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Tramadol & Ultram Recovery Room Part 12

Jul 10, 2009 - 180 comments













cold turkey


tramadol detox taper

Hi Tramadol Warriors,

Welcome to Part 12!

We're so happy to see you!

Come on in and get comfy.

Love and Healing,

Post a Comment
Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jul 10, 2009
Happy Friday everyone....

        If your new to this site I would advise you to read the last couple of posts. Make sure you read Finally Fred's post of last night. It's right on the mark.

It's honest and from the heart...

I'm a little over 3 1/2 mos out Tram free. Have been fighting depression. I am on day 3 of Proaz 10 mg. I researched  a lot last night and my conclusion is more people have found this to work for them ...then not...So I'm moving forward with the Doctor's program for me. I'm thinking it might take a good mos. for this to click in...So be it..I will wait it out and hope for the best.

If you are suffering from depression and can't really see your way out...Than I would contact a doctor and explain your situation and history.  A lot of you are scared to go on another drug and I do understand that. But there does come a time when YOU know in your heart that you really need more help than you can give yourself. I spent weeks agonizing over what to do. Finally for me the answer was so simple..."I wanted to feel better."
I didn't think I could pull myself out of this alone so ...I went to my GP and asked for help.

I think coming off of tram is hard....but so well worth the fight. If you really want the monkey off your back..than you will fight for your life...

I know a lot of you have had little bouts with depression coming of Tram. Some of us have had it much longer. I guess what I'm trying to say is watchful for this side affect.... If you can manage and get through it that's great. But if for some reason you find yourself sinking....get help...

peaceful wishes to all.....

Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jul 10, 2009
I love that this journal just KEEPS on KEEPIN on............
These posts absolutely saved me from the evil Tramadol life. 1 year of pure love for this substance and 5 years of fear and pain from it.

Ok My Turn:

What I DO NOT MISS: (a partial list)

The monthly $125 hits on my already huge credit card balance.

Leaving work at odd hours so that I could sign fior a FedEx package.

Looking that FedEx guy in the eye and knowing that HE knows what's inside.

Having to change my home phone twice because of the nuisance calls, many from oversas.

Counting pills, and counting them again.

Having to urinate 100 times a day, no one has mentioned this one yet, but I bet it's common.

OK enough for now. I'm 34 days OFF Tramadol. I did a 2 week taper, got down to crumbs (one 50mg cut in four pieces) then did the Cold Turkay and still suffered 3-4 days,a nd the lingering non-linear symptoms still show up but I just get out and run, run for my lfe away from this horrible non habit forming, non addictive, synthetic piece of garbage Tramadol.

It's so good to hear over and over again, (from reading here) that you have to HATE< and be really angry at this Tramadol crap
YOU MUST HATE IT....I'm serious, and you will hate it, just give that a try and I bet you will flush every single one of them.


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by Aicle, Jul 10, 2009
Day 12 for me. I feel so much better!

Jules is right, you finally have to get mad and hate it. I feel so much better. I used to think I could not do anything unless I had a few trammies. Now I am keeping busy doing projects and I actually have more energy than the last three years.

I have a feeling of hope and that is better than the fear that I used to live with. The fear of running out or not have taken enough to get me through what ever.

I read a great book about addictions and how they are connected to money problems and recovery. The book is called " The Money Trap". I have kicked the pills, and now it's time to address the other areas in my life that need tweeking. Instead of tripping out about my bills and money issues (which I am assuming some of you might know that feeling) and taking some pills and putting that problem on the back burner I know have addressed the issue and have a plan. This has given me new hope as well. The book really addresses the ties between money, addictions, and relapse/recovery.

When you fret about how far you have to go to be free of this crap, just think how far you have come! If you are here, you are starting to get tired of living the tram life. That is a step in the right direction. Just three weeks ago, I was taking 6-9 50mg of TRAMAL a day on avg. I only tapered a few days and then I just quit. Now only 12 days later I feel reborn, a fresh new start.
I still have moments of w/d's but I just remember days 2-3 and grin and bare it.

Life is good again.


Avatar universal
by Miss_Amy_2009, Jul 10, 2009
For those of you that read my last post (very last post on the thread in Part 11) and are thinking of tapering Tramadol, I want to remind you that if you're interested in seeing my tapering process, experience, w/d symptoms..that they are posted on my tracker (journals included). :-)

A few words of direction:
Choose your method of Madness(CT or Tapering), Make a plan, Expect unavoidable w/d's, and work through them and embrace the misery as your body's way of healing...I'll see you when you get to the other side. YOU CAN DO IT!

Hugs and Hope to all!


Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jul 10, 2009
I just feel like posting today DAY 35. I feel great but my heart is heavy.
I have concerns about my brother today. If you followed my earlier posts you know that my brother just had surgery for cancer and he's now taking Percocet and Ativan. He's always been my rock, the one who could take or leave any substance. He is the brother who was there for me when we were younger,  and wild as heck, high as a kite most of our teenage years.

Now I worry, every email I get is about pills, which ones he has, which ones he's going to ask for. He asks me now to let him in on how I got my Tramadol and swears he'll only take it 3-4 times a week. I'm really worried about him. i sent him all of the reasons not to take Tramadol, all of the gory details about the online ordering and lying and waiting to get caught. i thought I was helping him see what an awful choice this is for him.... and now he's not responding to my emails.
Sorry I just had to vent.

Avatar universal
by justmemama, Jul 10, 2009
I've been lurking here for a few weeks and you all seem so supportive... so I'm ready to post.

I've been an addict for as long as I can remember.  Though I go in spurts.  

Long story short ( I guess I'm not as ready as I thought)  I'm trying to withdraw from Tramadol and I'm 29 weeks pregnant.  I took my last one this morning. NO ONE knows about this and I refuse to tell my OB.  I got the tram from where I work.  
I know I'm up against hell...I've been through vicoden withdrawals which I had to do on my own without any support or help so I know what it's going to be like...

I guess I just... I dunno... I say we all blow up the pharmaceutical companies.

Avatar universal
by Kacey797, Jul 10, 2009
Hello to all...I am on day four of my withdrawal from ultram...cold turkey and I must say I feel so much better than I did yesterday.  I finally told my husband...and that was a very difficult time because this will be the second (and i swear the last) time I have done this. I'm glad that I told him and even though he seems a bit disappointed, he came to me hugged me and told me he loved me no matter what.  His fear? I'll do it again.  I promised him the last time I would never, but here I am again.  But like the people above...I WILL HATE THIS PILL FOREVER and run.  I spent $200. a week and I can say it was finally catching up.  I have eaten more today than I have in the past 6 months and I hate that, but I will be back at the gym starting Sunday.  By then I should feel much better.  

Grandmagrl~ went and bought St. Johns Wart...I beleive it has made me feel so much better today.  I was at work and focused..and ordered breakfast and lunch today.  Thank you for the suggestion!

justmemama~ hang in should tell your doctor though.  I know it's hard and maybe embarassing, but I don't know what effects any of these pills can have on an unborn child. Just a though.  Good luck and I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts.

Avatar universal
by ultradic, Jul 10, 2009
Hello Again;
     This is my second post. I've been reading and reading post after post from all of you. I had no idea that so many of us were slaves to this drug. Thank you for your welcoming comments, and I will take your advice to heart. The one message that got to me was from Fred.
     Fred, You sure do tell it like it is sir. You scared me by saying "Just hope you don't have a seizure". I'm actually going to do tapering. I saw my Doctor today and we'll figure out a different pain control method. He offered me Percocet, but I refused any narcotics. Even though Ultram isn't a narcotic he did say they work on the same receptors.
     Fred, I can relate to everything you said. Counting pills, unfinished projects, etc. I've just recently (over the past 6 months) finished all my little to do's.
    I'm going to use all of my power to come off Tramadol forever. I tapered off smoking on my son's third birthday in 2006. It took me 4 weeks of true dedication but I did it, and never returned, and never gained an ounce. Now it's time to put that energy into quitting Ultram.

    For any of you who have tapered successfully How did you do the taper. I was thinking of tapering by 200mg per week for 5 or 6 weeks. I know that's possible, and it seems comfortable to me.

    Is it ok if I stick around here for support or do I need to be off the Ultram to be considered a part of this community?????

Thanks for everything. I hope I can stick around. by the way I live in beautiful Northern New York State.

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jul 10, 2009
ultradic.....yes's ok to sick around....or hang around ...lurk around....That's how we all got here.

Glad you took Fred's post to heart..To answer your question on tapering.....Reread the other posts.  I went cold turkey when I simply felt I didn't need to refill for tooth and nerve pain..That threw me in to W/D...and I lived to tell the tale...I'm 62 and did work during this process .....This drug hits every one so different. So go for it and see how it goes for you....Keep posting and up date as can....

Read as many of Emily's earlier posts as you can....They have helped so many...

Peaceful wishes from California

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 10, 2009
To Grandmagirl, how are you feeling since you are on (I believe day 3? of Prozac?)  I have been thinking about you, mostly because I take my Prozac every morning and I say to myself, I'm not alone, somewhere in the world Grandmagirl is taking this with me.  So I hope you feel better. Sometimes I think that just psychologically, taking something you know will make you feel better, will start making you feel better before it even kicks in. It's like being in war and overwhelmed by the enemy, then seeing your troops on their way to rescue you...!!!      I tell my boyfriend every night about all these posts I read throughout the day, he is amused at times, and near tears at other times. We were excited to see the progress of Aicle. I remember reading your posts when you were in the first few days of w/d's and to read your post today saying at the end: "Life is good again," makes me feel very happy, like you saved your own life, all on your own. You should be very proud.  Cuz I am of you for sure. Fred's post are also A-freaking-mazing. Boy, does he tell it like it is holy smokes. So thank you Fred for your free therapy sessions for all of us.     Lastly, about myself, I have been struggling. I am well over two weeks but still am very deep in depression. I work from home, so throughout the day when my work is done, I just spin circles, my brain idles with stupid thoughts and before I know it, I'm sitting in my closet with the door closed screaming for God to help me. I am going through a divorce, I am 22. So the stress has become overwhelming, I guess it wasn't the best time to choose to quit a drug I was very dependent on for stability. Yet, when is it ever a good time really?  I just can't really see this black cloud lifting. I miss my life I was comfortable with. taking my pills to numb a bad marriage was peaceful in comparison to the lonely nightmare I'm in now. I can't really point my finger at who to blame. Is it the w/d's still making me depressed, or am I just over-whelmed from my divorce??  Who freakin knows. I sure don't. So I'm going to choke down some food and watch t.v.   I wish all my friends on here a peaceful and restful night.      Love, The Lonely Insomniac

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by 12Stepper, Jul 11, 2009
Greetings T-Warriors, I'm still here with you in thoughts and prayers even when I don't post. Your sharing has helped me so much. The information about what is making us sick, what to expect, and things that help. I really felt so horrible, never realizing that it was because a few days before I quit a "nonaddictive" pain killer. I can remember reading those early posts--I bet my eyes were popping open. Now, such a solid core of survivors. Welcome to the newcomers.

Grandmagirl, I am really with you here in your struggle and appreciate your courage to get help and your willingness to share your experience with the Prozac. In your recent post, you said you were taking Tylanol PM and that the MD said it might cause depression. I took that too until recently and also had lingering depression. I suspected the Tylanol PM (or benedryl, same stuff w/o the tylanol) as a cause of depression, but it didn't seem realistic. Maybe a combination of both the Tram w/d and the tylanol PM cause depression. Who knows? I just realized that the only way people can know what to expect in Tram w/d is by reading these journals. I don't think you can find it anywhere else. Maybe that's why there's so many of us.

I've gotten some relief from my lingering depression with my walks. I walk even when I don't feel like it, just because I know it helps. Like Fred was saying, just a walk around the block will do. I can see what the neighbors are doing with their yards. Some new lawn ornaments? Some very pretty flowers blooming. I'm building up to 45 min. Whatever it takes to get "well." Please keep sharing on your mental state, Grandmagirl, if the Prozac is helping and so on. Your info on the Tylanol PM is much appreciated. God bless you all and thank you for sharing your strength and hope. Linn

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 11, 2009
Linn, when you walk, it doesn't ever make you more depressed?  I have been wanting to go out at dusk (because it's way too hot during the day) and walk around my quiet neighborhood. Yet, when I go out it makes me feel lonely. I feel like everyone else in the world is just getting home from work and is settling in with their families all happy, and here I am walking around aimlessly. So please let me know if you do feel that way and if i should just expect it in the beginning. I can't get the courage to get far from home on foot.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jul 11, 2009
Nick, HELL yes it's alright for you to stick around as long as you want, bud.  You ARE part of this community now you know.  Consider this - when I got here, I was hopelessly lost, utterly defeated, entirely unable to kick this tram after taking it for more than six years.  I was a poster boy for failure my friend.  

Not only was I NOT convinced that I could do this thing that you now are considering, I had actually placed my first order for trams online as I considered whether I could get through the withdrawals that are entirely necessary to get off this.  .  Except that my tramafog, I had omited one critical bit of information in my order - MY CARD # - DUH!   By the time I went back to my email inbox, I had a note from the good folks at ""  encouraging me to complete my order.  But by that time, I had seen that it could be POSSIBLE for me to defeat this drug as others here had done before me.

Emily is the only true saint around here.  She did this on her own, without anyone to chat with as she struggled through this process on her own.    And now one year later,  if there is a longer running set of threads relating to tramadol, I'd like to find it.  Could someone point me to it?  

But a funny thing happened to me after reading the posts around this place.  For the first time in over six years, I saw a glimmer of HOPE for me.  That if I did what others had done, there was at least a chance that I too could overcome the trams.  

As you read the posts here Nick, you will find everything from people explaining why they can't possibly defeat this drug, to people like Amy, mrcrump, grandmagirl, Jules, Clen, madtram, Emily, Aicle, and countless others who pop back in to see how newer folks are doing.  For those of us who are funtunate enough to get off the tramotrain, there is a debt of shared graditude for Emily's work here that no amount of our posting can ever repay.  

None of us were clean when we got here.  For many, it took more than one or two tries.  This isn' place for the well, but rather for the unwell to come and just possibly catch the VISION that hope just might help us too work out of this terrible drug.  In my very fist post here on around 12/2, I declared that this place may just save my life.  I wwasn't entirely convinced, but I had to try to make this work.

That partial list Jules completed above -  of SOME of the lovely reasons NOT to miss tramadol is one I for one can definately relate to.  There ARE far too many similarities with our experiences with this drug to not sit up and say, it's the drug, stupid.  

Click on Amy's icon...or Emilys or mine.  Maybe others kept journals on their own profile pages, but I am unsure who else did and who didn't.  I keep trying to get the newcomers to begin their own set of journal entires on their own profile pages, but very few see the need.  But such entries serve not only as a history of our own baby steps toward recovery, but they serve as a declaration of our determination to win the battle.  

When we each got here, we ALL felt unworthy to even post.  Many lurked for days weeks before posting.  Most had doubts that we could muster the courage to do WAR with this demon drug.  

Nobody who has entered into this battle has died.  Yes, some have given up before entering the promised land, only to return to the hell we each know far too well of being controlled by a substance that possesses us, dictates our lives, and to that which will NOT leave without a fight.  

After I became free of this drug in early December, I was quite the zealot for doing it the way I had done - cold turkey.  But I now feel that whatever way works for a person is a good way to go.  Progress not perfection and all.

But tapering is not necessarily for everyone.   And if you rush a taper, you will still experience withdrawal symptoms.  

Here's my suggestion.  Try a simple test and see if you can maintain a tapered schedule.  Slow but steady is the key I think.  See if you can honesty reduce your daily dose and not find yourself saying things like,  "just for today, I will take a few extra pills and tomorrow I will resume my taper."  That's the sort of self talk that I did nearly every day while on this drug.  That's why I KNEW that I could no more successfully taper off  this drug, than I could have stopped drinking on a taper.  If a few pills makes us feel alright, our best thinking tells us that a few more will REALLY set us up to feel better.  

If after a few weeks  of experimenting with a taper, you find that you can indeed taper slowly and not even occassionally kick up the dose because (insert your own justification ___________) then you are a good candidate for a nice slow taper.

If you cannot maintain a taper schedule after giving it an honest try and if you find yourself making exceptions (just today) for what seem to be good reasons at the time for taking that extra pill, it's time to re-examine whether you CAN actually have success on a taper.  Slow and steady are the keys.  2Sue did it, I believe.  But the vast majority of us recognize after a few failed attempts that there is no soft easy way to do this.  

Many of us were actually suffering from withdrawal symptoms CONSTANTLY even while we were on the drug.  That's because the same dose makes us each feel less and less UNWELL over time due to the tolerance we build up to this drug.  

None of us sets out to take 1200 mg/day of this drug.  We aren't  bad people who increase our dosage over necessarily feel wonderful. The best we each hoped for at the end was to feel less UNWELL.  And it took us an ever increasing daily dose of this drug just to keep the withdrawl symptoms from making us unfunctioning individuals.     So it's not that we "function swimmingly" in the end on this drug.  It's just our hope that we might be able to function at all.  

This is one powerful drug.  I truly have no flipping idea what a brain receptor is but they say that somehow this drug works on our brain receptors.  It's ANYTHING but a safe alternative to "real opiates".   Tram KILLS.  

We have all run out of pills at one time or another.  Some of us have actually gone 2 days or more without the stuff.  I only wish that someone had clued me in years ago, that if during those HORRIBLE 2 day layoffs, I could have been told that if only I could have tacked on another few more days I would be DONE with this drug,  I would have spared myswelf a great deal of REOCCURRING pain.  But how could we have known.  Most of use wre simply trying to feel UNWELL by the end.  

In addition to knowing myself well enough to judge that I would not do well on a taper, I can be a bit compulsive and impatient.  I had enough pills left when I jumped off that I could have tried some sort of taper program.  But I considered that I could be DONE with this horrible drug in 4-5 days of the worst eperience of my life, I chose to deal and be done.  

If we approach this battle as one seeking advice on the easiest car wax method to use to wax a car, we are doomed from the start.  There simply is NO easy way out.  I don't think there IS any easy way to wax this car.

All I can tell you is that if this weak person (me) can stand and fight this drug, one moment at a time, not looking forward or backward, I suspect anyone can.  It's not that people who stop cold turkey are strong, but rather it's exactly because we know how weak we really are, that we determine to take the shortest distance to the goal line.  

When I tell you that I feel great today, that all of my withdrawal symptoms went away months ago, it's not out of pride that I share this.  It's simply to let you know that it is possible to have a normal life again after tramadol.

Iv'e shared this before, but I began my journey recognizing my failures in the past with this drug.  Over six years, I figured that I had lost 2,190 days without one single win.  Yet amidst my admitted powerlessness and failures,   one winter day I declared that for myself, this was a fight I simply had to TRY to win.  And somewhere in the first day of tiny moments determining NOT to take this drug no matter how badly my temporary withdrawal was, I declared that at last, my win-loss record was more than ZEROS in the win column.  And I febbily but purposely declared that my record then stood at 1 win - 2,190 losses.  

Today I suspect that if I counted accurately, my record would stand at something like 220 wins - 2,190 losses.  It's still not a record that would qualify me to even coach a U6 girls soccer team I expect.  But I mention this only to illustrate that success cannot be got by looking either at our past defeats, nor ahead to our 220th day.  

I also recall asking Emily in those early days whether she agreed that her first day was the most important day of her recovery.  ( I thought that for me, that my day 1 was the most important).  But Emily surprised me somewhat when she posted that for her, her first rday was not the most important day of recovery.  It was that day, she looked into her pill drawer, and realized that she did not need to be held hostage to this drug any more.  (Em, correct me here if I am putting words into yer mouth :) )

My mother in law used to repeat the silliest phrase, "sometimes the easy way is the hard way and the hard way is the easy way."  I used to think she was talking psycho babble.  But as I came into my OWN battle with this terrible drug, for the first time in my life, I saw the wisdom in her words.

Stay NICK as long as you want.  Repeat why you are powerless to  defeat this drug.  And as you keep coming back and posting, I pray that you too will have a moment like Emily's when you look at your pill drawer, and have a moment of clarity.  That you too might come to believe that what has been IMPOSSIBLE all these years for you, MIGHT just have a happy ending.  

If you believe in a higher power, trust it/him/her.  If you don't have one, trust that the power in these rooms WHICH served as a model for countless others, might also get you through the worst week of your life.  Cause if you can do that Nick, I believe that you will be coming back to these rooms like grandmagirl, Amy and others to help the next person one day soon, coming along behind you.

I have people I know in real life who still take this drug.  And  I am utterly powerless to convince that tram is controlling/killing them.  They say that even a prophet is not well received in their own home town.  But if this unseen friend (me) can make a TINY difference in someone else's life across the globe, there is at least a chance that one day, you can make a difference in the lives I am utterly unable to change where I live.  

It truly DOES take a village.

Courage, Strength and love to you all,  (and especially to you Nick)


Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jul 11, 2009
mrcrump, walks...

By walking, you are doing for yourself what NOBODY else can do for you.  Consider what you are doing, not as aimless walking, but as steps toward becoming a healthier person.  

I began walking in ernest a few months ago before work whether I want to or not.  (and I always have a million reasons why I cannot walk on any particular day.)  Could you switch up and start walking in the cool early morning hours?  I rather enjoy the thought that I can get out by myself and be setting myself up for a good start to my day.  Not only does it increase your metabolism and make your heart healthy, it does something to my psychye.  

As I walk by myself,I make mental notes of the changes in plants I pass by from day to day. (Buds, blossoms, faded blooms that ought to be pinched off)   I study landscape techniques in the homes in my area, and I occassionaly observe the progress a homeowner is making on a yard project (or not). And I take every oppoprtunity to say hello to passers by.  

The people with families in their homes may or may not actually be happy.  I find these days that my happiness is largely dependant on my own attitude and actions.  

I recall in my early adult days (before many of you were a twinkle im mamma's eye) my wife and I lived in a very small town.  in the evenings we would take walks.  In Seattle, especially 30 years ago, most people didn't need/have AC, so they simply opened their windows and doors up in the evening.  By choice, we didn't own a TV at that time.  And we were struck how that EVERY house had a TV on.  How "happy" can it be to sit around a TV each evening?  

Of course people do walk with others or go to gyms to work out.  But I find that if I can keep my excercise routine SIMPLE, I have an increased chance that it will become a routine I can keep up.  Simple these days for me, is putting on my shoes and walking out my front door.  

I am rambling here, so I will say goodnight.  fred

Avatar universal
by gettinglifeback, Jul 11, 2009
Well, I made it through my first birthday in over 8 years drug free!! It wasn't an easy day. All week I had been looking forward to going out with my husband to finally see Transformers and dinner. I had been feeling sooo good. I haven't WANTED to go out for so long, or at least I told myself I felt "too bad" to go out so this was a big step.  We had a really nice time, but I was more uncomfortable sitting for a long movie than I had expected...still no biggie. Also, I keep getting so bloated and can't seem to find something to help...any suggestions???

Anyway, not going to lie, had the thought that if I would have taken just one Lortab I would be more comfortable, then sanity hit and I know I would be so disappointed in would my husband even though he is too good a man to say it.

Either way, wonderful birthday with morning/afternoon fooling around with the kids...even took all 4 to the mall...tram/lortab free!!

I have been walking almost every morning and just returned from a 45 min. stroll this a.m. walked for over an hour yesterday so thought I would take it easy this morning. What a great feeling to just walk and breath in the fresh air. I feel like I have been under house arrest for so long.

FinallyFred:  I love the "It's still not a record that would qualify me to even coach a U6 girls soccer team I expect."  I've watched u6 boys and girls teams....might not be too bad a record after all :-)

Your words are so encouraging and I look forward to reading your post when I see your name.  Not sure if I should be concerned but your MIL saying makes perfect sense to me....maybe this Tram. did more harm to my brain receptors than I think LOl
Thanks again to all for all your stories, as I said before this is now my mornine routine to read through for motivation.  Day 9 here without anything day15 since I did a drastic taper!  I think I am ill though, I am anxiously awaiting 9:30 here so I can go out and cut the grass...yes, I have three sons and a husband but I have an odd urge to get out and accomplish something and sweat some more :-) But, if I go out now I might be shot, no cutting grass this early in the burbs!!

Oh, if anyone has anymore suggestions on the bloating (i do have IBS) I'd appreciate it that and I keep having to urinate constantly...not sure if the vitamins have a diaretic in them or if all the water I am finally drinking has sent my kidney's into shock..:-)

Avatar universal
by flippers, Jul 11, 2009
Wow! Glad to see so many new warriors here. (day 55 for me)

I remember having questions about tram a while ago and really not wanting to know the answers. I would check all the consumer medical sites and would find the usual BS.  I knew there had to be more out there, and when I found these pages, I remember feeling pissed off. It was almost like an intervention. Here were all these people: professionals, mothers, fathers, students, retirees, low-dosers, high-dosers... all saying the things that I was feeling. I remember reading about someone trying to kick 12.5 mg/day......nuff said.

For those in the fight, Fred said it best when he said "you have to declare war". That was the most important thing for me, as this is a battled that will last a while (even after acute w/d). To casually quit because "it may be time", or because your rx ran out, or because "it's expensive", may not be enough to make it through this battle - YOU MUST DECLARE WAR!

Hang in there everyone...


Avatar universal
by justmemama, Jul 11, 2009
I took my last pill at 5:30pm and woke up at 5:30 this morning thinking I was going to die.  I was nauseated, and my heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest?

How long does this last?

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jul 11, 2009
Thank you friends for asking about the on going fight with depression..

Wow..I think I'm starting to make the turn...Not sitting in the closet crying 24/7...nothing like crashing and burning in one's own private closet...I guess I should have filmed it...the drama of it all

Day # 4 of Prozac.10 mg.
..Must be feeling a little better. Going OUT today to get a massage...Then I'm coming home and taking a nap. Husband is doing a lot of staring ...I think the Tram drama has put him a little over the edge too...

justmemama...Read all the other posts. Your going to feel better as the days go by. Just take it day by day. I didn't have the nausea so I can't comment on that. I did do a lot of shaking ..but passed pretty quick...Keep posting. We are all here for you.

mrcrump...left you a note on your page...Hope your feeling better....  

Peaceful wishes from California

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 11, 2009
To Justmemama, hang in there friend. I still feel that way after two weeks clean (I think I am a rare exception of whiny) so expect it. When you wake up with that panicked feeling I want you to focus your breathing. It's the Yoga breathing technique. Place your tongue against the roof of your mouth and hold it there, while you breath deep through your nose, pulling the air from your stomach and releasing at the slowest pace possible through your nose. Don't open your mouth. This breathing will flood your panicked brain with oxygen, and help your anxiety come right down. Nausea is still my enemy, DO NOT throw up. You need to get some Ginger Ale, and sip that.  I also got a Rx for Meclizine. It is an anti-nausea medicine that kicks in in about half hour. I take it right when I wake up with some ginger ale. If you cant get the medicine, there is over-the-counter stuff I believe it's called Dramamine. You need this!! I promise.   The feeling that your heart is going to beat out of your chest is severe anxiety. That means that you are not in a deep sleep, and your subconscious is thinking about Ultram, and making you panic. When I wake up like that (which is every day for me) I turn on the tv and do my breathing exercises. I hope some of this helps, I'm here with you. Keep us posted, Love, KS

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 11, 2009
Fred, I am going to go for a walk tonight I have decided. I don't give a crap if I don't want to, I'm going to go and stare at all the plants to keep my wild brain busy. I'll let you know how it goes, thanks for your support friend.   -KS

Avatar universal
by justmemama, Jul 11, 2009
Wow... thank you so much for the support!!!  Doing this alone is killer. Knowing that my fiancee is sleeping next to me and has NO clue.   I feel aweful for it but it's better this way.

