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1349329 tn?1276985202

Tramadol Dependency?

My Dr. started me on Tramadol about 2 months ago because of Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia.  It seemed to be working really well, I felt alot better than I have in a long time.

About 10 Days ago, I thought that since I was feeling so much better that I didn't need to be taking it on a regular basis so I skipped a dose one night.  I've only taken this medication as prescribed, but that one night where I skipped the dose, I woke up the next morning feeling very ill.  I took my dose that morning and I have an appointment coming up soon with my Dr., so I'll discuss it with her, but she had said this medication was not addictive.

I decided to look on-line today for more information on Tramadol and I saw dozens of Websites, including this one, that addressed "Tramadol Addiction/Abuse."

I haven't abused it, but if it wasn't addictive, than why would I feel so ill after missing a dose?

Thanks for any info.
27 Responses
Avatar universal
Because it IS addictive, and I sense that you realize that, or you wouldn't be here!

Talk with your doctor, or start tapering your dose.  Either way, you really need to get off of it before you get completely hooked!  It is miserable to get off of it, but it can be done!

Good luck!
1349329 tn?1276985202
I am going to talk with my Dr. about it.   I talked it over with a friend of mine who is knowleageable about Medications, and she advised me not to just "stop taking it."  So I'll wait and see what my Dr. had to say.

I was really surprised to see so many people having problems with it.

Excuse my curiosity, but I see your username is "Tramahater," so I'm assuming you had a bad experience with this medication also?

Avatar universal
Many here know much more about this drug than I do.  I can tell you this...
I was seriously abusing narcotic pain pills, and when I couldn't get those I would take trams to get rid of the withdrawal.  There's only one thing that will get rid of WDs, a drug that attaches to the same brain receptors as an opiate.  You will read many assurances that tram has a very low strength opiate like affect.  But the metabolites (what your liver changes tram into)  may be 200 times stronger.  I've heard nothing but bad stuff about this drug.  Even before I quit taking narcotic pain pills I told my doc, "NO MORE TRAMADOL". I may get slammed for making this comment, but if one of my children had to take a prescription pain med, I would want them on codeine or hydrocodone before they used this drug.  IMHO, you must find another remedy.
Avatar universal
Yes, I had very bad experience with it.  I have been clean for over 3 months now, but it was awful to get off of it.  It has an antidepressant in it as well as medicine similar to an opiate!  I joke around that I would rather take arsenic than tram again.  It's not far from the truth!
199177 tn?1490498534
this is a highly addictive med that has ruined hundreds of peoples lives its just as addictive as your hydro and far worse to come off of here is some  more info on it ...
I was one of the unlucky ones that ended up VERY addicted and BTW I never took more then the max dose a day

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:

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.

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
Avatar universal
I just love you Avis!  I think if you post that enough times, they will catch on????? : D
Avatar universal
Congrats on the 3 months.  You should be very proud you had what it took to get free of those awful pills.  One of the reasons that I told my doc "no more" was that I could feel how it made my WDs worse when I didn't take it.  Very scary drug made even scarier by docs that prescribe it without really knowing much about the drug.  My doc and I already had the "you need to stop using vicodan" speech when I got my script for 60/month.  That went on for 6 months!  Badshadow:  Just say NO to Tramadol.  You don't have to learn this the way many of us have!
1349329 tn?1276985202
Thank you very much for the information.  Reading what you've posted makes alot of things clearer for me.

I did feel a type of "high" while on this.  Not like the feeling I've had when I needed other type of pain medication like Vicoden after surgery, but just sort of energetic, no pain, not depressed (I do suffer from depression, but I am not on any anti-depression meds because of the side effects,.)

I haven't taken any today since my Morning dose, and right now, I feel sick, my back hurts.

I was on 4 a day, so I'm going to go down to 3 a day for a few days, then 2 a day, etc.

I hope I don't start feeling depressed.

Tramahater,  Congratulations also for the 3 months.
495284 tn?1333894042
Talk with your doctor and tell her what you are doing.  Make sure you do a slow taper.  Keep us posted                   sara
1349329 tn?1276985202
Sarah, thank you for your concern.

I took one less yesterday, and I am not feeling well today.  It feels like typical wihdrawal symptoms.

I am going to Message my Dr. about it.  I have had problems with Opiates before and I do have physical problems with pain.  When I started taking this medication roughly 2 months ago, I thought it was a very good medication.

It relieved me of the Pain of Fibromyalgia, arthritis, etc.  My Dr. told me this was not an "Addictive Medication," and I have not had any cravings or urges to take more than prescribed

However, when I missed/skipped a dose recently, I felt the same as when I had withdrawals from Opiates.  So I did a search on the Internet, and I was a little surprised to find out there were so many that were/are addicted to Tramadol.

That is how I found this Web Site.  This Forum seems like a really good place for people to talk about their concerns about Drug Abuse, Addiction, etc.

No-One seems to be  judgemental, just encouraging and supportive.

Thank You.
495284 tn?1333894042
We are glad you are here.  We all come here with one common thing, our addictions.  Let us know what your doctor says.  Tell him/her how you are feeling and your concerns..   sara
1349329 tn?1276985202
My Dr. is out of town this week, and I will eventually talk to her about it, but in the meantime, I am still going to taper off.

