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Tramadol & Ultram Recovery Room Part 17

Oct 12, 2009 - 175 comments












Hi Tramadol Warriors!

Welcome to Part 17!

Make yourself at home!

Love and Healing,

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Avatar universal
by mitchwfsu, Oct 12, 2009
Does anyone have any experience with using the amino acid supplements L-Tryptophan and L-Tyrosine after (or during) the taper period, or after totally quitting? I'm reading that these are essential to producing norepenepherine, seretonin and dopamine in the brain.

Could these lessen the w/d affects of the antidepressant component of the tramadol? And only leave the opiate dependance w/d's to deal with?

Or... maybe they could substituted for some of the tram dose during the last days/weeks of the taper period? I dunno... just thinking out loud.


Avatar universal
by Hillbilly47, Oct 12, 2009
Hey Mitch.  I'm currently on day 27 clean (after a 30 day taper).  I used L-Tyrosine, along with 5-htp and St. John's Wort during the taper and for a couple of weeks after.  I also have been taking a full regimen of vitamins and mineral supplements.  Currently, I've stopped taking the L-T and StJ Wort because I ran out of them, but I'm still doing the full vitamins and minerals, along with the 5-htp.  I haven't had a supportive spouse or doc during this process, so I've been trying things on my own.  I do believe that the 5-htp is the best for serotonin production.  L-T is supposed to help with RLS, but it didn't help me any.  I only started getting decent sleep when I added a nightly dose of the supplement Melatonin.

Hope this helps.  Godspeed with your recovery.

Avatar universal
by Hillbilly47, Oct 12, 2009
Oh yeah, you will also want to lay in a supply of Imodium for the stomach issues, as well as some ibuprofen for the aches and pains that will inevitably creep up.

You can do it, though.  I'm now 27 clean (taking absolutely no prescription strength meds) after 9 long years of very high doses of both tramadol and hydrocodone.  The first few days were rough and I've been doing it on my own without help of doc or spouse.  You too will discover how very cool it is to wake up in the morning without immediately thinking of the pills you need.  Just this weekend, I went on my first trip in years where I didn't have to plan my supply and then hide pills from spouse/family all the while.  It's like a brand-new world out there - I truly hope and pray that everyone on these drugs will get to experience it like I have.

Avatar universal
by mitchwfsu, Oct 12, 2009
Thanks Hillbilly!
Congrats on day 27! I can't wait until i can say 27 days clean!

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by madtram, Oct 12, 2009
Hi Mitch, the amino acids are all safe & generally subtle in their effects but can be very helpful so a bit of self-experimentation is worthwhile.  L-tyrosine is a precursor for dopamine & norepinephrine & you can start on this while you taper.  DL phenylalanine, (DLPA), is often helpful as the L form is a precursor for tyrosine and the d form helps to increase your naturally produced endorphins which helps with the opiate withdrawal.

L-tryptophan & 5htp are both precursors for serotonin, one or other may suit you better.  Start on a low dose of 50 to 100 mg while still tapering to avoid the risk of serotonin syndrome & you can increase that when the tram is completely out of your system.

St John's Wort may be a mild MOAI & re-uptake inhibitor  so it can be helpful for bumping up the levels of serotonin, norepinephrine & dopamine & also seems to have an affinity for the GABA receptors, (the calming neurotransmitter which is how the benzos work to reduce anxiety), so it's definitely worth a try.

Hillbilly glad to hear how well you are doing & also that you have found the supplements helpful.  For the RLS, I have seen the most positive reports for tonic water with quinine, (or malaria tablets if you happen to have any around), together with epsom salt baths.  Someone recommended a vigorous leg massage followed by the epsom salts bath as being very effective in reducing symptoms to a bearable level.

Great to see you Emily.  I was reading some of your older entries & highly recommend them to everyone, the experience, wisdom & often humour in your posts are highly encouraging especially given that you had to start out by talking to yourself.  All of us have shared the benefit of the collective increase in knowledge that was spawned by you & is now a beautiful healthy green tree frog.  Excuse the strange metaphor but the mating calls of Australian frogs have been messed around by the ever increasing noise levels in urban areas so that there has been a corresponding decline in their populations.  However, they are learning to adapt their calls as we too have adapted to our knowledge that tramadol is bad guano & are starting to thrive again.  (No, I'm not on some new trippy medication, I just love frogs).

Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Oct 12, 2009
It is I..Pollocat....Yllopcat..LOL...
Im getting ready to head to my Nike relay, our team is doing a big ol' dual race thingie tonight.. And um..Well, Im having a couple of wierd days, feel wayy, better these last four days,also discovered through some research that the new anxiety stuff the Counselor guy gave me has some form of something ( either Benzo-ish or opiate-ishit!!) Now IM Peeved!!!!!!! I thought I made this soo clear so I went and left the **** with my friends who went to the cabin with me.. And now I feel like its all my fault for not double checking, I started to freak out and run to the immediate care and ask my Physical therapy dude from my team even all about this nour--mething or another, and I gave it to my friends and then  home..He is supposed to call me back, he says I should be ok, because it was just a couple days, and no-one has an episode after two days, but it was sooo hard to do this and THIS IS MY INVESTMENT!!! Like Fred mentioned, I feel bad and its like I didnt do it on purpose!!! Has anyone had experience with this?? That clinic is nuts, I made an appointment with an actual Psycholigist at a different clinic but its a month away!! To cope with some of my, um...Can you say...Pstchological things about all this?? I am really beating my head against the wall, I was so panicked last week and was sure he understaood I did not want anything habit forming, I know it was just two days, ( and 1/2) actually before I actually did more research and my ex was like, "ya know, they didnt make it very clear you better look it up"....I did, and lo and behold...Man oh man.
Am I going to wake up on a bed of nails tomorrow?? Its only been two days, and this would be like, um day 19 for me I think...Im upset,.. But I think its salvageable right?/Has this happened to anyone?/Good grief.
So I dumped EVERYTHING they gave me except the stuff I gave to my "cabin" buddies. And they live quite away from me. They were proud of me..But I wish I could be. I feel like a failure all over again..I am off everything, even birth control--until I figure this out...These freakin Dr.s....Well, other than that things are good, the two days before that actually were still slowly getting better,so now I guess I will wake up tomorrow and see what Im dealing with.. I hope and pray Im ok. I want to do this like, well straight up, not breaks in the program..Man, I do not like that at all. Sorry just had to vent.
My boyfriedn and I are doing better, its alot of serious discussions tho, and Im still chatting alot with my roomies about my ideas and all my, racing, writing, work, work, and my band...And well, now he is talking about me and him moving somewhere out of state----to just be alone together and start over...Just us..Its sweet....He wants to be very off on our own to get some property, maybe start a family...I love this whole idea, Im just scared of being off somewhere away from support..I really think he and I have a great opportunity with each other.. But is it a bad idea to do that when you just got um...cleaned up so to speak?? Oh, man..Im still upset at that Dr. IM back to worrying..
Well, got alot of work and stuff done today...Hope I can relax--when I finally calm down..
17-days pure..2---days of confusion.( anxiety marbles )
Today and tomorrow start back where I left off.:)....:)Where ever that is....
Prayers, and good wishes to all.....

Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Oct 12, 2009


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by IamJeff, Oct 12, 2009
I am wondering now, my doctor put me on Prozac today, she said it was not addictive but I would need to wean down from it eventually. She also gave me ambient cr  for sleep I have not slept more than 1hr a day for 7days. But I feel the same way I don't want to go through this again. I am only on Day 4 clean but have been at this since Oct 3.

Avatar universal
by keb777, Oct 12, 2009
Goodevening All,

Hillbilly, way to go on day 27!  By the way, I love the name, I am a real "country girl!"

Mitch, your doing your research and getting a plan together, just stay focused and determined, there is no easy way, but just think of the reward!

Polly, so sorry to hear about the dr.'s, prescriptions, etc...  we have to be our own advocates and double check everything they tell us or give us.....that is my motto now since this horrid experience w/tram that my dr. was oblivious too!  Your determination is so strong that you can plow through anything:)

Jeff, I have been tram free since last saturday, and it has not been easy, but i now feel like i am slowly coming back.  nights are better, days are better, i still have moments of agitation, jumpiness, etc, but i breathe slowly and tell myself to "relax" ...the worst is over!  I cannot explain how empowered I feel by being free of this drug.  I may not be up to par yet, but i will be soon:)  Keep your eyes on the prize as someone has already posted.

God Bless,
"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

PS:  In my research I found some websites that Fred had posted on one of his earliest post.  They are very informational and I believe that knowledge is power. (you will have to go back to the earlier thread of this forum)  I plan on using my experience and research as a basis to inform and help others, just as many have done on this post.  

Avatar universal
by newway, Oct 12, 2009
Polly - 2 days on whatever, does not undo all of your hard work - you are tram free - and this is just a bump in the road - another reminder that Dr's often don't know a darn thing.  You are strong, and have fought through the evils of the dreaded tram.
Hang in there - the more I deal with this drug - the more I realize that we have to take one day at a time.  Don't dwell on what has past, beat ourselves up - wasted time.  Enjoy your success - focus on the positve changes - how different your life is.

I am looking into what I want to stock up on for when I CT.  For the 5htp - do you take that at night?  I am still tapering - until I get down to 400mg - right now I have the restless nights - but I still sleep, dull headache, lots of twitching and sweating.  Once I kind of even out - I drop another 50mg.  I know I am going to go through hell - and hope I can be as strong as some of you have been - I also hope that if I screw up, slip whatever - that I have the courage to keep posting and keep trying.
I like that saying ``keep your eyes on the prize!``

Avatar universal
by DeeTram, Oct 12, 2009
Thanks Fred.

I'm trying to let my husband get off this **** "his way". He gave me his last (supposedly)  100 pills today and told me to give him 2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon for awhile. I say supposedly because I wonder if these are really his last 100 pills or if he has a "stash" somewhere. I can't ask because I've learned from past experience that if I bring up the subject of Tramadol or ask him questions about it - he gets aggitated and we end up in a fight.  If HE brings up the subject life goes smoother.  So tomorrow starts his tapering. I don't know how many he's been taking up til now but starting tomorrow he'll get 200mg.

I know this will be very hard for him. But I am so proud of him for trying to get off of them.  These pills are his Best Friend.  A big fear of mine is that he'll sneak behind my back and get some from his "friend" who introduced him to this nasty stuff. This "friend" doesn't know my husband has been buying this stuff over the Internet. I have been told to NOT talk to this friend about the drugs he takes.  The psycologist told me my husband will try to isolate me away from his friends.  This "friend" is a Sponsor in AA and has been alcohol free for many years but yet shares his prescription Tramadol & Oxycodone with my husband.   I asked my husband to tell his friend how bad this addiction is & to please not give him any more pills. My husband says "some day" he will do that..... 'when HE'S ready'.   This is the second time in 12 months that he's tried to get off this poison.      So, I wait........

So what do you all think..... is this a good thing that he gave me his last 100 pills?  or would it be better if he had the pills in his possession and forced himself to control how many he takes.  He's told me if he has access to them  - he'll abuse them.  What happens when he's on the golf course with his buddy and his buddy offers him some Tram?  How does he get the will power to "Just Say No?"  

Thanks for your help.

Avatar universal
by DeeTram, Oct 12, 2009
Thank you for keeping this thread going. Knowledge is Power. I have learned a lot from everyone on here.
Thanks to all of you for sharing your true raw experiences. It helps to know there are others out there going through the same problems and there is a Light at the end of this long tunnel.
Thank you - Thank you

Avatar universal
by Greendog65, Oct 12, 2009
G'day  guys

To Mitchwfsu & Hillbilly 47, HANG IN THERE ! I went cold turkey on October 9 after 14 months of  Codeine , Tramal and Oxycontin.
Started off as pain relief for lower back pain, then the "pain" of a hernia repair.Then my codeine tolerance went sky high but obviously the toxic level for that and the paracetamol stayed put,so I moved to Oxy and Tramal.Doctor shopping and outright lies to my wife,friends and my  GP started me thinking " hang on,this aint right" I am a medical professional in the Armed Forces and became very devious in avoiding drug testing routines.

My advice is to lay in a good supply of Lomotil (Atropine Sulphate ) ,Gastrolyte / Hydralyte for maintenance of electrolytes  for the intense diarrhoea.

Diazepam (Valium) etc 5-10 mg  have been helpful lowering anxiety and tremors. It has assisted greatly in the control of muscle cramps along with magnesium tabs 200 mg twice daily. Be aware that overuse of magnesium can exceed the bowel tolerance and exacerbate diarrhoea.

I cannot stress enough the value of talking with your GP in regards to drying out, alternative medicines can also be excellent although FULL DISCLOSURE to a PROFESSIONAL as opposed to a quack is vital, I am about to undergo some acupuncture today.

Cold turkey is not for everyone should be carefully considered before commencing. I have a wonderful wife who has been absolutely great as I am also currently acute PTSD from  recent catastrophic bush fires, suicides and previous combat experience.

I am in day four and feel half human today , I am looking forward to being "clean & sober", I empathise with all who cleaning themselves up and wish you all the best. I love opiates, but value my family, my integrity, my self respect and my health much more.

I was not a junkie until I tried to stop using.

Godspeed on your recovery !


