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Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

Tramadol Withdrawal

I have beeen taking Tramadol 50 mg. 3xdaily as prescribed by my pain doctor for three years.  I told him I did not want to take anything that was addicting - he said absolutely  I would not get dependent on this as long as I took it as prescribed which I have done.  However, he has affected my appetite (I have lost 40 pounds), my skin itches and I just feel icky all the time.  I decided to stop, went cold turkey (no knowing that this was not good).  I was really sick and when I checked the websites saw that I should taper off.  I have been cutting down now for several weeks and am only taking 1/2 tablet 3Xdaily.  However, I feel awful, and start sweating when I try to do without it. My question is - how long does it take to wean off this?   I want to succeed but I am getting depressed over the fact that I do not seem to be making progress. I would appreciate any advice.  
21 Responses
1406964 tn?1283207466
Hi Faye and welcome to the forum.

You can taper off tramadol but you need to do it under your family doctor's supervision because of the risk of seizures.

Make an appointment with your doctor and explain the situation (it's nothing they haven't seen a thousand times before!) and he/she will help you to construct a taper schedule.

You'll also have the full support of everyone on this forum whenever you need it.

Quite a few members have personal experience of tramadol and I'm sure they'll chip in soon.

We'll be with you all the way.

Take care
271792 tn?1334983257
Hi & Welcome,

It could be that you are feeling the symptoms so severe because you are tapering too quickly? It is just a guess. It is sad that doctors still prescribe this medication and do not warn people that it is dangerous and addicting.

I am glad to see you are getting off of it. I can only suggest that you contact your doctor, armed with information regarding Tramadol, and insist that he/she put you on a proper taper schedule.

I hope it works out for you.
Avatar universal
Hi!  I stopped it cold turkey in March, and let me tell you that I know what you went through, except that I was taking about 15 every day instead of how it was prescribed like you have been.  Tapering is the right thing to do, but it's still not going to be easy.  What you are feeling is normal for tapering I believe.   Avisg will be on later I bet, and she knows more about tapering than I do.  

Hang in there!  Once you are free of it you will feel so much better!!! : )  It can actually make pain worse instead of better.  You're going to be ok!  I would definitely talk with a doctor about it.  I don't know if the doc who prescribes it would set up a taper since he thinks it's safe, but you will be able to find help from a doctor somewhere I bet.  There is a lot of info coming to light about tramadol!!!  

Good luck!  Keep us posted!
Avatar universal
Faye~

I think you ARE making progress now that you're down to 75mg per day after several weeks.  What you describe are typical symptoms of withdrawal from Tramadol.  Your doctor could help IF he knew what he was doing... There are meds that help with the symptoms that can be prescribed. Do you have another doctor by chance?

Tramadol contains an opiate AND an antidepressant component similar to Effexor.

Some folks begin an antidepressant after stopping Tramadol. You need to find an understanding doctor to assist you with furthering your taper but you're doing fine so far.

If this were me,I would go to the local urgent care here and get some advice from a knowledgable doctor. But that's just me...

We have a few members who have detoxed from Tramadol. I'm sure they'll post to you.

Vicki
Avatar universal
Oh good...It's Tramahater...you were reading my mind...glad you saw this...xo
Avatar universal
Are we sharing a brain vicki?
Avatar universal
ON THE FLOOR LAUGHING...sometimes I think we are...Very scary in a genius sort of way... Okay...what am I thinking???   LOL
Avatar universal
I've been addicted to the horrible stuff for about 6 years.  Taking up to 20 pills a day.  Despite some warnings, and in agreement with others, I did the cold turkey stop.  I'm on day 4 and suffered thru the gross sweats, chills, vomiting, dry heaves once I've thrown up anything I've got in my gut, sneezes, mucus in the throat, shakes.  You name it, I'd say to anyone to stay away from this crap.  I've been going thru the depressed state and just leaning on my family right now and hoping to get back to some sense of normalicy that I was escaping with the wonderful euphoric state of those little white pills.  F*ck them and hope that I can talk anyone out of taking them for any pain relief.  Them not being addicting is bull.
Avatar universal
Hi!  I understand your frustration, however you need to stay as positive as you can as you battle against your addiction, ok?  It will help you long term if you do.

You definitely are in the throws of it, and it should not get worse from here!  That should make you feel a little better????  : )  Day 4 is almost always the worst for everyone.
Avatar universal
Hallalujah cause I don't feel that it can get worse.  To make everything worse my wonderful husband and son do not know.  So I try to keep the straight face as I puke my guts out and go throw the ball for the dogs to make an excuse for the sweat.  But I keep saying in my heart and mind that it can't be worse than it is.  I get so mad at myself for allowing what has always been a strong person to be so weak to this stuff.  I guess it could be worse...??????  Thanks for your kind and encouraging words!!!!  I need what I can get these days!!!!
1374564 tn?1295063120
I too was addicted to Tramadol as well as Vicodin and Ambien. I quit cold turkey after I forgot my meds on a 4th of July vacation and withdrawals immediately set in  so badly I went to the ER because I was so addicted, I didn't realize I was going through withdrawals! But you know, I got through all of the nastiness and am now 47 days clean.