It's going to be a long week, but I will do it.  I just need to stop reading all the CRAP on the internet about fetus's dying and such.  I know that won't happen.  ANd it's not like my already over panicked brain needs to read that.

Avatar universal
by elizabeth442, Jul 11, 2009
This is my first post. I've read through a lot of the posts here which made me feel a lot better (thanks everyone) and I thought I would share my situation and ask for some advice. I feel a little silly writing because my situation does not seem nearly as difficult as what some of you have been through and I feel a bit like a baby for complaining.

I recently had some neck/back pain again (it comes once a year or so) and I happened to get Tramadol from someone who got it for pain and didn't like it so they offered to me (I have no health insurance). I LOVED the tramadol. It made me feel great. They were 50mg pills and I took one a day until they ran out (long after the back pain went away) After that, I was depressed for 2 weeks but I got through it. That was about 2 years ago. Recently I got another bottle for my most recent back pain. You would think I would know better considering the prior time, but apparently 2 years was enough time to remember how much I liked them and forget about the withdrawal.

This one was a big bottle but 37.5mg per pill and I took it until it was gone, but only one pill a day, on occasion two. I ran out and I am having withdrawals. I am on day 4 without. I am surprised considering the low dose I was taking but it was for about 3 months every day. My main symptoms are anxiety (I have a constant knot in my stomach), depression and weird pain in my arms and to a lesser extent my legs. The depression isn't nearly as bad as the last time, but now I have anxiety and this weird pain. I am dealing with the anxiety and depression fairly well, I know it will go away, but this pain is getting hard to deal with. Is it really possible that this is a withdrawal from such a low dose? It seems crazy. It feels like I imagine Restless Leg Syndrome would feel, but I have no way of knowing. Just this constant dull pain in my arms. I tried Ibuprofen but it doesn't help. I just dug through my medicine cabinet to see if I had anything that would help, but of course, anything potent is long gone and all I have is muscle relaxers that I got for my back but that never worked well enough for me to take, plus they're old. I took one Skelaxin because a google search pulled up results that had Skelaxin being prescribed for RLS. Of course, that probably isn't what I have and so far it doesn't seem to be helping. But it is a muscle relaxer so I thought maybe it could help.

I would really appreciate any advice on how to treat this or opinions on whether you think it really is a withdrawal symptom from such a low dosage or something else completely that I should have checked out. It is really starting to drive me crazy.

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jul 11, 2009
Welcome elizabeth....Long story short I was given script for only 50 mg. generic for Tramadol..Ultram. Take one a day for tooth and nerve pain...Took these on and off for about a year. The last half of the year I only took a 50 mg. tablet when teeth hurt or had nerve pain.

I did notice that I was sweating a lot on some days but never put it together with the Ultram  I was lucky that I did not have a craving for this drug. I can't remember exactly why that was but I think I thought it might make me gain weight...Ok..yeah I'm not savey about drugs.. I do KNOW now that I did have a lot more energy and things in general felt GOOD.

One day I looked at the bottle and thought...Not going to re fill this as I haven't had nerve and tooth pain in awhile and aspirin works...

.After a few days of feeling VERY ODD..I thought ...what have I done DIFFERANT ?..Finally I retireved the BOTTLE OF ULTRAM...stared at it...went on line..googled it...and Guess WHAT...Instantly I was very pissed off.  I found this site and started reading Emily's posts....Bingo...Light bulb other words as I stared at the screen I could feel the hamster falling off the wheel.  I was pissed...pissed..pissed.

I did post within a few days that I was having a panic attack at work. I was lucky that Big was reading...HI Big...and he posted back to me with more information....I thought I was going crazy too...Soooooo...yeah  I think your in W/D....Even on that small amount.

Go back and read Emily's earlier posts and read Fred's last couple of posts....It SHOULD make you NEVER want to put this rat poison in your system again.... I hope this helps....

Peaceful wishes from California

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 11, 2009
Elizabeth, dear sweet Elizabeth (I'm saying this with my teeth clenched!!!!) do not take those disgusting pills ever ever ever again. You have to promise yourself. Now that you are experiencing the wacky withdrawals you should know better that your life is perfect without them, or nearly perfect anyways, your already on day four!!! That's so great. Just keep reading these posts, drink some hot tea and wiggle your limbs if need be. Your doing awesome, so you don't need any other medicine. Especially if it's old!! lol
Okay well were all here for you, keep us informed on how your doing.
Oh and I absolutely think it is withdrawals, listen to Grandmagirl, and read the previous posts, your jaw will drop when you read everyone else's that have the exact same symptoms as you. Here's a thought for you, when you take an antibiotic course for anything, it stays in your system for up to two months!!!  That means that Ultram is active and working still in your brain and body, hang in there, your body needs time to flush it out, and re-wire it's electrical system.   Love, KS

Avatar universal
by justmemama, Jul 11, 2009
My question is, how can a drug company sell a "medication" without first having SERIOUS evidence of it's side effects and such?   I mean, isn't that what, as americans, we are taught to believe?  In the doctors and drug companies?!


Sorry.. venting.

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by grateful4life66, Jul 12, 2009
Hey everyone, I posted this on the wrong thread I think, so I'm trying this one now, thanks Fred!  Anyway, I have read many of the comments on here and they make me feel much better. I am 23 and was diagnosed with cancer 3 years ago, through surgerys, chemo and pregnancy I have been on MANY medicines. Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Methadone and Dilauded are just the main pain medications I have consistantly been on the entire time. My Sig Other has dealt with addiction throughout this whole time because of the stress of the situation and the easy access to narcotics. After a very long struggle with many, many diff drugs, he had finally gotten clean. But he injured his back badly and the last month it has been horrible trying to get him into a doctor that will even take him without insurance muchless prescribe him any treatment that is more than just a bandaid to hold till they can pass him off to someone else. He decided to order Tramadol online as he and I had tried at a couple of years back and remembered it somewhat working without being an "I need it!!" drug. It took longer to get here then we thought it would and he was in a lot of pain, so I (very stupidly) decided to give him some of my medicine in the meantime and use some of the tramadol myself when it got here if I needed it to hold off withdrawls and pain until my normal prescription came through again and I could get back on course.

Through more stupidity on my part I gave him more then was able to part with and was going through pretty bad withdrawls when the Tramadol came, I took it throughout the day and waited for relief, but didn't get much. So at night time I took 200mgs along with some diphenhydramine (which I take every night to help me sleep) and went to bed feeling normal. I woke up at 3am in my bed with my sig other standing next to me, 2 fire fighters, 2 paramedics, and my entire family standing over me in my room with the lights on. I didn't know what was going on, he told me that I had had a seiziure and then I was unresponsive for 20 mins or so, but I didn't remember anything (I still don't).  So after a little while I was able to convince them that I didn't need to be taken in to the hospital and that we would dial 911 the second anything felt weird and they left, I took 1 pill in the am and in the pm the next day and then completely stopped taking it and now I will never EVER touch them again!!!  The problem I have now is that my sig other is coming off of 1000mgs a day (over the last 4 days) and does not want to ever touch again either, but is going through terrible withdrawls while having to work. Every second is a huge fight for him to not take the easy way out and take one of my pills or smoke pot and so far he is doing really well. I was wondering if anybody had any advice or knew of anything I could do to help make this easier on him or provide even a little relief? I got the B-Complex with B-12, niacin, pantothenic acid and B-6 in it, and I found the Queen Helene bath minerals, I have magnisium, valarian, melatonin, diphenhydramine to help him sleep... Is there anything else that is natural (and hopefully not too much money :/) out there to help him get through the next few days?

I also wanted to make sure I wrote down somewhere what happened to me, because it is so scary to me to think that because of 20 hours of a bad decision I could have died, its scary that I can't remember any of it, and its scary that you can even get something that is so scary, online.  I have fought for my life over the last 3 years and so far the cancer is losing, and it makes me very angry to think that after all of that, after fighting to save my daughter while in chemo, after the torture and the pain, after nearly dying twice.... that this stupid, HORRIBLE little pill could have taken everything away from me.Please don't ever take this pill, I can promise you it won't be worth it.  

I am so grateful to have all these posts to read, and to know that we're not alone, thank you emily, everything you say is very encouraging. Good luck to everyone!


Avatar universal
by Trees_and_Tablets, Jul 12, 2009
Hi everyone.

Almost 3 weeks since I finished with this stuff and it still haunts me in more ways than I expected. Went to bed last night and after about an hours sleep spent the nest 6 sitting up listening to music. My sleep pattern is still crap. The wrst for me is the constant feeling of being uneasy in my skin, feeling like I am too hot, too sticky, too sore - it really wears on me and is stopping me getting on with stuff. I had been taking an occasional dose of 500/8 co-codomol but I am now worried hat I am starting to welcome the slight buzz I get from these and so have stopped 2 days ago with this. It's almost like going CT all over again.
Has anyone else had any symptoms with skin rashes or soreness?

Back to see the doc on Tuesday so will see what she has to offer.


Avatar universal
by gettinglifeback, Jul 12, 2009
wow grateful4life, what a very scary situation for you.  Seizure was my biggest concern when I decided to quit this crap. I didn't realize until I read here that the risk of seizure was once you drastically dropped your doseage and than radically increased it again (or maybe not needing to radically increase it)  I had stopped everything I was taking but my blood pressure medication the first 4 days (mostly because I couldn't keep anything down) but I had this nagging fear so I started my neurontin again.  I just can't imagine how scary that had to be, and how lucky you are that it didn't go any further.  Please stay away from this crap, you have fought an amazing battle against your cancer to let this s%^& get you!!

As for your sig. other, it seems like you are giving/he is taking most of what I took to help me.  I did take Valium when the anxiety was too much(read that on the Thomas detox), had a horrible feeling in my stomach, jumping out of my skin..still taking it occ. but at the beginning every 6-10 hours or I felt like I was going insane.  I did find I had to keep moving all the time or it was unbearable..I have accomplished more in the last 1 1/2 weeks than I have in the last year put together..yesterday cut the grass after going for a 45 min. walk.. I am day 12 out after dropping 16 days ago from a 500mg/day(sure there were days that were more) tram. and 20-30mg Lortab habit and was on Tram for  8 years so hoping I am past the worse part. I am still taking all the vit. and min. I read on here. B-12 sublingual seems to really help with energy.  I am also taking a RX vit. along with a energy suppliment from GNC with amino acids. I finally went and bought the Melatonin (sublingual also) last night not really expecting much....I had finally started sleeping after the first 5 nights but only 3-5 hours on and off) well, took 2 subl. last night at 8:30 and my husband kept asking me "if I took something"  after being offended it hit me, I guess the Melatonin does do something. I slept from 10-12:30 when my 20 y/o came home from work and had to wake me up grrr :-) and then again from 1:45-6:30!! I am so excited to get some sleep. so maybe it will be what I need.  Oh, I had terrible leg cramps the first week and too extra potassium and mag. seemed to help. There were some in my multi-vit. but not at the level they suggested here, so I have been supplementing.  I am cont. on the vit. just because I have had a horrible diet for the last several years and seeing that I am now old (turned 39 Friday) I know I need the extra vit. and min. esp. calcium.  Oh, and I still take at least 2 hot baths (jacuzzi's) a day when the legs hurt or the anxiety starts and it really helps. You wouldn't think a warm/hot bath would help so much but it does.  Anyway, please both of you stay away from this poision, you can do it. This forum is amazing in support and a wealth of knowledge.  I hope for the best for both of you!

Avatar universal
by elizabeth442, Jul 12, 2009
Thanks mrcrump and grandmagirl! I will not be taking these again, for sure. I can't believe doctors just give this out like it is no big deal. I wasn't even taking the recommended dose on the bottle (two a day). Do you think the doctors even know about the withdrawals or they just give out whatever they get enough incentive to give out from the pharmaceutical marketing reps?

Last night was horrible. The pain was in both my arms and my legs and constant. It was very hard to sleep and I woke up often. I took some Tylenol PM and that did help a little, not just to get me to sleep but I think the acetaminophen might have helped the pain. When I woke up this morning, for a second I thought it was gone and this was over, but it slowly came back into my arms. I think I will try taking some acetaminophen. I work on a computer all day and I have a ton of work to do and this arm pain makes it difficult. The skelaxin didn't work at all so I won't try that again.  I knew there was a reason they were still in my medicine cabinet!

Do you have any idea how long I can expect these symptoms to last? I am really hoping for weeks and not months! Is there something I can do to try to flush this out of my system more quickly? I will try drinking a lot of water, but other than that?

Stephen, how much were you taking when you quit 3 weeks ago? Can you describe the soreness? My pain feels like something between pain, tingling and soreness. It is really hard to describe as I've never felt it before. Good luck!

Thanks, again, for the support!

Avatar universal
by elizabeth442, Jul 12, 2009
I just went back and read some posts on the earlier pages of this forum and read that diphenhydramine can actually cause RLS, so I will try to stay off the Tylenol PM. I also read some posts (westport and choose_life, thank you!) who were on 12.5 mg at the end and still suffered withdrawals and it just made me realize that you really don't need to take much of this stuff to have withdrawals. I didn't taper but I was only taking 37.5mg a day. I understand now the panic attics and anxiety I was feeling while I was still on the Tramadol (the last couple weeks) was actually withdrawal from not getting the same effect from the same dose. Reading those old posts was really helpful and I really appreciate this forum. Thanks everyone.

Day 5 here and while my arms are killing me, the anxious knot in my stomach is gone and the depression is better at the moment (although i will admit I had moments where I actually broke down and cried probably each of the last 5 days.)

Anyway, I mostly just wanted to say thanks again to you all for posting.

Avatar universal
by Trees_and_Tablets, Jul 12, 2009

I was taking 300mg daily at the start of May. I then tapered down to 100mg at 3 weeks ago and then went CT. Pain, tingling and soreness - that's a good description I think. The nearest 'normal' similar feeling is when I see some sort of medical gore on a hospital program - that sort of cringey internal gooeyness. It's kind of like that with sore skin. A real unease between my body and skin.

I did go into prepared and understand that it takes 3 to 5 weeks to get rid of the majority of symptoms, so I guess it'll all get better in the nest  weeks. Fingers crossed.

Good luck,

Avatar universal
by infectedgenetics, Jul 12, 2009
Hey everybody!

Making pretty good progress over here! I actually felt well enough to go to a party last night! Even ON the tramadol, I never felt well enough to go to a party like this one. My friend whose birthday it was throws some pretty hard parties.. not in the sense of everyone's out of it, but they're the kind where people come in and out from saturday night til monday morning. I managed to stay from around 9 at night til 3 in the morning. It was nice to be able to be social again and see old friends. I was actually kindof afraid I wouldn't make it because I had really bad tremors earlier in the day. My poor man! He's having bad withdrawal too, and I'm over here kicking and thrashing so bad that I literally kicked him out of bed! I've been taking more vitamins and trying to do better about that, but the restless legs and arms have gotten excruciatingly painful. It's hard, too, because I'm horribly heat sensitive. I can't even bathe in anything over 100 degrees. I live in the desert though, so spending a few minutes outside and then coming back into my air conditioned apartment helps a little with the pain. Does anyone have any other suggestions other than heat that might help with the pain? Anything that helps faster than Ibuprofen? Cause yeah. Ow. Sounds like everyone's doing well right now. To those struggling, keep going :) You'll make it! It's okay if you fall off the wagon. We're only human. Good luck and hugs to everybody!


Avatar universal
by elizabeth442, Jul 12, 2009
3-5 weeks Stephen? I was hoping for 1-2. I guess that is wishful thinking. I actually leave for a week vacation on the 25th and I so want to feel better by then!

I wrote too soon this morning. This day has been horrible so far. The pain in my limbs turned into dead weight and I felt like I was trying to lift 100 lbs just to move my arms. My whole body feels sore and I felt faint and nauseous. I couldn't work like that so I went to the couch and took a nap. It is a weird feeling to nap now. I wake up out of the nap and can almost watch from the outside as I go from normal feeling sleep to this wreck I feel like now. The bad feeling eases in and I just wait there to see how bad it will get before that is the state I am in. I feel almost panicked imaging it just get worse and worse but it eventually stops pretty much where it was before I napped. Certainly not better. A very odd sensation, I have to say. Probably better to not nap right now.  

I am just having a hard time figuring out what is the best thing for me to do. I need to work, but I am finding it nearly impossible, so I am trying to give myself some leeway today telling myself I will feel well enough to work tomorrow and to just get through today but laying around doesn't help. Reading distracts me for a few minutes, but really nothing works. I will try going for a walk though it is the last thing I really want to do. I guess I've never really been through a withdrawal before. I've had a little trouble not doing drugs I've gotten used to in the past from time to time but nothing that went beyond making me a little depressed and grouchy. This is totally new ground for me. I was always of the mindset that a little recreational drug use was all fine and good (at least for me) but this experience is showing me I am not nearly as strong as I thought I was.

I am amazed by all of you who are dealing with way worse withdrawals than I am. I hope you realize how strong you really are to be getting through it, hard as it is. It's inspiring.

Avatar universal
by gettinglifeback, Jul 12, 2009
Elizabeth442, I didn't get to read very far back today so if this was already mentioned or if you live in a climate that this isn't possible I apologize, but have you tried the warm baths for the pain in your arms and legs?  I had terrible pain in my legs (were the wrose) and my arms along with restless arms and legs.  If I would go up and take a warm bath it really did help....I honestly at the beginning of this thought  there was no way in hell a bath would help this at all...even at day 11-12 I am still taking 1-3 a day when I feel the anxiety coming on I even have in the middle of the night (since sleep hasn't been easy) and it really is helping me so much. I have had RLS at least a few nights a week for 4-5 months not realizing it was wd's from the Tram. now that I know it is almost easier to handle since I know it should end eventually. Just a suggestion for you. I know the feeling you are having.  I reached the point yesterday where I actually went and had a neck, shoulder and upper back massage and before that the thought of someone touching me sent me into a panic let alone the disgusting feeling I was having from constantly sweating.  Oh, I am one of the ones that Tylenol PM, Benedryl(Diphenhydromine) causes the RLS to be even worse so stay away from it if it is effecting you adversly.  Good luck to you, today will be over soon and tomorrow should be better.  I am having some crying spells today (think I am PMSing on top of all of this, my poor, poor husband) :-)  Good luck to you and everyone!

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by madtram, Jul 12, 2009
Just some suggestions for anyone who is up to taking another supplement or 2:

The amino acid N-acetyl-cysteine is great for detoxing your liver, it is used in a hospital setting to help minimise liver damage from chemo & radiation & as an antidote to acetaminophen poisoning.

Boosting your liver function will help to clear the tramadol from your system & may relieve the general seediness.

A recent study also found that it has mood stabilising properties & another study found that it reduced cravings in cocaine withdrawal.

There are no side effects at doses up to 600 mgs & higher dose side effects are limited to mild gastro disturbances.

St Mary's thistle is also good for restoring optimal liver function.

Curcumin, (needs to be a formula with piperine to achieve bioavailability), is an extract of the spice turmeric with anti-inflammatory effects equivalent to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as neurofen & acetominophen but without the toxicity of those drugs.

Lastly, a reminder for the restless arms & leggers that the quinine found in Indian tonic water or tonic water with quinine can be effective in relieving RLS.  A daily walk, (without overtaxing yourself) is also beneficial.

I hope this helps someone to get through the battle a little quicker or less painfully.  Happy to provide more evidence or info to anyone who is interested.  Have also used all of these myself, (except the tonic water which I recall Emily & others found to be beneficial).

I still recall the times when I doubted that I would ever feel well let alone fabulous again but please have faith & compassion for yourselves, however you got here, every nano-second without tramadol brings you closer to a better life.


Avatar universal
by Lou312, Jul 12, 2009
This is so scary for me.  I have been taking Tramadol for a little over a year.  Had discs replaced in my neck about a year ago.  Have Degenerative Disc Disease and Osteoarthritis.  After my neck surgery I didn't want to take narcotic pain meds. so my doctor prescribed Tramadol.  The dose was 50mg. q 4-6 h.  Lately I have been taking more.  Uusally 100 mg. q4h 3-4 x daily.  I feel like I have become addicted to it.  After about 4 hours my body starts to ache and I become agitated.  Each day I say I'm going to cut back and I just can't.  No one knows about this except me and now the computer.  I'm scared and feel really lonely.  Spend many hours a day just feeling guilty.  My body aches most of the time and especially if I try and not take Tramado.  I feel especially horrible in the mornings.  Where do I start?  Please help!

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jul 12, 2009
Welcome Lou....start by reading as many of the posts a you can. If you decide to go cold turkey or taper the important thing is getting off of Tram...because you are increasing your dose that's an indication that you are in trouble with this drug. I can not express enough to you how important it is to get off of this medication.  You might start by SLOWLY cutting down the amount...Bottom line you have to come off of it at some point...Once you start to come off of Tram do not increase your dose...You could have a seizure...Not good....Keep posting and reading.....The good thing is you found a site that has a lot of wonderful people to come on and talk to you when you a plan and stick to it...Keep posting...

Peaceful wishes from California

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by madtram, Jul 12, 2009
Welcome Lou, on behalf of Emily & her fellow tram warriors.  I understand what a nasty shock it is to have the realisation that tram is a big problem.  The good news is that you have reached that point after only one year; it took me many years before my sneaking suspicion became a certainty and even then I couldn't quite conceive that one lousy unrestricted little drug could wreak so much havoc.

If you read through Emily's journal from the beginning, you will see that anger is what is needed for this battle.  You have been sold a lemon; the way that tramadol acts on the opiate receptors means that tolerance, (requiring ever increasing dosage), is a physical reality for many people with tramadol.   It is not a sign of weak character to take more tramadol just to feel less unwell.

Having accepted that this situation is totally not your fault, I'm afraid it's time to knuckle down if you really want to beat this.  Once tolerance kicks in, tramadol is not going to help you.

Tapering very slowly can work well.  I don't know how much you have tried to cut back but if you are on 400-500mgs pd, you could start by reducing by half a pill a week & see if that's doable.

You should also try out the therapies in the Thomas recipe & over time, it's worth reading back over this journal as different things work for different people, there's a fair bit of trial & error.

Most importantly, there is an abundance of psychological support right here.  This is a very active forum & it's unusual to have to wait very long for a response to a post.

As a first step, I would take the time to get together the ingredients for the Thomas recipe so you hopefully find some relief from some of your symptoms, then take the plunge. If half a pill reduction is too much, try one quarter reduction.  As long as you are steadily reducing over time & never going in the other direction, you will reach a tramadol free state.

If you have read any old posts, you will see that some have found just stopping cold turkey to be the best way as tapering was just too hard & slow.  It's very much a personal choice but if you decide to stop cold turkey, from your current dose levels, you would need to be prepared for up to  days of severe flu-like symptoms & it's important that you do not stop for a period & start up again as there is real risk of seizure from the rapid fluctuations of tramadol levels in the brain.

It's a stinker no doubt but you are not alone.


Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jul 12, 2009
Lou - welcome.  Please don't beat yourself up over this.  There isn't any sense to feel guilty about becoming physically dependant on the drug.  It's - not really your fault you know.  It's a really bad, misunderstood drug and if our doctors aren't giving us the straight scoop about things like TOLERANCE (bodies require more and more of the drug to make us feel less unwell.) the only help for people like us is to become concerned, do a google search,  and stumble on some place like this site.  

You are aleady experiencing the withdrawal symptoms.  People do while on the drug.  So each one of us is faced with decisions about how to best get off the drug.  It can be done. Like grandmagirl said, decide on what is best for you and stick to your plan.  

grateful4life,  your significant other is fortunate to have someone like you helping him off this stuff.  You might suggest that he log on, read and post some here for himself as well.  Good luck to you both.


Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jul 12, 2009
Well said Michelle....Your post is so informative .....Lou will have a lot of support here. We are all trying to get well...Some of us are off the Tram and some are still fighting the battle. It's a drug you have to go to battle with.

It's like War...Get your homework by reading the other posts and prepare your self for the battle. Which ever way you go will be the right way for you....

Avatar universal
by elizabeth442, Jul 12, 2009
Thanks Missy. Today has been my toughest day by far, but I can handle the RLS symptoms. It is the emotional symptoms that are really tough. Right now I am going from feeling like crying to almost panic. I just get this feeling of dread that I am losing control and I am finding it very hard to reel myself back in. I took a couple Tylenol PMs because they seemed to work last night and even if the RLS got a little worse, I just want to sleep. I thought the knot in my stomach was gone but it is back now. I just feel scared. I still can't believe that this is happening and that I have no one to blame but myself. I just don't feel strong enough to deal with this for weeks or months and I just really hope that it starts getting better soon. Like tomorrow. I am scared to wake up and feel the same as today or worse. Don't get me wrong, I won't take any more Tramadol. I don't have any more and I won't seek any out. I don't even know what it means to say I feel like I can't handle it, but I just feel like I am on the edge. It comes in waves, and this is just a bad wave. Sometimes it doesn't seem this bad. Right now though, I am really struggling. It helps to get responses here so thank you.

Lou, I am new here too and there are much more knowledgeable people here to give you advice. I just wanted to wish you the best. I might not be the best person to encourage you as I am struggling myself at the moment, but it helped me to get responses here to feel like I wasn't alone and I just wanted to have that too. It doesn't seem like you should have any reason whatsoever to feel guilty. You did nothing wrong. And you aren't alone.

Avatar universal
by gettinglifeback, Jul 12, 2009
Ok, so walking at 8 this evening wasn't smart for me. My legs are so sore and much for how well the melatonin worked last night...I guess the night is still young. Shooting for being able to settle down by 1 a.m. urgg. it just seems like one step forward two back, but no giving in.  I honestly have no reason to complain because I AM doing so well. I might be having these issues or irritations, but compared to how I felt 10 days ago....major,major improvement. I guess I will keep my walks to the early a.m. when I need the energy it gives me.  I have taken 4 jacuzzi baths today!  Also VERY emotional might go ahead and get St. John's Wort. I tried it years ago before I was on so many RX but not sure if it helped.  I just keep having spikes of depression or maybe it's just being worn out.  I did accomplish lots this weekend with my family.  

Michelle, where can I get the N-acetyl-cysteine ? Is it available at a store like GNC or only on-line?  I don't remember seeing that one, but sounds good to me.  I need to go back and re-read my vit. that have the amino acids in them maybe it is listed. You are a wealth of knowledge and I know I sure appreciate all your advice.  Also, do you have any suggestions to help bloating? I keep having issues with this. I don't always go into a full attack from my stomach, but as soon as I eat anything it starts to bloat. I have tried Immodium, Gas X, eating very small meals (about 4-5 day) but it just seems to get very uncomfortable. Not sure if this is something that will go away, also having CONSTANT urge to urinate. I am taking in so much more water/fluids so expected an increase but geesh. Went for my walk this evening and I knew If I made it the first mile there is a park with bathrooms, well of course since it was after 8 they were closing them for the evening...I begged the "child" who was cleaning them to PLEASE let me use it but he said no....needless to say I did a really fast mile back home :0 very attempting on the bike/walking path to stop off in a bush...never wished I was a man before LOL. Luckily I did make it home but yelled to the kids "out of my way" on my way into the house.  I had cranberry pills in my hand at GNC yesterday but put them back, do you think they might help or is that only if there is an infection?  I was checked at the ER on 6/29 and all was ok. it almost feels like terrible bladder spasms.  Oh the joy.  Still, as I said above. I will take these symptoms over how I felt while taking the Tram.