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by 12Stepper, Oct 12, 2009
DeeTram, If you can attend Al-Anon meetings it would really help. You sound just like me when I was obsessed with an alcoholic's drinking. The Al-Anon literature and program has a ton of support for friends and families of alcoholics--and drug users. In this case, just substitute the word "addict" for "alcoholic." There are meetings all over the United States and in many foreign countries. I believe that if you read all you can from the Al-Anon literature, you will find the answers you need and in the long run and perhaps even increase your loved one's chances of getting clean. I hope this helps. Love and courage, Linn

Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Oct 12, 2009
Me again...
Thanks soo much for the encouragement! New way--I want to help anyway I can, so I think everyone is diferent obviously but here is what I know..That worked ( noticeably better) this time over tha last time I did it a year ago...
My counselor gave me a weaning schedule--that helped, it wasnt as low as Id hoped to go but I was very anxious to get going.
I worked down to 300 mgs--Thursday
300-mgs Friday..250--Saterday---Flubbed ( scared on Sunday ( 300mgs.)
Monday, down, 280mgs
Tuesday: down 150mgs
Then I gave the rest to my support system..And went to the cabin for the rest of the week. Hell 3 days is almost expected.
Then the Paws--
I brought with me:
Alot of Gatorade,
Milk thistle-vitamins.
Silver ( immunity from GNC )
Alot of vitamin C.
ten pairs of running shoes..( ha, ha)
Foods I knew I could get down ( you may be sick ) cereal ect.
The dr. Gave me Clonidine--for blood pressure which I cannot stress enough THIS HELPS ALOT!! Get it if you can..
And Trazadone ( an antidepressent for night time)
Its hard to sleep..
Gaba---which I researched it was good for seritonin--seems to help calming effect, and warm baths..Gaba is in the vitamin sections.
HTP_I tried, it seems a bit like coffee, a bit of energy never hurts, and vitamin bs too.
If you need to post always, I had someone by my side who I knew would kick my A..if I cheated. I had to "get over that hump"
Lets all just support each other, support is everything...
I can not thank Emily--enough for getting and keeping this going, its is so important to know there are people like you, and you know blaming isnt helpful.
Thanks again New way for your "bump in the road" comment. I was pretty upset..I tend to blame myself,
Like I stated, I will have to remind myself that this has to be micro-managed for a while..You guys rock!!
Too bad there wasnt like a --camp recovery to celebrate-- with um....mangos-or water skiiing..LOL.
Good luck...

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Oct 12, 2009
Polly,   I am venturing off into the weeds here on your question re leaving the life you have now and  moving out of State suddenly with your DOES sound like you have support right where you are and I would like to see you stick with your roommates for a while yet.  It sounds like you are very busy and connected where you are.   Why does he want to take you from all this???  In some recovery groups, it is suggested that a person shouldn't make any big decisions for at least 6 mos to a year after getting clean/sober.    I expect you won't wake up on a bed of nails tomorrow and your INVESTMENT should be fine.

Stay strong everyone.   Fred

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Oct 12, 2009
Keb, Thanks for reminding me of the research links.  In the event that anyone has time on your hands;

States which now list tramadol as a controlled substance in the USA include:  (1) Kansas, (2) Kentucky, (3) North Dakota, (4) Ohio, and (5) Wyoming.   And I have found some indication that at least two other states; Georgia and MA have listed this as a dangerous drug.  If any of you know differently, please let us know.  

If any of you wish to research these issues yourself, I can now at least offer some sites which will at least get you PAST the all too familiar "buy tramadol online" sites.   Some include contacts to write to.  But I have written to dozens of contacts in the past and have yet to receive a single response.  Possibly one of you will have better luck than I have to date.;jsessionid=R753rpn1A4NkjN77JMbGkA**.worker2   An unusual source of information, but it would appear that Arkansas, Kentucky, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wyoming ALL classify Tramadol as a controlled substance.   Georgia lists tramadol as a “dangerous drug”   An article by the Kentucky Medical Association on the scheduling of tramadol as a class IV controlled substance on 12/05/08.   Article by the Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives on the States' recent listing of tramadol as a controlled substance  You will need to subscribe to this site in order to obtain their information - and I haven't done that YET.   This is a list of the state contacts within the National Association of State Controlled Substance Authority.

Happy hunting.  Fred

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by madtram, Oct 13, 2009
Further to the above, if anyone is up for some "light" reading, I have downloaded pretty much all the scientific studies I could find on tramadol & would be happy to email the PDFs to anyone interested.  There isn't much that's especially enlightening as medical literature relies mostly on drug company  sponsored research & reports by doctors who have to believe that their patients' suffering is undoubtedly caused by tramadol & then bother to write it up.

So there is one report of a woman who was hospitalised some years ago in which it is acknowledged that the "discontinuation syndrome" could be attributed to tramadol but very little by way of follow-up from other doctors. The clearest conclusion to be drawn was identified by Emily in her early research & that is that "rats love tramadol".

If we want change, it really is up to us to bombard the regulators with reports of our adverse experiences.  All the better if anyone can persuade their doctor to make a report.  There has been one Australian medical journal report expressing concerns regarding tramadol's addictive  potential but this has not flowed through into prescribing practices.  The Australian  National Prescribing Service contains the strongest warning I have found & it's pretty insipid:-

"Tramadol often isn’t suitable for people because it makes them feel sick".

Hugs all round,

Avatar universal
by TRAMMAN999, Oct 13, 2009
TAPERING: (from a great height)
Yes, tapering at 300mg/day for 5 days. (a 200mg +/day cut)
Theory:  ...   the body & mind slowly get used to the reduced amount. So far no evidence of that. I feel ill, lifeless and fluelike all the time. In 2 days the Dr will surely drop me another 50. I know I am not ready if I am to taper without trauma. He wants (and I want) to take the Tram in doses of only 50mg a time. At the moment I take in 100mg a time. 50mg's I feel have no effect or relief help at the moment. Difficult situation - it is as though it is expected of me to do what the Dr wants if I am asking for his help.
He restricts the Tramadol precription to the 'exact' amount for the week's taper. (no chance of cheating) Reckon if my body doesn't get in some sort of tune he will push me too far. May as well go for a full on C/T!!??

Avatar universal
by Hillbilly47, Oct 13, 2009
Hey Keb, thanks for the nice words and way to go on your 4th day.  I'm a country feller myself.

Newway and Tramman:  I was where you are around 30-35 days ago.  My taper, from 600+ mg per day of Tram along with 50+mg per day of hydrocodone, quickly began to feel like a daily mini-withdrawal (sort of like when I used to get close to running out of pills toward the end of every rx cycle and had to ration).  I had set myself up for a 50 day taper process, but the mini-withdrawals led me to finally make a decision:  On September 16, I got up in the morning and flushed the remainder of my rx down the toilet.  Although I knew I was facing some rough days, I cannot explain the feeling of freedom that one flush gave me.  It may not be right for everyone, since we're all different, but just jumping worked well for me.  The first few days did indeed suck, but I fibbed a flu and eventually could feel an upswing.

To answer Newway's question, I have been taking the 5-htp at morning (along with full v/m regimen) and noon, then take melatonin at bedtime (along with second doses of magnesium, calcium and potassium).  I haven't had the help of a friendly doc, so I have not been able to rely on the assistance of rx sleeping meds - in the early days after the flush, I also took tylenol pm and benadryl to help sleep.  I'm not sure they really helped much.  Now, only taking the melatonin and intend to cut that in half tonight.

Keep at it guys:  the folks on here gave me great inspiration for a process that has absolutely changed my life.  If I can do this after 9 years of very high doses, you can all do this too.  Let's band together and put a huge dent in the Tram pushers' profits!

Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Oct 13, 2009
Hey guys:
Polly here...I want to say this morning isnt too bad, thanks for all the comments. Yeah I have to let the past go in more ways than one.
Fred: I think I want to say you are not out in the "WEEDS" and I do very much appreciate the comment and support. I think him wanting him to "run away" has alot to do with a year ago his dad died and he had to take care of him at home..( Um bone-cancer) And he was drinking himself into oblvion, and soo depressed, to this day he says I was the only thing he looked forward to..He keeps calling me his "light". I guess in some ways I just want to be that for someone. It may be somewhat co-dependent coming but we seem to have alot in common, and our personalities, ( when healthy are) very compatable..
But......That being said; he has always wanted to run away with me.. And I dont want to run away--from my stuff...
Cause um...Well it will follow me--but my roommates, and cabin people can not!!!LOL.
I do have great people here, and I do intend to stay living with my current peeps until at least--February....And I need to get to a meeting, for me..I just havent broken the ice, funny I went while on it, now I havent felt like going....Oh, brother..

Getting on running shoes to go battle wind-rain--Not sure who asked but yes the Hood to Coast is in the NW. as am I, I love it here...Im in Oregon to be more precise..I went to College out here, ran at many levels here, it is a running state, and well theres  alot of soccer..... we are all wet feet.. I LOVE IT!!!

NEWWAY: There is one more thing, when I went off I wish I had had with me, which I got recently thatnks to my brother reminding me of my soccer injury years back, --Methacarbamol?? Or Robaxin?? IT IS ACTUALLY not habit forming, I know from experience--and is blocks CNS pain sensations, it is also a muscle relaxer.. Ask about it, It is tramendously helpful now for rebound pains, and it is nt a problem you can take it when ever, everyone is different ( yes, yes) but for me this almost eliminated any remaining RLS issue....Its safe, and not a Narc. MOST of all.
Just that to throw in..GOOD  LUCK..
God bless everones day!!!

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 13, 2009
Hi Folks,

Its great that so many new people have found the forum. This place has been a lifeline to me.  I am just signing in tonight to say that I am doing okay. Its just over 11 weeks post tramadol and 6 weeks post diazepam. The mornings are still rotten and waves of fear still shoot through me at night. BUT....I am having some really nice hours in the day. Its all so random as always and some days are better than others. One of the main problems I am battling is pain. (The thing that got us all on tramadol in the first place!) I cant take anti-inflammatory drugs as I have a stomach problem - so I think that leaves nothing!!!  I am seeing the chiropractor again tomorrow, but I keep messing up my back and neck almost as soon as its fixed. One of the worst things is using my computer  - posture I guess! So if you dont hear from me for a while dont think I have disappeared. I shall be following all the progress, but need to give my back time out.

Keep going everyone - will be back soon.

God bless

Avatar universal
by BVD660, Oct 13, 2009
Great info Fred, my old friend.  Maybe we all should write our congressmen or state representatives as well.
Maybe if enough of us do they may eventually have to do something about it....but I doubt it.;)


I have had ringing in my ears as well for the past five years. I was on 400mg of tram for eight years with ringing the last five.  I've been tram free for six months now with no improvement.  I'm almost positive it was the tram that caused this because I've never been on any other drug for any significant amount of time.  Never experienced anything that could cause hearing damage, etc.  The funny thing is there is no hearing loss, it's just the ringing.  It's not something that's easy to get used to. I have to actually concentrate on listening to things around me to drown out the obnoxious ring and I also sleep with the tv on...I have to have ambient noise or it drives me nuts.

I did see a hearing specialist back when it started who couldn't find anything physiologically wrong. He asked if I was taking any prescription meds because a lot of them can cause ototoxicity and ringing.  I told him about the tram and he wasn't familiar with it causing ringing but said it is possible.  He told me to stop taking it for a while to see if it would go away and of course I tried to no avail....again and again.  Until five years later when I could muster up enough courage to suffer through the inevitable and crippling withdrawal.

There was only one other person that I know of besides the two of us that has complained about this.  Maybe it's one of the rare side effects (for the extra lucky ones) that just hasn't been documented....yet.


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by forget_me_not, Oct 13, 2009
Hi Fellow Warriors.

38 days out and strong as ever psychologically.  Strange things continue to happen physically.  During my first few weeks after quitting the poison, I had no appetite whatsoever (had to force myself to eat anything at all).  I have blood sugar problems as well as hyperthyroidism and have always been underweight, sometimes badly.  Since about the four week point, I have been experiencing insane, extreme hunger.  Eating carbohydrates is the only thing that seems to help, but because of the blood sugar problem I can't indulge in carbs.  The hunger is CRAZY.  It wakes me up in the middle of the night and keeps me from being able to concentrate on anything during the day.  It is seriously disruptive.

Yes, minor problem, but still a problem at this point.

So this is all probably courtesy of messed up serotonin levels.  I can see a definite correlation with sleep patterns, energy, and depression.  When I feel more depressed and lethargic I also get the crazy hunger and insomnia.

I guess my questions are, does this resolve itself?  And are there any tips with respect to diet, supplements, etc. to help?

Prayers and healing...

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 13, 2009
Hi everyone.Just got in from work and today was brutal.9 and 1/2 hrs on my feet and no sitting down at all.My back hurt so badly I felt sick to my stomach.I toughed it out with 2 aleves  and 2 extrastrength tylenol every 4 hrs.Now am taking my bedtime dose of 2 robaxacet extra strength.The muscle relaxant helps.Talked to a customer who also has rheumatoid arthritis and she told me her feet hurt unbearably.I know what she meant and I am on my feet at least 50 to 60 hours a weekl.They sure take a beating. when on them all the time.And she is retired.Amazing what one can do when they have to do it.Keep trying everyone for we all have come so far.No going back now.Love to all

Avatar universal
by Trying_so_Hard, Oct 13, 2009
Hi all. I have been reading on and off for 2 months, and hope it is OK to jump in with a question.

I am doing the slow taper. I tried cold turkey, but was so mentally unstable, I was a complete danger to myself.

I started my taper 6 weeks ago, with taking 100 mg in the AM (2 -50s), and 75 mg in the PM (1.5 -50s). I have slowly weaned down to my last last last step, which is only a quarter of one 50 mg pill (So, 12.5 mg) in the AM only. Nothing in the PM. This is my last step before getting off completely.

Is there anyone here who has followed this type of tapering schedule, who has experience with the last step? So far, the process has been much better compared with the suffering of going cold turkey (Those of you who can accomplished cold turkey are my heroes!).

At this stage, I am getting some anxiety back. I have still had some withdrawl symptoms over these 6 weeks. I have had (sorry if TMI) diarrhea the entire process, along with stuffy nose/head and lots of sneezing. I don't sleep well, either. However, my mental anguish was way better going this route. The suffering through extreme anxiety and 24 hour crying was too much to bear with going cold turkey.

