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What is the big deal with Ultram? I don't get what is so great about it.

Hi everyone. I'm Tracy. I was on Oxycontin for about 8 years then switched over to Methadone for the past 15+ yrs, due to lack of ins at the time. I started on 240mg Methadone and 180mg Oxycodone for BT pain. Like others have said, it seemed like a miracle drug. It helped so much with the pain, I didn't crave more in 3 or 4 hrs. I could concentrate on other things besides my next dose, and MOST IMPORTANT, I wasn't running out early every month. Currently, I am not on any oxycodone and have been tapering the Methadone. Today I just cut back from 80mg to 75mg. I know it's still a high dose, but nothing compared to 240mg. It was EXTREMELY easy jumping from 240mg to 160mg. I was taking 80mg, 3x per day. I felt like it was a lot, so I started taking 80mg twice per day and saving the rest. I had the oxycodone to take in between when I needed it. Eventually I didn't really even need much of that. I didn't have any WD symptoms, that I can remember.  Then I cut back again, to 70mg in the morning and 60mg at night and stayed there for about 6 years. In May this year I decided to get off the Methadone for good. I am worried about the pain, very worried. But I am so tired of having no energy or motivation anymore. I remember what I was like b4 Methadone and I am not the same person. I don't have pain, and I can work, but after work, life ends. I want to feel like ME again.
It seems like every other 10mg cut back is difficult, and the cuts from the morning dose are harder than the night time dose. I was taking 50mg in the AM and 30 in the PM so today I HAD to cut 5mg from the morning dose. I mean, I suppose I could have cut from the PM dose, but I am trying to even them out as much as possible. Anyway, that's my story. Now to my question. Throughout the years, I have been on different meds. MS contin, MS IR, Oxy IR, Dilaudid (when they couldn't get the Methadone for 1 month) Ultram, Vicodin, Percocet, etc. So my question regarding Ultram. For me, it gave me some energy, like speed, but it did not help with my pain AT ALL. I didn't mention that, I have Interstitial Cystitis (IC). I won't bore you with the details. Anyway, I had a friend who would run out of meds early and use her Ultram to keep her from going through WDs until her next refill. I've tried that, and nope, didn't help AT ALL! I am not knocking anybody's DOC, but if someone could explain it to me, I would really appreciate it, because I can't for the life of me understand why it's a CS. I am a nurse and in my state, it is a CIV narcotic. We have to count them which surprised me when that started.  Thanks to everybody for being here and supporting everyone.
2 Responses
18524847 tn?1465595901
Hey, welcome.  I guess ultram is a controlled substance because it is a central nervous system acting med that some people abuse.  It's an opiate analgesic whether it is weak or strong.  It can lead to physical dependence regardless.  If it does nothing for you, then why take it?  But for your friend, she sounds like it is a problem drug for her even if helping her through withdrawals or whatever she is feeling the need to take it for.  I do commend you for trying to get off pills.  It's a long journey for many.  

