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Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

tramadol

I'm confused about everything I've been hearing about tramadol (Ultram).  I understand that it should be used with caution (or not used at all) amongst abuse-prone individuals, but the other info I've seen seems contradictive.  I've seen some treatment centers advertise that they use tramadol to help with opiate withdrawal, yet I've also read that taking tramadol during opiate withdrawal can INCREASE withdrawal symptoms.  Can someone set me straight on this?  Thanks in advance.
117 Responses
Avatar universal
Actually, taking tramadol during withdrawal will decrease symptoms.  I know when I was taking vics and percs and I ran out, Ultram helped fill the void.  One has to take into consideration that during a supervised detox (ie. in a hospital), they will be doling it out to you.  They use it to wean you off.  If you do it on your own, then it can be very dangerous because many have just jumped on the tramadol bandwagon in place of their drug of choice.  If you do it on your own, taking ultram to detox is almost the same thing as tapering with your drug of choice.  And, many can't do that.  Ultram is also dangerous for those previously dependent on an opioid because if you take ultram when you have been previously dependent, it just gets the whole thing started again.
Avatar universal
This is the first time I've posted.  I agree with the person beforebe, Ultram can decrease withdrawl symptoms but you have to be careful not to trade one drug for another.  I was told Ultram isn't addictive and that is a lie.  I've been taking painkillers for 2 years and the past six months has gotten really bad.  But during that time Ultram was one drug I used and if I had ultram now I would abuse it just like I'm abusing my norco, vicodin, and whatever else.  So be careful and good luck.  I'm so glad I found this place- I don't feel so alone
Avatar universal
Just like michael said tramadol is addictive also, It is differant then vics and not as strong you can tapper with them but if you start taking more and more the w/d are as bad as vics, I know b/c I did it, everyone is differant but the fact that it is addictive is just that, you can have sucess tappering with low doses, but Ultramm is unpredictable as it can cause sycosis and bad w/d if it is abused anyone can tapper with a low dose of an opiate usualy supervised, tell your doc that you would like to tapper with Tramadol. Do not believe anyone who tells you its a non-narcotic or not addictive because whatever is in it acts just like any opiate I was taking 15 to 20 every day 5 at a time and withdrawls were terrible but again I abused them and I think thats the answer to your question if you abuse you will have w/d  if you tapper with them you might be able to make your w/d more bearable.  TER
Avatar universal
Can anyone tell me about suboxen I think thats what its called. Is it addictive and is there w/d  after, what does it do for an opiate user? I am done with the first phase of withdrawls and wondering would it be an idea to take it for cravings and depression? but I don't want to get caught up with another drug.
1 Comments
I took Suboxone for 18 mos and when I stopped taking it, I just went cold turkey and stopped taking itr at 12 mg. I liked the way it made me feel and abused it often, running out early  and experiencing some moderate to moderately heavy withdrawal symptoms like heavy sweats, chills, diarrhea, nausea among other annoying opioid withdrawal symptoms. The thing is you have to take it everyday to avoid withdrawal symptoms just like methadone. I currently take methadone and once I missed my Saturday dose, so I was not getting Sunday either and I was much sicker, way more intensely sick. Also, on suboxone I often was relapsing and taking every pill I could get my hands on as often as possible and drinking and using meth occasionally. I stopped taking suboxone and 8 weeks later I started taking Methadone, that was 5 years ago. Im now on 110 mgs of Methadone and ive been illicit drug and alcohol free over 5 years now. I felt like suboxone was getting me high, triggering more relapse, and I experienced the opposite effect and Im 5 years clean. God bless you
Avatar universal
Thank you for you responses.  For the record, I am not going through withdrawals, and have been off everything for a long while.  My basic belief is that abstinence is the best way to go, although I know people that have been physically addicted and use opiates sparingly -- they seem to have gotten it through their heads that they can never go back to abusing again.  Still, I advocate abstinence for most folks.  I personally tend to lean more towards SR and RR than the AA/NA type of thinking, but I say: "what ever works for you is what's best".
   My concern is that the information I've found about tramadol is quite confusing.  I would question using it for certain withdrawals, as seems to increase the chances of having siezures (if what I read is correct!).  Thanks for pointing me to those threads.  And thanks to all who answered.  I'm looking forward to more posts -- I'd like to know what others think about this tramadol/withdrawal thing....
Avatar universal
One of tramadol's side effects is that is CAN or MAY cause seizures.  That side effect is neither dose dependent nor does it happen as a result of withdrawal.  Some people are prone to seizures and most aren't.  Unfortunately, it is hard to tell who is prone.  There are people who have had seizures from it and they had been taking it for quite some time.
Avatar universal
my experence with ultram and ultracet
is that it was a good drug to take when i ran out of vikes or percs, ulrram took away the with drawls from the percs and vikes.
i was told they were non narcotic.
the one thing good about them for me was i never got any kind of buzz or high from them like i did from vike's.
so they were easier to get off of for me.
when i did stop taking them , i did go through with drawls that were  very simalar to vike withdrawl, for the 1st week , but after the 1st week it was easier to get back to feeling normal faster, while vike withdrawls effected me for months, week 1 being very difficult and the next 2 months being difficult
with bouts of severe depression and totol lack of energy.
when i took vikes i was up to 15 a day , while  with the ultram
i only took around 4 to 6 a day.
so for me ultram was much esier to deal with .
while vikes and perc's were just out of controll.
i have read here at the fourm where others have gone down a path where they were taking 20 or mor ultram a day and thier withdrawls were a nightmare.
so it would seem each person would have to ask themselves
why they are taking the ultram, and how it is affecting there mood , and if they are useing them to get a high.
one other thing about the ultram for me was it did not take away my sex drive where vikes did.
the ultram also made me sweat a lot while i slept at night.
everyone is different , i did not like ultram and the way it made me feel, while vikes and percs  made me feel good in the beginning stages of taking it, i had the sam effect with perc;s and oxy, they elavated my mood and gave me energy and helped a lot with pain., but after a year or so of useing them  , all those good feelings and side effects  vanished and i took pills just to function, getting high or feeling good was out of the picture along with it helping my pain. i guess this had to do with my tolerence going through the roof.