Are there any posts someone can point me to with an explanation of the tapering process, and more specifically if I will go off the deep end again after I end this final step of taking my last one quarter of 1 pill?

Thank you to you all for this amazing place. There is nothing like it anywhere. You have no idea how many people are reading, but not posting :)

-Trying Hard :)

1039436 tn?1255523662
by finallyfree1, Oct 13, 2009
trying so hard
I did exactly what you did. I was down to 1/2 pill every other day, The first 3 days were almost like a a high of some sort but the nights were bad ...still are. I seem to really depend on vitamans .. Lots of b12 .. and you will be fine during day.. At night try baths and epsom salts.. You will be ok. Imodium works really good too ! Just jump off and we all here will be here to catch you ...
Everyone helped me and still does every day I read.. It calms me to feel I am not alone and neither are you..

To better days coming soon,,

Avatar universal
by Trying_so_Hard, Oct 13, 2009
Thanks, finallyfree 1 :)

I forgot to add the most important part, and the reason for my determination: after 5 years, my husband and I are finally pregnant. The day I got the positive test, I quit cold turkey....BIG MISTAKE (for me, at least). I was so humiliated to go back ON the tram, once I knew I was pregnant....such shame for being a bad mommy. I will always regret being on tram for the first 2 months, but I am sooooooo happy to be within days of being off FOREVER.([email protected] you tramadol!)

So, going back to your experience, did you have any major melt down after the final installment? Did you also have the diarrhea the entire weaning process?  Stuffy nose? I have to be careful about what I can take right now, so I haven't taken anything besides my prenatal vitamin. I would love to take many extras to help my brain re adjust, but my OB knows NOTHING about tramadol.

How many days off are you?


Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Oct 14, 2009
Boe,  It was really nice of you to drop by!!!   Seriously.   Congrats on six months tram-freedom.   So sorry about the ringing in your ears.  I cannot even imagine...   I do think that if we can write to ANYBODY about the horrors of this drug it would be helpful.  I have sent dozens of email reports, but so far, I have had no responses.   I think there is something to be said for actually taking pen to paper and MAILING our concerns.  But I am as guilty as the next person not having done THAT.  

Let's make a challenge out of it.  What about if everyone commits to sending just two old fashioned letters in the next week.   I haven't checked my own sources recently that I posted above, but I'll bet there are some addresses there we could WRITE TO.  I'll dig some addresses out this weekend.

Polly, It was me...Fred, who realized that the "Hood to Coast" must be  in Oregon.   I live in Seattle and have lived in the NW my entire life.   Mrs. Fred and I vacation in Southern Oregon EVERY year.   Love the Rogue River, Jacksonville, Ashland, etc.  and we are members of the Shakespeare Festival so we always see 3-4 plays there in Ashland every year. I have a friend whose daughter  is a GRL BB player at George Fox.  They had a graet team last year.   Sadly, yes, the rains have arrived, so there is no escaping wet running shoes the months or so.  Quack quack.  

I won't give you advice on whether to to "run off" with your bf, but there is wisdom in not making any huge life decisions in early recovery.    Glad to hear you are staying with your roomates and cabin people through February though.   There aren't too many advantages of being OLD that I can see, but one of them might be having had the opportunty to have made just about every mistake known to man.  That's me...Fred.

Trying-so- hard, ANYONE who is able to defeat the tram devil, whether by a well disciplined taper as you have performed or by cold turkey is MY HERO.    It takes FAR more disciple to methodically perform an honest taper than it takes to do what I did and jump off cold turkey.   My own inability to disciple myself while ON tramadol for six years taught me that there was just no chance that I was the tapering kind.   But I'll go out on limb here and say that afte rthe righteous taper tha you have carried out, when you do finally stop taking that last 25 mg/day, you shouldn't experience anything that you haven't already experienced.  And then begin to start counting the days as that final mg of tram leaves the building.   BTW, congratulations on your pregnancy.   How exciting!!!

Tramman, You are on a QUICK taper it seems to me.  It just seems that doing a FAST taper has all of the dissadvantages of cold turkey (the symptoms you describe) but none of the advantages (the pain will end soon).   As far as "no chance of cheating?"    I am afraid that I plead guilty to contantantly borrowing tomorrow's pills today.   Whcih does of course leave you counting remaining pills, looking for the one that "got away", and suffering horribly at the end of every rx cycle.   THAT was percisely what convinced me that I simply needed to put an end to that sort of constant misery.   And just speaking for myself, cold turkey for 3-5 days was absolutely no worse than the withdrawal symptoms I experienced at the end of every rx cycle.  I know every one is different, but those were my experiences.

Everyone wants to believe that if they taper slow enough, they won't have severe withdrawal symptoms.   Few have persisted through the duration, but for those who can/have, you have my UTMOST admiration and respect.   But to those like me, who borrowed tomorrows pills today, who counted pills constantly, who could never stick to their perscribed dose, who have suffered the forced withdrawals as we ran out of pills at the end of most rx cycles, we have as much chance of a successful taper, as anyone has success with stoping smoking "gradually" or for the alcoholic, trying to drink like a gentleman again.

The pain of withdrawal is tough, but there is an ending.  May we each find the strength to do what we can, when we can, to do battle with this horrible rat poison.   Peace, love and faith to you all.  

I like Michelle's quote from the research literature, ""Tramadol often isn’t suitable for people because it makes them feel sick".

good night to all (I hope)


Avatar universal
by srvblooze, Oct 14, 2009
Hello everyone,

I can't tell you how great it feels for me to read your entries and, while I don't mean to say I'm "happy" that you're having the same problems as me, I am happy that I no longer feel as alone as I did the first few days. I mean, I REALLY felt alone. So thanks everyone. Tomorrow will be day 4 and I already feel at least a little better than I did on day 2.

I tried to taper but it I kept saying stuff like "well, I can take more just this one day" and it seemed like I was prolonging the agony. So, I went to my new Doctor (*not* the moron who told me that Tramadol wasn't addictive) and finally admitted to her, after two years, that I was an addict and we put together a detox plan involving fairly low dosages of valium and dolpocet, with Chlorpheniramine for the nasal issues.

I live in Hong Kong and one of the first things she asked was "where are you getting this stuff?!?!" and she was quite shocked to find that here you can just walk into any number of pharmacies and get the stuff without a prescription. She's on some big board of advisors to the government and she said she's going to put making Tramadol a controlled substance on the agenda. So, if nothing else, maybe I will someday have helped to make it harder for other people to fall into the trap.  

One last thing, and I realize I'm only on my 3rd day and am in no way an expert on getting off this stuff, but this is for "DeeTram": The last sentence of your post reads " How does he get the will power to 'Just Say No?' "  My answer to that would be simply that it will never happen until he realizes that it's destroying his life and that he's not willing to accept that outcome any longer. In my case it was when I woke up and saw that my left foot was swollen to twice it's size (it went away with 24 hours of Tramadol). When he's fallen as far as he is willing to fall and no further is when he's going to make a concerted, GENUINE effort to quit. He's never going to be able to quit to please you or anyone else. I would add another thing though- he REALLY needs to see a Doctor (one who know that Tramadol is deadly) to help manage his taper or cold turkey- whichever he chooses. I chose cold turkey because I just want it to be over. I just want it to be over.

Thanks for listening, and I'm glad there are other people I can talk to who truly understand what I'm going through.

Avatar universal
by DeeTram, Oct 14, 2009
srvblooze,  I hope your feeling better every "new" day. I'm so glad you found a Dr. to help you through this.  Wishing you good luck and better days ahead.

My husband is 2 days behind you. I don't know what happened to make him change his mind about taking this cr*p but I hope he is truly sincere this time. I asked him today what he fears the most about going through this process. He said "failing and going back on Tram".  Because our family Dr. refused to prescribe the Tram after I informed him of the information on the Internet, my husband started buying Tram over the Internet (June) & getting them from his "friend". Plus, I told the Dr. my husband was abusing the amount he was taking.  Yes, I was in the doghouse for a long time for squealing on him.

My husband is VERY strong willed. He definitely wants to do this HIS way.  He's had other addictions over the years to diet pills and marijuana which he's overcome. I think...  

He gave me his last 100 pills 2 days ago. I give him 2 -  50 mg in the morning & 2  in the afternoon (200mg). In a few days I think he should spread them out to 1 in the morning, 1 around noon, 1 @ suppertime  then 1 at bedtime. Still 200 mg but his body won't get slammed with 100 mg at a time.   In a week we are going to go to 1 pill 3 times a day.  We're dicussing what dosage & dispensing would be best.  He went Cold Turkey a year ago.  The withdrawls.....shaking, diarrhea,chills, anxiety,  etc, was awful.  Awful for him to go through. Awful for me to watch.  I hope this tapering method will be better.

Tomorrow will be an intersting day.  He (supposedly) is going to tell his "friend" to NOT give him anymore Tram. I would like to witness this conversation to help me with the "Trust" issues I have. To see how sincere he is when he tells his friend.  To see his friend's reaction. His friend is in AA (for alcohol) so I'm hoping he'll understand when my husband says he wants to quit this stuff.

To everyone,  we watched the Dr. Phil show yesterday about prescription drug abuse. It was mostly about Oxycodone. I went on the Dr. Phil website and sent an email asking him to PLEASE  research Tramadol and possibly do a show about it.  Doctors need to know that this stuff is ADDICTIVE!   I sent some links to websites about Tram (including this site). Hopefully between Congressmen, Dr. Phil and anyone else who will listen, maybe we can get this poison off the market.

Avatar universal
by srvblooze, Oct 14, 2009

I woke up this morning feeling half human. It appears that the worst is over but who knows? There's still some weird, "disconnected" feeling I have somehow. Like I'm still in a kind of funk and not really, fully part of what's happening around me. It appears for now that the worst is over but who knows?

One thing that has occurred to me is that I'm really lucky that I have a job where I schedule my own hours. I can't imagine having to try detoxing from this stuff while trying to go to work at a 9-5 job and dealing with the stresses that come from that. I highly recommend taking a week or two of vacation if you're going to do this. I can't see how anybody could do it otherwise, though I'm sure many hearty souls have. God Bless 'em all. And you too.

I don't feel great yet, but I feel better. When I woke up this morning I had a real sense of hope and, yes, accomplishment. I'm proud of myself for going through it but prouder still because I haven't wanted to walk the 100 yards down the street to the Pharmacy that sells the stuff like candy.

Suck it, Tramadol. I'm going to win this thing.

And FinallyFred: Your idea about writing to our representatives in government is a great one. I currently live in HK (where it's over-the-counter), but I'm still an American citizen and I fully intend to take you up on your challenge to write letters to my Senators and Congressmen. Good call.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Oct 15, 2009
Hello Tramadol Warriors!   I have some good sites for you ( U.S. Citizens) to utilize in order to write to your (1) Congressman (House of Reprresentatives), (2) your Senator, and (3) the FDA:  The first two are pretty cool because they let you insert your zip code and all of the contact information comes up FOR YOU.   I wrote to my congressman online but I commit to you to sending paper letters in envelopes this weekend to all.

Let's bust the doors off this thing.  What do you say?

If not you...who?

If not now...when?


Avatar universal
by newway, Oct 15, 2009
It's great to see so many new people getting the support of this group - but frustrating to see how many people are caught in the tram trap.
I have and appointment at a chronic pain clinic next week.  One of the Dr's there specializes in chronic pain and addictions.  He has helped people come off addictive pain control, and find a program that works for them to control the pain.  For me, tramadol does maintain a manageable level pain - before it - I was unable to put my own socks on!  
I don't want to get off this evil stuff and be left in constant pain - hopefully our meeting will go well and he will have some suggestions, and be willing to take me on as a client.  Then I can approach my GP and let her know what I have gone through on tram - she has been a good Dr. and had tried many non narcotic options for my pain - it is just out of ignorance that she keeps prescribing this stuff to me - I am just as guilty - I haven't told her - I didn't want her to insist I taper - or cut me off.

I am doing okay with the taper - I am down to 500mg - half of what I started out at - not a ton of discomfort - managable so far.  I feel terrible in a different way than when I was up at 1000mg - but there is something about knowing why I am feeling crappy and what I am movng towards that makes it almost manageable.  I am not tempted yet to take more - I felt so awful this last year or so on the stuff, and am so desperate to get off.  Hopefully this will stay with me as I keep moving down.

I follow all of your progress, and have moment of envy when I read about those that are free of this ****.  All of this keeps me motivated.  I think I have started to shift into that "battle" mode that many of you mention.  Me against the tram, and I cannot even imagine loosing this battle - it seems too overwhelming and depressing - I need to beat this thing.

Avatar universal
by mitchwfsu, Oct 15, 2009
Hi everyone!
I've got myself down to 1 - 50mg pill /day!

For the last 2 days, I take the 1 pill in the morning and supplement with Tyrosine (on an empty stomach). In the evening before dinner, i'm taking only Tryptophan. I take a complex multi vitamin along with the Tyro and Trypto (w/ B6, B3, C, copper and folic acid).

The past 2 mornings i've woken up with Significantly LESS morning withdrawals. The morning w/d's are literally probably 95% better than last week, when i was waking up and taking 3 pills, and not taking the supplements. (This morning i actually woke up and took a 20 minute bike ride BEFORE i took the meds!)

I feel like a morning will come... when my body tells me that i no longer need the tramadol. That may be a week from now... or a month from now... the point is that, that morning WILL come.

I'm indebted to this board/journal. THANK YOU to everyone here!!


910168 tn?1262462469
by Lillyval, Oct 15, 2009
Hi Everyone its great to see the recovery and support continuing.