Personally, and this is just My opinion, I would toss out the rest of your pills. You are already in withdrawals and I wonder if continuing to take them will only prolong your withdrawals? Maybe going to the ER or an urgent care or even y our family doctor would be a good idea and let them know you are already in withdrawals. When I did, they told me to toss everything and though it was hard, I did and now, I do not regret going cold turkey at all. Please make sure you get plenty of water and a good multi-vitamin as well as 5HTP for anxiety and Valerian to help you sleep. You will get through this!
Avatar universal
I've on day 5 off oxy and was feeling ok. Hurt my back bad last night and took a couple tramadols.  Now I'm so much worse than before.  It's awful.
I was doing good from WD off oxy and thought tramadol is wekaer so shouldn't be an issue to take a couple.  Wrong.  Now I'm nervouse about how ling I'll feel this bad and if I triggered more wd
1406964 tn?1283207466
Taking tramadol wasn't a good idea as you've already discovered.

It's very different opiate from oxy, and I can't see that a single dose will aggravate your withdrawal.  It would probably be good idea to get the tramadol well away from you though.
It's so east to switch dependancies.

Hopefully this is just a bad day and you'll feel better tomorrow.

Don't beat yourself up over it

Take care
Avatar universal
I counted them. Took 8 over the day.  Didn't help much for pain.  Ugh why did I do that?!?
My cheeks hurt
1406964 tn?1283207466
It's a slip, but still don't beat yourself up about it.

That probably is why you feel worse today!  stay away from the trams and I'm sure you'll feel better tomorrow.

Stay strong.
1323588 tn?1282338135
im going on day 16 and started feeling better after 5 or 6 days, i feel so much better now, hang in there!!!   you can do it, it helps to know it gets better!!!
199177 tn?1490502134
If you are down to 75 mgs you can jump off from where you are commuting to taper from here is only going to prolong the wd ... The first 5 days are the worst then it does get better little by little you can do this .....:)
Avatar universal
Thank you so much - as well as the others who posted in response to my question.
Today I have only taken 1/2 of 1 Tramadol (50 mg.)  I could not have done this except for the fact that it is Sunday and I could lay around all afternoon.  I am feeling pretty icky and sweating but hope I can get through today with no more which will be the first day I have done that. I am so surprised that it is taking so long (weeks) and I am still not completely off it.  I have an appt. with my new physician on 9/13.  The reason I have not gone to a doctor is that I did not want to start on  something else that I might also get addicted to and I thought it best to just try to handle it myself.  Again, it is a shocker to me to know that I had gotten so dependent on this while taking it exactly as prescribed. Oh well, we live and learn and I hope the doctors will understand that this can be so addicting.  Thanks again for the understanding and support.
Avatar universal
I have been free of tramadol for 7 months - after over using it for 5 years and at very large quantities.  Like you I started out looking for the non addictive pain med from my Dr.
I had quit other opiates before Tramadol, and found Tramadol to be the most difficult to stop.
This forum was a great help - I was prepared to feel terrible, and that the effects could last for months after it was out of my system.  Once the physical symptoms eased, my mood took a nose dive.  If I didn't have the experience of others to draw on, I would not have known that this was unfortunately part of the process.
Hang in there - you will feel so much better after you are free of this horrible drug.
Keep posting for support.
Avatar universal
I know its been a while since you all posted about tramadol,  and withdrawals and such. But I am really looking forward in some help right now. I've been on tramadol for 5 years at 8 pills a day..I've just recently, about 6 months ago started gradually tapering up to 4-6 a day. Felt fine, no withdrawals. On Christmas my script was running low and I only had 20 pills left, and in my heart I was so tired of beibg dependent on them that I decided to quit despite having a severe tooth pain to add on to it! Well, the last day I took six ofcourse, the second day in the morning I took only 1, and got bad wds at around 5pm and decided to take another pill. The 3rd day in the morning I took 1, and at around 5 I took half. Ok well the psysical wds weren't too bad considering I did a quick taper.  But my god the psychological wds were severely bad! I managed to tough it out and stayed clean for 8 days! (Ofcourse with absolutely NO FREAKING SLEEP AT ALL!) But I expected worse withdrawals! Like I thought it was going to be way worse,  dont get me wrong though, the anxiety,  depression,  and nerves were horrible!  Anyways sorry so damn long lol vut I relapsed wgen I got ny script a week ago because of the severe toith pain and the dentist wasn't an option as I dont have a dime for extraction!  Antibiotics didn't help and I only meant to take the trams for just a week thinking it wouldn't cause a physical dependace or withdrawal and I was so wrong!  Now I can't stop!  The withdrawal seems alot worse than the first time I detoxed,  and im even taking less, 2-4 pills a day!  Why is this?  What's happening,  and do I have hope?  I feel so defeated and angry at myself for taking thwm again, but the tooth pain was agony!  Why are the withdrawals worse!? Can u really become addicted and dependent on them again feeling withdrawal after only a week???? Im so terrified!  Please help me! I know ur Not a dr. And its ok if you tell me what I can do because im at my wits end:(
1416133 tn?1351126817
Hi tramtrap and welcome!

And YES you can do it.  Getting off the trams was the best decision of my life.  If tapering is possible, I think you're best bet is to do it that way.  I didn't know at the time that you should try and taper off of tramadol, so I quit that (and xanax) cold turkey the same day.  I wouldn't recommend that to anyone, especially the xanax, since benzos can be very dangerous to quit CT.

There are things you can do to help you get through the withdrawal.  But the first thing you have to do is CUT all sources to the tramadol.  I promise you, in a weak moment, you will cave and go back to them.  So if you have enough now to do a taper, I would do that and if you have any scripts left, CANCEL them now.

Life is so much better off the trams, you'll see.  And congrats for wanting to quit.  :)
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