well just some thoughts, peace hippy,
im clean now 13 months and i am taking vioxx for pain, along with exersize and vitamines.
Avatar universal
Hi Terter,
I posted about suboxone last week but maybe you didn't read that post.

I am in the midst of a suboxone detox, and if you are already through the physical part of wds, I'd strongly advise you to not start taking suboxone unless you and your doctor feel you need it for maintenance therapy.  Subxone is an opiate, though it is also a partial opiate antagonist.  The bottom line is, it does cause physical dependancy and you do get withdrawals when you go off it. The withdrawals are not as bad as hydrocodone withdrawals, but they are bad. They feel like the most extreme exhaustion and lethargy you can possibly imagine.  I tried to get off fast, and am not going to be on it longer than 3 weeks (this is my last week, and I'm on half a pill every few days).

Best to be done with opiates if that is what your goal is. Suboxone will only prolong it.  If you are interested in a non addictive med that can help subdue cravings, ask your Doc about revia. It is naltrexone. Suboxone consists of buprenorphine (the opiate part) with naltrexone in it to keep addicts from crushing the pills and abusing them.  Naltrexone (revia) blocks opiates from attaching to receptors, thus if you take an opiate while taking naltrexone you won't feel anything from it.  

I'll keep you all posted on how my weaning from suboxone goes. Today I'm not on it, and I feel pretty much ok, just a little tired, but yesterday I had half a pill, and it stays in the sytem 48 hours, so I bet by tomorrow I'll feel really lethargic.

Help me hang in there!
Avatar universal
Good luck to you, I guess I was looking for an easy way out w/ Suboxone, I went through w/d around 5/12 and I'm still craving very badly, I trie to keep busy but my mind keeps wondering in the drug direction I keep thinking to myself just a couple then so on and so on, My cravings are worse today then the week of w/d I guess the suboxone wouldn't be a good choice for me. The problem with revia for me would be to get myself to take that pill since the choice would be mine. Thank you for responding, and again the best of luck to you. Ter
Avatar universal
Well terter, Revia is in suboxone, so if you started suboxone you'd be getting both, though according to my doctor the revia in the suboxone doesn't get into your system unless you crush the pills, I'm not sure I believe that, since it does help stop my cravings, and plain buprenorphine, when I've been on it, has not stopped the cravings.