Newway, Chrissie and grandmagirl thanks so much for the kind notes.

I went to the addiction specialist yesterday and I have started on a course of Suboxone.  Those of you who have been here a while know that my ultimate goal is to be completely drug free, not just tram free.  So this is a course of action I really never thought I would take.  However, with my drug history and my ongoing cravings for opiates the doctor felt I was a good candidate - and I'm willing to admit that I wasn't succeeding on my own.  I spoke to an old friend a week or so ago who went through a course of Suboxone for painkiller addiction and came off of it with no withdrawals.  I really don't like the idea of substituing one drug for another, but if I can put time between me and tram with medical supervision, therapy, and support, and then taper off  - I'm hopeful that this can work for me.

So far (day 2) I feel really positive.  I woke up this morning and I actually felt *normal* not foggy or sick or high, just normal.   It made me realize just how long it's been since I've felt this way - years.  I actually feel guilty about it.  I feel like someone who has misused drugs so much doesn't have a right to feel this good.  Also, I have absolutely no desire to take any drugs right now.  The obsession has been removed - and that is a huge deal for me.   I am fearful that my natural neurotransmitters will never get back in balance and I'm just giving them more chemicals.  But I'm moving forward in faith, believing that this is just the next step on the journey that is going to restore me to health.

I have so much respect and admiration for those of you who have done this on your own.  For those who are struggling terribly or relapsing - a course of Suboxone may be an option for you.  I actually wish I had done this sooner - I'd probably already be off the tram and the Sub by now.  But I guess I had to go through what I went through.
I wish you all peace and healing,

Avatar universal
by Hillbilly47, Oct 15, 2009
Hang in there, Lilly.  Any step toward recovery is a step in the right direction.

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 15, 2009
I am not supposed to be on the computer as my back is very sore - but am reading the posts each day. Really good stuff - so many people getting free!

Earlier I was driving home from a shopping trip with my daughter. This same daughter who had to hold me like a baby as I cried and clung to her in a pyschiatric ward only a few months ago. Not suffering from the nervous breakdown they said I was having -but from tramadol withdrawals.(although it took me another 3 months to discover this!)  Today was FANTASTIC! I bought outfits for her family to go to a halloween party and then took her to lunch! I cant believe that my life is coming back. Please keep going. It is s***. Sometimes you feel you cant take another day. But you have to keep going. I almost didnt. Perhaps without this site and dear KC I wouldnt have been able to. I spent all day on here at times.Just reading and taking comfort in  the fact that people were getting better. I hope this will be an encouragement to others. I still have bad days - but just as KC said they would - they are getting fewer.

This is such a brave thing to do in many ways - but if you want to live again then it is the only thing to do.

God bless

Avatar universal
by srvblooze, Oct 15, 2009
OUTSTANDING chrissie145! I too take some measure of comfort in reading of the success others are having. I particularly like the kind of stuff where they talk about getting back to their lives and feeling more whole again. When you wrote "I can't believe that my life is coming back." I got chills. Good stuff.

Avatar universal
by srvblooze, Oct 15, 2009
Just wanted everyone to know that I took some time today (I had plenty since I was mostly flat on my back, sweating and trying to get my legs to stop jerking around ;-)  to write to my Congressmen, Senators & the FDA with the information he supplied which I am reprinting now:

Thanks, Fred for the information. I added another one and wrote to them to (American Medical News Weekly Letter to the Editor) Here is that web link:

Let's all get up on our Warhorses and tell these people in no uncertain terms that Tramadol is not, in fact, a "safe" alternative to narcotics and it sure as hell IS addictive. Once again, Fred, thanks for starting this. Great idea.

Onward and upward...

Avatar universal
by Miss_Amy_2009, Oct 16, 2009
Good morning, everyone!

Just checking in after being 5+months tram free. I wish you all the strength and determination to kick tram to the curb! You'll find that it brings it's own pain and that you can live a better life without it in your life! Trading a few days of complete misery for years of freedom of the awful hold that it has on you, is definitely WORTH IT!
Please read my tracker journals to see how I accomplished the tapering process. Remember that everyone is different and to always consult with your doctor!

Hugs and Hope to all that are going through or considering the leap towards the good fight! Don't let fear of the unknown prevent you from reaching the other side. Hold on tight and know that the acute withdrawals are signs of wellness. Your body will not want to let go of the addiction...but if you persevere for just a few days, know that you WILL make it!

Hello to Emily, Boe and Fred! Without you guys, I really don't think I would have made it. I will be forever grateful to you!!


Avatar universal
by Hillbilly47, Oct 16, 2009
The dangers of Tram are starting to show up in pop culture.  On the latest episode of the new show Trauma, a kid was found comatose on Tramadol and had to be revived with Narcan.  Not sure how accurate this is medically, but it was nice to see some attention being paid to this poison.

Avatar universal
by mitchwfsu, Oct 16, 2009
Today may be my first day tram free!
I woke up and took a bike ride, showered, reached for the pill... and stopped. Instead of putting it in my mouth, I put it in my pocket. It's still there :) ... i also decided not to take the tyrosine this morning, as i think it may have been making me a bit edgy the past 2 days. I have been continuing the tryptophan at night (1000 mg). I'm sitting here knowing that pill is sitting in my pocket... yet i have no desire take it. It's like a mental battle of strength and will... my body know's the pill's there, but so far my mind's winning. I think today may turn out to be a major milestone. And it feels so good to talk to people and to post my thoughts here. Thanks!


Avatar universal
by elvador, Oct 16, 2009
This worked for me

If you have Tramadol Capsules  Pull the capsules apart and tip a tiny amount out of the 50mg each day. Then put the capsule back together  I would recommend 1 in the morning and one at 6PM. Then empty them as you go even down to the last granules. (do not inhale them and wash hands afterwards.) I take not Responsability for your actions but this is what i did as no one told me to do this.

Obviously if you are on a massive ammount come down one tablet a day until you get to this point. If you are having trouble getting to the 1 x  50mg twice a day (then applying the emptying trick)  Go to the Doc and Get some Zydol. Slow Release. these will take the withdrawals away but also stop the tramadol High. Which you may find you are looking for.

I find that all the tramadol does is keep you at a constant of what you use to be. So Coming down will be hard at first. You lived your life without them so do it again,

Remember you have to WANT to get off them.  If you find yourself getting happy getting your new pack of Tramadol then please try this.

Once you have your last granules (and dont rush it) you will find that you can actually wake up and not even think about it,

I did this and didnt feel and withdrawals.

I took them for years and this is the only thing that works.!!!!!!!!!!!!  (after trying about 10 different things.)

738790 tn?1377720994
by KC67, Oct 16, 2009
Isn't Zydol just another version of Tramadol?  I looked it up on the internet and it said that Zydol was simply slow-release tramadol hydrochloride.

Avatar universal
by elvador, Oct 16, 2009
Hi KC67

It Tramadol but you can drop off tramadol dramatically taking one 100mg zydol tablet twice a day. these do not have the high affect of the tramadol :) you are less likley to increase using zydol
When you get to 1 tablet a day of the zydol switch  to 50mg capsule tramadol one twice a day then reduce the capsule until no more :)

Avatar universal
by grc2003, Oct 16, 2009
Hello all,

I'm new here.  I must admit that I'm really freaked out by reading all of your posts.  I have slowly become addicted to tramadol over the last year.  It all started with severe stress headaches.  I used them as prescribed for about a year, but then started taking them for depression.  I was depressed and they worked so much better than any other medications I could find.  So about 12 months ago I started taking them daily and I felt awesome.  I felt better than ever before in my life.  But I noticed that eventually I needed more in order to get the same effect.  For quite some time, I've known that I need to stop, but I don't want to.  I'm scared of what it will do to me.  After 12 months of taking them every day, I take anywhere from 400mg to 800mg per day.  I know... pretty bad, huh?  I'm really ashamed and embarrassed.  

So I'm going to try my best to taper off of them and limit myself to only 400mg per day for the next week.  I plan to go down to 300mg the next week, and so on.  I'm even going to give my stash to a friend so that I won't be tempted to take more than I've determined.

I'm open to hear any advice from all of you.  I'm glad there is a group like this because I'm going to need all the support that I can get.  I should also say that I'm a Christian and that I feel like God has been wanting me to do this for a long time.  Hopefully, by trusting in Him and by leaning on others for help, I can do this.

- grc2003

Avatar universal
by DeeTram, Oct 16, 2009
grc2003  Welcome!  I'm so proud of you for acknowledging the effects this drug is having on you. Good for you!! I am holding onto & distributing my husbands stash. He's on day 3 & doing very well.  Started at 400 mg but when he gave me the stash he told me to give him 4   50mg  pills (200mg) a day. Last night was a restless sleep night. He took a slow release Melatonin 5mg pill tonight. Next Wed. he will drop to 150 mg. for a week.  He tried cold turkey a year ago & didn't like the withdrawls.
Good Luck & keep posting. It helps to talk it out. We're all here for you.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Oct 17, 2009

I still vividly recall searching for information about this drug after it began to turn on me.   Maybe I simply wanted to believe that it was that safe drug my doctor promised.  That I was really alright.   And in a twisted way, that someone had placed that word "synthetic" before the word "opiate" to serve as a disclaimer.  To explain that this tramadol was something LESS THAN a real opiate.   That I had no reason to panic even though I was feeling early signs of dependance, tolerance and withdrawal symptoms.

But in hindsight, the fact that this is is synthetic (man made) rather than coming from the poppy fields of Afganestan did me no favors.   Because now I know that THIS drug is no less able to deliver the essence of opiate characteristics, than the synthetic oil I use in my car is able to deliver the qualities of VERY oil.   Come to think of it, synthetic oil is preferred, longer lasting, more durable and more OIL than the real thing.  


GRC, Welcome aboard mate!   Truly, there is no need to feel ashamed or embarrased.  This drug took us all down in much the same way as you described.  Your doctor no doubt told you that tramadol was a "safe, non-habit forming analgesic", huh?  Trust me, the word "synthetic" before the word OPIATE doesn't make it any less an opiate.   Why this drug is still largely unscheduled is beyond me.   Don't feel alone grc.   None of us got here by googling "my wonderful life"!!!

You described precisely the problem with this drug when you said, "I noticed that eventually I needed more in order to get the same effect."  BINGO.   BINGO. BINGO.  It's called TOLERANCE.   More and more of the drug is required to do less and less for us.  Eventually it turns on a person.  It isn't about shame or the character of the patient.   It's just chemistry.   Regardless of why we begin our tramadol journey EVERY person on the drug is faced with just three choices:  (1) stay at the same dose and experience constant withdrawal symptoms, (2) increase the dose to try to compensate for the TOLERANCE our bodies develop over time to this evil OPIATE, or (3) get off the trama-o-train.  

I chose (1) for six years and never felt WELL much after the first year or two.   It's a lousey shame, but here we are.   Over time, one requires MORE and MORE of their daily dose and even that doesn't make us feel LESS UNWELL.  Here was my gig and see if you can relate?   anyone?

First, I circled the next RX day on the calender.  And i made no out of town plans around that date.   Next, I would get up as early as possible the day before and make sure to call in my order.  Then watch the hands on the clock until until they would point to after noon the next day, when my fix (aka tramadol) was ready.   I normally call the pharmacy several times on "rx day" to see if per chance, it might be ready early.   "My wife will be in the area and I was wondering if it will be ready this morning?"    It was worth a try anyway.  

Next, I would drop whatever I was doing and pick up the drug as soon as it was filled.   And if my doctor dared to take a vacation or a pharmacist dropped the ball and it wasn't ready when scheduled, someone would hear about it.   Zero to ridiculous in a second flat.   This was deathly SERIOUS stuff.   They all may as well have been my heroin dealers.  

By the time "RX day" arrived, I was feeling very UNWELL.  I always made certain that I took a bottle of water with me because I poped several before I left the parking lot.  Although my daily dose was 400 mg/day, I was so relieved to feel well for a few days, that I would normally take 600 mg/day those first few days...or a week  And from those days on-  toward the end of my 21 day rx cycle, I was on a forced taper.   I rarely slept those last days of EVERY cycle.   (call me crazy, but I have a feeling that I am not alone here.)  

I experienced RLS, indigestion, flu like symptoms, etc. even  before I really knew they were "symptoms".   A slow learner - I was.  And by the time I arrived here, I had learned a great deal about tapers, and tolerance and withdrawal symptoms - without ever reading one single book.  

(2) As far as I know, nobody is prescribed more than the "recommended maximum daily dose" of 400 mg/day, um ethically/legally, that is.  But WALLA, in desperation some of our good friends are driven to order online.   I totally GET why it's done.   I just never figured out that COULD be done.   (I'm a little slow sometimes).   But increasing our dose to  30-50 PILLS/DAY has it's own problems as well.  Like siezure potential, death or worse.  I'v'e heard from some here, who report taking as many as 2, and in time, EVEN THESE PEOPLE WILL EVENTUALLY BEGIN TO EXPERIENCE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS.  Unless they die first.  TOLERANCE knows no upward limits as far as I know.   Increasing the dose until death or wose doesn't sound like much fun to this person.  

(((Digressing, thanks for the word on that "Trauma" show Hillbilly.  I will try to catch it.)))    

Which brings us to (3) - stopping this drug.   It isn't an easy thing to defeat this drug.   But honestly, if you re like I was when I got here, what other choice does one really have here?  Suggestions?  (silence=deafening).  But there is HOPE if we determine to make defeating this drug the most important thing in our lives for a while.  No effort short of an all out WAR will get us through - regardless of whether you decide to taper or stop cold turkey.

Google "Thomas Recipe", pick up supplies and experiment with hot bathes & epson salts, immodium AD, Hylands Restful Leg, B-12 and other products.   Yes, I bought most everything on the list , tried most all of them and I found that some actually did work.     Reading my more recent posts, some might doubt that I actually  tried this stuff...when I talk about gutting it out.   So to set the record STRAIGHT - I tried them all.