Thanks again for all your help you provide on the board.  Off to try to fall asleep again.

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by madtram, Jul 13, 2009
Hi Missy, hope you got back to sleep.  Loved your story about the urgent need for a bathroom, without giving TMI, I can fully relate.  I think the problem was definitely more frequent for me when I was on tramadol, (at a guess it's too much sympathetic nervous stimulation, it may be that your adrenals are responding to the changes in your brain chemistry by overproducing noradrenaline).   Cranberry might help some with bladder tone but the best thing you can do are the dreaded Kegel exercises they often teach you when you fall pregnant (& no I didn't pay enough attention then but with age, have come to appreciate the benefit of the exercises) .  Hopefully, the urgency will decrease once your nervous system settles again.

GNC do have a formula called  NAC 600 which you could take as a daily dose.

The bloating seems to be one of the more treatment resistant side effects judging from various posts since Em started her journal.  As Immodium acts on the opiate receptors in the gut, it has a similar effect to tramadol, which is why it helps initially but it can also cause rebound withdrawal gut symptoms when you stop taking it so you are probably best to stay off it now.

There are also many serotonin receptors in the gut & it may be that the post-withdrawal drop in serotonin levels is contributing to the upset.  Sorry I can't recall if you are on any serotonin promoting remedies, (5htp; tryptophan; passion flower or St John's Wort) but they may help.

L-glutamine, (1g twice daily) can help strengthen the stomach lining & improve digestion.   Otherwise, traditional IBS remedies such as peppermint oil are worth trying.

You are well on your way for sure.

Strength to all the tram warriors,


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by 12Stepper, Jul 13, 2009
Just checking in, Friends, I'm always amazed to find that "I'm experiencing that too" response, even after 6 weeks T-free. Getting up several times a night to use the bathroom isn't fun, but I have been able to go back to sleep, which is amazing in itself. I'm using Sleepytime tea with a few drops extra valarium extract and am beginning to wonder if that's even necessary. A vast improvement over the days I had to take tylanol PM or Benedryl to sleep and had to taper off that.

I still need some form of exercise everyday to keep my spirits up. Knowing that depression is a post-tram symptom helps. On my "City Gardens Walks",  I imagine the tramadol leaving my body as I perspire, and the positive energies from the exercise soothing my damaged nerves. Sometimes I have to make myself let go of a negative thought (like "this neighborhood is for losers"), and dwell on more elevating ideas: "Even though the people around here don't have a lot of money, they often still find ways to make their yards a little fun or interesting." Neither view may have any inherent truth-value, but I choose to believe the one that will build a more confident, healthy, post-tram world view. And I know that when I get in, I'll feel better if only for the exercise. Plus anything that helps me sleep is still a huge plus. Overall, I'm doing much better, and for the newcomers it's important to know that things do get better. Thanks to everyone for sharing your experience, strength, and hope. God bless, Linn

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by angelbaby1975, Jul 13, 2009
Hello my name is Brig and I have been on the poison two years I decided this week to end this crutch and except my life and face my demions and WOW are they big .I was a vicoden addicted during a very painful divorce and death of my daughter and I found my way off them .This drug is diffferent and I wish I had never come across it .I am doing better today last night was hell and I hurt everywhere I slept about and hour after taking rapid sleep pm and the tremors have stoped I know this will be hard and I must walk this road to recovery and prove to ME I am strong and can make it ....But any friends would be great

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by always_here, Jul 13, 2009
It's worth the fight. It is a crutch pill that a lot of us started to feel better about things going on around us that we caould not handle.

I know how hard it is to go through a painful divorce but I cannot imagine loosing a daughter, Oh my that's a lot of pain.

The one thing about TRAMADOL is that it causes PAIN, and it turns on you after you have some good times with it.

I have a lot of issues with my former in-laws and I started taking more pills (probably doubled the dose) each time I had to attend a function with my son, just to deal with the former in-laws. it worked for awhile but I did find that I would sit and simmer for hours afterward and had mild panic attacks WHILE ON TRAMADOL. So my point is that it didn't help me in the long run, maybe it got my foot through the door of the potluck dinner but the after shocks were bad.

This weekend I had to attend such a thing and I did it without TRAMADOL and I'm sitting here as proof it didn't kill me.

I did wear my sunglasses the whole time but it's worked out and I didn't hypervenilate afterward like I would have before.

I'll be your friend ANYDAY. Everyone who posts here is ready for this journey back to reality.

Avatar universal
by irish4262, Jul 13, 2009
I just signed up on this site after my husband sent me these blogs.  Am I in the right place to be able to communicate with Emily and her friends who are fighting the same battle with Tram?  I hope so.  It's time to stop.  Seriously.  I was suppose to get a shipment last week and didn't and discovered it would be shipping this Wednesday and not arriving until this Thursday and I only have 4 left.  What to do?  I can't stand the withdrawals.  I have tried to stop a couiple of times but the muscle pain and spasms were too much.  It has helped me to be able to sleep and when I try to quit I cannot sleep and feel like I am 150 years old.  Since I have found myself in this predicament I figured now would be a good time to seek help, support and beat this ridiculous addiction!!!!  I am op[en to any suggestions that might help me right now......



Avatar universal
by irish4262, Jul 13, 2009
Oakly, I am reading this comments and getting scared.  Pleas etell me if there is something I can take to help with leg and arm pain when I try to sleep tonight.  I have taken one of my last 4 Tram and am not looking forward to tonight.  How should I taper?  How many a day for how long?  I really help with this.......


Avatar universal
by irish4262, Jul 13, 2009
I have been ordering Tram for about the last 2 years off an on.  Originally I found that it helped me lose the weight I had been wanting to lose and giving me lots of energy.  I have tried several times to stop taking it but cannot handle the withdrawals.   Mostly the muscle aches at night that keep me from sleeping.  That was another benefit I found with the Tram.  After years of suffering from sleeping disorder it helps me sleep soundly.  I want to stop this madness!  The money I am spending, the staying home all day waiting for Fed Ex etc.....


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by 12Stepper, Jul 13, 2009
Dear Irish or Anyone New, If you go to the top of this page and click on "previous" you'll find pages and pages of information, though it does take some sorting through. There is an amazing amount of information on things that have helped us. Sometimes people have gone to doctors who have perscribed something beneficial to help them in w/d while others have found OTC medicines such as tylanol or advil PM or herbs to benefit. Some have a strict tapering schedule, others go cold turkey. I would encourage anyone to leaf through those pages. It also provides a great distraction--and you'll see just how not alone you are! Welcome to this site. If you make an effort with a plan to get off this stuff, you will feel better eventually. You just have to go this way once and it will be over. Please keep posting and let us know how you are! We are truly blessed to have this site and I'm so glad you found your way here. Take care, Linn

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jul 13, 2009
Angel, Welcome to our world.  You said, "I know this will be hard and I must walk this road to recovery and prove to ME I am strong and can make it ....But any friends would be great"    Focused determination is one of the most important aids to getting free of this nasty drug.   And as Jules said above, we are ALL your friends.  Many are just stepping off as we type and some of us are grateful to be rid of the demon drug.  Pleas keep posting and letting us know how you are doing.  Withdrawal is hard, but there is an END to the suffering you most certainly feel right now.  It was THAT end, that kept me focused enough to keep putting tiny moments between myself and my last lovely little white pill.  

Irish,  Wecome from one "Evergreen State" victim of this drug to another.  They say it may actually not rain again tomorrow!  As I understand your situation, you took one of your last 4 tramadol today with your next order (hopefully) arriving on Thursday.  

I never ran OUT of pills, but I  ALWAYS ran low of a theraputic dose of thse pills by the end of EVERY RX cycle.  At the end for me, a theraputic dose was "a handful more than I had".  If a person is regularly taking 8-10 or more and you cut back to 1-2 pills/day, SYMPTOMS will feel IDENTICAL to stopping cold turkey.

I am sadly painfully aware of how our worlds get wrapped around the T.  I never waited for a FEDEX truck, but "reorder day" was circled on my brain as well as the calendar.  Counting pills, looking for that ONE that may have fallen under the car seat or to the bottom of the drawer.   In the end, these behaviors are common to nearly everyone who begins the tram journey.

Have you discovered that (as Jules said) tramadol CAUSES pain?

Are there things to ease the pain of withdrawal?   Sure.  Google "Thomas Recipe" and pick up some of the supplies.  If you read these journals, you will discover several products many of us have tried.  

Your choices about where to focus your brain are fairly limited.  As i see it, can decide to either feel horrible for 2-3 more days and go back on the trams or you can decide to feel horrible for the next 2-3 days, tack on another few days and be DONE with the MADNESS that tramadol brings each one of us.  

There is one HUGE difference in the two strategies outlined above.  In the first instance, you will be on survial mode.  Hanging on by your finger nails until the next FEDEX truck arrives.  No sense of being done with this drug.  While your physical sympoms will be identical, if you focus your mind and develop the later strategy, you will at least feel that you are doing more than hanging out - you will feel as though you are on your way to your stated goal of "beating this ridiculous addiction."   In the later strategy, you will at least feel that your INVESTMENT over the next few days is a rite of passage, bringing you moment by moment closer to being free of this horrible drug.  

By the time your next shipment arrives, you will be more than 1/2 way through to freedom from this drug.  You will have invested 3 days of HELL between now and Thursday anyway you look t it.  The only REAL question for you to ask yourself is this, " will it be my plan to ENDURE until thursday and go back on them or will I take this INVESTMENT of time, tack on a few more days, and be done with the hell that tramadol brings to each one of us.  

People can and do withdraw from tramadol.  You can do this Irish.  The end result os SO worth the investiment of time.

Good luck to you.  I hope you keep coming back and posting.  As Linn said above, reading and posting is (if nothing else) a great distraction.  


Avatar universal
by elizabeth442, Jul 14, 2009
I am hoping someone here can answer a question I have about heart palpitations. I was taking tramdol, just one pill a day for a few months. I didn't realize that I started having symptoms of withdrawal (anxiety mostly) just by not upping my dose. I only realized once I ran out and had other symptoms (RLS, depression). But now on day 7 of no tramadol and feeling a lot better, I am looking back at what has happened these last months.

About a month in to taking tramadol daily (one pill, but occasionally two) I had heart palpitations slightly for two nights in a row. I don't think I was withdrawing at all at the time because I remember feeling the tramadol high while having them. The next day, however, I didn't take any tramadol but a few hours after the time I normally would (I was taking them in the evening only) I had serious heart palpitations that wouldn't stop and I went to the ER. I told the ER doctor about the tramadol but she dismissed it. I stopped taking it after that and had serious anxiety but assumed it was from the ER experience. It turned out that I have an abnormal EKG (which my doctors tell me could be normal for me and mean nothing) but since I had the one episode they feel I should have an exploratory surgery to rule out a heart condition. But I am now starting to wonder if the tramadol could have caused the palpitations. I don't want to have unnecessary surgery because I was enjoying a tramadol high! Has anyone had any experience with this? My doctor doesn't think the tramadol could cause anything either but it doesn't seem like doctors know anything about this drug (especially not a cardiologist). I don't want to make a serious mistake by having an unnecessary (and uncovered) procedure. Thanks in advance for any insight anyone has into this.

Avatar universal
by 123456m, Jul 14, 2009
Tramadol is hard but not as hard as some others to kick. I am saying this from my own experience.
When I was living in Panama where I could buy trams OTC and cheap 50 mg caps with 50 in a box for $14.
For almost a year I was taking 40 50 mg per day which is 2000mg of the stuff. I need to quit . It was so strange I would be walking my dog and my body would just fall to the ground no sense of balance and waited a moment get up and hope I make it back to the house. I admited my self in a hospital here in Panama and in a week I was clean. In a month I fely normal so it can be done even with the high dose I was taking. The one thing at least for me that I notice with Trams that your body will get back to normal in not that long of a time.

Omce a addict alway a addict now I am clean for 35 days coming off oral morphine and I can tell you with all my heart comming off trams was a cake walk to this. I still feel like crap but am sticking it off waiting to feel normal again.

Best  of luck to all of you with comming off Trams and if the freakin docs would stop saying that its a non addicting pain pill it would also help a lot.

One thing though do not ever go off Trams CT unless you have a great doctor that can help with your serotonin levels at the same time, thats the thing with this med it increases your serotonin levels and adds another element thta most other drugs do not have.

Avatar universal
by samajax, Jul 14, 2009
Morning has been a few days and I see we have more on the train and probably hundreds more lurking.

It is now day 19 for me off the tram. The 5 days/nights of leg twitching, anxiety ridden, nose sneezing, depression feeling, wanting to cry at the office staving off, etc, days are gone. I am in the first month, non-linear, up and down, just feeling life section now. I still have times when I just want to do nothing- but mostly because it has been over 100 degrees for a month.

I see we have many folks now trying to figure the taper vs. cold turkey thing out for themselves. If you just got here and started with page 12, read backwards and each section will show you some plans, or maybe just an a-ha, this is me moment. I had the A-ha moment on my own, but then did the google and found this forum and everything it had to offer.

I chose the taper method. I was on 400mg for almost a year- and I most certainly could have taken more and headed up the ladder. I took the tram as prescribed, but after about 6 months it reared it's ugly head and 8 tabs did not seem like enough. I spent the last few months knowing exactly what my body was telling me- that tram was an opiate and I knew what was coming. Fred has stated it in so many ways, in much better language, but the only option is to keep taking tram in larger and larger doses....or quit. I have documented my taper in a previous post, but mainly I kept taking the tram 4x per day, but each day I would cut the amount- up to where I was breaking them in half and only taking 25mg 4x per day- then 3x per day, then 2, then jumped off and enjoyed the ride.. It took me about 10 days to go from 400 to 50mg.

So many of you have come to tram because of some serious medical and pain issues, so my story might not resonate with you. I do not have anything really chronic- just a damaged body of an aging high level athlete.. I even took tram last summer before mountain climbing...dulling the pain, giving me that "speed" boost......but did it really help my decision making skills? I have had broken bones in all my quadrants and have some "degeneration" of my cervical discs, but have found some relief with Prolotherapy. I had no excuse for continuing on with the pain relief- unlike some of you- but if you read some of these posts carefully, you will find reports of tram causing pain. I didn't want to think that some of my pain was no longer because of injuries, but the drug I was taking to take that pain away.....It is up to each of you to make some tough choices regarding how you want to live. Is a daily dose of a drug or drugs in your lifelong future? Is blocking out what your body telling you- both good and bad, really the only path to take.

Without this site I would have taken myself off tram and back to feeling everything, but it is through this site that I was able to learn more about the whole range of what I was feeling...that I could attribute most every one of my emotional side effects to this drug. To each and every one of you who are in the taper, or in the first 5 days...keep going. The roller coaster does stop and then life takes over.

Strength and courage to you'all.


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by 1113, Jul 14, 2009
some of you might remember me but it's been about 8 months since i decided to taper off this drug.  i went from 300mgs/day to 75mgs/day.  right now i am back to between 150-200.   when i decided to quit my problem was that i was still enjoying it to much, but just recently i have started to despise this drug.  everyday i read this journal and i am so happy and enviouse of the people who I have seen come off of this drug.  

have to go to a meeting, but will type some more this afternoon as i feel like it's time to jump back in...

also, has anyone tried Imodium AD for withdrawals.   It's my understanding that the active ingrediante of imodium is a opiod based medicine that does not cross into the brain.  I have heard of some people who says it can kill off RLS and other symptoms.

well talk more later

Avatar universal
by irish4262, Jul 14, 2009
Wow - I have been sitting here reading everyones posts and it is mind boggling that so many people are experiencing the same thing from Tram.  Not like I am totally naive or anything - just an eye opener I suppose.  Fred you are a very smart man and I appreciate all of your insight truly.  I swear I have been off balance lately - like my equal librium isn't working.  Fred I think you are right about just quitting - last night was terrible but I am alive and sitting here today.  Crappy weather!   Funny, I cannot figure out if it's the weather or the tram that has me feeling so blue...I'm going to quit capatalizing the word tram - gives it too much importance I think.  I think the first time I ordered tram was after someone had given me one and I really liked it (I have various things I could say it was to relieve but I really think I would be lying) so I started ordering it online.  Anymore I really don't see any reason to take it other than avoiding the withdrawals.  I think the worst for me is the leg cramps - I can handle any of the other wd but that one.  Been reading lots and will continur to post my progress on here.  Fred, wish for some sunshine and keep on encouraging me!!


Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 14, 2009
Hello to all. It has been over two months that I first quit the Ultram, relapsed and have been clean for over two weeks now. Everyday is getting better I suppose.  Yesterday I went down to a furniture store with my boyfriends mom. It was by far the best day I had had in soooooo long. Just the sheer fact that I was out of the house and had someone to talk to made a huge difference. Also, last night I noticed that I had some mild extremity tingling. It's ironic because I thought for sure that my withdrawals were gone, and I was just suffering from my divorce, but after last night I realized that my body is still trying to flush it all out. Okay well today is Tuesday, I am working on my final for my class and just basically trying to stand my self and my thoughts at home. I want to grab my keys and run, but I need to get to know myself again, and be happy alone.  Hang in there everyone.  Love, KS

Avatar universal
by irish4262, Jul 14, 2009
I would be remiss to mention my lovely, dear, sweet husband and the unconditional love and support I receive from him every minute of every day!  With him by my side I know that I can do anything!

Fred - I have already arranged for my daughter to be here on Thursday when FedEx comes and retrieve the package of tram and dispose of it!  Thank you for your encouragement - I definitely can do this!!!  I am an Irish girl and an Aries to go with it!  Stong, determined, stubborn and all those good qualities necessary to have for this battle against the evil evil tram!!!!!!!!

If you don't hear from me before Thursday it's becasue I am enjoying every minute of defeating this awful terrible ugly monster named tramadol!


Avatar universal
by irish4262, Jul 14, 2009
I meant to NOT mention..........

Avatar universal
by gettinglifeback, Jul 14, 2009
tell me it's ok to feel bad after feeling so good?  I am really fighting the depression the last two days....not sure if it's depression because I am so sore or sore because I am depressed.  I am beyond irritable, I think I have officially alienated each of my children over the last 24 hours....sad, they are use to that but I think it was so hard because I had been soooo much better....for some reason my husband just won't be pushed away...masochistic man LOL what I would do without him?? He knows what I am going through, or is really trying but I just can't explain the irrational feelings I have.  Yesterday I smacked my keyboard down so hard I broke my mouse all because I was mad at an e-mail from work!! Chalked it up to  no sleep the night before. Last night I slept from about 11-3/3:30 then again from 4:30-6:30 was feeling good this morning had to work until 12 and by time I got home my legs were so sore and I was very irritable.I was insisting that when I got home I was taking the kids to the pool, haven't been able to do that yet this summer, get home and no-body wanted to go...I refused to let them watch tv., computer, video games and would probably have tied them to their beds if I didn't have any sense remaining :-) No talk about over reacting!!  All because I needed to keep moving.  I can't stand the feeling of sitting still but moving is still uncomfortable. I know from reading that the randomness is the worse part and I think I have found out first hand what you were talking about.  I did go and buy St. John's Wort yesterday and what is the other mood stabalizer?  DT-500? (insert too lazy to get up and look at bottle :-)  it's sublingual. Still taking all the vit. minerals I have along with extra potassium and mag. for the cramping in my legs.  Please tell me I will eventually have more good days than bad?  I am on day 18 of tapering and day 13 of CT so I know I am still early in this.  I just wish it would GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!  I know this will probably come across petty but I have been feeling really "decent" and have been sitting outside with the kids/husband over weekend/evenings. our neighbor who I do not like much at all was down with his kids. I was enjoying a tropical drink (I never drank when I was on the pain meds, guess that's one good thing) now my self image is about 0 since all the weight I have gained and am struggleing with why my husband still wants me when this "man" (use the term loosely) sits down in the rocker by me when his daughter (who is 10 and skinny as a rail) sits down and he pats her stomach and says "you better watch out or your going to end up with that strawberry daquari belly too"  all the other neighbors looked at me as I was holding my strawberry daquari near my large belly...needless to say the man is lucky the bottle didn't hit him square in the forehead.  After him saying that I have been too embarassed to be outside with the neighbors. I am/was humiliated.  These are people who we have been friends with for 8 years and I haven't been "able" to do much with them over the last 2 due to being in constant pain (obviously from help from the Tram) our closest neighbors know I went off all my Rx medications (that's as much as I said) and were genuinely happy I have been out socializing with I just feel like it's going to take everything I have just to face any of them again. My husbands best friend (our next door neighbor) already called him yesterday upset over what was said so it obviously didn't go unnoticed by the other neighbors.  Geesh what drama I create huh?  Ok, I feel better venting, what would I do without this group here?  You guys probably are the only ones who can understand the crazy feelings both physically and mentally.  I guess maybe I don't have an actual question just a vent other than PLEASE tell me these days will get further and further apart and I can be happy in between.   I think it's time to flush the Tramadol I want it out of my life forever!! It's been sitting here since I stopped but I know it's here and I want it gone!  Also, how long before the St. John's Wort usually starts to work?  Still looking for a few others you recommended Michelle my locan GNC didn't have them so I am going to try to the one in our mall after work tomorrow...or during work. One good thing with my job is the freedom to run errands in between visits...bad because there is a Gymboree there and that is another there a detox for Gymboree addiction? Ok, shouldn't joke about that but sometimes humor seems to be all I have holding my few pieces of sanity together!!
thanks for listening and good luck to all....also, very sorry for the spelling i'm a little jittery here.

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by madtram, Jul 14, 2009
Elizabeth, a number of us have experienced heart palpitations as a side effect of tram withdrawal; fluctuations in blood pressure are also common.  Tramadol is a partial opiate agonist & your doctor should acknowledge that tachycardia & palpitations are common side effects of opioids & opiates.

Having said that, you do want to be cautious with any heart related symptoms & not just assume that it is withdrawal related.  As you progress through withdrawal, these symptoms should ease.  Perhaps you could discuss with your doctor the possibility of doing a repeat EKG, before making the decision to have the exploratory surgery.

Missy, sorry to hear you are having a bad patch; ah the completely insane randomness of tramadol withdrawal.  One of Emily's musings about this really made me laugh, one of the newer mathematical theories has established that randomness is now a pattern.  So the swings & roundabouts of withdrawal may make no sense to any of us but some pointy head somewhere could no doubt write an equation that would quantify the whole experience.

On a practical note, if you continue to have difficulty getting some supplements in your neighbourhood, I find iherb online ordering very convenient & they deliver very quickly to me downunder so Stateside it should be almost as quick as going to the store.

The wanting to hibernate feeling is also very common in early withdrawal, (sounds like your neighbour is just a jerk though).  There are plenty of accounts of people hiding from visitors coming to the door, not answering the telephone & in my case not opening correspondence that I felt would stress me out.

Be kind to yourself, it will pass for sure.  St John's Wort worked for me almost immediately but I took a high dose, (2-3 x 3.6 grams capsules per day).

Best to all,


Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jul 14, 2009
Welcome all new comers.....

Up-date on taking Prozac 10 mg. for depression.  Well long story short....I have STOPPED the Prozac..

Why you ask?....Very fast heart beat...tremors..hands shaking so bad could hardly hold a cup of water...Been off of Prozac for about 48 hours. I'm on vacation and have been seen by a doctor....I was told by THIS doctor to STOP taking the Prozac and try and see how it goes. The depression has lifted for now and I'm just hoping it's taken a vacation too...

I'm hoping for the best and I'm moving forward ..trying to be positive....

I will update as I go along....Sooner or later" Mr.Todd's Wild Ride" has to end...

Peaceful wishes to everyone....Remember ..Make a plan..switch gears as needed....

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 14, 2009
Grandmagirl, I remember you saying that you were going on vaca, I'm sorry to hear that you had to deal with the Prozac problem. That sure was unexpected. I am proud of you for altleast trying it.  Keep us up to date here. Love, KS

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 14, 2009
To: Getting Life Back. I am so amused to say that I was reading your post just now, and was saying to myself: holy [email protected]*% she feels exactly the same as I do. I have been suffering so bad lately, I am over two weeks of no Tram c/t. Every day I wake up I am irritable, nauseous, and nervous. Tonight at dusk, my boyfriend was sitting next to me, and out of nowhere I just started crying, I felt as if I was never going to feel good again. I'm not saying every second is terrible, because it's not. Yet, the frequent duration of my bad times is overwhelming. I told him that I hate to be touched, I hate to sit in my house because it makes my depression worse, and I hate being alone. To top it all off, my RLS symptoms have come barreling back. Real freakin cute! So after I cried on his shoulder like a blubbering mental patient, I picked up my computer and read the most recent posts, yours being the one that in a way, set me back on the road I was traveling on. I am not alone. You, are not alone, and someday this will all just be a memory of a serious life lesson learned. Also, who gives a crap if your gaining weight, I bet you still look beautiful, and your off this nightmare drug. I have gained almost ten pounds also, and have always been very vein about how I feel. So were in the same boat. We can be full figured together!!!  I know, what fun is that? is what your probably saying, but hopefully I cheered you up. Don't be afraid to go back outside. You are the only person that can make YOU happy. Screw what everyone else may think.   Just say to yourself: Screw Em'   I hope my rambling has brought you some comfort, I don't know when we will feel back to "normal" if there is such a thing, but I do know we will make it through.    Love, KS

Avatar universal
by candothis247, Jul 14, 2009
Wow, I tagged on to someone’s post today regarding using tramadol for OC withdrawal, I’m 12 days off oxycontin, I found and old bottle from 2004 of tramadol with 24 pills, I was going to use them for a month to get thru this, but I’m over the physical w/d’s of the oxys, its mental, I need to thank “madtam” for sending this link to the original poster.   I have taken tramadol 3 days in a row, just 50 mg, but have felt SICK from them, especially today.  After reading this emily post journal, there is NO WAY I’m taking one more tramadol – I had no idea they were so evil!!! Thanks for the critical information here. THANQ!

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jul 15, 2009
I expect that I may not make any friends with this post, but that has never been my goal around here.

123456m, I respect your opinions, but mine are somewhat different I am afraid.  You called coming off tramadol a "piece of cake", but you also told us that you admitted yourself to a hospital and that in a week, you were clean.  WELL YEAH, if you withdrew from this drug under the inpatient care of a hospital, maybe it was a piece of cake for you.  That's not what most of us experience out on the street.  I am glad for you that you successfully got off this drug in any event.  :)

I have heard some suggest that it is dangerous to stop this drug cold turkey.  I disagree.  I have been hanging around this forum for eight months and have read thousands of posts in that time.  While we occassionally hear people warn others about going cold turkey, I have never heard of anyone report that THEY themsevles actually got into trouble by stopping this drug cold turkey.  

What I HAVE heard people report is that (1) they had seizures while  taking high doses of this drug and (2) those who after stopping - RESUME a high dose have THEMSELVES had seizures.  What I do hear from people who have stopped c/t is that they suffered awfully for 3-5 days.  And post acute withdrawal CAN take "weeks and weeks" before they return to normal.  But I hve never read any post from anyone, who reported that they actually had a seizure or other serious medical problem by stopping this drug cold turkey.  