Have you tried support groups? there is a fabulous NA group online if you can't make it to f2f meetings. Try www.egna.org and click on the online meetings. I go there all the time for support as well, and it is NA, so be aware of that if you don't like NA, but they chat meetings they have are great and the people are really helpful.

good luck to us all!
Avatar universal
I am waiting for an appt with a therapyst, I've never been before so I'm not sure what to expect, I have no problem coming clean with my addiction, I just hope it helps. Thanks for your answer it helped a lot.   Ter
Avatar universal
Hello..

I have been trying to ween off of percs for a while and I just wanted some pointers.  I used to eat 10-12 a day for a year or so then I detoxed for 5 days.. and on day 6 I started to eat them again.. i made it through the worst, but i started again.. now i find that they dont do for me what they used to.. and i want freedom..

i havent eaten any in 3 days and i can survive on an ultram a day with some valiums.. i know i am pretty much in the clear.. but im stressed.. and worried.. can anyone tell me if weening off the ultrams at one a day will work.. what happens when i dont have one.. will it be as bad as my previous detox.. any insight would be appreciated..

thank you all
Avatar universal
Just one seems to be a low enough dose to help a lot. If I ever went that low I would already been in W/D. 1 a day seems you can probly stop any time if you've been doing it long enough, But each person is different, I think your on the right track. I haven't taken Percs but I am familiar with Ultram. Good Luck Ter
Avatar universal

hey true, i took ultrams, and went through withdrawls
from them a few times, i used them to get of vikes and percs a bunch of times.
if you are only taking 1 a day you should be fine.
you have to be more carful of the withdrawls from the valiums,
best to only take them for 1 week and ween down as the week goes along.the with drawls from valiums can be very bad.
when ya stop taking the valiums ,depression  tends to be fairly srrong.

ultram withdrawls make ya panic,,and people who take like 10 or more a day of the ultram  have withdrawl symtoms just like
vikes and percs.
if you can take 1 a day, you might want to try to drop them all togetherone of the major withdrawl symptoms is lack of sleep,
week 1 is the worst, that is what the valiums are good for ,
lack of sleep in week 1 and 2.
the lack of sleep somtimes go's on for a month or 2.
my experence is to use the ultram for week to help with the vike withdrawl  week 1 and the valiums at night week 1 for sleep, then cold turkey after that.
taking thomas's receipe the whole time is very helpful.
peace and keep posting ,  hippy
Avatar universal
Finally .... my daughter is going away for a few days and that means no babysitting for my 2 year old grandaughter. Now I can try to break away from this tramadol (ultram) I have a full bottle of vicodin and a bottle of valium ... and a very strong survival instinct. Every morning I just hate having to take these 2 1/2 pills to start my day. Today I cut it to 2 1/8 of a pill .... and I felt the difference by nightfall. Tommorrow I watch the kid while they are packing .... and then it begins. I'm so anxious that I will go into a big psychosis or something and be forced to take the pain pills and then I will be stuck. I really do not like valium .... sorry. I'm just worried about acting like a mental case around my family. Geesh .... I wish I could check in somewhere. Where's the Betty Ford Center?
Avatar universal
hey goldie!! don't really have anything to say, just wanted to say "hi" lol, not "high"!

amber
Avatar universal
Right now I am contemplating on going back on prescription medication I thought that I could go with just over the counter stuff but I can't. I used to take Ultram (Tramadol) which is the worse stuff. I need help. How can I tell the doctor that I want to be on meds permanently. My story is on the Ultram/Ultracet thread FYI. I have such a hard time going out and enjoying life because of this nagging back pain. I went to the doctor and he gave me some Dolobid or something like that for the pain in my back,but that did'nt phase it for when I am up and about for extended periods of time. He has me bend over and walk on my toes and on my heels and I mean it does'nt hurt like a sharp pain so I have mobility but after standing for a while or sitting down for a while my back get real weak and I feel like it's real tired and worn down when I use to have the Ultram it would take the pain away but I was taking too much and if I take some type of narcotic I know for sure that I can manage it and only take my recommended dose but I know that I will be hooked sooner or later but it's not as bad as the Ultram.
Because I took some narcotics (vicodin) when I was released from the hospital for about 6 months and followed my prescription and it did help me. So what do I tell the doc "I want narcotics" because he was contemplating that last time but he said, "I want to give you something for your pain, but I don't want you to be to sedated while your at work so we'll try this Dolobid" and that did'nt work. Well I know that I'll have to take something with a narcotic to feel like not scared to go out and do more stuff besides work out because it's weird because when I work out I my pain is blocked or something especially during aerobic activity and that's another thing when I was taking vicodin back then after about 5 months I started jogging and it seemed that it would hit me just as hard as it did the first time I ever took it with the same dose. Could it be that I sweated out the drug and purged my system by jogging? Or what? Well anyway I know you guys will write back to me like no tommorrow and give some good responses that will help me out. If you're not familiar with my story I will post it again on this thread right under this one.