But my way out didn't come about by expecting I could find an easy softer way.  Because, I had read Emily's early journal entries (writre me if you need help finding them).  I had read the writings of one, Cadillac Jack, who warned me that except I declared WAR on the drug, I was doomed from the start.   So while I armed myself with the best remedies, I was prepared for the worst.   But in the end, even my greatest determination would fall short of the power needed to walk me out of this dependance on T.  

There is one other thing (besides remedies & WAR) THAT I didn't even find in the "Thomas Recipe".  That vital ingredient in the journey out is HOPE.   And FAITH.

Some may have difficulty in trusting in a higher power which I choose to call God.   But I knew that it would take a power greater than myself to get me out of this mess.  Because over six years, my strongest efforts and MY own power wasn't sufficient.  When I thought about it, I had to admit that there were powers greater than me.  I am not IT.   Tramadol was more powerful than me.   I had witnessed that every day for six plus years.  

So if  tramadol was a power greater than myself am I without all hope?  Gratefully, I came to believe that a power greater than myself (and TRAMADOL)  could restore me to sanity.   Frankly, the POWER I found in this room when I arrived her last November/December seemed to be sufficient.  If I believed that if I did what others did, I just might get what others got.  

The beauty of rooms like this is that they are big enough to allow another to find THEIR OWN personal faith NECESSARY  to arrive at the other side of recovery.   Nobody in these rooms becomes an apoligist for their particular religion of faith.   But I would encourage each one  to find that power greater than themselves because most assuredly, each one will require it.  Whether that power for you is a door knob, a mountain goat or a spiritual being,  the importance of finding a FAITH that works for each one cannot be ignored. Because my best efforts got me nowhere but nowhere for a long long time.


Miss Amy, it is SO great of you to stop back to let us know that there IS hope.  There IS life after tramadol.  As I recall, you arrived here with the same doubts, the same fears, the same questions, and yet the very same desire to kick this drug that new folks like Mitch (you can do this Mitch) and GRC have today.   If a new person wants to defeat this drug, do what the winners did.  Go to Miss Amy's journal by clicking on her icon, scrolling down on the left, and select "see all".  

And since Amy kindly referenced her jounral, new people, please please please begin a journal of your own.  

My mother used to tell me that we don't get 2nd chances to make a good first impression.  (thanks mom)   By extrapolition from mamma's wisdom, we don't get second chances to RECORD OUR WAY OUT from this drug either.   Begin your OWN journal entries.  Besides honoring mamma, there are other good reasons for doing so:  (1) you leave a trail for the next person after you to follow, (2) you make a record of how YOU are doing - something I found helpful to look back on myself, and (3) it's a statement of FAITH.   By recording your day one or day five, you are declaring that you have begun a journey out.   And I'll be darned if jouney doesn't sound a bit like journal.

elvadar - my oh my.   I better follow mamma's other advice here, filed under "if you can't say something...etc."    (good catch KC).

Dee Tram, why don't you suggest that your husband come on here and post himself, we'd love to hear from him?   He could grow to like us over time?  Please do extend him my love and wish him the very best in the meantime.  Remember, this journey is hard any way you cut it.  

Tramadol in any form has done NONE of us any favors.


May each one find the faith in a power greater than ourselves to walk with us out of the valley of tramadol.  It's not hopeless, it's just hard.  I believe in you.

May the peace that passes all understanding fill your hearts and minds and bodies today,


Avatar universal
by nancy652, Oct 17, 2009
Hi all...Fred, you're a hero here, once again. Thanks for saying everything that needs to be said about the T. Also, a great service to publish those links. My current goal is tracking down the published medical reports of the Dr's who sold the FDA/DEA on the idea that T was not addictive. I have some serious questions about their studies. People have asked about a lawsuit. I don't plan on going that route even though I do class action consumer work by profession. Others will choose to do what's right for them. A class action can settle, leaving little valuable information in its wake as everyone gets paid off. I didn't come here for that. I just like the idea of concerted consumer effort. I personally want to know how the drug came to be unscheduled. The evidence here is overwhelming that this drug is highly addictive, even in the short-term. I find it astounding that they could have missed that. Madtram has done an excellent job in the past of describing the chemistry. It works partially as an antidepressant. That, combined with its opiate structure, gives it a special kick and a definitive "jones" (to use a throwback term) that some descibe as worse than oxy or heroin. It is very attractive to those who suffer from panic, depression and anxiety as well.
Madtram has offered med studies to anyone who wishes to start the research. Freds got the right links. Let's start an organized group that operates next to this one. It will be for those interested in a volunteer consumer advocacy and investigation into how this happened. Fred and madtram and anyone else, where can we host a group and work together so we can post here to help with the wd and info and work in a group parallel to this one there to organize the fight and volunteer for assignments?

Let's do it.

Avatar universal
by DeeTram, Oct 17, 2009
So eloquently said. You hit the nail on the head....once again.

My husband has watched shows on TV, that I've recorded, about prescription drug abuse & dependency. After the last one he told me "No More! I will do this on my own. Don't try to 'scirpt' how I should do it". So I'm trying to back off and let him do it HIS way. This has been HIS decision. I don't want to push. But I would LOVE it if he would read these posts. Possibly some day when the withdrawls have him flat on his back. He read some posts last year when he went cold turkey. They opened his eyes. His words.... "I'm not slow.... it just takes me awhile."  

So far the tapering method is working. 5mg slow release Melotonin helps him sleep. He's able to get out everyday.
My prayers are being answered & I am so grateful.
Thank you to everyone. I wish you all well.

Avatar universal
by mitchwfsu2, Oct 17, 2009
I've been doing my research as well. It has opened up my mind and given me a deep fundamental motivation to educate others on this, and related medications such as SSRI's and MAOI's. The studies on tramadol led me into the study of the brain's neurotransmitter system... and the effect that these meds have on it. It also led me into the study of the natural amino acids recommended on this site such as tyrosine and tryptophan, and their role in the chemistry of our brain and body. It makes me ask why. Why would the medical community promote medications that inhibit the processes of our brain's natural reuptake system (which is an incredibly interesting system), before attempting to treat with supplements and diet that allow YOUR body to manage that system??? (that's probably a rhetorical question, as i am involved in the financial markets and aware of the power of the large interests, but that's off topic for here, right now at least).

Anyway, i'm on board with you Nancy, and anyone else here and elsewhere. I have a newly born motivation that could lead to very good things in the future.

p.s. It's been 52 hours since my last 50mg pill. I'm free... and the feelings from that alone are so powerful. It needs to be shared.


p.s.s. i couldn't sign in w/ my original account so i had to create a new one

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by Prospero73, Oct 17, 2009
Having lost a son to a methadone overdose 6 months ago, I am concerned about drug abuse.  However, I have a small "devil's advocate" kind of question about legislative methods for dealing with it.  Prohibition of booze was tried many years ago in this country and abandoned less than 20 years later, leaving a major crime syndicate in its wake.  I am an alcoholic, and a grateful member of AA since 1986, and I have never heard anyone in an AA meeting suggest making booze illegal or inaccessible.  Admitting that alcohol is more powerful than you is a personal decision, necessary for your own survival, with no implication that it has that kind of power over everyone.

So I'm wondering if there exists any kind of "normal" response to drugs like tramadol, methadone, oxycontin, etc., in which people will use them as prescribed for pain without increasing the dose or developing tolerance.  I have raised the issue of dosage elsewhere, and said that I consider 400 mg/day of Tramadol to be extremely high, and if doctors are prescribing them at that level, they need to be educated about the potential for addiction, and so do their patients.   If, as in the case with alcohol, perhaps 90-95% of the population can use it without becoming addicts, then perhaps education and warnings would be effective, so that the minority that have a tendency to addiction would know to leave it alone.  On the other hand, if everyone that uses it gets hooked eventually, then it needs to be classed as a poison and treated accordingly.

We do have faith (perhaps too much) in our doctors, but we also have a duty to understand ourselves.  If my doctor suggested that what I needed was a glass of bourbon at bedtime, I would probably nod politely and would certainly ignore his advice.

Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Oct 17, 2009
Polly here,
Just having a rough week, planning band jobs, race cancellation due to Um....Not feeling up to it psychologically even though IIm running 5:50s to 6 minute pace. I find theres some fogginess remaining. Physically suprisingly Im all really SOOO much better..But the Pcychological part is kicking in now. Thoughts..Thoughts. I did finally make it to a meeting..I feel better after that. Just have to take it day by day, and at moment having a hard time imagining--forever w/o that nonsense. So its mainly my brain I have to work on now..Any suggestions are welcome. Hangin in there. Should be Um...21--or so days Tram-free. And other than that wierd anxiety thing... Which I chucked. Im on and upward...Just know I feel wayyy better than I did three weeks ago!!!! I hope I feel wayy better than this three weeks from now. I have races and and am in shape to run them. Dont want to keep postponing....Starting anxiety I guess...Other stuff is going the same....
Hello Lilly, Glad to here you back!!!
Hello Fred thanks for the web-sites!!!! Im going to check em out!!!My significant other is now trying to quite smoking because of my ordeal--which is great!!!
And Im not moving for a while period!!!!
Hello Boe: nice to hear about your progress as well, you are one tough one!!!

Avatar universal
by srvblooze, Oct 17, 2009
Hello everyone,

Just thought I'd post something that's been on my mind for much of today. I'm not advocating that Traumadol (yes, I put the "u" there on purpose) be banned, nor do I sense that sentiment coming from most of the posters on here. Still, I would think that we could all come to an agreement that there needs to be truth in advertising and certainly better education for the Doctors that prescribe this stuff. I had an accident 10 years ago and the doctor gave me Percodan  - BUT - we were both, the Doctor and I, pretty clear about the consequences of my taking them A) too often B) in too high of a dosage or C) for too long. And the reason we both recognized this is because we BOTH knew that the stuff can be wildly addictive.

And, sure, there's no doubt that some people are more inclined to overdo things than others. I myself have a highly addictive personality. Others don't. Still, we all need access to the right information- patients and Doctors alike. And I'm not seeing that with Traumadol. Something is amiss here. Somebody wanted this stuff to sell in bulk and, from poring over the anguished posts on this site, it seems the bastards hit the mark.

Avatar universal
by grc2003, Oct 17, 2009
I'm discouraged.  I already took 8 today.  I felt the monster headache coming on and backed off by giving my body what it wanted.  I just feel trapped.  I want to quit, but my family does not deserve for me to be out of commission for several weeks.  Right now they are all sick with the flu and my wife really needs me to care for the girls (ages 1 and 3).  I'm going to try to limit myself to only 12 today, but I know I'll need more if i'm to get any sleep at all tonight.


PS the worst part of me is by far the psychological effects.  I am diagnosed with depression.  Coming off of the tram gives me almost suicidal thoughts.  not sure what to do.

Avatar universal
by newway, Oct 17, 2009
grc - the first time I went ct off tram - the psychological stuff almost did me in.  I also struggle with depression.  I was expecting the horrible physical stuff - but when my thoughts were so dark and uncontrollable - I was terrified and I was back on T quickly.  Don't be discouraged - read the posts, others that have been sucessfull getting off this horror have had a plan, a bit of a time table.  Trying to take time off work around the first few days, getting the amino acids, vitamins etc. necessary to make it a bit easier.  
For the first while - when I was gearing up to quit - I went a number of weeks where I was just happy that I didn't increase my dose.  I took the lowest amount in my "normal range"
If you have a Dr you trust - dicuss the depression with them - there may be a way to keep that stable for you.
It is a process - it doesn't come easy for any one - many of us make numerous attempts until we break free.
Hang in there
hang in there - keep posting

prospero - I understand the devils advocate roll - but in this case I think you have missed what most are saying on this site.
I have never complained about being addicted to percocet to my Dr. who prescribed it to me years ago - my Dr., the pharmasist and the warning handed out with the pills made it clear what would happened if taken too long etc.  I am also a member of AA - and have never felt as though the Beer store had misrepresented itself.  No one made me drink.

What my main concern is (and many others on this site if I may be so bold) I was told Tramadol was not addictive - I specifically asked my Dr. who insisted that this was a safe drug for me - knowing my addictive personality.  The pharmacist never took me aside and warned me of this drug -as they had done with tylenol 3.  The insert on the product itself held no information that would cause me to worry.  If I had known that this drug was habit forming, would affect my mood and energy level and that the withdrawal from even prescribed amounts would be pure h*ll - I would not have taken it.

I know the path of addictions -I have lost a brother in law to alcohol - he was 41 and left behind a beautiful 9 year old daughter.  I myself am and addict and an alcoholic.  I blame no one for who I am, the roads I have traveled - and I know I am the one who has to get to meetings and is responsible for my sobriety.

My issue with Tramadol - people are being mislead.  People a suffering a great deal because the drug companies are trying to make the almighty dollar.

Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Oct 18, 2009
Polly her saying good night...I take full responibility for taking advantage of what was meant to be short term!!!FYI..
Anyway...21 days, 22 in and hour and half!!!! I actually had a really good day for once, I did my bike traning, and running miles and I was realy invigorated for the first time in weeks since all that detoxing!!! I wet from a crawl-jog to a peppy work out...Also got some house work and some bills, and some of my wrtitings done....
Hope all are well...Be tough.....
New day to wake up and wonder,,"what does god have for me today?" "what can I do with what he gave me?" Instead of.....When ,,when will my life be perfect...PROGRESS__NOT PERFECTON.........
Luvs, hugs.