I would LOVE it if everyone could taper slowly off this drug.  Maybe reduce one pill per day each week, such that a person taking 8 pills/day would be off this drug in eight weeks. Some like samajax did a SORT of taper, but really - going from 400 mg. to none in ten days is not what "purist" taperers would consider a SLOW taper.  But this worked for you samajax, and there ain't nobody gonna take away your sobriety.  Kudos to your tram free life today.

While I generally consider what I did to be cold turkey, I did actually go from 400 mg/day down to 100 mg/day over night for five days before jumping off entirely.  THAT is NOT what I consider a true taper to be.  Speaking only for myself, I was just as lifeless, I had an upset tummy, and I ached all over in those five days just as much as when I jumped off entirely.  I suppose my point is that if you are going to taper, do it S L O W L Y.  

But sadly, not all of us can do a slow taper.  I for one would have never been successful on a slow taper.  Why?  I think that I have an addict's brain.  Whenever my new "shipment" of drugs arrived, I would ALWAYS treat myself to more than my alloted 8 pills/day. I knew full well that I would run short at the end of the cycle, but apparently, my addict brain didn't care. So I would average 12 pills/day the first week of every RX cycle and be "short" during my last week.  If I am describing your behavior with this drug, I seriously doubt that you could be successful with a slow taper either.  

If you never exhibited this sort of behavior, if you always took your prescribed daily amount, then you probably never had to count pills either.  You are one of the lucky ones.  A s l o w taper may indeed work well for you.

But I have said this before and will say it again, try a slow taper and see how it is working for you.  If after a few weeks, you can bring your daily dose down by a pill/day each week, by all means, continue on the schedule.  

But there are too many people  who begin a taper, but who never quite can continue with it to the end.  This is not a criticism, but simply a recognition of the power that this drug holds over us.  

For people like me, jumping off, beginning to put moments between yourself and that last lovely little white pill is really the only thing that CAN work.  Yes, that first week is difficult.  Terribly so.  But I am so grateful that after that one week ended last December, I am no longer monkeying around with this drug.  

All I can do is to share what it was like for me on this drug, what I did to get off it, and what my life is like now.  

I may not have made any friends with this post, but making friends at a place like this has never been my goal anyway.  

Courage Strength and Love to you all,


Avatar universal
by gettinglifeback, Jul 15, 2009
mrcrump(ks)  your post did make me feel better, but I am sorry you are feeling the same way.  It's sad to know others are going through this, but helps to know it's not just pure insanity.  I have visions of buying a bikini today and sitting outside with my big belly (and butt,thighs,arms) all out for my wonderful, great,idiot,ass..ok, I was trying to be nice at first, of a neighbor is out. If he wants to make fun of me, go all out right???  
Your right only WE can make US happy. We have made the first HUGE step by putting this horrible med...use that term loosely behind us.  We seem to be right at the same time in our dt/wd so it's interesting that we are feeling so similar. I did so well last week, so much more energy, accomplished lots and then bam the depression hit again. I did sleep last night from 10:30-3:30 when I woke up and realized my son wasn't home yet (he is almost 21 and went to the 12 a.m. showing of Harry Potter so I knew he would be late, but I'm a mom and I can't help but worry)  when he is at college he could be missing for days and I wouldn't know, but when he is under my roof...home by 1 (I have to add I did know he was going to the movie, didn't expect it to be so late) so he comes in says hi (I was on computer of course) goes up to bed and is asleep within 10 min....after the urge to put a pillow over his head passed (I am totally joking about that) I decided to go back to bed and slept from 5-6 and here I am ready to head out the door...yea (sarcasim)  I am hoping for a decent day.  I sure hope yours is better to. Do you feel better after you cry?  I cried for 2 hours after my neighbor incident but didn't feel any better just sore, that's why I forced myself to go for a walk...opposite of his house :-)  Good luck today and I am praying for you!!

Michelle, thanks for the heads up on the on-line herb place. if the GNC at the mall doesn't have them today I will buy them there.

Tomorrow is my offiicial "flush the Tram" day...why not until now?  I wanted it to be over 2 weeks since my last pill before I did it just to show myself that the urge to take them isn't there so if I come across them again I know I can just walk away.  

Getting scared a little. My  M.D. is insisiting on seeing me before 7/24 so I guess I will have to go in and tell him that I quit everything.  Sure he will be happy about quitting the Lortab, but not sure about the Tramadol he was a huge "pusher" of it all along.  I plan when the time comes to go armed with knowledge.

Ok, off to go preach to my patients the evils of taking drugs and alcohol....hmmm rather hypocritical!

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by Aicle, Jul 15, 2009
17 days and I am sleeping without anything and other than being depressed if I am not busy life is good.

Most of the spasms in the nighttime have more or less vanished. Still sneezing and energy levels are hit and miss.

I still find myself hearing that voice that says "go ahead and take just one and you will feel better", but I just say "piss off".

You can do it!


Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jul 15, 2009
Hi everyone, welcome to the new folks.

Aicle, so glad you stuck with us and 17 days !!!! Whoo Hooo.

gettinglifeback, you are such a stich, so funny, I love reading your posts, you make me laugh.

and Fred, you just keep coming back, you are an inspiration to so many!

grandmagirl, Have you ever considered or tried Wellbutrin? I'm currently 2 weeks on tha and it seems to be helping. I got so depressed that I, know, couldn't function. I took it many years ago and it helped me.

I had a moment of panic whe I realized earlier this week. I actually was posting on this site as always_here in November 2008, I don't even much of a TRAM fog was I in? WOW, I conclude from my posts that I was toying with the idea of quitting and posted a couple things in my journal, then POOF I was gone, back to my habit, and I'm sure that's when I started to cut back and suffered 7 MONTHS, in pain and w/d without the strength to put it all to rest, which for me was Cold Turkey on June 8th..

I am 39 days TRAM free and a little freaked out about this...for now.


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by SadInPA, Jul 15, 2009
Hi Everyone,
This is new to me. I have been taking Trams for over 4 yrs now. It started out 400mg daily then it went up to 600mg a day. Over time I weaned down to 200 - 150mg. Today is day one of CT from this evil drug, I prepared by getting everything from the Thomas Rec. So far I feel ok.

My question is: What am I in for? I've been down to 4 - 3 tabs for the past two weeks now (maybe longer?)
Also, is this just the calm before the storm?? I dont have medical insurance because I lost my job 2 wks. ago and I'm conserving my savings.

Can anyone toss me some helpfull advise?

Thank you!

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by 1113, Jul 15, 2009
first off let me say that i would like to apologize to fred and emily because they have been the one constant figure that i have admired since i starting following this journel back in early december, and i feel like i have let them down and am not worthy to be part of this forum.  i read this journal pretty much everyday.

i want to say for the last few months that i hated myself becuase of this drug.  i haven't gone back to taking the amounts that i was on previously but i am still dependant on this drug.  i decided to change things up a bit.  i used to not take anything until i got home from work.  Then i would take my 150mgs twice a night (recently i take between 150 - 200 mgs a night).  

i knew that i need to change my thinking.  i didn't want to take anything during the day, but at the same time i was so desperate to relieve the on coming withdrawals that i couldn't take just one when i got home.

over the past 2 weeks i have started seperating my doses by taking 1 pill every 3-4 hours.  I have found that if i start early afternoon  that i never began to feel desperate to relieve the withdrawals, and i can rely one pill.  For the last two weeks i have taken 4 pills all at different times.  on Monday night i dropped down to 3 pills by cutting out my 3rd dose.  i have yet to notice any kind of withdrawals. no disruption of my sleep patterns.

i have always heard that you can't quit until you are ready to quit.  In the past i knew i couldn't keep doing this for ever so i tried to quit, but i wasn't ready to quit.  i still liked the drug to much.  My attitude toward this drug has changed over the past few months.  Know i can't stand going to my room to take a pill.  I can't stand to bring myself to spend the money.  I can't stand the fact that i am dependant on somthing.....   it's not fun anymore....  it's not recreational anymore.  it's now a hinderance to my everyday life.  

well that's all for now... will be back on this afternoon.  Good luck to all

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by 12Stepper, Jul 15, 2009
Greetings All, Welcome Newcomers, It always amazes me how many of us there are. For those of you struggling with depression as I have in the (6 weeks now) post-tram days, I have to say it does get better, and I've had some great hours and even several whole days in a row during this time.

Grandmagirl, I'm sorry the Prozac didn't work for you. I was hoping you would find relief in that. We'll have to keep trudging along, having faith that our body's chemistry will even out--it's just not happening in the time frame I would want, and every time I feel good, I think it's here to stay, and then I get discouraged when the depression returns!

But sometimes when it seems I'm not making any progress at all, I look back on the times during that first month and remember the long strings of days with no relief, thinking it would last forever, but it didn't. I can remember just feeling glad I was motivated enough to go to the local library and find some fun reading to keep me distracted.

I still find small acts of self-caring very helpful. Yesterday I went to the health club to swim. Then I make myself do things I don't want to do, like pay bills and clean house and walk around the neighborhood, knowing that I'll feel better afterward. Anyway, I think the mental symptoms of w/d can be the hardest because they can last the longest, but I now know I can be happy again. I have hope.

SaninPA, Welcome, and I would only suggest reading as many post from previous treads as you can. There are so many types of people who have outlined their symptoms that you will be prepared to recognize them as symptoms of w/d when you start to experience them. It is good to know it is the w/d happening and not some other problem in your life. Also, many have shared what has helped them to cope with those symptoms. Most of us find it helpful to post often during the acute phase--because others here are sometimes the only ones in a person's life who really understand what you are going through. You are not alone in this! You may wish to put your commitments such as work on hold for a few days, as if you have the flu, since we really don't know exactly how our bodies will react during this time. It may be an ordeal, but it is temporary, and you'll be grateful the rest of your life!

Thank you all for being here, God bless.

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 15, 2009
SadInPA, it will get worse I believe, but you could also be very lucky and have only mild symptoms. Just know that time heals all wounds. You need to check in here throughout your day and especially when your feeling bad, read the posts of people when they were in deep withdrawals, then follow down to the posts where they have almost fully recovered. This will keep your hopes up. Since you are not working, and it is day one, I would let someone close to you know what is going on (if that's possible) so they can be a phone call away. Also get a big pile of movies to keep you busy. You most likely aren't going to want to move much while your in the first couple days, so movies are the best thing. Set small goals, and hang in there. Were all here to talk to you. Love, KS

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 15, 2009
GettingLifeBack, I'm glad to hear that you thought of buying a bathing suit, thats awesome!! It's all about you right now, do what makes you feel good, cuz that's the only thing that's gonna get you through. Also, you sound like an amazing mom, so props for that. I think it's funny that we feel almost the exact same way. I watch my boyfriend sleep and I get a slight urge to smother him in his sleep cuz I'm laying there wide awake and miserable.  It's not even that I'm thinking of anything particular that makes me depressed. It just hits me out of nowhere, and I'm like, crap where the hell did this come from? My mom tries to tell me: "Kayde you just need to stop thinking about whatever is making you depressed!!" Ya mom, that's gonna work, let me just snap my fingers and make this all go away!!  Probably not.  Also, in answer to your question, I have the urge to cry very often throughout the day, it sucks so bad, but after, I feel like I released all the built-up stress. Yet the urge to do it doesn't ease. I think it is the Serotonin release when I get upset that makes me feel better. Since the Tram used to do all that for me, I can see why it's hard for our bodies to re-learn it's duties. Every morning I wake up with instant anxiety and nausea, that is the worst part for me.   I hope you start to feel better soon. I for one don't know how much longer I can handle these mood swings and depression. I haven't gone near my boyfriend in weeks. He says he doesn't mind, but how could you not? Well enough about me.  Good luck to you in your day today, Keep us posted.  

Avatar universal
by elizabeth442, Jul 15, 2009
madtram, thanks for responding. I will definitely talk more to my doctor about this. I actually only had the palpitations one time but it was so bad that I went to the ER. I have felt fine (at least in that regard) ever since. I am actually feeling almost completely better from all the withdrawal symptoms at this point so that is very good, I am just concerned about whether or not I should get the exploratory surgery. I know you can't tell me whether I should, but I am wondering do people have palpitations from the drug or the withdrawal? or both?

Thanks everyone for the support.

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jul 15, 2009
Welcome all new comers....

Fred....I think your post was right on the mark....

Most of us have gone through hell and back coming off of Tram/Ultram. It's certaintley not a adventure that most people would want to repeat. What ever PLAN you make for yourself .....Just stick with it concerning this drug. If you know that you are in trouble withTram/Ultram...than probably I would think it might be bothering you on a day to day basis...Life has it's ups and down's anyway -- we all come off this drug in differeant ways and for different reasons.

I'm not here to judge and I try not to judge others as I have not walked in thier shoes. The best thing you can do for YOURSELF is educate yourself by reading Emily's earlier posts.... When you have knowledge it gives you the power to try and make a better plan.  

I'm still off the Prozac and most of the tremors have gone away.  I really don't know what the answer for depression is..Are we just simply masking our feelings with more drugs?...I can say for me it's still a trail and error procedure. I think in my case coming off of Tram started the ball rolling on the depression.

I would love to know what Tram was layered with?  Maybe this has been written about before..

Peaceful wishes to everyone fighting the battle....

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by angelbaby1975, Jul 15, 2009
Hi everyone :)
wow I woke up today and other then really hungry I was pretty good I also am really happy to say I slept thru the night :):)..I took a nice hot bath and a rapid sleep pm this is sold over the counter at Walgreens and walmart it is botanical blend and it really helped I feel asleep and stayed that way ..I was really grouchy this afternoon but my husband wanted me to find him pain meds online and it was messing with my head .Is that werid ??Anyway to all of my new friends here your a blessing! I really think I can do this .Has anyone ever heard of Narconon ?What are they all about

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jul 16, 2009
Angel,  I googled Narconon and they appear to be a "for fee" drug rehab business.  I had never heard of them before.  You ARE doing this Angel.  Day 5, yes?  I don't think that it is wierd for you to feel grouchy if you were asked to do something that your heart is probably not into right now.  You are doing great.

1113, PLEASE!  There is no need for you to feel like you have let anyone down.(execpt maybe yourself?)  I picture Emily's place not as a forum for overcomers, but as a hospice for sick people like I was when I got here.  You most certainly ARE worthy to be part of the forum, especially since you have been reading everyone's posts most ever day since December.   I think that you are a really good person with a really bad drug kicking your butt.  If you'd like to continue the discussion on quitting, send me a private message and I will respond to you. But I am fairly sure that when the pain this drug is causing is worse than the preceived pain of quitting, you will decide to quit.  As grandmagirl said, we each have our own way and time.  Just keep coming back and reading the posts and posting yourself as often as you like.  PLEASE!

SadlnPA, Welcome to our world.  What are you "in for"?  I'm not clear as to when you took your last dose, but for me, the big time withdrawal began about 24 hours after I took my last pill.  You will experience "flu like" symptoms, indigestion, sleeplessness and possibly restless leg syndrome (RLS)  Days 2-4 were the worst.  If you are able to sleep, many report night sweats.  Things started to improve about day 5 for me.  Others may have different time frames.  

It's a powerful drug that we gobbled up with reckless abandon.  


It will take time for a drug that powerful to let go of you.  Consider the pains of withdrawal a rite of passage.  And as helpful as some of the indredients in the Thomas Recipe may be(I went out and bought many of the products as well),  don't go into this believing that it will be a painless process. I found it most helpful if I got angry at this drug and what it turned me into.  Totally wrapped around it's clock.

After day 5 for me, I experienced more subtile symptoms like crazy sneezing, walking into walls, depression, anxiety, and lack of focus.  Around that time, you will begin to feel emotions again.  Irrational joy, waves of sorrow and , crying.  (those things that became fogged/bottled up while were we were taking this drug.)  I returned to work on day 7, but I was fairly worthless at work for that next week.  I didn't balance my own checkbood that first week or two, let alone give any clear and cogent legal advice.  Basically, I sat in a chair, read emails and talked on the phone - without moving much forward.

The good news is that there IS an end to the suffering.  You will get your life back if you can make defeating this demon drug the MOST IMPORTANT THING IN YOUR LIFE for a week.

I'd like to close with a story that illustrates my experience with tramadol.  I can't eactly vouch for the veracity of this tale, but I will relate what was told to me.  Some years ago, there was a gorrilla named Ivan, who was housed at a retail mall south of here in Tacoma, WA.  I suppose Ivan was a bit of a tourist attraction.   Ivan was kept in a cage and there were warning signs for passers by to stay out of the cage.  Ivan had grown quite large over the years.   He swung from the gym that they had built for him.  There were old truck tires that he would occassionally pick up and toss around his cage when he became angry or aggressive.   His mood ran from hot to cold.  

One day and young man disregarded the warning sings and stepped into the cage with Ivan to play.  At first, the gorilla was as sweet as could be with his guest.  Ivan blew kisses in the young man's direction.  Ivan beckoned the young man closer and disarmed, the young man approached.  Ivan picked up his large pink comb and attempted to comb the young man's hair.  Could it be a match made in heaven?

Then without warning, Ivan turned on the young man.  The gorrilla beared it's teeth and chased the man around the cage.  Ivan began tossing tires at the man, knocking him to the ground.  And then Ivan jumped on the man and continued to have his way with him for over an hour before help arrived.  (the longer version of the story that I first heard included explicit sexual details, which I am omiting).

After traquilizer darts were fired at Ivan, the man was carried out on a stretcher.  What had begun as a careless lark, ended as serious as a heart attack.  The moral of the story is this:  when you climb in the cage with Ivan, IT ISN'T OVER UNTIL IVAN SAYS IT'S OVER.  And that's how my experience with this drug, T was.  

Good luck to everyonein recovery.


Avatar universal
by gettinglifeback, Jul 16, 2009
Fred, you have some of the greatest stories...I love reading your posts.

All I can say right now is grrrrr, it's 2:40 and here I am awake again. Fell asleep at 11 so a little over 3 1/2 hours.  Of course eating those cajun marinated ribs at 9 wasn't such a good idea either :-)  

Having my ups and downs emotionally....I guess Fred, I am in the cage with Ivan right now!  I really like that story, or maybe it's just because it's freakin 2:40 in the morning!!! :-)

Just curious, anyone welcome the symptom of sneezing?  Yes, maybe I am just a little off my rocker here.  First, you have to understand I never ever sneeze. I haven't sneezed in well, years other than the odd one here and there. I don't have allergies like my poor kids (knock on wood here) so never really thought about it.  I started sneezing on about day 5 and it continues some days more than others but it feels good, like I am feeling something other than pain and depression. I also feel like I am sneezing out these toxins (ok, don't picture that literally, gross) :-)  The other thing I have to say (and it might need to be edited out but sex!!!! I didn't know I could feel again...blushing here!  I haven't wanted to be, able to be, interested in being touched in a long time...quite a while before starting the wd's here. This is a positive aspect my husband doesn't seem to be complaining about..wink wink. I hope this feeling continues, don't know if it's the endorphins released but hey, if you can handle being touched I say go for it!! What a great help with the RL!! Ok, it must be the middle of the night because I seem to have lost all my inhibitions, no one is allowed to think any less of me after the above statement....only I would admit that to anyone :-)  Honestly, I have always been quite shy, maybe it's been the tram and really I am so outgoing I'm annoying...ok, don't answer that either!!

Good Bless, and take care

Avatar universal
by MarkNina, Jul 16, 2009
Hello, this is my first post and I am posting on behalf of my wife. Here is a brief background of the situation!

My wife has had chronic lower back pain for several years. Trying all sorts of things to try and cure this, including different medications, she was prescribed Tramadol three years ago and has been on them ever since. Earlier this year she went into hospital for a pretty major operation to replace two of her lower discs, as well as attach rods to strengthen that are of the spine. After a couple of months, at a meeting with the specialist, he told her to try and come off the pain killers (Tramadol) so that they can get a better/more realistic view on how successful the op has been.......This is where the nightmare begins and why I am posting here now!!

We have done loads of searching, but this is the only place that I felt the need to post to ask a few of my wife's questions!

After trying to stop taking Tramadol it was obvious that something was really wrong. We now know, after reading loads of the posts on here that she is well and truly hooked! She suffered from virtually all the side effects listed here!

She was on 400mg a day and has taken the tapering approach. She is down to 300 mg a day. She is dropping 50mg a month and is going to try and change that to a drop of 50mg every two weeks to speed it up. It is a real struggle. Even dropping 50mg is having a real bad effect on her. We are in shock as to what is happening!

Here is her main question for all you Tramadol experts out there! (There may be more questions to come!)

She is really worried that the operation has not worked (the op is like the final straw to fix her back). She thinks this because as she is reducing her dosage, she thinks that her back pain is getting worse and it is really upsetting her. Her back problem is ruining her life and the thought of it not being fixed is really crap to say the least.

So after me reading on here that some people are saying that they experienced an increase in pain when they were coming off Tramadol, it has given her some real hope that this is what is happening with her.

Can anyone tell me anymore about any experiences like this, where their pain got worse while coming off the drug and then did the original pain/problem get better???

Thanks for reading and all the best to you all.


Avatar universal
by Miss_Amy_2009, Jul 16, 2009
Hi EVERYONE! I'm 72 days Tram FREE and just checking in..I don't post much anymore but I check the threads almost daily. I'm glad to see so many new people joining Emily's Journal. HI to Fred/Boe/Emily..etc..


My SHORT story: I was prescribed Tram for back pain and took it daily for 5 years. My highest dose was 200mg/day for @3 of those years. After joining this group of support, I tapered from 100mg/day and became Tram Free. You can do it too!!!

Check my posts on PART 10 of Emily's journal. I think you may find them extremely helpful if you want to know what to expect. To view these posts, you can hit the previous button (located on the top/right of this page) TWICE or simply copy/paste the link below into your browser to get to part 10.

(Sorry, I don't have much time to post here my suggestion to read my previous posts which others found to be helpful is the best I can do right now)

Also, you can check my tracker on my profile..I've added journals for each date of my tapering process which explains my tapering I decreased my doses...spread smaller doses out during the day...the W/D's...and on which date. I know that it truly helped me when people told me what to expect..especially when that fear of "not knowing" can escalate the acute w/d symptom of anxiety (as if it's not bad enough when you do know what to expect)...

To you newcomers...I wish you HOPE AND STRENGTH!!!

Know that by being here, you're in a very good place. *Hugs*


Avatar universal
by flippers, Jul 16, 2009
Hi Mark and welcome.

There are a lot of opinions here on slow tapers. Some find that it works, but it sounds like your wife is having "typical" results of a slow taper, which is onset of w/d's immediately. To decrease by 50 mg a month (or even a week) in many people's opinion will only prolong the suffering. I noticed w/d's when decreasing by 12.5 mg, in a failed attempt at slow tapering. Many here, including myself, did a quick (one or two week) taper to around 50 to 100 mg/day and then stopped all toghter. I personally felt less pain when coming off tram then when I was on it. I never noticed any great analgesic qualities to this drug. I had better luck with higher dose advil (600 to 800 mg) than with tram. I don't have the same degree of pain as someone who is S/P surgery of the back, but you will find all kinds of great answers here from people who have. Make sure to read the old pages of parts 8, 9, 10, etc. Great stuff there!


Avatar universal
by gettinglifeback, Jul 16, 2009
Hi Mark, I am probably not the one with the most experience to reply back to you (no pun intended) but wanted you to know that I too have had the spinal fusion your wife seems to have had. I had discs L-3-5 removed, replaced with a bone graft and then rods and screws placed was in a brace for 9 weeks (in the middle of summer,fun)  I had severe, unbearable pain going into this surgery. The most problmatic being in my right butt and shooting down my right side of my right leg progressing over a few years to numbness down the side with no feeling in the two smaller toes, even though numb the deep pain was unbearable.  I had been on Tramadol before this severe pain started went up to Lortab starting at 5 the7.5 then 10's.  After the surgery I woke up feeling a difference (other than the surgery pain)  took my Lortab for three weeks when I had an "accident" that caused a portion of retained disc to press against the nerve root...again.  I made it 18 months from the first surgery had another surgery where they removed the rods/screws on the right side, removed the problem and left in the rods/screws on the left.  At that point I was on Tramadol 300-400mg a day along with Lortab when needed (I should say I have been on Tramadol for a total of 8 years leading up to this due to pain) I was certain the second surgery didn't work just out of pure fear. I have had pain of some degree ever since.  I just recently went off of the Tramadol,Lortab....well, everything RX except my blood pressure medication and 1/2 dose of Neurontin.  Please let your wife know that I am experiencing pain coming off the Tramadol, but no where near what I thought I was feeling as my "back pain".  I am only day 15/16 cold turkey and it by no means is a walk in the park, but with all the vit. and minerals I am taking I am starting to get some energy, going for strolls, actually really want to take the kids to the pool today (haven't felt I could take them anywhere without my husband even with the pain meds before coming off the Tramadol)  I actually had been wanting to go off the meds for a while but oddly enough I ended up with a stomach virus on 6/26 where I had to taper down because I couldn't keep much of the doses down...after two/three days of this I realized the virus probably stopped and what I was feeling were wd's from the Tramadol. I decided on that day just to go cold turkey since I was already feeling miserable from it.  Again, the first 5 days were not fun at all. This board has become my lifeline. Reading how just about everyone is going through almost the exact same symptoms on the same day out is just freaky to me and makes me so angry at the makers of this trash.  

Please tell her not to give up....she is going to feel pain...I don't think there is any way around that, but that doesn't mean the pain she is feeling is her back!!  This medicine really,really messes with your brain.  I had the sweats, chills, nausea,vomiting,aches,..those have become less now I am dealing with on and off depression. Feel good one min. next really sad also irritable (but I realized I was having most of these while taking the Tramadol when I was building a tolerance to them)

I would go back and read the old journals either you or you and your wife to see what others have recommended. Honestly, without what they have recommended I think I would have gone mad by now.  Vit B-12 has been great for me, along with a multi-vit I take.  I did just start the St. Johns back up along with another herbal mood stabalizer.  I take 1-2 warm jacuzzi or normal baths a day for the muscle soreness.  I am over weight and I honestly think once my body adapts to exercising again and I lose some weight I might be without the "constant back pain" I was sure I was experiencing for the past several years...then I plan to kick some butt!!!

Good luck to your wife and to you, she is going to need all the support and understanding from you. Don't take anything is impossible for me to describe to my husband what I am feeling, especially coming off of  a non-addictive medication!!! I am a very lucky one who has a supportive husband willing to push me when it seems like a slow walk would help, or to tell me to "go take a bath"...wait, maybe I should double check that he isn't just saying I stink...just kidding.

My morning routine includes reading this board before doing anything else. It gives me the resolve that I can do this, I am not alone and most of all what I am feeling is the Tramadol and will stop!! Oh, sleep has been horrible. I am very happy now to get 3-4 hours in a night. Much improved over the 1 hour I had the first 5 nights.