Thanks,

All of you

SoCal Grappler

Avatar universal
This is my story:

I am a world class athlete (olympic wrestler/ultimate fighter. If anyone has seen the HBO special "The Smashing Machine" that is almost my exact story just that I was led to dependence by an accident. I was in a serious accident I ruptured some discs and had some fractures in my spine and had some nerve damage that extended into my stomach and made my stomach very sensitive to the touch and that almost took my life and was forced into retirement and my "olympic" and "fighting" career was put on hold or held off indefinetley. Well, anyway I was given many medicines including a large number of opiates for back and nerve damage and pain that was incurred from my accident. I must admit that I had withdrawl symptoms from Morphine when I was discharged from the hospital but overcame them in a few days. Seven later I went to see a doctor and he perscribed me some Ultram or as generic is known "Tramadol" it took some time to get used to,because at first its not a pain reliever it feels like a sedative or something weird that gave me headaches, but once I used it long enough it did ease the pain and ease the symptoms especially the ones I have the most trouble with which are the damage to a nerve that extends to my stomach, in fact one of my stomach muscles was collapsed which looked kind of deformed for about a year. The problems started when I started to run out of the perscription before it was time for a refill and this happend time and time again I felt extremely dependent I never felt like this even with the vicodine or whatever else I took. I have a tremendous amount of will and I told myself I am getting off of this **** no matter what. It was so tough but I did it and the withdrawls continued for two-weeks I have never encountered anything so mentally and physically challenging and difficult to beat. I'll tell you I have fasted for a couple of days no food no water while still training like a madman to get down to weight for competitions and I competed in Russia, Bulgaria, Crotia, Cuba and I thought that was mentally and physically challenging for the normal human. Over the course of my two-week withdrawl I developed sores in my mouth like blisters probably because of the fever and chills I got, but man, I thought,"this is heavy duty" I can't believe how rough this is it was something that I thought that probably was going to be able to beat or overcome because how overwhelming the symptoms were. I would not advise the use of this medicine to anyone and the doctor said "don't worry about it it's not a narcotic medicine." Well it might not be narcotic but it sure has some "allout" more than narcotic effects. I have since stopped taking it and am now taking some other medicine that does'nt totally take my pain away(ibuprophen) but I don't care I will probably have to live with it for the rest of my life it's nagging but tolerable. I can still workout and strengthen my muscle tissue and train hard but not to where I'll injure myself it seems that it helps with the pain. I still take some vicodin every once in a while but only when I can't stand it. Also, if there is someone with a similar problem with nerve damage that extends to their stomach and still bothers them please, please email me with any suggestions on treatment. I invite anyone or any other person with a similar story to email me. But to recap please Say No To ULTRAM (Tramadol)!!!!!!!!!!