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by madtram, Oct 18, 2009
As a libertarian, I am against banning anything that is a matter of personal choice & no direct harm to others.  However, for this system to work we must have access to factual information.  There is a lot at stake for tramadol's manufacturers in the drug not being classified as "just another opiate", particularly as for many people it is not nearly as effective as straight opiates in controlling pain.

In addition, the mono-amine inhibitory effects of tramadol, (the antidepressant elements) are not widely publicised which means that people are surprised to learn they are also detoxing from an anti-depressant, but also that those who have had adverse reactions to various anti-depressants in the past, are not given the opportunity to make an informed choice about tramadol.

Also playing devil's advocate, while agreeing that big pharma is primarily motivated by profit, I don't agree that all their products are unnecessary or solely as a result of ulterior motives.  We still know very little about brain chemistry but it's not just a matter of increasing one or more neurotransmitters which can be assisted by some of the amino acids.  The level of reuptake also limits the volume of neurotransmitters that remain circulating in the blood stream.  For some people, flooding the brain with serotonin for example, does not relieve depression one iota because their brains compensate by increasing the level of reuptake.  For these people, the serotonin reuptake inhibitors were a miracle discovery & while I think it's always worth trying the amino acids as a first option, (more subtle & less side effects), they don't work for everyone's brain chemistry.

At this point, we simply don't know the percentage of people who have tolerance or addiction problems with tramadol as there are no sufficiently long term studies.  I agree with Fred & Nancy, there is worthy work to be done.

Warrior cries,


Avatar universal
by nancy652, Oct 18, 2009
M, I just pm'd you. Fred, I commented on our new research forum. Thank you both! Let me know, both of you, if you got my info and Fred, I'll put a welcome post up on the other forum when I get settled in here this morning.

I too am a libertarian. I am of the opinion that the scheduling system in the US is, at best, politically driven, and at worst, corrrupt. The FDA has its own issues. One of those issues is oversight. They certainly try to oversee our activites, as does the DEA, doggedly and to the disadvantage of people who need legitimate pain relief. I am not anti-doctor, either. They are hampered by the same scheduling system and in some cases unfairly targeted for their prescribing patterns.

What I am against is hyposcrisy. How did a synthetic opiate escape scheduling? We cannot even get codeine cough syrup in the US without practically having pneumonia. So what's up with tramadol?

Madtram has discussed the unique chemistry of this drug as well. This kind of hybrid opiate/antidepressant has presented some devilish problems when it comes to wd. Let's look at that in detail. Let's research the research.

This forum, which Emily so generously started, is our home. Fred has generously helped me set up another one for research.
I need to post this note so I can post the link. What I'll do is write a welcome post and then put the link here when I'm done with my morning routine.

A new day.


Avatar universal
by TRAMMAN999, Oct 18, 2009
I have been around this site for a few months and have had ups and downs - mainly downs. Thank you to all those people who have given advice and support.I have can admit to this board that I am actually sneaking extra Tram above my taper. (Tram that is hidden) A sort of confirmation that I can't hack it! I don't think I can do taper. I have dropped from a great height.  If it was extremely slow, then maybe. The Dr is pushing too hard - no pain, no gain sort of approach. I am down to (supposedly)  250mg/day. (more like 350 to 400mg average). Big problem is Doc only prescibes exact number of 50mg capsules - Say, 40 for the week   -    and my hidden supply is running out!!!!

People around me and the Dr (psychiatrist actually) are totally against me going c/t.

I can't get it across to them that I can't bear this taper/withdrawal much longer. It doesn't feel like a taper. I am USELESS. I can't do anything.
I probably will go c/t in the near future if I can get a period on my own and have no one bothering me or to think about.
My fear is that I get to say Day 2 and don't make it. I think the consequences would be serious - confidence, emphasising the fact that I am an addict etc etc. And, no doubt, the Dr would wash his hands. (maybe rightly so).[the humiliation of failure after his strong advice not to go c/t.

I have actually bought multi vitamins & minerals. Omega 3,6,& 9. Vitamin C. L Tyrosine. B6. Immodium. Paracetamol. So I am kind of preparing my mind and method of attack.
I will post if I go for it. I am seeing the Dr on Thursday - I reckon he will push me one step to far!!!

You 'experienced' ex-addicts can maybe help me with advice and additions to my list of ammunition before I go to war!? And who knows I could be an ex-addict myself within 4 or 5 days!! OoooooH - the thought.   .......    HELP!!!!!!!!!!

Avatar universal
by srvblooze, Oct 18, 2009
Congratulations TRAMMAN999. I did Traumadol for about 2 1/2 years and I just finally decided that tapering wasnt going to work. My Doctor wanted me to Taper but I told her in no uncertain terms that I would NOT be doing that, so she prescribed me Chlorpheniramine for the nasal problems you'll have, Immodium for the diarrrea, B complex vitamins along with a good multi-vitamin, Some 596 mg Potasssium tabs and the amino acids you spoke of in your post. She also gave me a light doseage of Diazepam (Valium)  and some Imovane to help me sleep sleep at night. All that and you're three days in hell can at least be a little more managemeable. I'm on day 7 and, other than rampant insomnia, I feel great.




Avatar universal
by nancy652, Oct 18, 2009
ok, it's offical. Come join us on the Tramadol research and advocacy group! Thanks Fred and madtram!   We wanted to keep Emily's site for the support that people really, really need when they try to wd and not try to distract from that all-important mission. The research site is for when you feel like you want to advocate with us. Please check it out when you're ready.

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by Ceebow, Oct 18, 2009
I've been steadily prescribed tramadol since 1995, when an Air Force doctor said, "We have a new medication, it's non-narcotic and not addictive, and it works well." I had seriously hurt my back, was misdiagnosed, blah-blah, have had numerous surgeries and a couple that were botched, and I deal with severe pain daily.  Tramadol is one of the drugs in my arsenal against pain, so I can just move around and do, you know, those normal things people without pain do.

Unfortunately, I have had to take more and more tramadol to get the same effects.  What's weird is that hasn't happened with other opiates, just with the tramadol.  To be honest, I prefer it to other opiates, or I did. (That part comes later) I was up to, and I counted after reading other people's posts here, up to probably 400mg 4 times a day, for a total of 1600 mg, and I bet there were times I took more than that.  I've had seizures and just kind of figured, "Well... oh well.  I'll just take a few less tram and it'll be fine."  It was fine for 5 years, and then I had another seizure.  Again, I rationalized and thought, "Well, instead of 7 I'll take 6, and then I'll take a couple in an hour to bring the tramadol back up in my system...."

Then on October 7th, I was rushed by an ambulance to the hospital, with my heart pounding out of my chest.  I had had a heart attack, and was in the hospital for several days undergoing tests.  I asked, "Could this be from the tramadol??"  Nope, there's no way, I was told.  I didn't believe that, so for 10 days, I had my youngest, and she can be very bossy, hold on to my tramadol and ration it out to me.  I could have done it myself, MAYBE, but she liked feeling in charge, I think.  (She's 16 and HATES drugs of all kind, which is good, but I think she got that way watching me over the years)  I took my last one pill last night, and have done all right with the cravings, but wow... I hate the diarrhea, the fears that come over me so quickly, and most of all, I hate what I call the "tramadol zings".  Does anyone else get those when you are coming off tramadol?  It feels like electrical shocks going through my lips, the back of my head, my hands, and, oh, I HATE it.  I don't know of anything that makes those go away.  

I'm not sure, honestly, if I'll stay off tramadol.  I hope so, but even as I write this, I can feel the urge to count the days until I can get my prescription.  It does help with pain, but it's definitely an addictive drug, that's for sure.  And like I said in the beginning of this post, I've had no troubles taking other narcotics correctly, or in going off a medication if necessary.. except for tramadol.  It's as if this medication has stolen my soul, and I didn't see it coming.  So, I'm going to try to stay off it.  I don't want another heart attack, but you know, the more time passes, the more I think, "Well, it wasn't from the tramadol, the doctor's said!  It must be okay to take it."  I know I'm wrong.


Avatar universal
by sandie19771, Oct 18, 2009

Been awhile since I've been here.

Really didn't want to come back either.

Not here because I fell off the wagon or anything.  I havent counted how many days I've been "sober", I just know that I am. I had posted most frequently in April and early May when I was detoxing from 8-10 pills a day down to nothing. That was a hard road, and mainly I did it alone. Not an easy task. I work at a women's prison and anytime I see an inmate start on Tramadol because of its "wonderful pain control" I want to scream. I try to talk to the inmates and tell them its not worth being on, but as you can imagine its like talking to a brick wall. Most of them are there because of drug abuse.

Anyways... I got off the beaten track.

Why I am writing to you is tell you what my doctor told me at my anual check up. Your gonna love this one!

He asked me how I am doing. I told him extremely tired all the time and I have a back ache. (do to a bladder infection). He then re read my chart and asked how am I doing with the Tramadol. I told him, "um, doc, I called the office back in May and told them to place in my chart that I am quitting and I need not have prescription renewed."

He then listened to my heart, and asked me how fast did I come off med?

I said a little over 6 weeks.

He flipped...

He stated that I have an irregular heart rate, and it is due to me coming off so quickly of tramadol, explained that my body has went into shock, and I need to be put back on it immediately albeit a small dose of 50mg twice a day.

My jaw dropped...

"What?" I said.

He said the same thing again, only slower as though I was a mentally challenged individual that needed guidance and reassurance.

He wants me to follow up in three weeks and tell him how I am doing. He is so sure that my fatigue is because of the "shock" I put my body into.

Let me remind the general audience here that I have been tramie free for approx 5 months.

My doctor may be right about my irregular heart beat, and that may be something I need to look into a little further, I'll give him that. BUT WTF?!

Has anyone here had a doctor say that to them?

He gave me a script to renew tramadol.

I threw it away.

Other then being really tired, I feel better. My neck gets stiff on occasion, managed by motrin. I dont have RLS anymore, or the sweats or cold chills, or brain zaps, or dizzyness. I am very high strung now, instead of being the usual "drag my *** around the world person type"

But believe me when I say, it ***** detoxing and I feel for everyone on here and not here that I KNOW WHAT YOUR GOING THROUGH!"

Good luck, godbless, and I will check in from time to time.

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by madtram, Oct 19, 2009
Hi Sandie, WTF indeed.  I can't conceive of the "scientific" reasoning applied by your doctor.  Is he proposing that tramadol causes cardiac damage?   Will he be reporting that as an adverse drug reaction?  As for trying to get you dependent again after five months tramadol free??!

I'm sorry that you have to deal with this.  I haven't come across any clinical reports of tramadol causing arrythmias during use or withdrawal, (although in 2005, some researchers proposed a theoretical mechanism by which it could happen).  It's therefore puzzling as to what evidence your doctor relied on when reaching, (jumping to?), this conclusion.

None the less, it's worth checking out all unexpected cardiac  symptoms just to be sure, but any chance you can do it through another doctor?

Ceebow, your heart condition may or may not be related but as for the seizures, there's a ton of evidence that tramadol causes these.  What if you happen to be behind the wheel when the next one strikes.  You have an investment in the tapering you have achieved, please don't start up again.  I have to remind you that ramping up your dose again suddenly from a basis of zero will also radically increase your risk of another seizure.

I understand the challenges of pain control but if you can take other opiates without problems, why not stick with those?

Leaving aside the potential for psychological addiction, once you have hit physical tolerance with any opiate, you can't get no satisfaction.

Hugs to all in withdrawal.


Avatar universal
by nancy652, Oct 19, 2009
Sorry everyone, but I made a mistake in posting the previous link. I am replacing it with a new one, which I hope works. The other link was only a test, but in my weary state this morning, I misread something. Apologies to all concerned and thank to those who are trying to help me.
So, let's try this:

Sorry for the confusion. This link should take you to my journal which is now dedicated to tramadol research and advocacy. I wanted us to have a place to discuss research so we wouldn't interrupt the important work here that people must do with wd. The new site is meant to be an additional resource for you should you wish to discuss medical and legal issues with tramadol.

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 19, 2009
Congratulations Sandy on your new clean life.This may be basic but low b12 levels can also cause heart palpitations and of course tiredness.I hope the doctor is checking this and if not you can take it anyway.You can not really overdo it with b12 and I suggest methylcobalamin 1000 mcg under the tongue dailyJust popped in to see how everyone is doing and love to all..Off to work now

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by Lillyval, Oct 19, 2009
Sandie I can't believe a doctor would try to put you back on tram after 5 months clean!  Especially after all you suffered through to get off.  Even if there's any truth to his theory, why put you back on it to find out?  Yikes.  Good for you throwing that script away.

Cindy, I agree with madtram - those seizures are too much to risk.  If you haven't had a problem with other pain meds it's safer to use them, while staying mindful of their addictive properties.  You've been through a lot - I wish you health and healing.

Nancy - you rock.  Thanks for starting the other forum.  Many of us have tallked about it but no one took any action until now.

Everyone hang in there and keep fighting.  The longer I distance myself from tram the more I recognize the damage it did to me physically, emotionally and spiritually.  It's truly some scary s**t!  Just last week a good friend of mine, who knows about my addiction, was prescribed tram for pain.  I wanted to scream.  How many people are starting on that stuff every day?  It's really disturbing.
Peace everyone,

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by Ceebow, Oct 19, 2009
What you say makes sense, Madtram, and you are right.  I don't know why I keep going back to tramadol.  (I've gone off before, cold turkey, and stayed away for several weeks, but went back) Practically, it's much cheaper than other forms of opiates, and I can get a large amount for a very little bit of money, whereas, the opiates I take are much more expensive.  The pain relief I get with both tramadol and a more powerful opiate, like Opana, is so much better than pain relief I get alone.  In reality, all I'm doing is justifying, and I know it.  The tramadol zings seems less today, so that's good.  I'm drinking lots of water and taking vitamins, which might not help, but make me feel a little better.  2 days free of tramadol.