I wish you both the best.(oh, if she is tapering and having terrible wd's she MIGHT want to think of going off CT, she might find she is prolonging her misery tapering. It's great for some and not so great for others, I think we each just need to see what we are able to do)

Avatar universal
by Louinpain, Jul 16, 2009
Hello everyone,  I have weened over the last 6 weeks off of a 50 Fentanyl patch plus about 30 miligrams of opiates a day. The fentanyl patch is an awful withdrawl and because its 24 hours of opiates you have extreeme night withdrawls.  I live in constant pain although I am still only in my 40s.  I am currently down to just one PERCOCET a day and am very proud.  I go to NA meetings every day. However the physical pain has returned in full force in my back.  My Dr suggested a take a non narcotic called Tramedol!!!!  And you all have totally scared me to death!  THANKS!   I have only taken it for two days so I am not worried about withdrawl but if what I read is true its just as bad as what i was on!  Maybe worse!   Not sure how anyone lives in chronic pain but I need to deal now.  because I will not take this tramedol drug and ever have to go through this again.  Is there anything that is non narcotic that helps?  Well thanks for these posts and goodbye to Tramedol!


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by angelbaby1975, Jul 16, 2009
Hi everyone I woke today and feeling ok just really bad tummy pain and now bleeding from the south side :( Is this normal or should I break down and go into the hospital?? 6 Days tram free but wow this hurts ...

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by 12Stepper, Jul 16, 2009
Angelbaby, Sorry to hear you are experiencing pain and bleeding. I don't recall anyone mentioning bleeding as a w/d symptom. It might be worthwhile to get it diagnosed. Peace of mind is important during this time and you will probably feel much better if you know what is going on. This is definitely a time in our lives to take good care of ourselves in every way possible. Please keep us posted as to how you are doing. Take care, Linn

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 16, 2009
angelbaby1975, rectal bleeding is almost always a sign of a gastrointestinal bleed, if it is bright red, you might want to go to the hospital and get checked out. If it is dark red almost black, that indicates that the blood is old and is slowly working it's way through your body. In either case if it doesn't let up within 24-48 hours, seek help asap. Stress can also cause erosion in your colon which will lead to bleeding, but like  said bright red is no buenos.  Good luck.

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 16, 2009
To: GettingLifeBack, I actually commend you for speaking about intimacy. I think more people than you are aware of are asking the same questions. I do think we are all adult here and would appreciate viewpoints on everything recovery related. ( I hope)  So let me ask you this.. is it hard to be intimate? Do you feel like you have to force yourself?  I for one, have been extremely irritable, I hate being touched (anywhere) even kissed, I feel like I'm being suffocated. Weird right? I also have been verrrryyyy sensitive to smell. I actually vomited in the shower (sorry it's gross I know) because my soap smelled over powering and all together disgusting. So Missy, can you elaborate a little? Can you relate to this at all?
  Lastly, how does everyone feel in the morning?  I am over three weeks C/T and mornings are so excruciating. I wake up with instant anxiety and depression, that in turn makes my stomach upset, and nauseous. It calms down after I get myself out of bed and get going. So, any advice would be great. All my love, KS

Avatar universal
by Formerfitgirl, Jul 16, 2009
I have been quietly reading your posts since I quit tramadol 50 days ago. Your words have been very encouraging and though I remain determined to stay clean, I have to ask, why do I still feel so rotten? Not only have I gained 25 lbs since I began my taper 6 months ago, but I suffer from dizziness, fatigue, lack of interest and headaches on a daily basis. Where once I ran marathons, now I can barely make it through a 60 minute sculpt class at the gym. I am just dragging myself through each day, with almost no enjoyment or happiness, and zero energy. .  If this is what life post tram is going to be like I am not sure I am going to make it. Can anybody tell me if I will ever return to my fit, energetic old self?
Thank you.  
I should add that I am a 42 year old female with no chronic pain issues. I got myself into this mess purely out of my own stupidity and enjoyment of tramadol's ability to numb and energize me.
I took T for the better part of 2 1/2 years, 300mg/ day by the time I decided to quit.

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 16, 2009
Formerfitgirl, do you ever have good days? Also, do you feel like you did when you were in your first couple weeks off the Ultram? I think I need more info before I can give any advice. Whatever advice I do have.... I do think that a meeting with an endocrinologist would be beneficial. Sometimes you can find other reasons for your symptoms through a simple blood panel. Keep us posted.

Avatar universal
by Formerfitgirl, Jul 16, 2009
Thanks for your quick response. Yes, I do feel better than I did 2 weeks in. But after a month the improvement halted. No good days; they are all about the same. I feel fairly normal when I get up. I can even manage a run. But by about 9 or 10am the dizziness, fatigue etc kick in and it's pretty much downhill till bedtime.  The only thing that provides any relief is sugar binges ( hence the 25 lb gain). I think I have substituted one numbing device for another.
I hadn't thought of seeing an endocrinologist.  Thanks. I will try that.  Sure would be nice if there were a simple hormone related solution to this nightmare.  

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 16, 2009
Everyone, I have been doing some reading on the internet, here some things I have found from several different sites.

Serotonin is involved in a wide range of behavioral and psychological processes including cognition, circadian rhythm and mood. Serotonin also is an important regulator for pain sensation, and abnormal levels of serotonin can contribute to painful events such as migraine headaches.       -which means, if you mess with your natural body processes with Ultram, you will pay the consequences!!

"The number of serotonin-producing neurons, which also are know as 5-HT neurons, is relatively small, and they are found in a very restricted area of the hindbrain," Chen explains. "Importantly, however, these neurons make extensive connections to other parts of the brain and are able to release serotonin almost everywhere in the central nervous system. These neurons have been implicated in almost every aspect of physiological function and in psychiatric disorders including anxiety and depression."

Tramadol is called Ultram in the U.S, it appears on the site under that name, but I've never heard it called that in England. I've been taking Tramadol for three years, and although it helped with the pain initially the side effects are dramatic. It now no longer helps the pain, but my body is completely addicted, so I'm attempting to come off them slowly. They make me tired a lot of the time, faint, nauseous, very dehydrated, I have to sleep for much longer periods, sleep is unpleasant and interrupted, and I get viruses very easily. I think it could be advisable to take Tramadol in very acute periods of RSD, but not long term. Lucy - Oxford, England

It is important to monitor patients on long-term tramadol and to avoid abrupt cessation after long-term use.   -this is from an Australian doctor who has reviewed Ultram....

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jul 16, 2009
Missy,  Sneezing is a good sign.  It's VERY common and I always figured that it WAS the last of the tram leaving my body.  In my case, I sneezed like crazy in the final stages of my withdrawal.  It's an odd symptom and not one I necessarily minded.  As to your other comments...I think that it is fair to say that tramadol numbs and fogs our ALL of our passions and emotions while we are on the drug.  Having our sexual desires return is one of hte benefits of getting of this drug.  Probably not trhe reason most of us STOPPED, but a fringe benefit (wink wink).

To others here who are still experiencing post acute symptoms, I don't know what the solution is in every case to individual issues post tram, but tramadol isn't the solution.

Love, fred

Avatar universal
by gettinglifeback, Jul 17, 2009
mrcrump, sorry it took me a little while to get back to you.  As for the intimacy, for the longest time I couldn't let my husband even get within 3-4 feet of me without my skin crawling. I felt so sticky,sweaty and disgusting let alone in so much pain. If my husband even tried to give me a peck on the cheek sometimes I would just about scream out loud...sooo irritable. I honestly thought my interest in being intimate was gone.  For some reason on about day 4-5 of wd out of the blue I was like "hey, I still have a husband" and even though I was terrified of being touched at first, lets just say it's like riding a bike :-)  again, just being able to "feel" anything other than pain,depression,anxiety was wonderful.  I didn't have to force it at all...nor the hmm,hmmm several times since...see, I've been married for 52 years...ok, so maybe it seems that long but it's been 20 1/2 years. In those 20 years I have been on and off pain medication/anti-depressents and other meds. Let's just say going off this Tram. has boosted our weekly/monthly/yearly average seven fold :-) Again, wasn't expecting this as an improvement so quickly but surely I am not upset over it.  So I guess what I'm saying is there is hope if this is an issue. Don't get me wrong I have good days/bad...heck, I have good hours bad hours. This morning I am very sore and irritated and if my husband would try to touch me it would be like the "old days" but I know that feeling will pass.
As for your sensitivity to smells, I swear we must be related!!  I have always have had a very sensitive nose and when I started into the wd's EVERY smell, even ones that use to smell good to me were turning me off. I spent so much time in my room those first few days that when i would walk out and then back in just the "normal" smell would make me run to the bathroom. On day 5 I told my husband that the smell of the soap is making me sick everytime I shower. He of course looked at me like I was crazy. I told him I swear that I am associating it with how horrible I was feeling.  I had to go to work the next day so while out I ran over and bought dove soap and ever since I can walk in the room and think it smells good. When I shower or bathe it's a relaxing smell. Now, I would say it just happened that I started feeling better, but my husband has a small sliver left on his sink in the bathroom and if he isn't thinking and uses it to wash his hands I am nauseaus immed. so I think how sensitive the smells are makes a huge difference.  Try changing soaps to something that doesn't have a strong smell, or if you are using a mild one switch to one with just a slight frangrance and see if it helps.
Mornings are hit or miss with me.  Yesterday I felt really good in the morning and most of the day...until about 5 p.m. then I hit a wall. I slept decent last night (I think I totaled about 5 1/2-6 hours broken up) so I thought today would be good. Got up and went for a walk, now I am feeling really sore and irrritable again.  I think not walking in the a.m. is going to be key for me for a while. I thought if I got up and moved I would feel better, but obviously not every day.  I am taking St. Johns if I am awake at 5-6 a.m. along with whatever vitamins I can get down to try to boost my mornings. I hope you start feeling better soon. Nothing worse than feeling so bad right when you wake up.  I am day 16 today ct. just keep counting down to reach day 30 that is my next big goal.

Good luck to you and to all of you out there, here is to a happy productive weekend....Tram. free

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 17, 2009
Missy, thanks so much for your elaboration on such topics!  I'm sorry you don't feel too hot today. Oddly I woke up feeling the best I have had in weeks!!  Then I found out that my husband which I am separated from, is moving three hours away. I took it somewhat well but I can feel my nerves starting to burn. This does not help my recovery whatsoever. Missy, I am here with ya. Were two grumps in a pod.  

Avatar universal
by 2Sue, Jul 17, 2009
Hi im almost 4 months post tram and have posted previosly about my experience...i still read posts weekly.
Fred you are brill in your responses, although im still for tapering, cause it worked for are so consistent and valuable to this site.  
just wanted to say a couple of things.

Mark. my pain escalated within days of stopping tram .i even went to casualty cause i couldnt manage it. hey ho, they wanted me to go back on tram.....they got a mouthful of me,cause i was so ratty and vocal ( Missy lol, i could so relate to how you felt with your neighbours....)..i couldnt control the pain  for weeks,but pain did settle eventually and although i still have constant pain ,it is very mild and controlled with paracetamol ibuprofen and a TENS machine..
i was put on tram in september last year post op and i firmly believe now i would have recovered a lot quicker and had much less pain without the tram.
when i think of all the pain meds ive been on and time wasted,while ive been on the tram.and nothing has changed in my condition.i dont think.

Excercise was the key for the depression, which kicked in badly at three weeks post tram. i start runing, entered the great north run as an incentive and found playing music as i run stops the boredom..

sneezing is a strange but normal s.e. .
For me every system/part of my body has been affected by turning point in my recovery was when i realised how lethargic and worn out my whole body was,thats when i start running, and eating better and planning happy things for me to do.
Seratonin can be got from food..a good book is POTATOES NOT mam got me this when i had a bad reaction to shows how food balances blood sugars,increases seraotnin for feel good factors is not a diet as such , it explains the positive effect foodstuffs can have on your body and tells me that i am sugar sensitive and why i react more to medication than other people do.It also shows why sugar can increase a feeling of depression.  Formerfirgirl.mite be worth a look for your sugar cravings... .
my love to you all.there is an ending to all this....DEFINITELY.

Avatar universal
by Formerfitgirl, Jul 17, 2009
I will take a look at that book. Thanks. Do you feel back to normal now that you are 4 months off? When did the depression finally lift? I exercise daily but don't think it is helping. Did you feel dizzy or have headaches at all?

Avatar universal
by grandmagirl, Jul 17, 2009
Happy Friday Everyone....

Welcome all new comers....

I told everyone here that I would continue to update on being Tram free for almost 4 mos. Depression hit some time in the 3rd week and hung on it seems like forever....

I had what I THOUGHT was going to be the INSTANT ..a few weeks on Prozac plan to FIX the depression.


Had side effects and was told by yet another doctor to STOP taking the Prozac..

The good news is I am feeling better...Not perfect by any means ...but BETTER...

I love the mention of the book potatoes not Prozac....Funny and interesting title..guess I don't need the book now as I am OFF Prozac.

I am Done with the "OTHER make you feel good meds". Just going to have to suck it up and put one foot in front of the other and go forward. This is the only thing I know how to do at this point.

I have also joined the club of the walkers and no sugar group...Lots of water ....lots of vitiamins

If you are taking anti-depression meds  and they work for you....thats fantastic....

Do what you think is best for you. It may not be may make your family pissed...It may make your doctor not like you...but it is YOUR body

excuse spelling...

Have a peaceful weekend.....

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by angelbaby1975, Jul 17, 2009
Good evening I hope everyone is doing well ,bleeding has slowed and the grouchy ness is gone .So many things are happing to my body I just can not belive this drug this evil drug is so handed out . Because the drug surpressed the want for food and ability to go to the bathroom my body is having alkinds of werid issues ,I can eat a little here and there but im always hungrey now so much for the 50 pounds I dropped .

Talk to you all soon


Avatar universal
by emergee, Jul 17, 2009
hi all,
   i am amazed to see fred still pouring his heart and soul into his wonderful epic posts.   and madtram too!  generously tending to the walking wounded...

   to those still suffering,  i am tramfree since a few days before fred,  which was december.   i was probably the biggest whiner ,  definitely the longest whiner.   months and months of whining.

   the tram nightmare started an healing journey for me that is continuing and is wonderful.   one breadcrumb after another lead me really start healing EVERYTHING ,  body and soul,  from the ground up.   i think i may have needed that slow grind of suffering on and on to really dig in and have the commitment and dedication to make my life healthy.   truly healthy.
   if i could add anything to the collective wisdom it would be urge people to eat well.   and make soup out of beef bones.   those bones are what we as a species evolved eating .  we need this nourishment .  when i was detoxing i ate frozen food from the microwave just because it was easy .  if you have to you have to , but better food will get you better faster.  the soup will help heal your gut which tramadol destroys.  your poor brains need the fat that is in the marrow of the bones.  

   BRAIN FOG .   if this is a big problem for you and you need to have your brains working,  you might try hydrocortisone cream 1% ,  use a dime size on your wrists and see if it helps.   for me brain fog is caused by cortisol depletion.

   good luck everyone,  i have no tramadol symptoms at all.   it is over.


Avatar universal
by jekorb, Jul 18, 2009
Hi, Tram-fighting companions!  I appreciate each and every post and read them everyday.  It's wonderful to know none of us is alone in this drug nightmare, but all see the light as we wake from it.

Gettinglifeback, I had exactly the same experience with smells as you did.  When I went through a much more minor Tram w/d about 8 years ago (didn't learn anything, did I), I insisted that everything smelled like decaying flesh, like a dead animal on the side of the road.  It was HORRID!  Once I was able to move around, I laundered everything that could be laundered and used several cans of Lysol around the rest of my house.  What I found to be "the carcass smell" was actually the smell of my husband's cigarette smoke, esp. on his clothing!  I couldn't be anywhere NEAR him, and being in the car for the next couple of months with him was awful.  It made me so sick, I wanted to scream, but I had the world's cleanest house there for awhile!  Congrats on your days-out, too!  Good for you.

Grandmagirl, I was interested in your post re antidepressants.  What do you know about Lexapro and Effexor?  I have always struggled with anxiety/ depression (not too bad) but am afraid that after my Suboxone treatment is done, it may hit harder.  I will talk to my substance abuse doctor when I see him on July 23rd; this is my first meeting with him before I start Suboxone.  I'm so very grateful, b/c I just didn't have the courage  or strength to go c/t at my age and with my gastrointestinal problems.  I'm still convinced it would have killed me.  However, my health insurance company came through for me and got me my treatment for the "in-network" costs, rather than the "out-of-network" costs, which would have been $1,000 plus $50 per visit!!!  There were no in-network substance abuse MDs within 60 miles of me!!  Praise God that this MD said "Yes" to my ins. co.; I am now set to go and can hardly wait for the (sorry---have to say it) first day of the rest of my life.  I told my care advocate at the ins. co. that she had literally saved my life.  By the time I was done talking, we were both in tears.  Thank you, Lord, for hearing my prayers.  And I keep all of my warrior friends in my prayers, also!


Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jul 18, 2009
Sweet emergee, It is SO nice to hear that you are doing well these days.  Iv'e wondered how you have been.  I suppose I could have sent you a note...sorry!   I can't recall that you whinned any more than ANY OF THE REST OF US trying to break free of this terrible drug.  YOU WERE SO INSTRUMENTAL in my finding hope that it may be at least POSSIBLE to live without doses of tram-o-crap.  And THANK YOU again for sending me that first note to old Fred.  You validated what I was feeling when I was lost in tram-o-land , you encouraged me to fight this terrible drug and for that, I will always be grateful.  (((HUGS)))

Reflecting back nearly eight months ago, there would be entire days here when nobody even posted.  I recall looking back on that original site, "Day 45" and seeing entire WEEKS when nobody even posted at all.  

And 2Sue, you and emergee BOTH are poster girls for doing a nice slow taper.  I lacked the patience for that, but I admire the heck out of the way EACH of you took things slow and steady.   THANK you both for playing a part in my recovery from this crap.

2Sue, I liked how you said, "i firmly believe now i would have recovered a lot quicker and had much less pain without the tram".

I feel the same way.  I was on tramadol for over six years after surgery and the fact is, I suspect that for the last 5 1/2 years or MORE, the original pain that I had when I first began this TRAM - long since vanished.  

TRAM causes pain.  

For long term uses out there, tramadol MASKS changes in our body.  It masks changes in our mind and body that might actually be worth knowing about.  But how would I know ? - I for one was in a fog for six years.  

Weight gain -  I recall gaining maybe 10 lbs in those early days of my withdrawal.  The good news is that TODAY we each have choices about what we eat and how we excercise.  2Sue, thanks for reminding us that we ought to be wise about what we eat.  I have actually LOST 20 lbs in the last few months by reading labels, paying attention to portion sizes and by going on my little walks most every day.  

In closing, I just want to say that YOU guys are awesome.  To those battling this horrible drug right now, yes YOU CAN WIN.  

There are millions of active tramadol users world wide, who unfortunately are still trying to figure out why they are tight, irritable, walking into walls, constantly staring at nothing in particular and generally OUT of touch with their moods, feelings, and physical selves.  

Some here may feel like a newcomer today, but if you hang around, your story and profile  just might be the example the next person can relate to.  Each one here has a different story.  I feel a bit ordinary and non-essential to anyone elses battle.  I suspect you feel that way too.  But if enough of our stories are laid plain here, if enough of our broken lives are shared, EACH of us, just could be THAT person that the next lurker here  can identify with.  

One by one new folks are finding this site.  One by one - newcomers will lurk here and eventually frind the courage to post their own stories.  

Your story won't reach everyone and neither will mine.  But collectively, we are laying out a tapestry of living stories for someone who we have not even known.  One day another coming behind you will read YOUR story and identify with that story and in their own moment of clarity, they to will have the hope to believe that it is possible to win this battle.

Emily began a good work here.  Will you be around to help finish it?   You do know that you have begun at the
beginning, yes?  Millions and millions will follow.  Long after Fred is no longer around, someone else will need YOUR story to know that this is possible for them as well.  

Courge Strength and LOVE to you all,


Avatar universal
by pauldel, Jul 18, 2009
Hi everyone,
                Maybe there is someone out may be able to help me.This is day 6 off oxycontin and WHAT HELL!
doctor told me to go back onto tramal 200mg.After reading these posts i don't want to go through this hell again..
I've only had 7 tabs so i'm hoping my withdrawls won't start all over again when i stop today.
would anyone know?


Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 18, 2009
Paul, don't be scared, your the luckiest man alive to be only on day 6. I'm not a physician, I don't know your medical problems, so my advice to you is useless, but MY opinion is to stop everything you don't need right now!! Today, right as you read this. Ultram is terrible and unless your doc thinks it's absolutely vital to your life that you take it, then don't. Keep us posted, I'm thinking about you today and I hope you make the best decision for you. You only get one body and one life.   Love, KS

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by KC67, Jul 18, 2009
Hello everyone.
It has been a long while since I last posted, but I have been reading all of your posts frequently.  

According to my tracker, it has been over 118 days since my last Tramadol.  It's so good to see some of the people that helped me during my first 60 days (Emergee, Fred, Madtram, and of course Emily).  

Everyone is different, but I found that it took a little more than 60 days for me to feel completely better after getting off Tramadol.  The intense flu-like symptoms lasted 7 days for me, then the sneezing, anxiety, and depression took over full force after that.  

Now I am battling benzo (Xanax) withdrawal.  It has been a little over 2 months since my last xanax.  I am still suffering from depression, insomnia, infrequent anxiety and extreme irritability.  After benzos, it takes a LOT longer to get your body back to normal, so I am trying to be patient and just give it time.  

I would love any advice from anyone who has experienced benzo withdrawal and lived to tell about it!  :0)  I know I will live, it's just difficult right now.

I had to chime in about the anti-depressant discussion (above).  Grandmagirl, I too suffered the shakes as well as severe anxiety when I was put on anti-depressants.  I know they are good for some, but for me - they didn't help.  I tried Effexor (which was a bear to withdraw from - not as bad as Tram - but horrible in its own way), Lexapro (made my heart race and BP go up), and Zoloft (anxiety, tremors, and heart racing).  So like you, I am just trying to get completely drug-free and deal with my depression with natural means.

Eating well helps and exercise REALLY helps.  I'm sure part of my depression is xanax withdrawal related - so I have hope that it will one day disappear altogether - or at least get to the point where it doesn't affect me as greatly.  I have never had a problem with depression until I took Xanax and Tramadol.  Who knows????  Perhaps the combination of the 2 drugs REALLY did a number on my brain's GABA receptors.  

So all of you who are still suffering from anxiety and depression post Tramadol - yes, even 60 or 70 days out - know that it DOES get better and it DOES lessen.  I just messed up when I listened to my doctors who told me I NEEDED all of these meds (Tramadol, anti-depressants, xanax, etc...).  I was a happy well-adjusted person before all of these drugs.  And yes, I echo what Fred said that "Tramadol CAUSES pain".  I was in much more pain a few months after beginning Tramadol then when I started.  Much more.  Which of course led me to taking more pills.

Such a vicious cycle.

But I feel better being off all of the meds.  It was worth (and IS worth) all of the withdrawal suffering because our bodies weren't meant to take drugs like Tramadol or xanax long-term.  You can even build up a tolerance to anti-depressants - which is why I found myself changing to another brand every year or so.  

So....I look forward to the future and learning to live with my ailments.  I embrace them.  And I wish the best for all of you who are fighting this brave battle of being drug - FREE...whether it is Tramadol or any other drug that is holding you prisoner.

Sincerely with hope and love,
p.s.  I photographed my icon photo myself.  I live in Florida and am a BIG Florida Gator Football fan.  Just in case you were wondering about the weird icon.

Avatar universal
by MarkNina, Jul 18, 2009
Hello everyone, and thanks for the replies, especially 2Sue and Gettinglife back! and sorry for the delay in replying. Your posts have been a great help and have given some hope. Although today, after dropping another 50mg had a shocking reaction, pain and emotion wise.

I will be getting my wife to join in soon. Our PC is not in a very accessible place (in our loft (attic))! but I'll sort it!

Thanks again everyone.


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by Rockandahardplace, Jul 18, 2009
I am preparing to stop cold turkey in the beginning of August and would love to have this resource available.  Is there anyone out there that has been through this thing that can help talk me through it?  I have told no one about my addiction.  I am supposed to be sober.  So having someone to talk to would be wonderful.  Is this thread still active or has it moved somewhere else?  Please, someone, let me know.  Thank you so much.  ...hard place.

Avatar universal
by pauldel, Jul 18, 2009
Hi paul again,Thanks for your comments mrcrump.2003 i herniated 2 discs, by doc i was put on tramal , at this stage
it wasn't till 2008 they decided to do a fusion of lower 2 discs.After the operation i was still on tramal only had to up the dose to twice a day.3 months later i wanted to get back to work which is clerical so means i'm sitting for long periods of time.So again i needed something stronger so i asked doc for something as you can guess it was oxy,this drug does similar to tramal but i think it attaches to different receptors and is much stronger.Whilst at work i was taking up to 200mg of oxy to get me though,not understanding that it was killing off all my testosterone which i needed for bone recovery.So in the end the fusion didn't work.To go from tramal to oxy there was no withdrawls,but to go the other way was severe withdrawls.I've now had second fusion so i had to get off oxy ASAP.And now on day 7.Woke up again at that rotten time 4am,I'm guessing that would ring a bell with most of you.No tramal today so i don't know what today will bring,one can only guess!!!Get by on strong panadol and exersise till i see doc in 2 days.Hope to here from more of you as this may be a different case to most of the others.Apart from the withdrawls.This site has been very helpful,thanks to everyone.

Post again soon Paul.

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by Rockandahardplace, Jul 18, 2009
When I posted the above comment, I hadn't figured out the journal system yet.  What a wonderful resource!  I am so frightened to do this detox...I've taken up to 30 a day for about a year and have tried and tried to wean myself down, but just can't do it so I have to go cold turkey.  I am doing a little bit of weaning between now and the 2nd of August when this experience begins so it won't be too startling to my body...and throw me into a seizure.  My living circumstances don't allow me to tell my roommates what's going on, so I have to convince them that I am ill.  It doesn't sound like this detox is very easy to "hide" either.  I will lose my housing if they come to know that I am detoxing from any drug.  I am supposed to be sober!  I am grateful for the suggestions that have helped so many of you be successful.  I want to be like you and be successful too!  But I am scared.  I will check in from time to time as I am weaning and then probably daily once the withdrawal begins.  Thank you for this place!  Looking forward to getting to know you all.  ...hard place

Avatar universal
by Hoosierguy29, Jul 18, 2009
Hi all After reading all thoe posts from you guys im realizing i may be in real trouble...for me ive been on oxycontin 60-80 mg a day..i am trying to taper off of it and filled a tramadol perscription from the doc I had .. Its for 50mg 1-2 every 4 hrs....Is it safe to assume the tramadol is not going to help me get off the oxycontin? Please help im in real trouble here with no indurance Degenerative disk disease and a ruptured disk pushing on my sciatic....I just dont know what to in severe pain..PLEASE help as some days i dont even wanna go on

Avatar universal
by pauldel, Jul 18, 2009
Hi Hoosierguy,This is paul,hopefully you've read my last post pretty simular.Tramol will NOT help you get off OXY,you are in for the long haul..but i still don't know if there is a pill out there strong enough for my condition.So for know because it is sunday here,I'm doing the best i can.Day 7 NO OXY and NO TRAMAL.Yestarday hell (day 6)Today now 8:45am just waiting for relapse,comes about 9.Had stuff all sleep for 6 days,and there getting longer and longer.Hope this helps ...I'll check in all day so don't be afraid to talk.

Check in an 1 hour..Paul from oz

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by madtram, Jul 18, 2009
Hi Paul, our individual biochemistry means that we may respond differently to the various opiates & no doubt oxy has a higher affinity for opiate receptors than tram.  However,for pretty much all of us, tram was sufficiently opiate like to cause tolerance & similar withdrawal symptoms but with added bells & whistles due to withdrawal from the SSRI component of tramadol.