Thanks

SoCal Grappler
Team Machine
Avatar universal
Dear Grappler .... so sorry about your injuries. I just had a thought while reading your first post. If you are close with your doctor and can work together to manage the back pain, the plan would be to use an opiate most of the time and when the opiate is not as affective anymore (tolerance) then use the tramadol for a short while (2weeks or so) then go back to the opiate again. These drugs are interchangeable and both are affective for pain relief. The doc might suggest something like methadone .... or a long lasting pain med, but you know yourself better than anyone. Use the best medicine for YOU .... also,  use something that you can kick easily when the time comes. Now ... this pain of yours can go away comepletely, but only if you allow yourself to heal! When using vikes we can do everything (just like superman) and not feel a twinge. But we are "re-injuring our old injuries" ... Yes, that's right. The result is we never heal because we don't allow our bodies to "rest" the injured area. (in your case, your back) The opiate blocks the pain so well ... we keep traumatizing a bad back or weak shoulder. That's the dilema of opiates. If you put as much thought and effort into "healing" as you do into your other physical fitness persuits ..... you could beat this. I know it. The body and psyche have remarkable regenerative powers. The proper rest, the proper thoughts ....the brain produces the right hormones and chemicals for healing to take place. Use the pain meds, but not to "keep going" in the same line of work. A brand new mind-body connection is needed, and that means a whole new dude. Time for ROBO Grappler .... it would take a year or so, but you could be all better and off pain meds. Look into chiropractic, acupuncture and shiatzu massage, just to start with, but really big guy, you need to change your line of work. I say this with complete respect and caring for you .... all my best, Goldie
Avatar universal
Wanted to say hey and Goldie, if there is anything i can do to support you plz call me or e-mail me.
you had my e-mail but it is ***@****
You both are dear women and Goldie and Amber i see how much you reach out  to others.  REcovery is about relationships..to people, to work, to drugs, to hobbies, to ourselves, to our God most of all, to our children, to our problems, etc.  I am learning how to cope with life and then how to do it wihtout the need to use mind altering substances to numb myself and escape all of it.  My disease is one of thinking and the drugs were "just a symptom". (my words and from the AA basic text)
I love ya'll!
suzie
Avatar universal
Thanks Goldie,

But I don't think that I would ever take Ultram again.  Not even just for a day.  I think that I am doomed to take opiates until I can find an appropriate surgical procedure.

I am in pain all the time. It's like an annoying pain that hurts my side in my rib area it starts in the area of T-7,T-8 and extends to my stomach.  I have never talked to anyone with similar pain or injuries. If there is someone on this forum please write back.  I will see the doc next week and will most likely be on meds next week I know that it is real pain because I have'nt taken anything to calm it. Well I guess it'll be good in a way because it will keep my mind off of the nagging pain and I am hoping will give me more motivation to do something like go out and have fun or something.

Thanks to all of you,


Socal Grappler
Team Machine
Avatar universal
Dear friend ... so sorry if my previous post was over bearing. I didn't mean to be pushy. I just got all fired up and decided that I knew what the problem was ... not exactly but generally. When you speak of working out and excersizing ... well, I'm kind of motherly about the people I like and I was trying to protect you. You are a smart person and I'm sure you tred very carefully when it comes to your previous injuries. I wasn't suggesting that you sit around and do nothing for a year ... cause I know you couldn't do that, but I was thinking that maybe with a new plan ... those problem areas could heal and you would be as good as new. Actually ... I am kind of amazed at what you did. I don't blame you about ultram. As for me ... I quit ultram 2 days ago, but have to use a small amount of opiates cuz I cannot deal with the withdrawal from ultram. I will have to stop in 2 more days or I will have a new problem .... so who am I to give advice?
I wish you luck with your doctor and I know you are a winner so you will prevail .... never give up .... Goldie
Avatar universal
Hi everyone I am new I posted for the first time in the methadone maintence thread. I am an opiate abuser on methadone for 1 year...just recently relapsed...from my  experience with ultram yes u r right, it does take the place of opiates and absollutely causes withdrrawel syptoms to go away or decrease...but it is just as difficult and uncomfortable to ct as any other opiate...i am seriously wondering if i wil ever be able to live without any opiates in my system..i have been abusing for over 10 years heavily and it seems such a part of my life (a bad one), i dont think i will ever be able to quit altogether...i am also a fibromyalgia patient which certainly doesnt help...just wanted to comment before going to bed..night everybody
Avatar universal
There is a fine line between "abuse" of pain killers and trying to achieve adaquit pain relief. You and you alone can decide if you were using to "get high" ... for fibromyalgia opiates are contraindicated and should be used occassionaly for breakthrough pain. The best medicine for that condition is ultram. The antiinflamatory meds like vioxx and celebrex do not work because fibro does not come from inflamation. I have stayed away from opiates for 3 years and used only ultram .... and it went away!
Now I am getting off ultram .... and hopefully will be off in a few more days .... you can live without drugs, but first you must figure out what is going on with the chronic pain and how you are going to work on it ... be patient and read up on fibromyalgia (FMS) Good luck to you ..... Goldie
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