I'm trying.  One minute, one hour, one day at a time.


Avatar universal
by nancy652, Oct 19, 2009
ok we're officially back with the new site. madtram has emailed me some fantastic medical studies on Tram. I am going through them - there is alot of material, so she must have been studying like mad! ha madtram!
So I'll figure out how to distill some of the info for you, or perhaps we can figure out a way to make an online library. If anyone can offer computer support as to how to do a couple things, I'll be off and running (sorry again Fred!) Maybe I can hijack my husband away from his computer to get him to do some work for us.
by hook or crook, we'll get it done. I crack myself up today. I think I'm happy that we're all met up Emily's great space to be together when we were so alone before. Thanks again to all and see above if you need the link.

Avatar universal
by Trying_so_Hard, Oct 19, 2009
Hi again to all-

I just wanted to chime in, and give an update on a slow taper success story.

I am about 7 days off tram, and did it slow taper after a traumatic experience going cold turkey. I was taking 2- 50s in the AM, and 1.5 -50s in the PM at the height. (So, 175 mg for the total day). At the very very end, I was down to one QUARTER of a 50 mg pill a day, so only 12.5 mg in the AM only. I had asked the group if there would still be a melt down after I stopped this tiny dose completely. I am happy to report that for me, there was NO crazy drop off after the last dose. I was expecting *something* to happen, but nothing happened. I expected to hit some terrible wall, and to suffer terribly through my first days off the tram after my last slow taper installment. However, I am happy to report that nothing happened after my last one quarter of a pill. I had stayed at that last one quarter of a pill dose for a week, to adjust to it.

I honestly believe it was far easier doing a SLOW taper, than going cold turkey. By slow, I mean reducing by a qurter of a 50 mg pill at a time (12.5 mg reductions)  and giving yourself 5-7 days to adjust to it. S-L-O-W. These Drs that have no experience with Tram withdrawls that are giving people fast taper schedules have no idea what they are doing. I think in some Drs minds, they think Tram is like Tylenol. "Oh, you want me to help you off this stuff? OK. How about take your 8 today, then 7 tomorrow, then 6 the next day until you get to zero. Sound good?" Umm, no. Not good. That is the perfect scenario for borrowing tomorrow's dose today.

I wanted to feel as little withdrawl symptoms as physically possible. I am a wuss. CT whooped my be-hind. I wanted the easy way out. For me, that was going so slow, that I wouldn't feel the difference between taking 2 pills or taking 1 and 3/4 of a pill the next time (then staying with that qurter of a pill reduction for 5-7 days). They key in my experience is to go so slow, that you don't feel the reduction, then staying with that for the 5-7 days. It worked. Nothing dramatic happened going this route, and I am happy to say I am a week off of the Tram.

I hope this encourages anyone who is looking for info on a slow taper that it can absolutely be done, and it is far less painful that CT. The only determining factor is your will to stick with it.

Good luck to all, on whatever path you find helps you :)

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by iontheprize, Oct 19, 2009
Hi All.  I've been in hiding for a while.  Thank you to those who have sent emails and notes; they mean so much!  I just read some posts; a lot of new warriors!  

I just wanted to let you all know that I am "OK".  I don't have any days under my belt anymore, but will sometime soon.  I am not taking nearly the amount I used to (up to 20 per day) and will not let myself get anywhere close to that.  However, I am taking several per day.  So, I again will have some stories to share once I clean up my act again.

I'm so happy for all of you who are fighting the good fight; sometimes it's minute by minute.  All moments of the fight are significant and an accomplishment for which to carry pride.


Avatar universal
by keb777, Oct 19, 2009
Goodevening Everyone, Welcome to some of the new folks, we are glad you found this forum as it is a tremendous support system.  I am day 16 free of Tram and everyday is better and new!  (i was on 3-4 50mg per day & w/d's were still horrible!)  I saw my PC Dr. today and took him A LOT of reading material as this is "new" info to him.  He was supportive and interested in "our" stories.  I told him that my "leg aches" had gotten better since I've been off tram, and that I believed that my body was in constant w/d's since it was worse right before I was due to take one.  That particular leg pain was not the original reason I started tram but he increased my dose from 50mg to 150mg since none of the other meds helped.  I also told him I  didn't feel like I was on the verge of a headache everyday!  I am so glad Nancy has began this research, because I am on board and collecting info as well.  

I stated the above, not to ramble, but to put the info out there because tram can effect people in different ways, but it has a lot of very similar side effects, that my dr. never caught.  I figured it out by reading this forum and deciding to quit and see what happened.  Well, my life is coming back and I don't feel the peaks and valleys like I did on tram.  

My prayers are with everyone and keep posting:  As I have stated, KNOWLEDGE is POWER!

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Oct 20, 2009
Cindy,   You said, "Practically, it(TRAMADOL)'s much cheaper than other forms of opiates, and I can get a large amount for a very little bit of money, whereas, the opiates I take are much more expensive.  The pain relief I get with both tramadol and a more powerful opiate, like Opana, is so much better than pain relief I get alone.  In reality, all I'm doing is justifying, and I know it."  

First off, congrats on 2 days clean.    Please don't take this the wrong way, but when you were giving your pound per pound analysis above, all I could think of was how cheap rat poison is.   Sorry, it just struck me funny!

To say it straight up as you are doing now IS progress.  Keep coming back regardless of where you are at.   This is a place of help, understanding, and healing.  A virtual hospital for the tramadol afflicted.  

Sandie,  I totally am so glad that you tossed the rx.   If you are concerned about your arrythmia, try to get in to see a cardiologist.  If your six week taper caused an adverse cadiac arrythmia, people like me who successfully stopped taking this drug cold turkey ought to be dead then?  But guess what?  I feel FAR better now than I did at any time I was taking the drug.  

Tell me again how long your good doctor had you "on" tramadol?    As Madtram asked, is he now going to report your "adverse reaction"  and stop prescribing it to his other patients?   Crazy.

Trying-so-hard,   What a nice success story you shared.   The IMPOSSIBLE becoming POSSIBLE.   I am so happy for you.     Keep coming back since your story means so much to the new person visiting here.  We all need one another.

Jessica,  Welcome back!   The reality is that very few of us were "healed" of our tramadol problem when we came here originally (or returned as you have now).   I would venture to guess that 90% of everyone finding this place don't even post at all.   They read, consider, and return to their tramadol dependant lives.   And this is not to discredit anyone else who finds us, considers attempting to become tram free, and returns to their tram lives.   This drug is one powerful taco.

Tonight I am extremely grateful for the unmerited favor that enabled me to find my way when none seemed possible.  

Faith...hope...belief...expecting the miracle of recovery.    

You guys are ALLmy heros.  Fred

Avatar universal
by srvblooze, Oct 20, 2009
Hey everyone,

I'm on day 9 without Traumadol and the withdrawl symptoms are gone...all but the insomnia, that is. My Doc gave me 7 nights worth of Amitriptyline to get me to sleep and I tried it for the first time last night. It worked, I slept, but this morning I felt like I'd been run over by a train. Not pleasant and, to be honest, I'm feeling like it's just one more drug I'm taking and I REALLY want to be free of pills.

Anyone else out there have experience with amitriptyline? Also, what about using melatonin supplements? Has anyone had success with that?

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by madtram, Oct 20, 2009
It's great that all your other symptoms are gone, (did you notice the Pollyanna like focus on the positive?).

As for my personal experience with insomnia, all I can tell you is what didn't work for me, which was everything, (tried melatonin, herbs, kava, antihistamines, meditation, hypnosis....)

What did work was Imovane but you are well off that IMO as it worked so well for me, I kept taking it & as it is essentially a benzo, I ended up with benzo withdrawals when I came off it.

Amitriptyline will zonk out all but the most manic.  Better options may be trazodone or remeron which do have the desired nocturnal sopirific effects but seem to leave more people clear headed during the day.

Valerian, kava & melatonin have each worked for some people & have no significant side effects so are always worth trying.

Best wishes,


Avatar universal
by Hillbilly47, Oct 20, 2009
Great job on 9 days!

I had good results with melatonin and tylenol pm.  But, since I started this ride, I've been dead-set on avoiding all prescription meds.

Avatar universal
by TRAMMAN999, Oct 20, 2009
Thank you very much for your advice and support. I am squaring up to have a bash at cold turkey in a couple of days. It really is the doctor (psychiatrist) that has pushed me over the edge. A taper I agreed to was a slow taper because I know me – he doesn’t,  and doesn’t know the extreme problems of Tramadol. It is so easy for ‘anyone’ to sit a write out a taper plan, in theory, on paper. In other words the taper is far too steep. I feel rotten and useless all the time.
I guess I probably won’t even be able to get to my computer, so will not be in communication for a while. If and when I am able I will post. Hopefully with good news!!!!
I have all my ammunition ready and have sleeping pills – my mirtazapine (which helps me sleep) and all the things I listed in my last post. (18th October above). Any other advice on ‘ammunition’ would be welcome.  Maybe Suboxone is an alternative, but I’ll give this all I’ve got first.  One of my biggest problems, which no one mentions is the extremely debilitating ‘ill cold’ right through my body. I have big overcoats on in the house – maybe even in bed when I jump!!
I’d like to thank Chrissie, Keb, madtram, Lillyval and srvblooze for their extremely useful advice and much needed support. It so does help to know that someone “who knows” is thinking and supporting you.
Thank you to everyone who has contacted me with concern and support. It is very much appreciated.
And Keb a little prayer would perhaps right at this time.

Avatar universal
by sustarr, Oct 20, 2009
I am new here, I have been reading everyones posts & just been crying. I have been on Tramadol for 6yrs, I just had grad mal seizure 5 days ago, I was taking 20-25 pills a day. I would not wish this on my enemy what I am going through!. I am on Clonapin anto seizure meds, but every day it is geetting worse for me. This is a great place for help & support Thanks Sue

Avatar universal
by newway, Oct 20, 2009
Welcome Sue,

Most of us came here a mess, not knowing where to turn.  Keep reading, keep posting - the experiences of others will help you find your way.  The support here is great - everyone knows what you are going through.

I smiled when I read Fred's estimate of how many people read this forum and go back to their tram filled lives.  My first visit here was almost a year ago - I read a bit for a few days, but was so keen on finding the differences between "you people" and myself - that I eleminated belonging to this "group"  
If I could only have that year back - to be tram free now!!  
I encourage people to keep reading - even if you have no intention on doing anything about your tram use.  When I looked up this forum a few months ago - I still really had no intention of doing anything.  Looking things up on the internet usually satisfies my internal "I have to do something about my miserable life" panic.  I've looked it up - there - I've done something!
I am not one of those tackle a personal problem head on kind of gals.  When it comes to emotions, feelings, personal stuff - I will look for ways to ignore, go around, under, over etc. - anything but work through the problem!  I am completely opposite in my business life,  I have no patience for unresolved issues, I am direct, assertive and a problem solver.  Things don't have to be solved in an instant - but I have to at least be moving forward.

Oddly, I am the one my family and friends turn to, to lean on.  To help them sort our their personal issues - kind of ironic.
Of course they have no idea of my struggles - they see me as the "rock"

I am on a slow taper right now - but I can relate to the insomnia that many are dealing with.  I am exhauseted by around 2 in the afternoon - and often will sleep (I work from home) for a good two hours in the afternoon.  This is a deep sleep, like I have never experienced before.  I have always been a light sleeper - but in the afternoon - I don't even hear the phone ring.
Then when I go to bed at around 11pm - I toss and turn.  I have no idea why I am so exhausted during the day - and sleep comes easily - then - as soon as I try to sleep at night - no go.  I have tried to not sleep during the day for over a week or so - to see if that helps - but it didn't - I was just an awake zombie during the day, and more frustrated not sleeping at night.

Tram - try and post if you can - get as much support as you can for the withdrawal.  I am looking at doing the same thing shortly - hang in there.

Avatar universal
by Hillbilly47, Oct 20, 2009
Go for it, Tramman.  If my pill-head self could do it after nearly 10 years, then you can too!  I found the taper to be very uncomfortable, which is why I just flushed pills and went CT.  That was 35 days ago and I couldn't be happier about it.  Just remember that nothing worthwhile is easy.  

Insofar as ammo is concerned, I've been trying to combat WD with lots and lots of exercise, along with lots of vitamins (multi-v, full-spectrum B, A, C, D, fish oil, magnesium, calcium, potassium, st. john's wort, 5-htp and ginseng), ibuprofen for aches and pains, imodium for bowel issues (lopameradine) and, for sleep, melatonin and tylenol pm.  

My biggest problems after day 4 were RLS and bowels, but both have mostly resolved.  Stick with the plan, Tramman, and I assure you brighter days are ahead.

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by Ceebow, Oct 20, 2009
Day 3 of being completely free.

Finally Fred, you are absolutely right, and I know it, logically.  There's the stupid, addicted side of my brain that justifies the tramadol.  Quitting tramadol, for me, is harder than when I quit smoking (which I just did, cold turkey,  no problems), it's more difficult than when I didn't have health care for awhile, and went off the percocet I'd been on for 5 years.  I had no problems with those things.  But with Tramadol, the side effects from withdrawal are so horrific, I just can't explain it to people, so I was glad to find this website where there are many people who know exactly what I'm saying.

I absolutely hate the bowel problems, and have gone through so much immodium AD I should buy stock in it, I swear!  I'm taking a wide variety of vitamins, as well as MagOx because I get horrible leg cramps and it helps so much, and I bought some Epsom salts yesterday on the basis of posts here.  I'm also drinking a lot of water to try to flush my system.  I've been on these pills for 14 years.  They have me hook, line, and sinker, but I'm trying to escape.

