that I'm not there for her as I'd like to be.  My Husband is being understanding, and I'm not working right now, so I can concentrate on taking care of myself.  I'm just telling myself over and over again that I went through something like this before and got better, and I will get through this and get better.

I don't know why, but the Dramamine seems to be more helpful for the Anxiety than the Valium.  Also, I need to try and keep myself as busy as  I can doing physical things, since I can't seem to concentrate on anything.
1349329 tn?1276985202
Well, I don't know why it's helping, but it's helping.

Taking some Vicoden every 6 hours along with Dramamine and  GABA has helped reduce the anxiety greatly and I was able to take a Nap and wake up without feeling like there was electricity running through my body.

I didn't think I would use an Opiate to try to get off this Tramadol, but it seems to be making it easier.  I will start tapering tomorrow and keep tapering down over the next week to 10 days.  Hopefully then when I stop the Vicodin, I'll keep up the Dramamine and GABA and the Withdraw won't be as hellish as it's been trying just to taper off the Tramadol.

My heart goes out to everyone here who is trying to get off these awful addictivie medications.


176495 tn?1301280412
great news...be careful with that vicodin...I tried kicking tram by taking a percocet once a day several months ago..for me it didn't work..I'm glad it's working for you but I'm not sure there's a gurantee that this will make it any easier for you.  Your body is still getting the opiate/drug it's screaming for and one day it will be gone and your body will still be screaming...I hope I'm wrong and hope someone will correct me if I am

Best of luck to you badshadow..


Jim
1349329 tn?1276985202
I am going to be very careful with it, and your right, I don't know if it will make it any easier, but I've never had so much anxiety as I've had with this Tramadol.

The night is the worst because I start getting really anxious about whether I'm going to be able to get any sleep.  If I could overcome that anxiety and just put it in the perspective of "well if I don't sleep, it won't kill me.  I may feel uncomfortable and tired, but I'll be alright" I think half my battle would be won right there.

But I've had a Sleeping Disorder all my life, and don't sleep that well even when things are not overly stressful in my life.  So something like this really gets the anxiety going.

I start "What-Ifing," "what if I can't sleep," "what if I never sleep again," "what if I go crazy from not sleeping," my mind just goes in circles.  I've taken Behavioral Modifcation Classes for my Anxiety Disorder, and it does help some, but almost always, when night starts to fall I get this tightness and tension in my gut.  I try to do "Relaxation Breathing," "no sugar or caffeine," "nothing stimulating before bed," etc. but it's still always that "knot in my stomach" about whether or not I'll be able to sleep.

I'm afraid to travel because I don't sleep well away from home, I don't do alot of things because of this fear.

I know I can take Ambien or other sleep aids, but I don't want to become dependent on those either, so I just do the best I can.

I was actually doing o.k. with my sleep and my taper until I decided to try going off the Tramadol "Cold Turkey."  Even though I went back on at the dose I was prescribed, I haven't been able to sleep for several nights now.  Just doze off for a little bit and then I wake up feeling like electricity is shooting through my body and my brain.

I talked to my Dr. again today, and he is suggesting I go on "Seroquel," but I'm afraid of going on any different kind of medication now because of side effects, and then if it doesn't help, I'll feel worse then I already do.

I know I can knock myself out if I take enough Valium and Ambien but I'm afraid of that too.

I belong to Kaiser and they have a Chemical Dependency program, but you still have to go off the Medication Cold Turkey, and then sit in classes all day while your detoxing.  If I'm not sleeping, I would not be safe on the road to drive.

Fear of what is happening to me is my biggest enemy.  If I could just conquer that fear, I know that would be half the battle.

I'm trying to give myself alot of positive re-inforcement, that I will get through this, I may not sleep for awhile, but I will be alright, and I will get through it.  Obviously many other people have, as I've seen and read here on this forum.

Thank you Bear for talking to me and listening.  I know your going through the same kind of thing.

I really appreciate anyone who responds to me here and gives me encouragement for what I'm trying to do.
1349329 tn?1276985202
Today I start tapering off the Vicodin.  I'm going to taper 1 pill a day, and I should be off it in 7-10 days.

I did get some sleep last night with the help of Trazodone, GABA, and Dramamine.  I feel groggy today, but the Anxiety is not as bad as with the Tramadol.  I'm not taking enough Vicodin to get "high," but just to take the edge off.

I'm also continuing to take my supplements and am keeping things quiet so I don't get more stressed out.

I know that in a month the worst should be over, and I will start feeling better.
1349329 tn?1276985202
I'm down to 3 5/500 4 times a day.  I started at 4, 4 times a day.  Last night I had my dose at 9p.m. then after I fell asleep, I woke up at 9, so I went 12 hours.  I feel a little sick today, but I will not go back up or take any more than how I've scheduled my taper.

I'm getting some sleep at night, which is good, I don't feel like I'm losing my mind right now.

I'll stay at this dose for 2 days, and then I'll make another drop.

Has anyone else been on Trazodone for sleep?
1337425 tn?1278173987
Just a couple of suggestions here - my dr. recommended Valerian Root (for anxiety and sleep) and melatonin tabs for sleep, both available over the counter.  I've got some and they DO seem to help a lot.
Avatar universal
Hi there! I have looked at all of the post on this site. It is very good to know people really care. I was given trazadone by my suboxone doctor. I could not take it though because it made my heart race. I was gonna tell you also to be careful with the vicoden. You arent having bad withdrawls because of the vicoden in your system. Your receptors are still being fed what they want. But I completely understand you wanting to taper. Just woundering if you will have enough to completly tapor. Just wanted to say Im pulling for you!
1349329 tn?1276985202
Thanks everyone for caring about what I'm going through.  AZKathy, I have Valerian  Root and Melatonin, but I need to check with my Dr. about the Valerian Root since I'm on the Trazodone and it is an anti-depressant.   Sometimes you are not supposed to mix certain "Natural" or "Herbal" supplements.  I've tried the Melatonin before and it gave me such bad Nightmares I didn't try it again.

I suffer from PTSD and already have Nightmares worse than some of the Horror Movies they make.

Tryntogetwell, the Trazodone did make my heart beat faster when I first started it, and it is a side effect, but my body adjusted so I don't have that now.  Thank you for support.  It really does mean alot to me to have people here who don't even know me care about what's happening to me.

Also, I'm not in severe withdrawal yet because of the Vicoden, and I do have enough to taper.  I have 90 5/500 mg tablets.  I have this many because I've had Dental work that was painful, but after I got clean last year, I never used this medication.

The only reason I'm using it now is because trying to taper off the Tramadol for some reason was horrible so I switched over to the Vicodin, and the taper is not as bad.

My Husband knows what I'm doing, and has the medication so he can give me the amount I need.

I'm trying to stay to a "every 4 hour" dosing schedule so there's at least some Vicodin in my system every few hours, and I'll contine to taper that way.  After tomorrow, I'll go down to 2 1/2 tablets every 4 hours, after a couple of days 2 Tablets every 4 hours, and so on.

I am not getting high from this medication, just trying to make it easier on my body and brain.

I worked hard to get my recovery, and I'm sorry I ever started taking the Tramadol.  Even though I never abused it, I still was having a horrible time trying to get off it.  I had no clue it was such a horrible drug.

My number 1 goal is to get "clean" again, and to keep working on my Recovery.  I was addicted for over 10 years and have gone through so much.  I do not want my life to be taken over again by drugs.

Thank you to everyone here who has read my posts.  I think I can say I do understand what others are going through trying to get off drugs, the difficulties and challenges, and my prayers and support go out to everyone here.
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495284 tn?1333894042
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