I have a history of Addiction, and I do not want to start that cycle up again.

Thank you.
495284 tn?1333894042
Just make sure to do a slow taper.  We want you to be safe.  
1349329 tn?1276985202
I've cut down 1 dose since yesterday, but I am feeling it.  My back is aching and I woke up at 3AM with anxiety.

I have not been feeling well today, but have tried to stay busy to keep my mind off it.

I do not like this at all.  If I'm going to be sick, then maybe I should just stop taking it alltogether and get it over with.

If dropping 1 pill can make me feel withdrawal symptoms, I don't want to drag it out over 2 or 3 weeks.

If I just stop taking any of it, I know I'll feel even worse, but it would be over sooner.

I am really feeling dissapointed.  I thought that I had found a medication that was helpful for my Arthritis and Fibromyalgia without being Addictive, but this *****.
1349329 tn?1276985202
It's been close to 24 hours since I had my last Dose.  Back is aching alot. Sniffles.  It's incredible that there are so many people who still work while they are detoxing.  Or maybe it's better, since you don't focus on how you feel.
Avatar universal
Ok, this is normal.  Take some advil and sit in a bath with epsom salt in it if you have some.  That will help your aches.  Do you have a heating pad?  That probably saved me during WDs.
1349329 tn?1276985202
I do and I will.  Thanks.  I thought I was done with this WD thing.  I know it will only be a few days so I can hang.
401095 tn?1351391770
trams are habit forming..narcotic like and addictive...but 2 months is not long to become addicted even with a stronger narc unless u were taking an awful lot per day...or number one reason being having a prior issue with narcotic addiction?  dont take long if u r already an addict
Avatar universal
I hope you hang in there - she seem to be doing well. I'm on day 2 from Norco and trying to stay motivated. I hope you have a good nights rest. Best of luck!
1349329 tn?1276985202
I am such a baby.  I did'nt take more than my dose, 4 50mg/day.  My Dr. said it wasn't addictive.  I am an Addict, and I thought I had found a good Medication for my Arthritis/Figromyalgia.  I never wanted to take more than what was presribed for me.

It's only been 24 hours, but I've got all the Withdrawal Symptoms that goes along with any other Narcotic.

Which anyone who goes through Withdrawals knows what that is.

This is gettin on my nerves.
1349329 tn?1276985202
Oh, sorry, forgive my bad manners, thank you everyone for the support.  It does help to know other people are going through and have gone through the same thing.

Best of luck 2 u also NorcBgone.
1349329 tn?1276985202
Well, I didn't do so great.  I didn't sleep much last night, and even though, I dont think I was on a very high dose, this Cold Turkey thing is a little more than I bargained for.

I took 1 this morning, and I'm going to talk to my Dr. about tapering off it.

It has been so helpful for my Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Pain, I really don't want to have to go back there either.

Avatar universal
Hey!  Just talk with your doc.  This is really hard, I know!  Don't give up the fight.  Just get a different strategy.  I was on 15 a day, and I went cold turkey.  NOT fun!  I don't recommend it AT ALL!

You can do this!  Hang in there!


Lea Ann
Avatar universal
I think you should really talk with your doctor and not do this on your own.  I'm a pain management patient with fibromyalgia and debilitating arthritis and RSD.  Many years ago a doctor gave me Tramadol for the fibromyalgia and I thought, "Terrific, a non-narcotic medication that's supposed to really work."  I didn't go into w/d because after a day or two I realized I hated it.  I felt really high and disoriented on it.  I never felt like that on any of the narcotics I took.

Do you see a pain management doctor or just your regular doc?  Have you checked out the pain management forum on here?  There's lots of great information on there.

I've had fibromyalgia for about 11 years now.  The first couple of years were the worst.  Now it seems to stay in long remissions and flare-ups happen on occasion.  (Just had a bad car accident in April and it caused a flare.)  I'm sure the pain meds I'm on for the RSD help mask some of the fibromyalgia pain.

Also, have you tried any of the other medications out for fibromyalgia?  I've tried Neurontin and Lyrica.  They're anti-seizure meds but also used for fibromyalgia and for nerve pain.  I did find they helped the fibromyalgia and my nerve pain.  But I found the side effects to difficult.

Neurontin made me feel out of it.  Not high.  It caused me to have trouble processing things.  Having a conversation was impossible.  Lyrica was a bit better.  I had some of the same side effects, though to a much lesser degree, but I gained 15 pounds in 2 weeks.  (Came right off when I got off it.)

It's probably harder to find medications for your fibromyalgia and arthritis if you've had addiction issues in the past.  But a good pain clinic doctor will work with you with this.  I'm not sure how long you've had these illnesses or how old you are, but there are lots of things to try.  Depending on where your arthritis is, there are different injections.  

For both fibro and arthritis, exercise is important, but it's really important to not overdue it.  I've found swimming or walking in a pool really helpful.  It eases the pain so much while you're in it.  And for me, the elliptical machine is great.  (I have bad arthritis in my hip.  I thought the elliptical would aggravate it, but it didn't.  Strange, but I can't walk on a treadmill.)

Be careful coming off the Tramadol on your own.  If it can cause seizures, you certainly don't want that to happen.  Good luck getting off them, and I hope, if you're not at one already, seek out a pain management doctor.
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495284 tn?1333894042
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