  Others of us have had or are having co-withdrawal from benzos & many were using tram for post surgical pain relief so I think you will find a broad spectrum of experience here & as Fred says, if you can find one other poster with whom you identify, it can make all the difference.  I know how hard it is to focus in early withdrawal but it really is worth taking the time to read through Em's journal from the beginning, there are so many gems of experiences & suggestions for getting through this.

Emergee, I too am thrilled to hear you are doing so well, hooray for you.  I would recommend your old posts to anyone as you just kept experimenting with remedies until you found the best solutions for yourself.

KC & anyone else with benzo withdrawal as a co factor, I firmly believe that this tram/benzo combination packs a triple whammy given the separate effects of each class of drug on our neurotransmitters & hormones.

If only I had abandoned the tram instead of turning to a benzo to relieve the tramadol tolerance effect of constant insomnia, cursed tram collateral damage.

To quote Emergee, it is over, but I know it has taken me much longer than a withdrawal from tramadol alone to restore energy & motivation & I am still hopeful of further improvement.

Supplementwise, I am still taking the d-phenylalanine for pain relief & I have had minimal unmanageable pain since, even with a dislocated rotator cuff which keeps popping out, (this is more tram collateral damage as I fell on it in a faint during withdrawal when my blood pressure was having crazy fluctuations). I am working out most days & it helps to feel my muscle strength slowly returning. I am aiming for an unsupported chin-up & am still way off but hopefully by the end of the year.

Wishing strength to you all,


Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 18, 2009
OMG OMG OMG I just found out I'm pregnant!!!!!!!!! This explains sooo sooo much.

Avatar universal
by preacherman24, Jul 18, 2009
This site is amazing.  Let me tell you my story.

I have two herniated discs and rheumatoid arthritis.  I have been taking trams for about 5 years, allowed by prescription to take up to 400 mg per day.  To my knowledge, I never took more than prescribed!  I usually took well under the max dose, douting I even took 400 mg in a day more than 10 times in 5 years.  I asked for something different than hydrocodone, as I did not want to risk getting hooked by opiates.  Tham was my former doctor's solution.  Thanks, pal!

Two weeks ago my prescription ran out.  I called to fill it, and decided to pick it up the next day, July 4, not thinking the pharmacy would be closed.  So here I was, a weekend with no tramadol.

I started feeling horrible, and for the heck of it, just looked on the web to see if the trams just happened to cause anyone else a problem.  I found this site, and was blown away!  Here I am, a pastor who hates drugs with a passion and has never taken one beyond prescription calls, going through withdrawl!!!

I preached on Sunday, dragging myself to church and smiling.  God gave me the stregnth to preach a powerful sermon as well as all my duties!  I hurt terribly and felt like a dirty sponge, but I made it.

With my new understanding that this "harmless" pain pill was poison, I did not pick up the prescription.  Instant termination.

The pain, "jimmy legs," lethargy, nausea, tears, depression, and all the junk were nasty.  But after about 4 days, I started feeling better.  I remember on the third night looking at the moon and the quiet of the night thinking "God, even the trees are sleeping.  Will I ever sleep again?"

Two weeks to the day later, and I am doing better.  I am sharper, more detailed like I used to be.  Those things slip without really even knowing it!  Still have jimmy legs and arms, waves of depression, insomnia, and just some weirdness.  But I've just about made it!

God is pulling me through this.  I know it.  I am not on here to preach, each person needs to make his own decisions.  But I can assure you, the God I serve is greater than  the junk I was taking.

I'll be going to my new doctor soon.  I hope to get some new pain management soon for my arthritis and back pain.  I need to get to an arthirits specialist and away from easy solutions.

And to wrap this up, I played 4 rounds of golf last week!  Shot at or below my average each round, and I am a competitive golfer who wins tournaments.  I am, even with pain and fog, sharper than I have ever been.

Praise the Lord!

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jul 19, 2009
Hello Paul,  I am SO sorry that your fusion didn't work and that it needs to be redone.  I was also prescribed oxy or hydro or some such thing after my hip surgery.  I liked it WAY too much.  My doctor alsdo switched me to tramadol - the "non-addictive, safe synthetic opiate".  Well, I did get off the oxys sure enough, but tramadol turns out to be pretty problematic and NOT at all safe or non-addictive altyernative to REAL opiates.  This drug kicked my butt.  I will be forever grateful for the friends here, who showed me that it was at least possible to stop taking this drug..  

As I recall, I did fine on about 100 mg./day for more than a year, but as so many others here have testified to, it's a fact that each of us will develop/build up TOLERANCE to tramadol long term, such that it takes more and more of the drug to make us feel not unwell.  I took this drug for more than six years and over that time my doctor had increased my dose to 400 mg/day and in the end, that was not NEARL enough to stave off the nearly contast WITHDRAWAL symptoms I lived with on a regluar basis.  

TOLERANCE and a need to keep increasing the dose JUST HAPPENS IN TIME to us all.

TOLERANCE develops regardless of the reason you began taking this drug.

TOLERANCE sets in for the pastor, for the dishwasher, for the musician, for the construction worker, and for the attorney alike.  

TOLERANCE will take place over time regardless of one's race, creed, education, religion, occupation, geography, height, weight, age, or sex.  

Rock, I am so sorry about your situation.  My son lived in a "clean and sober house" once after coming off METH.  I could EASILY have gone to 30/day myself, except...I guess I wasn't aware that I could buy them online.  Those "" places are sharks.  Clearly, they have no interest in our well being.  They are nothing more than "legal" drug dealers.  

I can get really upset at both them and the failure of each countries' inability to recognize this drug for what it is.  Withdrawing from 30/day will be hard, but people here have done it Rock.  I think that you are wise to taper to maybe 4-8/day and then jump off.  Tapering will be hard.  Anytime we don't FEED this BEAST what it wants it's hard.  Going from 30 to 25/day will send a person into withdrawal symptoms as would someone tapering from 8 pills/day.   PREPARE to be in a battle.  


With longr term use, this beast takes more and more of us and gives us less and less in return.

Any committment less than 100% to do all out WAR on this horrible drug will be insufficient.

I worry when I hear people wanting suggestions to lesson the pain of acute withdrawal.  The question IMPLIES that we are seeking an EASY SOFT WAY out and that we aren't preparing for WAR.  Like a soldier hoping for duty in the mess hall instead of on the battle field.

I need to say that  I have never served in the military and frankly, I couldn't imagine doing so.  (I am a big chicken.)  But I offer the MINDSET to illustrate that nothing short of gearing up for an all out battle will be sufficient to defeat the beast . Mr. T.  .  You can take every remedy listed in the Thomas Recipe and it still won't substitute for a determined mind, body and spirit.  

Preacher, I am so happy to hear that you made it out and that you are doing WELL.  It's pretty staggering when we finally see our aches, abdominal symptoms, inability to sleep, restless legs, depression, anxiety for what it is - withdrawal symptoms from this nasty drug.  For years I suffered terribly the last few days of EVERY RX cycle.  Looking back, I recognize those horrible days for what it was, withdrawal from what I had wanted to believe was safe and synthetic (which to me meant that it was not a real opiate.)   WRONG.  

Yes God is more powerful than this drug.  Thank you for mentioning this.  I believe in a higher than myself and I think that an important part of recovery is recognizing that our best efforts have not gotten us too far.   Whether a particular person chooses to call their higher power God, another  spirit in the universe,  this forum, of a door nob, FAITH can be and WAS helpful in my own recovery.  

It really SUCKED when I was on this drug.  I had to plan out of town vacations around when I could head out with a full pill bottle.  

KC, it was SO nice to hear from you my friend.  (((hugs))).  I will be keeping Mark in my prayers this coming week.  

Michelle, your knowledge of the medical potions and ongoing contributions to this place are so helpful.  I knew a long time ago that I lacked the knowledge to attempt to serve in the capacity that you so willingly do.  

Courage STRENGTH and LOVE to you all,


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by nurina, Jul 19, 2009
Dear Grandmagirl, Aicle, Fred, and everyone reading. I decided to skip NA today and do this instead. 20 days since i took my last trams, wanted sooo bad to write earlier but been so busy working, mothering, withdrawing.....ah the withdrawing....

So here's my story.

After about 2 days of going cold turkey, going insane, hallucinating and everything, I took my dads advice to go and see a family friend who happens be a doctor specializing in drug abuse. I was torn between wanting soooo desperately bad to feel better and fear of switching one addiction to aonther. Anyway I decided to go and see this doctor already.

So she arranged for me a very specific 7 days-program involving (PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS WITHOUT CONSULTING A DOCTOR AND KEEP IN MIND WHAT WORKS FOR ONE PERSON MIGHT NOT WORK FOR OTHERS) codeine (tapered), papaverine (for the seizures), clobazam (benzo), and sum sleeping pills that I cant remember the name for. It took me a leetle over a week to finish the program cos, out of fear of getting hooked on codeine and/or the other pills, I kept discounting my consumptions, i.e. stretching the in-between times and even skipping some of the meds at times I felt I was particularly stronger to do without and the situation was supportive-e.g kids at grandmas and/or day off

The program helped A LOT with the pain but I still got ZERO sleep at the beginning and very little later.... Not going to specify the symptoms coz we're all familiar with those yeah. The seizures went away for 2-3 days then came back as the tapering progressed...

For three days after my so called '7 days' program ended I was on the smallest dose of codeine possible as my doctor would put it, she was all 'NO you CAN'T taper it i even take them when i have a cold' etc. was supposed to take it 4 times a day but ended up throwing 2 pills away after deciding I didnt need them...

Naturally I was freaking out about my first day without meds (which was last sunday). Worried sooo much I was just going to be in square one again I actually cracked at work...everyone was so underatsnding and I just told them I was having problems at home. There's this one guy at work I tell everything to though..he's been so there for me im starting to confuse between feeling gratitude with falling in love...but thats another issue

Today is the 7th day I've gone without any meds (except these organic sleeping pills called Atarax just at night time so I get to sleep and can function at work and as Mum) and aside from the depression and the runs (ooopppss TMI,sorry), also having a hard time trying to shove food in, and the chills at night I am absolutely fine. just really quite depressed..... i dont know what to do with myself....i feel so....flat i cant even cry...

Aicle how are you feeling?u got off trams round the same time i did yeah? realy love to hear from you....would really love to hear from anyone really...

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by nurina, Jul 19, 2009
Grandmagirl, sorry ur going through depression...same for me :( damn trams...

My doctor offered me sum more anti anxiety meds and i told her id just suck it up...i can totally relate to your post ...its like yes i wanna feel better but what is the prize to pay and will it be worth it??? ppl are telling me im being totally paranoid when i told them im not taking 'anything' again, i wont even drink...

Do you all think im being totally unrealistic?

Question, how long before you stopped getting chills at nights?and how long til a good night sleep...i stopped tking sleeping pills on friday cos dint hav2 work the next day..went to bed around 3..didnt take any either last night and got to sleep around 1....public holiday tomorrow on this side of the earth but real worried about monday night cos have to work on tuesday...the nights are the hardest...the chills, the panic from not being able to sleep and having to wake up at 6 the next morning...whennnnnnn will it ever endddd????

hope everyones well

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 19, 2009
Nurina. I just read your most recent post...well the one before the last one! lol, I am very very proud of you for going to see the doctor, also the fact that you have shared with someone else what your experiencing. It sounds like you basically are feeling like crap. I am pinning the label to you because after I read your: "symptoms" I realized that I feel the exact same way and I am almost a month now post Tram. Don't be discouraged. Don't give up, and never ever lose hope. Your days following will be ruff at times yes, but you are just one day closer to freedom. Freedom from a prison within yourself.
  On the topic of the friend at work that knows what's going on with you, I personally think that the best friendships and even relationships are the ones that start off with kicking a habit. Theres no better way to get to know someone, when they already know that you are a human with problems. If he can support you through this, imagine the possibilities!!! : )
  For conversation on the topic of tapering with other drugs, it sounds like a decent idea for you. I didn't go to medical school so in my own puny opinion, I always think it is a risk to get off one drug with the help of another. Yet, your doing fine, so that's great!!  Someday soon this will all be behind you. It will hopefully be behind all of us. Gratefully, the lesson learned remains forever, for some it is ever present on the surface of our being, while some it will be buried deep inside of them, and that is how they will relapse.  Keeping this lesson close to conscious is the only way to survive.
  One little bit of info that I have had personal experience with, be very very careful who you share with at work. Sometimes the ones you trust the most will use your hard times against you to get you fired. The last thing you need is to be fired as we both know. So, your intelligent, you can figure it out without me, just consider what I said. A workplace is for sure NOT a place to break-down, maybe the broom closet but not with co-workers.
  Lastly, I can't tell you when your depression will ease, mostly because I have no clue when mine will either, but I do know that you are your own worst enemy during these times. Tell yourself, that today is going to be a good day, diarrhea or no diarrhea. I will survive, and this addiction will perish forever.     My thoughts are with you today, as they are with all of you.
           Love, KS

Avatar universal
by pauldel, Jul 19, 2009
Hi everyone.I'm not that good at writing,so just bear with me.Today is day 8 oxy & tram free and i actually slept past 4am.Yay!I'm hoping the worst is over.Yesterday and the day before wre really bad days with what i thought was muscle soreness,but can sonebody tell me is this anxity?.Anyway it's good to be able to write down as each day passes,i really don't think i'm feeling depressed like i was on the oxy.Feeling very lathargic (sorry about the spelling) sneezing still lots and lost my appitite again.Can anyone tell me what to expect over the next few days as i need to plan physio and doctor.The ones of you who are going to work while you are doing this are unbelievable,my hat goes off to you..Thanks again to mrcrump for the comments from finally fred,every one is so helpful.Anyway hope today brings better things because this is really,really hard.At least i know i'm not alone,even if it on the otherside of the world.Bye for now,every hang in there.


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by nurina, Jul 19, 2009
Dear KS,

Thanks for the support and encouragement. God, a month off trams and you just found out you're pregnant! I'm so happy for you...great timing...a fresh nu start for you..hope you're feeling good about yourself and life now...

I  AM feeling like crap hahahaaa but im proud to report today that last night was my 3rd night without sleeping pills...i got to sleep around 11 i think and woke up at usual depressed and confused, no motivation or interest to do things etc...I try to keep busy..

How are you feeling now after a month of no trams? I'd love to knw if you have time to write...

Take care and congratulations again on the pregnancy...

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by nurina, Jul 19, 2009
this is comforting to watch i think...its sandra bullock in 28 days

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 19, 2009
  Nurina, I'm really stoked that your sleeping...well, kind of sleeping. When I read that someone can't sleep it always makes me uneasy feeling, for the one thing that no person shall dare attempt is to interrupt my sleep!!! It's been great motivation for hating this pill. I don't think I have ever asked this, but why can't you sleep? is it because you just simply cannot get tired, or do you stress out? See, for me, when I know it's time to go to bed, I panic. I feel like the whole world is sleeping and happy and I am the one person that cannot because she was a "drug addict." It may not have been Heroin, but like my mom says to me: "It is still a drug, and you were addicted."  I hate myself sometimes when I'm feeling low. I never thought I would have EVER had a problem like this, and the only person I can blame is me. So sleep is a sensitive subject. When I sleep bad, my day is excruciating. When I sleep decent, I can trudge through...barely. I really have no solid up times yet, so we'll see in the next few weeks if things begin to improve.  
   Switching gears, the pregnancy is a shock. I have been trying to have a baby for a while now with no luck, so I had given up. I am now positive that the Ultram was making me infertile. I am going through a divorce, so this isn't the best timing, yet it is a blessing to me, and I'm so very excited to be a mom.
    On the topic of sleeping pills, I am giving you props for not taking them. Sometimes I believe you just need one to get some decent sleep, yet that was the same reasoning I used for taking Ultram; to have energy. I was taking half an ativan, and it would put me right to sleep, I couldn't even finish my cooking shows without falling into coma. I feel that in your situation with your persistent depression, that maybe a little sleep aid wouldn't be the worst idea. Sleep is the best thing you can do for yourself right now, it gives your body time to heal and sort out all the wacky thoughts of the day.
    As for waking up in the morning sad and disoriented, girl! you are so not alone. Literally the second I open my freaking eyes my anxiety and depression is there. I have to literally heave my lazy bum out of bed and get my blood flowing. It sucks really bad,  so bad that probably 6 out of 7 days in the week I hate my days. I was just talking to my mom tonight about all my problems (I use the term really frivolously) she mentioned to me that when people do acid long enough, they are never the same. This comment sat in my little brain and did a couple circles around the track, then it hit me! OMG did I do permanent damage with these pills? Am I permanently depressed and crappy? Thankfully I remembered Fred from this post and wiped the sweat from my brow!! ; )   Time heals almost everything. Time will heal you and I, and one day you will sleep like a bump on a log, like Elvis Presley coming off energy pills, like Bill Clinton after a day at the office with Monica, or just simply how Nurina slept before her life was interrupted by chemicals. Whatever that case may be, I give you my personal guarantee, my very own seal of approval, that you will rest again. My guarantee does not cover an exact date!!!   lol  
  Anyways I have fallen completely off track of my point here. Point being, everyday I struggle. Every day I wish it was over. But......everyday I thank God I am alive and free of Ultram. You would think that we would all just be the happiest people in the world, yet alot of us in this post are the most miserable. Nurina, your doing great. I'm very proud of you and everyone else here. Keep on keepin' on.   All my love, KS  

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Jul 20, 2009
Nurina and mrcrump,  It takes "weeks and weeks" for the anxiety and depression to fade away after long term use of trams.

I am no doctor either, but many people report having HORRIBLE withdrawal from coming off long term benzos for anxiety.   I always used to keep reminding myself that it took me YEARS of prolonged tramadol use to get me into this pickle so it's only reasonable that it takes some time to get over ALL of the post acute withdrawal symptoms.  But every day OFF the drug brings us one step closer to total wellness.

Paul, if you have been off trams and oxy for 8 days, you OUGHT to be past the acute withdrawal period.  Most people report that "acute withdrawal" period lasts between 3-5-7  days.  

I'd give it another week and if you are still experiencing the symptoms you describe, it would probably we worthwhile to be seen by a doctor.  Don't expect them to understand or even acknowledge that tramadol use even has withdrawal symptoms though.  If you have the nerve, suggest that he/she take this stuff for a few months and then stop suddenly and see how they feel!!!  :)

Goodnight all,


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by Bulldemon, Jul 20, 2009
Hello all Ive been on tramadol for about a year , started off fine, eventually had to take more to treat the same back pain. Herniated discs. Never was as bad as some of the ppl i have been reading about the most i was taking was about 5 50mg tabs a day, Ive been down to about 1-2 a day now for the past 6 months. Found out I was addicted when I would run out on occasion and get severe withdraws. My back pain is only there on occasions but I have to take it every day just because I dont want the withdraws. So Ive made a decison to QUIT for good, This is the 2nd night off of it so I guess this would be the hell week. Ive tried before and the depression was really rough . Was wandering if a anti depressant would be appropriate or not. My girlfriend has 2 diffrent scripts she doesnt take, she said I can take it if i need it . There is citalopram20 mg generic for celexa and there is sertraline 25 mg generic for zoloft. I cant stand this deppresion , but would one of these help me quit the tramadol. Ive been on other pain killers in the past but tramadol is the worst . And the only reason I didnt stop and think about quitting this medication earlier was my doctor said it wasnt like the codeines and all those , that this was safer and non addictive. Yah he was wrong. What ive been reading for the first time tonight was that alot of people are addicted. Wonder why doctors are still telling ppl this. Ive seen post date back to 2006 . Anyways wish me luck please ill need it. Also, is there a way I can save this forum on my like med page or whatever. Thanks ahead of time.

God Bless,

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 20, 2009
Hello Brandon, first things first. To save this webpage right click the screen while this web page is up. Then select-"Add to Favorites." Then your favorites tab should be at the top of your computer screen options. Ok, so for the Tramadol, well you are on day 2 which isn't bad, but obviously isn't that great either. Yet you have made the decision to quit which is great. In my own opinion, I would give it a couple more days before you make any decisions on an anti-depressante. Set a goal even, for a week from now. Keep a small journal nothing elaborate and just basically rate your depression on a scale of one to ten. If your depression hasn't gotten ANY better, even in the slightest, then make the decision from there to seek an anti-depressant.  My advisement in that is to see your own doctor and get your own prescription. Sharing your girlfriends probably won't be the best idea.
   If you have seen the other posts, then look back at some with the withdrawal survival kit list on it. You might want to pick up some of those things. I's basically vitamins, hot tea, and things like that. From what I have seemed to observe on this post is that people suffering from withdrawals haven't exactly found any relief with other prescription drugs. They just handle it and bear through the misery.  You will be the better man for it indeed. I think your going to be fine, just don't plan on doing too much for a couple days. If you have a job, is there any way you could tell them that you have a severe case of the flu? (Kinda true in a sense!!)  If not, plant your butt on the closest couch and report for movie watching duty. Only watch things that are going to keep your mind busy, and not depressing crap either!! Surround yourself with nothing but positive things.   So Brandon, take it one day at a time. Were all here for you. I highly suggest that journal, not only will it let you know you have made some improvement when your feeling bad, it is also fuel for the future, when you ever get an urge to pop a pill, pull out your little journal of Hell, and kick that thought from your brain.   Ok I'm rambling, take care.
   All my love, KS

Avatar universal
by bluediamond, Jul 20, 2009
I have been lurking for 2 days now and must say I am now ready to join in. First of all, let me say I am shocked and oh so relieved to be reading these things and realizing that I am after all not the worthless peace of crap I have come to believe I am and that in fact it is the Tramadol that has been the awful demon! I have been on Tramadol for over 3 years now and at it's worst was taking 20 to 25 50mg tablets per day. Every month I would get my script for 240 tablets and would run out early and go through a period of hell. I was hospitalized for the entire month of October of 08 for Pancreatitis and was actually taken off of the Ultram during that time. I assumed all of the horrible feelings I had were due to being ill and in the hospital, never did it cross my mind that I was in withdrawal! So of course.....when I was released and went back home, the cycle started again. Two months ago I realized I was in trouble and started to research Tramadol. That is when I found out the truth about this horrible drug. I went to my physician and told her what was going on in a desperate attempt to try and save myself. She took me off of the Tramadol and I crashed HARD!!! Of course she would not put me back on it no matter how much I I changed Docs. He gave me 30 Tramadol last week and in 2 days it was gone. I did not suffer too terribly much form withdrawal because I don't think I was on it long enough but am now taking Vicoden like candy and crying constantly. I have decided to get off the Vic's and try to kick this but I am so depressed I cannot stand it!!!!  I am reading these posts like crazy and feel like for the first time that there really may be a chance for me. I just hope I am strong enough! I have so very much to look forward to if I can just hang in there.

I really like the "Journal from Hell" idea and am going to start one today! At least now I do not feel all alone in this hell anymore.

Thank you to all of you and God Bless

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by Bulldemon, Jul 20, 2009
Thanks mccrump for replying to my post , I needed some support and the things you said hit home for me. Now this withdraw survival kit , I didnt seem to catch this before , do you know where I could look to see what this is ? Anything would help right now this depression is the worst of it I think. Well that and the restless legs keeping you up at night. I appreciate all your help and time thusfar and thank you in advance.

God bless,

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by Bulldemon, Jul 20, 2009
I forgot to say, I hear you blue diamond Just stick with it. If you've made it this far by being here and posting then you are strong enough to finish , this is the 3rd day now for me and I can see the finish line :)

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by Aicle, Jul 20, 2009
22 days 4 me. i feel much better.

It's a rainy day here and I have been away from mt family now for almost a month. Thats the hardest part for me, I miss em.  

The great thing is that I wont have to plan "family time" based on All the bullshit that goes with this drug! Imagine not being able to do certain things with my family because I was at the end of my RX cycle and on a low dose and pissy.

What a screwed up deal that was.

congrats to all that have quit, and Godspeed to those who are going to quit soon.


Avatar universal
by pauldel, Jul 20, 2009
Hi everyone,

                Just a short one.Firstly thanks fred for your comments,day nine today feeling much better,I was pretty much over the muscle soreness(Brandon have a really warm bath with radox helped me heaps.)Just keep sticking with it, I had the herniated disc and then 2 fusions.Oxy & Tram,going to try and swim or jog for my pain.(Ha,Ha sounds good in theory!)Anyway going to Doc today and see what he says about tram addiction :)Bye for Know...


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by iontheprize, Jul 20, 2009
Hello all.  About 5 weeks ago I stopped taking Tramadol cold turkey.  I liked it too much to taper it.  Anyway, I wish I would have marked the date.  I hadn't realized the significance of it.  I wish I would have kept a journal of the hell I have been through so that today wouldn't seem so bad.  I believe I have been free of the stuff since June 20.  I was taking about 20 (or more) 50 mg tabs daily.  When the withdrawals lasted more than 2 weeks I figured the stress to my body caused a new health issue.  I never thought this could last so long!  I have run a chronic fever, had excruciating joint pains, extreme fatigue, chills, sneezes, restless legs and depression for 5 weeks.  At one point I phrased the pain as my body screaming out.  It made me so sad to have done this to my body; I caused the agony.  There were times it hurt to touch my skin.  However, because the sweats stopped and my sleep improved after 2 weeks, I thought I was free of the withdrawal and had some new, undiscovered illness.  That's quite laughable.  Denial is really something. The other day, I felt perfectly fine for a few hours.  I realized that it was over a month since I felt like myself and I had this intense burst of mental and physical energy.  It was the best feeling I've had in so long.  By 10 am it was gone and I was in the bed or on the couch for the entire weekend.  I was so discouraged last night.  Seemed like my personal hell was my new reality and would remain as such.   Thank you to EmilyPost who gave me the hope I needed.  Ironically, after learning that I might only be 1/2 way through the symptoms has given me a burst of both energy and courage to plow through all of this and be well.  I have a renewed hope.  Tonight I felt well for about 2 hours.  It's amazing what an accomplishment that is.  So, for others who are looking for help in getting through the moment: epsom salt baths work miracles on joint pain.  Vitamin b12 (sublingual) is amazing for energy.  The extra $ per month saved from no pills (for me hundreds per month) can be put toward A LOT of epsom salt.  LOL.  People have written that it is meaninful to frame the horrible symptoms of withdrawlal as proof of being on the road to recovery; of healing.  Sometimes those symptoms made me cry and others, I wore those symptoms as a badge of courage and let it remind me that there is much to be proud of.  If you are sad, it helps not to focus too much on the specific thoughts of depression.  Just know that you are depressed and it's ok to feel down.  Know that it will pass more that you know that you are suffering.  Thank you to all who have shared hope, advice, and your very souls.  This is an amazing support group here and I pray that all of us fight the fight and feel the sweet sweet victory of ongoing recovery.

Avatar universal
by bluediamond, Jul 20, 2009
I went to see my Physician this afternoon and told him my concerns about taking Tramadol. He basically stated that he saw no harm in the medication but that I could stop taking it if I wished to do so. I came home with a prescription for Lexapro daily and Xanex as needed. I did not get, nor ask for anything else. It has been 4 days since I had my last Tramadol and my first day without Vicoden. I feel like I have a terrible cold, chills, achy, extremely lethargic and very very sad. I have taken a Xanex and that has stopped the tears for now. Having said all of this however, I do feel as though I have had a small amount of victory. One more day away from the beast.