Where are you at with this now?  Do you get a lot of support or are you doing it on your own?
2 Comments
Hi mombojombo, I wrote a LOT in my post but I guess I wasn't quite clear enough. I didn't go back and re-read it though. But if you are asking the question, If it does nothing for you, why take it? (unless that was a rhetorical question) I must not have been very clear. When I took Ultram, it was back in, oh, maybe 1996. They gave me a bit of energy I noticed, as I was working the night shift and I felt VERY alert but it didn't help my pain.  I did take it take it for a toothache once and it helped for about an hour, so in my experience, it wasn't a good pain med and I didn't even finish the bottle. Have no idea what I ever did with it. (That will drive some people crazy. Like when people would talk about flushing oxys/percs I would be like, I'll take them, don't flush them! lol). The vet prescribed Ultram for my dog when she and my other dog got into a fight and her eye was injured (she's fine BTW). The bottle is still sitting in the cabinet. Why? Because I couldn't care less about it and if the dogs need it, and they have, it's there for them.  So to answer your question, I don't take it. lol. I take nothing other than 75mg Methadone and Topamax for my migraines which I am also weaning off of. (not by choice).
Where am I now? Yes,  I am doing this on my own although my family and my husband support me, my husband has NEVER done a drug or smoked a cigarette in his entire life. He can take 1 vicodin and then never take one again. But he is VERY supportive of me. We weren't together when I was arrested for forging scripts, we got together while I was on probation for it. I was caught diverting meds as a nurse. My license was on probation for that.  I have had car accidents driving under the influence of Ambien, but always managed to avert legal troubles with that. Getting caught never scared me into getting clean, even with the prescription fraud, it just taught me how to do it better, without getting caught the next time. Like I said in the other post you responded to, people aren't going to be FORCED into getting clean, it has to be something they want to do. I was taking 7, 10mg Ambien per day, yes during the day, not at night. (now they won't prescribe women more than 5mg tabs). I LOVED that drug. That's what I was diverting at work when I got caught. Taking it from the pyxis during the DAY isn't a smart thing to do. But that didn't stop me either. What stopped me was getting into a car accident with my baby in the car seat and hitting a family in another car. I didn't even know I hit them and left the scene. People said I got out of my car, looked at the damage, looked at them, got back in the car and left. I don't remember that to this day and that was 19-20 yrs ago! I would get up in the middle of the night, go into the bathroom and just cry at the thought of possibly killing someone or my child! It STILL bothers me at times, though not as much as in the beginning. The police confiscated my license at the scene (after determining I had a reaction to medication I was taking, and were going to turn it in to DMV to determine if it should be taken away for medical problems. After hearing nothing for 2 months I called the police dept. They said, "That license was lost, get a duplicate and consider yourself lucky." I said, "you don't understand, it was supposed to be sent to DMV." He said, "Ma'am, did you hear what I said? It was LOST. Consider yourself LUCKY. Get yourself a duplicate license." I think he was hinting to me. I got a duplicate license and had no issues. THAT was my Ambien wake up call. Sometimes NOT getting caught is more of a wake up call than getting caught.  A higher power was at work there.  Before that, I drove off the highway into a guard rail. The guard rail had JUST started too. If I drove off even 1/10 of a second earlier I would have hit a tree and probably died. The wheel sheared right off the car, I slammed my head on the windshield, the front end was totaled. I went to lot where they took the car, after I got out of the hospital. The guys there said, "you are the one who was in this car?" I said yeah why? They said, "wow! We didn't think the person survived the accident. We didn't think there was anyway they could have with the amount of damage to the car." That got me thinking a bit, but not enough.
Recently, my PCP, who was prescribing my pain meds, joined this program called MDVIP (look it up, I feel it's a scam). In order to continue getting my meds I would have to give him 2000.00 per yr to continue as his patient. Most addicts would do that in a HEARTBEAT! Not me! After 25 yrs on this crap I decided to get off of it. Since I can't find any other doctor to take me on as a patient on the dosage I was on, it is time to get off of it all. I can't even find a PCP to prescribe my Topamax because they ask, "Are you taking any narcotics?" When I say that I am, they say, "you won't be a good fit for us at this time." That's why I am weaning from my Topamax as well.
So, that is part of my story. I have been CAUGHT many times, caught in  BIG ways and it never scared me straight. Nobody can force it.  When people are TRULY ready for it, they will reach out for the help. When people come her asking for advice, people here need to realize that every step in the journey is a step toward recovery. It might not come right then and there, but it will happen. I'm not saying that people shouldn't encourage them to get clean, we should always encourage people. But some people here are sooooooo demanding. They pretty much say without ACTUALLY saying, "this is a recovery forum so unless you are interested in getting clean we have nothing for you here."  I have been to AA/NA many many times during my journey and they've been the same way. If you relapse, they aren't very supportive. They are like, you should have called BEFORE you relapsed not AFTER you big loser.  And that's how they make you feel, as if THEY never relapsed before, as if the journey has been a piece of cake for them. Well, more power to them then. People aren't going to come around to places where they feel pressured. I know. I gave up 30 days clean because of it. Yes, I look back now and say, who did it hurt? ME of course. Does that guy know or even care that he chased me away? Hell no! For all I know he is doing spectacular now. Clean for 20 years living a great life and I am doing this all over again because I let him get to me. That is MY problem, I know that. But people need to be aware of how their words can affect people. And while I get what you are saying about the tough love, that means you don't enable people, lend them money, tell them that what they are doing is ok, etc. But MANY MANY people have complained about beachtowel and his beentheredonethat knowitall attitude.  Tough love (which were my words, poor choice) and rudeness is two different things.
Anyway, YOU aren't the problem, lol, so I don't want you to think I am crabbing at you. You have been very supportive.  Anyway, what is your story? Hope you are doing well. I am doing very well. I am still working as a nurse, not around so many drugs, my choice, my license doesn't restrict me, been off probation over 11 yrs, been married over 20 yrs, baby from the car seat is all grown up and is an electrician now.
I try to remember that I have my experience and someone else may have a different one. For many, things that didn't work for you worked for them.  Good to share what you know but absolutes don't apply in getting exactly what a specific person needs to get clean. Is there really an exactly what someone needs?  I'm still looking for it.  lol.

But you definitely have a full and rich history to share.  My story is simple. Substance almost killed me and I work to stay clean on the bad days which some weeks can feel like every day. I don't remember a lot of the details.

What area of nursing do you work in?  And I sure wish I had an electrician in the family.  lol.  Was just saying that to a friend when her son enrolled in the program in high school.  good for him.  (good for you).
1796826 tn?1578874779
Ultram/Tramadol is a mu-opioid receptor agonist as well as an inhibitor of the reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin in the central nervous system (aka an SSRI or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). I never thought much of it either back when I was addicted to opioids. Weak, with a minimal opioid high. My suspicion is that the SSRI component is very appealing to people who derive benefits from taking SSRIs. Reading this board over the years, it seems to be one of the toughest withdrawals around, with both an opiate and an SSRI component.

Back in the day, it was not a scheduled drug and many, many people got it over the Internet. I remember the flood of people here when it got scheduled. All part of the “fog” that seemed to cover the late 90s and early 2000s when it came to opioid drugs. Everyone, including doctors, seems so innocent and naive compared to now. How shocking that opioids are incredibly addictive! Who could have known people would get addicted to them! I don’t blame anyone, I knew exactly what I was doing. But having friends who got 500+ pills a month prescribed for years on end probably did make me a worse addict that I might have been otherwise.
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