Thanks so much to all of you that have posted here for us to see and gather energy from. I now feel like I stand a chance at beating this.

Avatar universal
by gettinglifeback, Jul 20, 2009 crack me up!! Clinton after a day at the office with Monica...almost peed my pants here!!  
On the preggo's HOLY CRAP!!! What a shock i'm sure but congratulations!!!  What a great/wonderful motivator to stay far away from this, this....oh, insert whatever negative descriptor feels right tonight"  I am happy for you, and I strongly feel all will work out for you!!
I also had to laugh hard at myself and obviously some of my remaining Tram fog...I was reading over your response to another poster and at the end of a paragraph was "Sharing your girlfriends probably won't be the best idea" I thought geesh, someone is sharing their girlfriends???  LOL, Ok, so I did say the tram fog was there, made a whole lot more sense when I read that he was going to share his girlfriend's anti-depressant....thought I left for a few days and this turned into a completly different board :-)

Well, I decided to be completly, didn't try any Tram or Hydro....decided that I really needed to travel back "home" to see my parents. Also I have a very close aunt who is very, very ill suffering from cancer and well, just had a severe urge to go see her...never ignore those urges.  Anyway, my parents know all about quitting my meds. so that wasn't a problem, but being terrified to travel 3 hours for the first time in over 8 years without taking anything stronger than Advil.  I didn't have a very enjoyable ride, just some discomfort in my back, but my husband drives a Chevy Avalanche(sp?) and it rides like a truck even though it has leather seats.  We got into town about 10p.m. stayed up until 12 a.m. talking and it was great to see them. Sat. woke up sick as could be. Soooooo, nauseated, wiped out, diarrhea, I couldn't leave the house. I felt so bad because we always go shopping and here I was stuck sitting in the house.  I decided wasn't anything to do about it so just went with the flow hoping Sunday would be better.  Stayed up Sat. night until almost 1 a.m. having a very deep but hilarious discussion about religion...only we could have a humorous discussion about religion (I have been raised Roman Catholic and still practice but it's so unique to talk with my mom about how different she was taught) in the end it was a great fun talk. Anyway, up at 7 for church)found cover was female reasons that I didn't feel so great on Sat...sort of forgot that was suppose to happen sometime this month so busy counting how many days off the medications.)  Felt GREAT, showered, was even able to get my 2 y/o ready without the terrible horrible sweats I normally get when I try to do anything physical, or for that matter sometimes just sitting still.  Out to breakfast after church, then to see my Grandfather who is 92 and I was missing greatly and then on to the hosp. to see my aunt. We were back in town about 7 last night and I went to bed about 10 fell asleep about 11 and had about 6 1/2-7 hours sleep...great for me!! I woke up this a.m. and we went to Target and I took the kids to a movie.  I am happy to be feeling what seem to be longer periods of "normalcy" but still hate that I just don't know when I will hit that wall. It usually happens about 5ish in the evening my legs get so sore, anxiety isn't as bad, but those sore legs, man. I still take 1-2 warm baths/jacuzzi's a day when I can. I was going to try to skip it this evening but decided with having to get up for work tomorrow, relaxing is best. I am still taking Valarian Root and Melatonin to help me sleep. Cut back on both though and knock on wood, still getting some sleep...I have had terrible insomnia for at least the full 8 years on Tram if not before so this symptom doesn't surprise me.  I also am still taking St. Johns Wort and I think it is helping.  I do still become easily aggitated..again usually in the evening..hmmm, maybe it's just when my husband gets home...just kidding!!!!

I did make the BIG,BIG jump this evening and along with my husband flushed away those terrible Tramadol's.  What fun.  I had to count them to just see in all honesty how many I had taken and found out two things. One, I was averging 9 1/2 in a 24 hour period and 2. I had passed my refill date with over 90 pills left....patting myself on the back here.  It became comical though because I was flushing them and they were sticking to the bottom of the toilet before I could flush them...I told my husband look, they really are a terrible poision, they don't want to leave at all!!  We got out the toilet scrubber and literally and figurativly scrubbed them out of my life...ok, must be getting tired, getting too corney here :-)  

As usual, I wish all of you fighting this hard battle the best, know that you CAN and WILL do this and you are not alone.  Oh, I am now day 19 CT and day 24 since I drastically tapered.  Counting down to that 30 day goal!!!

wishes to all of you for some good restful sleep tonight.

Avatar universal
by bluediamond, Jul 21, 2009
Well here goes, Day 5. I am praying for a good one. I feel horrible but determined.  Most of all, scared.

Bulldemon thanks so much for the words of inspiration.. It really does mean a lot!

Hugs to all,

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by iontheprize, Jul 21, 2009
I stayed home from work today.  Of course no one knows anything other than I've been running a temp for weeks, in pain and have observed me racked out, asleep at my desk for up to an hour at a time (more than once).  Anyway, my leg pain and restlessness has been especially bothersome over the past few days the weird shivers have come back.  Feeling a bit discouraged, I had a stream on consciousness that started from reading some of Fred's things.  It's all motivating and makes me realize that I've come so damned far.  First of all, since I've stopped taking Tramadol, I've been shopping less.  Anyone else get in the mood to shop on that stuff?  Sometimes packages would arrive to my house and I was thinking, "what the hell is this?".  My pill dreams are lessening.  Some are that a big huge bottle has spilled and they are everywhere; kind of like a money dream.  I also dreamed that a physician gave me a huge Rx of another pain pill and kept renewing it.  I wake up confused and then relieved that I haven't messed up my earnest effort to heal my body.   I believe it was Fred who talked about searching drawers etc for spilled pills.  I've done that too, but included pants pockets, my purse and even the floor of my car.  I found one pill a while ago that I didn't recognize.  I looked it up and it wasn't a "fun" one.  I'm a woman and the pill was Cialis!  My obsession to find Tramadol switched to trying to figure out what male friend in my life is hanging out with me with Cialis in the pocket.  Life is humorous at times.  I know about counting the Rx to make sure that there are 180 tablets.  I know about counting them again.  However this is only after the increasingly humiliating trip to Fed Ex.  I got to know all of the staff and each time they brought out my package I prayed they wouldn't move it in a way that made it obvious I was receiving pills.  Anyway, I still feel like I'm in a bit of a fog, but it lessens each day.  My poor dog hasn't gotten the time and attention he deserves for a while either.  We played for a while last night and even that is an accomplishment.  It is nice to know that I don't need to stockpile for a trip; although I don't trust myself around my ailing mother's stash.  I'm also afraid to visit her not knowing if I can handle her without being in a fog.  The trip is looming over me and I can't postpone much longer.  If I found a pill in my car today, I'm not sure that I wouldn't take it (except for the Cialis ~ LOL).  However I have been able to delete each and every "reminder to renew" Rx.  I HAVE NOT been able to take my name off of the mailing listS.  So, I'm not all the way there, but I'm so hopeful and so excited to start LIVING again.  I can't wait!  I pray for all of us to have the continued will to make the choices that will set us free on more levels than we probably realize.  

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by 12Stepper, Jul 22, 2009
I'm really doing better with the depression aspect, realizing it is a result of the w/d from the various meds I tood over the past year--tramadol, vicodin, ativan (prescribed that for insomia), benedryl for the insomnia. Now I'm even off coffee (love it but had to, in order to sleep). I am making myself exercise (walk, swim, cycle) about 45 min a day and it really helps. I can almost feel my mood going up. Decided I have to make this a priority, and it is working slowly . . . . but the depression and other symptoms will pass. Someday soon we'll look back and it won't seem to have lasted so long.  Thank you all for being here, newcomers and longtimers.

Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jul 22, 2009
Hi, I just wanted to pop in to say Hello to all the brave new people on here who are sick and tired of the suffering and anguish that Tramadol causes. Not only the physical pain, but the EMOTIONAL pain, which is just as difficult.

Long story short, I had a wonderful FIRST year on Tramadol. I was addicted to Norco and used Tramadol in between scripts to keep the withdrawals at bay. When my Norco source became too scary for me I switched to ALL Tramadol, every day for 5 years. I was euphoric for most of the first 6 months and felt like I could conquer the world for the other 6 months. I took lots of vacations, along with my jug of pills, I put thousands on my credit cards and felt about 10 years younger the whole time. .

On to year 2-6. I was taking more than the (only 8 in a day) instructions on my bottle, I would say about 10 a day. 2 in the morning and 2 at various times htoughout the day. In short order I no longer had that euphoric feeling I was chasing and I became dependent on Tramadol just to function. And I did function pretty good, except my behavior was becoming increasingly odd.

Everyone was commenting on how fast I was talking.
I would leave work at odd time so I could sign for the Fed Ex package.
Pills were running my life and falling out of every pocket or handbag I owned.
At one point I had a stockpile of about 450-500 pills, the round white ones, the long tablet ones, green ones from India and even some fro, Palauu.

I had no legitimate reason to take it, it was simply my energy pill, my diet pill, my everything!

I just kept-on-and-on-and-on. I, like everyone else figured, why not? It’s not real pain killer, just pretend and I’m SPECIAL, it makes me feel great but probably does nothing to anyone else in the world.

At some point I stopped taking my antidepressants due to the seizure risk so Tramadol became my antidepressant of choice. This made me feel alright about them too, as I lied to myself every hour of every day.

Then I started to feel crummy, gut rot, headaches, chills so I figured two things:
1. maybe the various  pharmacies were not putting the Tramadol in the pills, why would they, I was ordering from some pretty shady folks.
2. maybe they were putting dangerous things in them, after all Meth is rat poison.

Please take these posting seriously and take the 5-6 days and get off Tramadol.

46 days off TRAMADOL

Avatar universal
by onemoretry48, Jul 22, 2009

you said:
However I have been able to delete each and every "reminder to renew" Rx.  I HAVE NOT been able to take my name off of the mailing list

From my experience you will never be able to 100% get rid of these people.
I've had to change my phone number twice. I had to ditch my Gmail account. I still get postcards from these people at my home address, and that's embarassing because my family sees them as they are postcards from drug dealers, their offerings right there on the backside for everyone to see....not even in an envelope.

I hope that someday these people will be shut down, but until then it's a good motivator for me to NEVER go down that slippery slope again.


Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 22, 2009
Jules, that post was amazing, we all think OUR story is so unique and that "I" needed the Ultram more than anyone else...what a joke.   Let me ask you, I have read what you said about "gut rot" this is the first time I have read that someone else has the same symptom as I. Or I did anyways, but yes, when I was on Ultram, I would get this pain in my stomach, it was so weird. mainly because I felt it, and my body knew that it was pain from too many pills. Almost like a hunger pain but just you can't describe it. Is this what you were feeling?  I have to say that this symptom set apart from everything else was what made me lean towards quitting. Let me know. -KS

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 22, 2009
Gettinglifeback, I can't tell you how hard I laughed when I read your post about what I had said to the other person about sharing his girlfriends. I thought immediately: "oh my God, did I really write that? Shit!!" I looked back at it, and remembered what I had said, but it's easy to see why anyone would trip out on that without reading his post first!!  My boyfriend and I were laughing so hard. I thought: "damn is my tram fog so bad that I am advising people to practice monogamy?"  lol I'm a geek.
So back to serious matters, ; )  I was really happy to read that you were able to visit with family,especially that they are supportive of what your going through. Your mom sounds like a crack up. I have similar experiences to yours also. My mom was raised Catholic, as well as my brothers and I. My mom and I were talking about having to say our Hail Marys. I hated it so bad when I was little, I remember trying to pretend like I was just really fast at it, and would skip parts of my rosary. My mom would slap my hand and make me start over!! lol Anyways, she recalls saying all the prayers in Latin. That would be so cool.
  On other matters, Our symptoms are still similar, but it seems that we are getting much better. I know exactly what your saying about not knowing when you will hit the wall again. I was just literally telling my b/f about it because all day yesterday I was fine. Felt fairly well, but then this morning, I was like satan. Irritable as all get out, nauseous, and just all around crappy. It always catches me off guard totally blindsiding me. At-least it's becoming less often then before.
  The b/f and I are on our way to Arizona for a concert. Were driving right now. I'm hoping for a beautiful day, as well as you. Despite the heat, my sweating is somewhat under control. lol
  Ok well these posts are great therapy for me, so thanks for talking!!      -KS

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by 12Stepper, Jul 22, 2009
Thank you, Jules, for sharing your story. I can relate. All the energy, the feeling younger and a lot thinner, the shopping. It also helped me face certain fears, since I was in a situation where I had a lot of anxiety (a much older adult in school with a bunch of kids (20-30 year olds, haha). This went on for about a year.

I was also prescribed ativan to help sleep, and when I realized how toxic that was, I stopped taking it (slow, slow taper), and then it seemed the tramadol was causing the insomnia, which I found intolerable, so I stopped taking it, not realizing I would have to go through w/d from it also.

Had I not googled "tramadol withdrawal" I never would have found this site and realized why I was having such bizarre feelings of anxiety and depression, and especially discovering kind of fire I was playing with. I felt emotionally bankrupt, not to mention physically and materially. My skin looked like it had collasped from the weight loss, making me look a lot older. It was hard to find a complete day without some depression.

But I am doing much better without meds. I hope to get a complete physical after a few more weeks of exercise. The energy and motivation is returning and that bizarre feeling of needing to cry is disappearing. So there is hope for those of you still experiencing the mental symptoms. Oh, I also used tylanol PM (or benedryl) to help sleep in the beginning, but tapered off it. W/d from it can cause depression, too. I started using sleepytime tea and took valerium and passiflora tabs to help sleep, but am now needing those less.

I am so grateful I found this site and have not been tempted to go back to tramadol. I would never want to go through this again. And there is life after tramadol!

Avatar universal
by jekorb, Jul 22, 2009
Jules, are you on any kind of antidepressant now?  I'm just really worried about depression as I'm a chronic worrier and have anxiety much of the time.  I have Bentyl on hand to relax my sick intestines, but have not detoxed from Trams.  I just don't know what to do?  I'm re-thinking the Suboxone method---have heard that Subs are worse to get off of than the pills!  I don't know if this is the right time to c/t from Trams, either, what with my son's wedding coming up in 2 1/2 weeks~~~will I have any energy at ALL?  Will depression be so bad that I won't enjoy one second of the wedding/reception?  Not to mention being a total downer on everybody.  If I can wait till after the wedding, I can clear my calendar for "down time" and maybe get a prescription for Effexor (low dosage), take Bentyl, B-12 or prenatal vitamins (thanks, grandmagirl) and just plow through.

Could I have some opinions, please?  I asked in the last thread that went to capacity, so didn't get any answers, as everybody came to the new thread.  I appreciate each and every post and thank all of you for sharing your experiences and any advice you can give me.  I thought I was too old to go through c/t, but now I'm wondering if I'm strong enough to go through Suboxone itself!!!   I hate Tramadol and I hate myself to doing this to my body and mind.

I remember all of you in my prayers.

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by iontheprize, Jul 22, 2009
Jekorb - in that you are so concerned about depression, I'm wondering if it hasn't been in your life in the past?  There are many of us doing all we can do without the assistance of a physician (individually wise or not), but mental health isn't anything to be taken lightly.  I've always had a tendency to feel a little glum now and again, but what I went through during the acute w/d phases was a whole different reality.  There were days that I prayed to a friend of mine that died of suicide for the strength to get through the day; to know somehow that life will be better.  I don't know how much you are currently taking and everyone is different in their experience of w/d.  Without knowing those things about you, my hope for you is that you have a physician that you can let in to help you if needed, that you will recognize if you need that help, that you have planned for how you will handle a bearable depression on your own and that you have people that you can talk to.  In my opinion, the day you stop and how you stop is all up to you.  If you haven't tried to stop before and don't have an inkling of how your body will react, I can certainly understand the anxiety about ceasing before the wedding.

You may want to try out different things to ease your anxiety now to see what works well for you for the days that you don't have the energy to think about how to help your anxiety.  My ability to focus is significantly reduced still, but a few weeks ago, I only had a few minutes at a time.  It's hard to focus on reducing anxiety when you can't focus!  I found a type of breathing exercise really soothed me.  It's helpful to find something that you can engage in no matter where you are.  For me, breathing exercises worked.

A really small thing that has helped me is that when I've been sad, I've let it out; even made myself cry harder.  I believe in the power of an emotional release.  However, I wouldn't allow myself to cycle into a downward spiral involving specific aspects of my sadness because I always kept in mind that my mental "filter" wasn't functioning properly.  I decideded if things were issues in that moment, they would be issues later when I would be stronger.  

To those who have posted and those that have emailed, I'm on day 40!  I've never been this far.  My legs are better today.  My fever is down.  I feel lots of hope and for 1/2 the day I felt almost great.  Small steps that each bear incredible significance.  Moment of honesty....I did become obsessed with searching the floor of my car for pills yesterday.  Absolutely obsessed.  Then I was thinking, if I find one and take it, does it count?  Do I have to start with day 1 again?  LOL LOL.  I rode it out and I never looked.


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by Bulldemon, Jul 22, 2009
Hey all not sure what day this is for me. Friday 1pm cst was the last, so like 4-5 days anyway im feeling alot better during the day , at night it gets worse, mostly just depression, The restless legs/arms are gone already basically. Going to sleep is a little panicy but I purchased something from GNC called dreamweaver it has diffrent natural herbs and things. Its a little expensive like $35 a bottle but if it works its worth it :) ill report back if its worth it or not :) I have an anime collection that I believe helped me be distracted enough to make it through this. As long as you dont think about it , it becomes very easy :)Thanks to all here for their support and threads , I think ive spent half the time on here :P Dont think I could have done it without it. I'll talk to you all later :)

God bless,

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by iontheprize, Jul 22, 2009
In some ways I have come far.  In others....well....   So, I have mentioned that i cannot bring myself to remove myself from email reminders to renew the rx.  I delete them, just not remove my name from mailing list.  Jules said it's quite difficult for them to let go of us too.  In a very twisted way it made me relieved.  I'm thinking, "well, if I do a 'remove' from the mailing list, at least there's still a chance that they can find me"!!!  

For the most part, I have just suffered from the w/d as physical symptoms.  I haven't had the obsessions that go with say quitting smoking or drinking (til yesterday).  Now I realize I'm doing that addiction thinking about emails.  This will be a long battle I am sure.  I remember my father telling me about a lady broke her washer b/c it was all clogged up with 1 day chips from AA.  She eventually got there.....lots of first days.

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by madtram, Jul 22, 2009
12 step just wanted to say I can relate to the mixed feelings that come with attending school when everyone else is at least a generation younger.  I am a very late changer to med & it's taking time for my brain to recover from the tram\benzo sludge, but it helps me relate to my own kids better to have regular interaction with YPs.   There are moments though,in my anatomy lab, the other day, the kids were dissing a 23  year old for hanging with the 19 year olds, "doesn't he have any friends his own age?", they said.  At 48, I can only laugh.

Re depression,of course it's important to express & acknowledge real feelings & it's also helpful to remember not to believe everything you think, particularly when your circuits are still haywire & rebuilding after major fluctuations in hormones & brain chemistry.  Emily used to say "it's the drug talking" & every day that distances u from its insidious presence will lessen its influence ever so slightly.

Joan have u tried the high dose inositol, (b group vitamin)?  There is good research supporting effectiveness for anxiety & is the only thing that really made a difference for me.  Still being on tramadol complicates things but u may find that it helps u through a taper.  I took 8 gram doses with no side effects & doses of double that have been established as safe.

Back to study for me.  Best to all,

Avatar universal
by gettinglifeback, Jul 22, 2009
Ok, someone has to be able to help me!!! Not sure if I posted this already (yes, still foggy here) I felt so good yesterday after my 1/2 day of work (ended early around 10:30) thought I would go do some exercise. Now I have been taking walks/strolls nothing too strenuous. In my previous life I was all state softball, basketball and volleyball player (now remember this is back when the wheel was invtented) so I had this uncontrollable urge to go to the batting cages...any normal/sane person would have said "Missy your 39 now, you have a spinal fusion with rods and screws, and your just about 80-90lbs heavier than last time you played softball"  but noooo, I had energy and I needed to do something fun.  I spent about 1 hour hit 60 balls and HIT EVERY ONE OF THEM.  I was soo proud....until about an hour did I hurt. I am in soooo much pain today.  I know it's the muscles and lactic acid screaming at me but geesh, did I ever put myself in the position to want to take "just one Lortab", I have not nor will I take one..if I can make it through this without taking anything I'm doing ok.  I had to work my full day today and I am in and out of the car about 15 times for home visits.  So glad no one heard me, I was moaning and groaning. I have taken extra Potassium and Mag. today hoping that will help. Did Advil and Tylenol alternating and the min. I came home went straight to the warm bath...which was great until I had to heave myself out of the water and gravity hit :-) Oh the lessons we learn. I am trying to drink lots of water trying to flush it all out..any other suggestions?  I just had started sleeping a good 5-6 hours a night now I am hoping I didn't screw up that cycle. I am day 21 CT day 27 since drastic taper.

Also, I had to laugh to myself (yes, doing that lots lately) my "boss" at work who is still sort of new and getting to know me had asked me to pick up a new case (he asked by e-mail last night) to which I told him I just couldn't because I work a day and a 1/2 and am currently fitting in an average of 27 visits in that time not including putting all the visits in the computer for the lovely government. Anyway, I figured I would have a fight when I got the the office this afternoon.  He wasn't upset with me, but he could tell I wasn't in a great mood when I got there...had some issues with a patient being arrested go figure for felony drug charges so dealing with police, lawyers trying to help her isn't exactly pleasant. Anyway, after being at the office for 1/2 hour he started calling me "pissy Missy" which is lots better than I was calling him in my mind :-)  We joked back and forth as the afternoon went on and I became slap happy which any other day would have been fine, but I was hurting sooo bad from the batting cage that everytime I laughed it made me cry...this threw him. He didn't know weather to console me or call for help!! By the time I left he was asking me if he should get me a Xanax he had some....I started laughing harder and said "no, I stopped all my prescription medications....this is me now, your stuck with it"  He looked at me and said "I'm sending your husband a sympathy card" LOL, I give him credit, he really brings out the "what can I throw at him this week" feeling...yes, I did throw a pen and marker at him last week (very mature I know) but it was in fun, and I missed both times. I told him a few more days of practicing softball and he is in trouble.....ok, so maybe I am going to be fired, but I'm going to go out having fun.

In all seriousness, if anyone has any suggestions to help the muscle pain (it's just every muscle hurting) that is sending me over the edge. I must say, I will take this feeling over the muscle soreness of wd anytime, but we have a GI appointment with our son tomorrow morning and at this moment I am afraid they will be pushing me in a WC just so I can make it from the car to the hospital :-)  Oh, the things we do to harm ourselves huh? Oh, anyone have any suggestions of what could be causing the severe lower GI problems I have started having again?  Started Sat. better Sunday now every morning/day since I have had diarrhea just like I did in early wd.  I am taking lots and lots of supplements so not sure if one of them could be causing it. I am taking a high dose of fish oil, a liver detox, multi-vit, an energy mix from GNC, Pot., Mg., St. Johns Wort, DTP-5 or is it DTH?? I have started to cut back to see what could be causing it but so far no luck.  It starts FIRST thing in the a.m. so thinking it's something I take in the evening? Can Valarian Root or Melatonin cause diarrhea?  I would really like it to stop!!  I have lost 4 more lbs since Sat. though so there is a positive!! Oh, still taking B-12 here too.

Welcome to all the newcomers, it's such an inspriation to see all the support here. I still am reading this journal every morning before doing anything else just to keep my motivation up. The knoweldge gained and the support really helps me start my day on a positive. So good luck to all and soon we all will have many days of this mess behind us.  Can't wait for my 30 day goal here!!!

Peace to all tonight.

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by nurina, Jul 22, 2009

QUOTE "It takes "weeks and weeks" for the anxiety and depression to fade away after long term use of trams"END QUOTE

thats comforting cos it has been 'weeks and weeks' for me and i am starting to feel significantly better....No more benzo for me,not even sleeping pills and iv been sleeping!! still get panic attacks at nights but always end up sleeping before 12 so its all good.....

i just get so confused about what to do with myself...especially at night lying in bed when i feel EVERYTHING,my legs,my body,my head.....maybe this is me 'normal' again and i just forgot what its like and i just have to get used to it...

How long before you felt 100% normal again?

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by nurina, Jul 23, 2009
Dear KS,

I am so sorry about the divorce. Doesn't the fact that your pregnant change anything for you and your (ex?-not yet right??) husband? I agree totally that the pregnancy is indeed a blessing regardless whatever and I am so proud of you for  acknowledging that although you're in a tough situation...i wish you the best and you are in my thoughts and prayers

I dont take the pills anymore...not since friday night..ive been sleeping okay although still freaking out soon as its time to shut off the lights and get under the covers...

QUOTE"As for waking up in the morning sad and disoriented, girl! you are so not alone. Literally the second I open my freaking eyes my anxiety and depression is there. I have to literally heave my lazy bum out of bed and get my blood flowing. It sucks really bad,"END QUOTE--  thanks i'll remember that 1st thing tomorrow....its always nice to know ur not alone...

Thanks for all the encourgament and support. TIme WILL heal you and i both,and everyone else suffering and soon we can all look back with no regret cos we made the right choice to quit..

Take care of yourself and the happy.....

infinite xxx

Avatar universal
by MarkNina, Jul 23, 2009
Hello all, just a quick update on my wife's taper!

After reading posts and taking in your replies, my wife has decided to speed up the taper to a reduction of 50mg a week. she is now down to 250mg from the original 400mg a day. There was a slight mess up last night where she took an extra pill (50mg), but hopefully this won't be too bad and is only a minor glitch! I will now help with recording the doses!!

Things have been a mixture of ok times, weird times (anxiety) and really horrible pain all over times. The w/d's seem to come in waves. She can be ok for hours, then it all starts to happen. it is really driving her mad at time. She has been really emotional and can be very easily annoyed (as I have found out!). One of the most annoying things has been not being able to keep her legs still and she is really fidgetting like mad. It really is scary what these pills are doing.

Anyway, our kids have now finished school for the summer, so hopefully the busy days might help with distracting from the withdrawel. Although her energy will now be getting drained form the little'ns too!!

It is real hard, but she is moving in the right direction and staying positive. Her sister's wedding is in October and there is massive motivation to be off them before that. To be able to enjoy an alcoholic drink for the first time in a few years!!!

Thanks, will update soon. Keep posting!

Mark (and Nina!)

Avatar universal
by girlfriendinwisconsin, Jul 23, 2009

I haven't started my journey off oxycodone yet, (next week) but when Jules posted "gut rot"  I immediately connected.  Almost like hunger but no, it feels more empty and screams louder.  I'm feeling it right now and its only been two hrs since my last dose.  I'm assuming from other posters that it's from the opiate recepters in the gut. I've been taking the same dose for nine months now and refuse to increase.  But I know now from "big brother" Fred that I will be living in constant withdrawal now 'till I'm off for good.  I'm waiting 'till my husband leaves for his 10 day backpacking trip next week.  I can't tell you how thankful I am for you all.  Not only to help me on my journey but also prepping me leading up to it.  

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by 1113, Jul 23, 2009

like i mention on my post last week that i have been taking 150-200mgs a day throughout the day one pill at a time as oppossed to all at once in the late afternoon.  

This has worked wonders for me in that i don't feel anything kind of high or pick me up, but i also don't have any withdrawals.

I have to remind myself to take the next pill b/c i don't even think about it, and I will forget late in the evening.  I am going to only take 150mgs for the next week and a half and see where that gets me....  i don't think that I am going to notice the difference, but we'll see.     I know to all you that are tappering say that you are always in constent withdrawals and I feel for you, but it just goes to show you that this affects everyone different, becuase i feel like i won't notice a thing.  will post tomorrow and how it goes.   good luck to all

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by 12Stepper, Jul 23, 2009
On the subject of dosage, I believe taking less for the period before quitting completely can be beneficial and can give us the peace of mind of knowing that we are in the process of quitting, even if it is not a planned slow taper. At least it is one step in the direction of freedom. Looking back, I am grateful I had decreased my daily dose from 300-400 mg daily to 100-150 daily in that final round. Maybe that is a good choice for someone thinking about quitting soon.

When I decreased the tramadol dose, I don't recall being sick from w/d symptoms, at least none that I was aware of. I think I may have spread the three pills out throughout the day. I was taking tylanol PM to help me sleep, and that may have ease some of the symptoms of w/d.  From that smaller dose, I quit entirely (no slow taper, didn't know I'd even have w/d symptoms since I knew nothing about the drug).

When I did decide to quit completely, it was because I believed the tramadol was causing insomia, and that was becoming a real problem. At that point I hadn't realized all the other negative effects it had had on my life. Quitting from the 100-150 level, I did not experience intense physical w/d symptoms. But I have had to deal with some illusive depression and anxiety for these 6 weeks after.

Once I started reading these boards, my commitment to never use tram or vicodin again became quite strong, and I knew that even if I got the pills again, I couldn't "enjoy" them. I'm starting to enjoy life again and keeping busy has helped. We are all getting better, it just takes (the hardest thing for me) patience! Best regards, Tramadol Warriors!

Avatar universal
by scags, Jul 23, 2009
hey have any of u guys seen any major like scary weight loss while you were on tramadol ive ben on it for around 6+ months and have went from overweight to underweight even my skinny clothes are to small and oh the sweats well after seeing empty pill bottles everywhere i decided to do some resarch to see what all my doctor has got me on that i end up taking every day just to make it through another day at the office. know that i actually think about this as im typing this looking around i feel like a junkie but i digress. if im correct from some reading does tramadol cause anxiety because ive been taking different things perscribed for that to im starting to think that im in a pharmalogical trap any one been here. i can handle the pain but still eat the pills at work. i accidently found this post hope noone minds i dropped a thread it just makes you think differently about it when you type it it

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by 12Stepper, Jul 23, 2009
Hi Scags, Yes, I lost a ton of weight on tram. It was getting scary. I had a lot of energy, but it was pushing my system to the limit. Once off, I felt lethargic and spent. I've gained a little back and people tell me I look a lot healthier and relaxed. Tram helped to overcome some anxiety, but once off it, I felt a huge influx of anxiety that is only now (after 45 days) beginning to subside. If you are taking this stuff, I would recommend reading as many posts as possible here, since the positive effects of tram wore off after a few months for almost all of us and left some of us taking it for years after it stopped working. The negative effects are devastating, and withdrawal is a nightmare. It is really a dangerous, illusive drug that affects the mind and body (and soul!). Most of us are amazed it is marketed as non-addictive. Best regards.

Avatar universal
by scags, Jul 23, 2009
THX 12STEPPER ILL READ more posts as time allows I felt lethargic and spent also in a short time at the beginning of the year when i tried to quit cold turkey & everyone should be told it is just if not more addicting than other stronger pain pills i thought i moved to a better route when i picked theese over hydrocone :( bless u all keep fighting

Avatar universal
by gettinglifeback, Jul 23, 2009
I swear I must be the only one here who actually GAINED weight while on Tramadol!I had nooo energy at all, and couldn't wait for my daughter/son whomever at the time..nap time so I could lie down too.  Did anyone else find that they gained weight?  of course I was also taking several anti-depressents, anti-seizure, bp, muscle relaxants and a few other meds that might have caused more weight gain. I have heard that Neurontin (Gabapentin) can make it really hard to lose weight so hoping now that I am off that, I can lose 90lbs!!!

Avatar universal
by Lost17, Jul 23, 2009
This may be a stupid question, but can someone explain to me why this drug is so dangerous? If two of the main chemicals are similiar to anti-depressants What is the harm? I've been way addicted to this stuff for many years, so I know its potential. But chemically its not like oxy or vicodin. How come it's so dangerous? I feel like I need to understand, so I can stop torturing my body, but I can't wrap my head around it. Especially when I've been told by so many professionals that it's totally safe. Bless everyone in here. You guys are amazing. I wish I had a quarter of some of the courage I've been reading about.

Avatar universal
by scags, Jul 23, 2009
no stupid questions on this stuff people asking questions and collaborating with one another is probably the best way to figure it out im a newbie here i dont know why it has theese effects im an ex-ball player & have had numerous surgeries oxy vico hydrocodon just never hooked me like this. i took this to because i thought it was safer but it wasnt for me i could come off of the harder stuff easier.  Lost17, im not the best person here to answer but i didnt want urpost to go unanswered bless ya SCAGS

Avatar universal
by strugglingnewbie, Jul 23, 2009
I've been reading this journal since April - the second time I detoxed from the lovely Tramadol - and I just had to comment to Lost.  I've been on both tramadol and the "harder" pain meds and nothing has kicked my butt like tramadol.  I was at an outrageous habit of 20-24 a day and when I went off c/t I couldn't function for days.  Then when I could finally walk around I had the brain zaps and complete fog to contend with and I had to have sunglasses everywhere because my eyes were so sensitive.  I never experienced that level of withdrawal with hydrocodone as I did tramadol.  Now, is it any better or worse than those other pain meds - i don't know.  All I know is that it seems to mess with brain chemistry more than it does other narcotics.  And I think that it sucks people in because it seems so mild at first and then it just turns on you with no warning.

I did have more energy with the trams, but I gained weight also.  Not sure why I did (probably another addiction that needs to be addressed - food).  But, I do have to say I noticed that my emotions were so muted while I was on the tramadol that I let so many things slide and not to mention the lack of... hmm - passion for a better my life.  I don't know how my wonderful husband put up with me.  :)

To all the other "newbies" out there trying to get off - it does get better.  The mental aspect makes a huge difference when trying to get off of those things.  It took me a while to figure that out...


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by madtram, Jul 23, 2009
Hi Lost, chemically tramadol is more similar to other opiates than you think.  All natural & synthetic opiates bind to opiate receptors in our bodies.  Drugs like morphine bind strongly, that is the opiate receptors are occupied all the time.

Tramadol has a weaker affinity for the receptors which is why it was marketed as less harmful & accepted by the FDA as such.  However, for most of us, tram has had the same opioid problems of tolerance & withdrawal but complicated by the SSRI withdrawal.  Many States & other countries are now acknowledging that tram is not a 'safe' opioid & are scheduling the drug.

Combining an antidepressant with a weaker opioid was a good idea in theory as increasing serotonin & noradrenaline levels can improve your perception of pain but I'm afraid we have all been the guinea pigs for a failed experiment.  It appears that opiate receptors are too sensitive to be being occupied even weakly & will lose their natural function somewhat when this occurs, leading to tolerance & withdrawal.

Hope this helps,

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by Bulldemon, Jul 23, 2009
Yah I gained about 30 pounds in a year on tramadol and I was taking no other prescriptions. So not just you missy :P But I did have alot of energy some days, others were more like I couldnt move off the bed. This is day 6 for me and doing great , still got the craps and huge migrane , but im pumped to feel pretty decent other than that. Yah just hang in there it does get better :)

god bless

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by 12Stepper, Jul 23, 2009
Perhaps I should just say why it was dangerous for me and let others tell their own story. I also had no problem getting off hydrocodone--just quit and no w/d symptoms. When I started using this "safe, non-addictive" drug, I was thrilled with it--for pain, for energy, for anxiety, for anti-depressant. I started using the maximum amount prescribed per day quickly, then added a couple more and a couple more (total of 400 mg a day) for about 9 months. I lowered my dose a few months later back to about 200 mg daily before quitting, and then I quit completely after about 10 months total.

Then, I started experiencing depression, insomnia, and anxiety like never before, and I had no idea what was causing these. I guess that was my first impression that something was wrong with this stuff. In retrospect, I see that the things I got from the drug were not "free." It was like a debt to be paid with a high interest rate. I was probably more at risk for mental illness in those first two weeks than ever before. Apparently the drug was performing chemical activities for my mind and body that they should have been doing on their own and so they stopped working properly. (I don't know how these things work, scientifically, that's just my general idea of what happened.) The symptoms would go away and then come back out of the blue. That made it very confusing for me to know what was going on. Was this the new reality? Then I'd read these journals and realize that tramadol withdrawal hits your body at random times, so that's why I call it "illusive."

It has taken a lot of work over the last 6 weeks to get my normally non-depressed state back and overall sense of well-being, including sleep. But the path has been made a lot easier for the people here sharing their own struggles with tram, so I know I'm not alone. I'm starting to feel passion of ALL sorts return :) and am relieved to know this is the only time this lifetime I'll be passing this way.

The previous strands of this journal are fascinating and tell many stories of how tram affected people's lives. They are one of the few places on this planet where one can find real information on how this drug is affecting people, and it gives one hope and courage to quit to read them. Thank you all for being here and sharing,

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by 12Stepper, Jul 23, 2009
Thank you Madtram for your encouragement above: " it's also helpful to remember not to believe everything you think, particularly when your circuits are still haywire & rebuilding after major fluctuations in hormones & brain chemistry.  Emily used to say "it's the drug talking" & every day that distances u from its insidious presence will lessen its influence ever so slightly." I think that bears repeating for anyone going through this we can't hear it often enough.

Also, thank you for your excellent explanation of what is happening chemically with the drug. It makes it so much easier to know these things when the going gets rough. God bless.

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by iontheprize, Jul 23, 2009
Today my mind has been foggy.  I got distracted I don't know how many times while making a simple bagel, I burned it.  I had to watch the first 3 minutes of a show over and over and over and over....I kept losing focus.  Today at work I was trying to make a simple statement.  I was switching up pronouns and so what came out of my mouth made no sense.  When I went to correct myself, I said the wrong thing again.  It was funny and I laughed because it sounded so stupid.  I pulled it together and tried one more time.....said it wrong AGAIN!!!  I laughed so hard it hurt.  

This is the first day I haven't had sneezing fits.  My fever remains low grade.  My mind is working better, but my body is still tired.  I continue to feel so badly about putting my body through the misery.  I picture my little cells being sad like me sometimes.

Interesting about the the talk about weight tonight.  I lost a little weight on that stuff and have gained it back since going off.  I had the exact same experience last summer but was convinced it was a thyroid issue b/c the gain was rapid and made no sense b/c I eat the same amt of calories every day and have weight essentially the same amt for 15 years.  I attributed the gain to the stress of my boyfriend living with me.  As soon as he moved I lost it in a snap.....I also started back up on the pills at the exact same time.  Until a few days ago, I blamed him for the stress that resulted in weight gain.  LOL.  However, when I was on the stuff, I was always on the move.  Shopping, cleaning, shopping, shopping, oh and then unloading my car from shopping.  (oh, I'm laughing).  It wasn't that I really had the energy, I was just in a fog and didn't feel like sleeping; a little touch of what I think being in a manic phase may like.

I really hate this drug.  The wrong it has done to me and indirectly to others is unbelievable.  In terms of a "positive" effect, it didn't make me feel anything but a little calmer and a little more energized.  What a price to pay.

Nice to be on the right path with you....

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by iontheprize, Jul 23, 2009
So one of the reasons I wanted to post was to mention this one little thing.  I went on and on and on.....I forgot to say the thing.  Told you I was foggy.

I have been on Percocet for long periods (years) and Vicoden too.  I never went through anything beyond some night sweats.  NOTHING comes close to this experience.

12Stepper....really inspiring about feeling passion about things again.  I'm ready for that; I think I'm getting glimpses it.  :)

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by iontheprize, Jul 23, 2009
Is it common that on day 41, use of prepositions and pronouns just goes all to hell?  LOL LOL LOL

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 23, 2009
Nurina, thank you for the comforting words. Today is a weird day for me. I have very severe morning sickness, that doesn't help with the Tram problems, so I'm just hanging out trying to ride out the storm. On the topic of and marriage. My husband does not want to be together anymore so there is NO hope there. It's okay though because I am happy without him. I talked to our much loved Fred, (where has he been lately by the way?)  and he gave me great advice. My husband was abusive and there is no way I would stay in that. It's a long story. Anyways thanks you for your concern, I am very pleased to hear that your sleeping better. At least I know that I go to bed anxious like you. I'm not alone.  Goodnight, KS

Avatar universal
by mrcrump, Jul 23, 2009
Pissy Missy!!  lol I believe your muscle aching is due to over exertion. You probably shouldn't be doing anything too strenuous right now. Your body is still trying to recover and use all possible energy to do it.
   I also have an idea. Can you handle caffeine?  If so, wake up tomorrow and make some tea. You can take a tylenol with your tea. I think the caffeine will get you by with the muscle soreness. Hopefully this helps. Talk to you soon.  Love, KS  

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by EmilyPost, Jul 23, 2009

This thread is closed. Please post on Part 13  ;-)

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by Captain_Backfire, Jul 28, 2009
Hello all,

     Firstly, I have to say that I thank GOD for places like this. If it wasn't for finding a site like this several months ago, I honestly thought I was going insane. The symptoms I felt every day, I thought I was literally dying. Sitting here reading all your stories, I'm in tears. I've been so ashamed of myself with all of this, feeling like a let-down to everyone around me. Like I should have known better. I have a 2 year old beautiful little boy, whom when I had him, had a c-section and an spinal. The idiot anesthesiologist I had messed my spinal up so badly, he gave me degenerative disk disease. 14 pokes of the needle and an ENORMOUS bruise later, I've endured the worst back pain I've ever experienced for 2 years now. After meeting my husband's best friend's new girlfriend, she introduced me to Tramadol, explaining that it helped her out tremendously, so I tried it. For the first few weeks, it was absolutely amazing. No back pain, I had energy out the butt, and I just felt great. I went to her doctor and got a script for it, and thus began my downward spiral.

Since, it's been almost a year, and for quite a while, I couldn't understand the flu like symptoms, the chills and skin crawls, the muscle aches and the twitching shakes I would get when I didn't take them every so many hours. I thought my body was dying, like I had cancer or something. (I've never been around anyone with withdrawals, nor have I had them myself, so I had no idea...) My mother works for a pharmacy, has been for years, and told me my stomach would end up bleeding if I kept taking this, freaking me out more. (Thanks, Ma.) But yeah. So one night at work, I was searching and searching trying to figure out where these ailments were coming from when I finally got the bright idea to associate Tramadol into my search. Low and behold, I got my answer, and boy did I feel like an idiot. I finally broke down and told my husband of my problem, after denying it for so long because I honestly didn't know it was because of the Tramadol, and now I just feel stupid. But if I don't take them, the pain is so severe, I nearly climb and claw the walls, feeling as though I could pull my hair from it's roots. My short term memory is completely shot, I'm extremely moody, and I know it's because of this. And how do I go cold turkey with a 2 year old? I have nobody to watch him... I'm a stay at home mom during the week while my husband's at work. I only work overnights on the weekends, and even then, how do I handle pain like that while having to do normal daily functions? I'm petrified, and my supply is quickly dwindling. When I get close to being out, I freak, wondering where my next supply is going to come from. It's sickening. I know I need to go to a doctor and ween myself off, but I'm literally so ashamed of myself, I'm afraid to tell anyone else of my problem.

I just don't know what to do with myself. Is there anywhere on the net or something I can get them so I can just ween myself off without the aid of a doctor? I really want to get off this drug. I NEED to get off this drug, for my sake, and for the sake of my family. Never in my life did I ever think I would have to say I'm an addict, as it feels like such a dirty thing to admit to, but I suppose there's a difference in being addicted physically than being addicted mentally, needing a high all the time. Tramadol gives me no type of high what-so-ever, just keeps the pain at bay. But the pain I'm dealing with from the withdrawals is far worse than what my back pain was. Knowing this pain, I could deal with the back pain. I just want to be normal again. Thanks though for all your inspirational stories. They really make me feel better about myself, knowing that I'm not the only decent human being in the world going through this horrible situation.



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by Rockandahardplace, Aug 01, 2009
Hi all!
Has anyone out there ever gone cold-turkey from taking 20+ pills a day to none?  I can't seem to wean myself and feel that the only way out is to just STOP taking them.  I know it's not wise, but I guess I need to know if I will live through it?  I too, wish I had never, ever found this drug....or should I say it found me.  I am so scared but must do this thing.  What advise can anyone give?  thanks to all of you for your stories and make it real and attainable.  B.

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by tweekie, Aug 01, 2009
hello everyone, I fell into the whole tramadol nightmare about 8 years ago. I'm not on it anymore. But I remember the doctor prescribing it to me because I was still experiencing a lot of pain post surgery, he was afraid to prescribe pain killers because the whole reason I had the surgery was because I had necrotizing fascitis in my leg from shooting heroin. I almost lost my leg and the doctors didn't think I would walk again because I woke up and couldn't move it at all. Anyway, they prescribed the ultram to me after all of my bitching. I had been on percocet in the hospital and took it like clockwork, cause I'm an addict, and I was depressed and in pain, bad combo. I had been in withdrawal for a week or two, and hadn't slept a wink, finally I took the ultram and magically my withdrawal symptoms disappeared. i thought that it was okay to take them because they aren't considered a narcotic, even though they should be. I was taking a few a day, and then boom, handfulls at a time. I could have died.  When I say handfulls like 10 50 mg tabs in one shot, also was suicidal. I finally landed in an ER because I had gobbled so many pills that I had to keep pacing so I wouldn't fall asleep and potentially stop breathing. When i got to the hospital my pulse was so low, I also took heroin that day, they had to give me narcan which immediately sent me into withdrawal.  A bad one. I think Ultram should be taken off the market period end of story. It is dangerous!!

Avatar universal
by Helpingothers, Aug 05, 2009
Wow...I've been trying to read through this blog for a couple of days now.  I am on day 2 now of going COLD TURKEY off of tramadol.  I'll tell you what brought me to Tram and where I've been with it.  Besides the past couple of days, I have been on tramadol for almost 3 years.  The "journey" began when I had to have surgery on my back, and was given hydrocodone (vicodin).  I was in my senior year of college at that time, and was laid up in bed for a little while.  It seemed my daily "way out" was to take a couple more than I was prescribed.  Because of my surgery, I was able to basically get these at will.  To cut a pretty long story, short...I realized I was taking too many of the hydro's, and switched to a "natural herb" that I thought could possibly fix this addiction.  That lead me into taking an herb called "kratom".  I don't know if anyone on here has ever heard of kratom or tried it, but honestly...for people like us who have an affinity for these types of substances, STAY AWAY.  I was on kratom for a long time, I'd say a good 2 years.  Eventually, I was spending 600.00/month on it, and I said..."wow, time to stop this too".  The kratom really brought me low.  It was ruining my relationship, making me completely depressed, and really just ruining me. I had failed out a couple of semesters at school as well.  When I did away with kratom for good, I went through some pretty harsh withdrawals. It was the middle of my last semester in school, and I brought every grade up to at least an A or a B and finally graduated.

During that time, i was off of any type of "opoid like" substances for approximately 3 months.  I was very depressed, and still looking for something "legal" to replace what i was taking and make me "feel good".  Honestly, I don't even remember how i came across tramadol online.   When I did though, I read a bit about it and ordered it.  My doctor knew that i was feeling awful, and how much I was wasting every month on the kratom.  I told him that I had ordered tramadol, and he agreed that it may help me BEAT this whole addiction problem.  From there, it was a whirlwind.  I held a couple of good jobs, but was so dependant on the tramadol, that I thought if I ever had to give it up, I didn't think I would be functional.  I was at a point where I was taking over 50, 50mg pills per day.  I got as high as almost 60 for a short time. During the beginning of going on this medication, I also began a new relationship.  She is a wonderful, loving, caring, supportive girlfriend who has stuck with me through a lot.  Just recently (after being together for a year), I told her what was going on and I cut myself straight down from the 50+ per day to the 12/day that was being prescribed.  After being on the 12/day for a couple of months, I've been realizing how up and down my moods are.  I was going to work, and wanting to drive my car right off the road.  I was having some pretty heavy depression, the hardest being in the morning. I believe this is due to the SSRI effect of the tramadol and I was waking up with no pills in me. That would go away when I took my "morning dose". I found it very hard even functioning on 12/day.  I went to my doctor to talk about it, and he came to the conclusion that it was time to stop all of this altogether.  I agreed, and I am on Day 2 of being tramadol free.  

I have definitely kept this story short, but did want to give a background on what I've done and what got me here.  Day 1 was actually not as tough as I thought it would be.  I have been on an SSRI before, and I started taking 37.5 mg's in the morning to blunt SSRI/SNRI "withdrawal".  I have found that I have not had the vertigo that I would normally have coming straight off of an SSRI/SNRI.  Also I have implemented xanax at a low dose (I've always had anxiety, and never once been addicted even remotely, to xanax), as well as phenibut at a low dosage (been used to treat morphine withdrawals).  Besides that, it's just some Ibuprofin.  Being on ,day 2, I've noticed that i've been going to the bathroom a lot, and I had some trouble sleeping last night.  I'm pretty down and depressed, but that was to expected. I am going to jump the effexor xr dose to 75 mg's on the 3rd or 4th day.  My doctor also wants to start me on wellbutrin, but I'm not so sure yet.
I'm literally about 5lbs. lighter right now, than I was when I woke up this morning, and I'm not a small guy.  Now I just need to keep fighting through this, and know that I will lead a much more fulfilling and rewarding life if I stay from this and anything even remotely like it.  I am scared, I am nervous, I am hoping that I will be ok in a few weeks (when I go back to work), and have a much more positive outlook on things than I do right now.  I will keep everybody updated on my withdrawal symptoms...I actually am feeling a little dizzy right now, but I'm going to get in the shower.

Thank You to everybody who has posted on this page.  My prayers are with every single person here, and this is inspiration that anyone can beat this thing if WE WANT TO!  The key is us putting everything into it, and knowing that our lives will be so much better when we are free from this awful drug.  I will be following this page every day day, and am looking forward to responses.  God Bless all of you, and thank you for sharing your insights and stories.

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by EmilyPost, Aug 05, 2009

Come over to our current thread!

This thread has been closed for a bit ...

Avatar universal
by Helpingothers, Aug 05, 2009
Emily, thank you for the post.  That link takes me to this particular thread.  

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by TheUltramateWarrior, Oct 08, 2009
Greeting's to all.
I have come from a mysterious place to give what I have to all.
Yeah my name was inspired by the greeting of warrior's by Emily Post.
I will just cut right to the battle at hand.
Today is day four for me of stopping Tramadol cold.
I have seen worse battle's in life,however it is still a hard fight indeed.
I was taking about 20 50mg a day and started out on only four a day.
I have only took them for about three month's and I just built up a fast tolerance and ended up at 20 a day,give or take.
Prescribed from my doc of course for an injury.
So anyway I started researching alot and have been all over and landed here on day 2.
It was good to see people that were being sane and positive about this subject.
Regular people from all walk's of life.
Other forum's like to kid around and love to talk about the joy of drug use.
I have decided to give out a few tip's that I have gathered and of a personal discovery that I made last night.
It was night 3,last night.
I had been up and had not slept in two night's and feeling low on energy,I made a strong cup of columbian coffee.
Strong cup of coffee,good taster's choice regular,just not cheap garbage.
Like two spoonfulls per 8 or 10 ounces.
Ok so yeah I have been getting slammed all night by the jerking withdrawal's and never by day it seemed.
I wake up and drink coffee,good strong coffee everyday about three good cup's.
So yeah I woke up yesterday had coffee,had no energy by 2 o'clock so figured I would pound down another Coffee at about 2:30pm.
Yeah so knowing I was not going to sleep on only night three,but was encouraged from what I have read here and was looking toward's the future in the hope of sleep on maybe tonight night 4 or 5 or 6.
I laid down and watched the end of astronaut farmer and it was now 430pm then 5 pm came and I thought wow maybe I will be sleeping tommorow or maybe even tonight because I had no jerking withdrawal at all,no power surge's of the withdrawal.
630pm,surges return and then I am awake all night jerking,getting up walking around laying down and I am like oh no it has returned and was mad.
So I prepared for the third night at 7 of no sleep and having shock's all night long.
Oh and yes immodium or generic helps this and takes away about half of the restless legs and make's you feel better then without,just wanted to say that and take twice the dose if you can,I noticed no problem at all doing so.
Needless I am now down to the regular dose for day four.
I know that this is chaotic,but hey this is a war and I am at war.
Ok at 2am on the dot,I say well I might as well pound down a coffee,because there will be no sleep tonight because of the shocking withdrawal's.
So I drank the coffee and it was strong.
Now this is only for the first couple night's when there is no way you will sleep anyway,so it will not disturb anything anyway.
Maybe tonight I will get a bit of sleep,so I might not drink some tonight,but I wish I had on the first 2 night's.
Ok ten minutes after drinking the coffee any and all surging/shocking withdrawal's were gone.
I was not going to sleep,but I also was not wired from the coffee to the huge tiredness of my lack of sleeping.
So I was watching TV peacefully and 99% free of withdrawal,it was gone.
So strong coffee makes the withdrawal shocks stop and allows you to just be alive without the shocks and that is important for the first few night's when you will not sleep at all.
Ok so I said after noticing it all gone at 2:10 am,I am going to see how long this last's for and the remember and report it to that forum.
So yeah here it is.
Coffee stop's the withdrawal's 99% for about 2 to 3 hour's per one strong cup.
Meaning if you are not going to sleep anyway on night1 or 2 or 3 or maybe 4,you might as well be withdrawal free all night.
Ok so it is morning now and I have drank another coffee and it is 7am where I am and I know a little secret that will help the battle in the beginning.
So coffee is a drug and it will release some seratonin and some dopamine and therefore will stop your withdrawal symptom's of the shock's.
Now you will be so tired from not sleeping that you will not feel wired and what is to lose you will not sleep anyway in the first three night's.
Plus it is perfect for the daytime shock's as well.
There it is my story and my contribution,night four tonight and yes I will win.
Have the greatest day everyone.

Avatar universal
by gettingwell673, Oct 26, 2009
I had a challenge when on Tramdol for about 3 months. Took me a couple of weeks, and you can't tell what is real pain and what is fantom pain. I never took more than 150mg. My husband has had chronic shoulder pain and then reconstructive surgery. He has been taking it for about 15 months. We call it tram-damit-all. He is on day five and trying to pretend he is fine. He is trembling and twitching and has not gotten a good nights sleep. Last night he took a melatonin and fell asleep well, but woke up very early. He was trembling this morning, but not as badly. Yep, tram-damit-all.

Avatar universal
by shea15, Nov 05, 2009
Hello, I have just recently discovered Tramadol from my mother. I took a lot in a short amount of time ( one month ) and now have to say just want to know when my brain will go back to normal. I quit cold turkey and after two days of horrible withdraw, feel a little better but, no appetite. Should I take hydrocodone to help with some withdraw? I also think maybe at this point I should just hold out. Any suggestions? Thanks.  

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