Sustarr,  Please hang in there.  Yes, it is awful at first.  I'm still going through withdrawal, but honestly, it does get a little better each day.  Try to follow some of the advice given here, as far as things like vitamins, drinking water, exercise, epsom salts, etc.  I don't know what clonopin does exactly, but could it be making you more depressed, do you think?  


Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Oct 20, 2009
Hi guys!!Polly here
Im up and at em, its around day 23 or so I need to really count better. the 24th of September was my quit day.  It actually took all the way till this last Sunday , Monday Tuesday, for me to not just feel better ( not alllll the way being a very expectant runner) but better in the body area took like 21/2 weeks for me. Then came my brain, ah yes, me and my brains....with 2 masters degrees you would think Id have some left brain action going on..Any way, it took three goin on four before my brains didnt feel like they were in a fog. svdblooze???I may have spelled that wrong, but very very AWSOME job!!! It just goes up from here.
I have no idea but the idea that I just got through even that part, with you guys help!!! Made me feel like I had an 'investment" and dont EVER want to go through that again. But its more than that , I have to go on a trip to visit my grandparents they are slowing down and my brain is just starting to feel somewhat naturally happy, ( I think its the boyfriend thing thats buggin me mostly) but my grandmother isnt well. We will be there ( my mother and I) a week. And, Im already sad, the last time I lost a grandmother I lost wayyy too much weight and turned mute. I realize I was 14, but I don't have a place in my brain for people passing.. I hate to even say it..Im so glad I get to go spend this time with them. Im soo looking forward to it..
That being said, my brains are finally improving, however--Im worried about the fact that my grandparents have been injured, they both had strokes, there may be medicine all over, I may have to give them some ect.ect.Ahh. The worry is mind boggling.
So Iv been reading a 12 step book for the first time ever, I think I need a plan now for this part of the program, now that thats done what about this kind of thing?? Temptation? Binges? I in no way think Im out of the woods just because I 'FEEL"  better.
Im on top of journaling, talking to my support system, the thing that troubles me now is "killing the obsession".
The physical part is one thing. Its time to kill the obsesssion. I have a sense that this may take a bit longer, than the physical part... But Im ready, got a hammer!!!!Im gonna fight, just wasnt expecting it, especially since that at the cabin stunk!!!
God bless!! Good luck!!! You all rock!!!

Avatar universal
by DeeTram, Oct 20, 2009
sustarr    Welcome!  So sorry to hear about your experience on Tram.  I'm so glad you've found this site. Everyone on here has a unique story to tell.  Use whatever will help you to defeat this enemy. Contact us, post a comment, whatever helps you through this. We're here for you.

Trying_so_Hard    You are NOT a wuss.  I consider you very SMART. You know your body and what you can handle. I'm curious.... did you have access to the pills?  I'm amazed at your will power. Good for you!  7 days off Tram.... I can't wait for the day I can post that.  Your slow taper sounds exactly like what we are doing.
A year ago my husband went CT. It was awful and he was back on the Tram within a month.  That led to him ordering them online since his Dr. would not renew the Rx after I tattled on his abuse.  (good Dr.)   My husband started his slow taper 1 week ago. He gave me his pills because he knew if he had possession that he would take more than needed. He started at 400 mg but when he gave me the pills he told me to give him 4   50mg  pills (200mg) a day. Tomorrow he will get 3 pills a day for the next week. He's going to spread them out - morning, noon & night to avoid the drop offs.  I don't consider my husband a wuss. I saw the pain and anguish he went through going cold turkey. That was an eye opener and at the time it was probably what he needed. I believe all things happen for a reason.

srvblooze     9 days Tram Free!  woo hoo!  I can't wait til we can say that. (around mid Nov.)  
Mr. DeeTram has been taking 5mg slow release Melatonin at bedtime. This has helped tremendously.  Around 3 am he usually starts coughing. He keeps lemon/honey cough drops by the bed. They help.

He did tell his friend (who was giving him some Trams before the taper) not to give him any more.  I'm praying this friend (who is active in AA for alcohol abuse)  will not give him any when he asks for some. My husband fears that his friend will give him some if he asks for them.  Mr. DeeTram is afraid he doesn't have the will power to stay off. He's highly aware of the HOLD this drug has on him.  That's a good thing.

I am here to say Tramadol affects the whole family - not just the person swallowing the pill. WE are doing a slow taper & WE are SLOWLY getting our NORMAL life back.  I'm slowly getting the respect back that I used to have for my husband. I couldn't even look at him when he was taking 10, 12, 15 pills a day.  He's now talking about taking a cross country trip in Jan.  Yea!  
So much to look forward to. We're taking Baby Steps.
Putting the past behind us.
Good luck to all. Your stories are inspiring. Take Care.

Avatar universal
by grc2003, Oct 20, 2009
I'm really inspired by all of your stories.  I'm down to 9 per day from 16 per day and I have a long way to go, but this feed really encourages me.

So, I have a question:  How long were you all on this stuff and at the height how much were you taking?  I've been on it for one year and was taking 16/day of the 50 mg pills.  But now I'm fighting and reducing in a hurry.

- grc

Avatar universal
by Hillbilly47, Oct 20, 2009
I was on it for almost 10 years.  Usually, I took about 16 per day, but often went over 20 (not much for counting, you know).  Once you get down to around 6 per day, you might start to notice withdrawal symptoms.  That's the level I had reached in about 20 days of tapering, but after a few days of withdrawing anyway, I just jumped cold turkey.  Now, at 35 days, I can't say its easy, but I can say its worth it.  My main motivator now is to never go through the withdrawal experience again.

Avatar universal
by Trying_so_Hard, Oct 20, 2009
I had been on them for 3 years, and my most was 4 pills a day (50 mg each).

I had and still have full access to the pills. I have probably 50-75 left....haven't counted. They will be in the toilet, soon.

My motivation, is that I am finally pregnant, after waiting a long time. For me, the very slow taper was easier by far than the cold turkey. If I had the full withdrawl symptoms the entire 6ish weeks I tapered, then I would have probably jumped ship and tried cold turkey under supervision, perhaps with an alternative rx to help me get off the tram.

My dh used to work in a pain clinic, counseling those trying to get off. He was my biggest supporter. He was the one telling me it had to be *REALLY* slow, to give my brain a chance to adjust. He said when Drs wean patients too fast, the vast majority are not successful. He was non judgemental, which helped so much as I felt like such a bad mommy for still being on them while being newly pregnant.

When I found out I was pregnant, I immediately called my OB/GYN to inform him of the Tram, and of my plan to wean. He did what I had mentioned earlier: told me to simply taking one less pill every day....because it is just that simple, right? Hahahaha.  I knew then that he had zero experience with Tram. Luckily, I had a full bottle of it, so that I could be in control of my wean. If HE was the one rationing them out to me, and insisting on a steep taper, I would have ditched it for cold turkey.

Because I first experienced 5 days of cold turkey, and now the very slow taper, I can say for me, that I am happy with the results of the extremely slow taper. If it had been 6 weeks of suffering, I would have ditched it in a NY minute for the cold turkey. However, my psychological sufferings were so severe, that I would have most definitely needed an alternate rx to get me off the Tram. Going very very slow taper allowed my brain to re-adjust, thereby avoiding adding a new rx to the mix.

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by booba77, Oct 20, 2009
I am so glad that the support system is so large on this site.  I  have been taking trams for about 3 years and am up to about 25 a day.  ~ have to take that many just to feel normal.  I quit when I had a seizure years ago and now am back ordering online.  i am a working mom of a 4 year old.  I have to quit.  i dont know whether to taper or not.  i went cold turkey before and it was the worst.  the emotional hell was what did me in.  I now have internet on my phone and will be on regular from now on.  my husband cannot know.  i have no one to talk to, but reading ur posts has given me hope and inspiration.  i am proud of all of you who are in the process of quitting and hope to be as brave as you soon as i go through it as well.  my family deserves a better wife and mother.  i deserve a better life.  these pills are the devil.  i look forward to joining all of you in improving my life and providing and obtaining support.

Avatar universal
by nancy652, Oct 20, 2009
Welcome, booba. We have all been where you are and we are mothers, wives, internet orderers, desperate like you to quit. It can be done and you do indeed deserve your spirit back. You can get it, too and I hope this forum helps you as much as it helped me and so many others.

Avatar universal
by Hillbilly47, Oct 20, 2009
Welcome, indeed, booba.  I too had no one to talk to before I found this board (can't talk to spouse, work or anyone).  In fact, here is still the only place I can share this experience.  That said, I lurked around and read this board for months before I finally got the nerve to post anything. You've made a better start than I did just by saying Hi.

Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Oct 20, 2009
Booba:  Good for you gettng here!! Welcome. Its agreat place to connect, and get some form of understanding. It really helps. especially for us who are so ready to change but just dont know how. Posting has helped me so much.
Im worried about my trip still. Im going to try to come up with a foundation to fight.

Good luck all!!!!

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by booba77, Oct 20, 2009
Thanks for the kind comments and thanks Hillbilly for the add.  I have been lurking for awhile, but just now got enough gumption to post.  I cannot believe how many of us are out there.  I have to count my pills and try to come up with a taper schedule.  So far I have cheated every time I have tried to taper, but I think it would be best for me since I take around 25 a day.  I look forward to posting and having you all as my support.  It is so nice and reassuring to know that you are going through the same thing.

Avatar universal
by sandie19771, Oct 20, 2009

Sorry, I havent posted in a day or two. Reading the stories here make me want to cry. I SO REMEMBER (AND NEVER WANT TO GO THROUGH IT AGAIN) the agonies of tramadol withdrawl. In the post 11 or 12 story line on this journal I had written all my side effects minute  by minute, hour by hour. Oh man was it gawd awful. But I was determined.

I was on tramadol for 2 1/2 years for cervical pain. My c6 and c7 were dislodged, (still are) and back then tramadol was not a narcotic. In april when I filled my prescription, I had to sign a paper at the pharmacist. I asked them why, and they said its now considered a narcotic. My motivation was to be off narcotics.

Motrin works well for me and excersing my neck in the mornings helps.

I took on average 8 pills a day, sometimes 10. they were 50mg tablets.

It took me approx 6 weeks to taper and come clean. I never wanted to count my tram free days, because it would have made me want to take just one more. So like I said, I am free and happy.

High strung and excitable now, but content. :)

I have to say the worst side effect was the RLS (kicking the habit).
The cold sweats were a close second
with dizziness rounding up thrid place.

It took another 2 months to be completely clear of all the little things... dizziness in the morning, moodiness, the cold sweats lasted about a week after the last dose. (so happy to be rid of that!), RLS, paranoid feelings (went away about 3 weeks after taking last dose) and still on occassion I have those weird feelings of someone coming after me, or talking about me.

SO believe me when I say, I care for each of you. Everyone here has their own way and method. No two snowflakes are the same! Just take it minute by minute if you have too, keep posting, and remember your definetly not alone!

god bless, take care, I'll write again later.

Avatar universal
by DeeTram, Oct 20, 2009
Hello everyone
After reading some of the posts, about how everyone's withdrawls are, I just had an Ahh haa moment. When my husband went off Trams cold turkey last year his withdrawls were horrendous. He had been taking the small white 50 mg tablets (Dr. prescribed). As previously posted, he ended up buying it online from over seas (China, we think). These pills are green & yellow capsules. He noticed with the first dose that the online pills did NOT give him a "Buzz".  This has made it easier for him to want to get off them.  No buzz = No fun.  My Ahh haa moment....  the ingredient that gives the buzz in the small white pill is missing in the online pills thus making his tapering easier.  
He's been tapering for a week now and it's been going very well physically.  No bad side effects yet.  But mentally, he still has the obsession and is struggling with the will power.

Has anyone on here noticed a difference  (buzz wise or withdrawl wise) between the small white prescription pills compared to online pills they've bought?

Avatar universal
by srvblooze, Oct 20, 2009
By the way, folks, I think there's something I need to clarify. Perhaps I should not have written that * ALL * the withdrawal symptoms were gone on day 9. The acute physical stuff- diarrhea, vomiting, tremors and all that- they are gone. That said, I'm still experiencing a profound lack of energy during the day. It may sound counter-intuitive to exercise when one is feeling so listless, but I've found that this is only way for me to get more energy.

Still, I'm WAYYYY ahead of where I was and I wouldn't trade this tired feeling I have during the day for anything, because I know it's going to go away. And I know this because I've read it from those who have gone before me and took the time to write about it. That's why I'm keeping a journal- for those unfortunate souls who will, no doubt, be coming here in the future looking for some answers. Thanks everyone. I'm proud to be slaying this freakin' dragon with you all, and a special thanks to Fred for encouraging me to both keep a journal and participate in discussions here in this forum

Avatar universal
by newway, Oct 20, 2009
welcome Booba,

I started my taper at about 20 pills per day.  I was able to cut back a pill a week for the first bit without really noticing a huge difference.  By the time I was up to 20 or more pills I was feeling pretty miserable most of the time anyways - I was constantly in the tram fog.
I then had to slow down a bit - and went a few weeks inbetween each drop.  I am now down to 450 mg - and still feeling okay.  I have RLS, a constant low grade headache and sleeping is a chore.  The stomach issues come and go.  But again - it is all okay - I was feeling so terrible on the tram that this at least feels like a move in the right direction.  My main concern is the depression - when I tried to quit before it was scary dark - ultimately the reason I went back on tram.
Hopefully the slow taper with the amino acids, B12 and the support of this site will get me through the tough times to come.
Keep posting - there is no one way to do this - you have to find what works for you - and just keep trying. This is a process that will have many bumps.  Keep posting.
Dee tram - the difference may be that the ones he is getting on line may be extended release - so a slow release into the system - no real peak.  In Canada - we have Tramacet 37.5mg / 300mg ASA, and the 100, 200, 300 mg of tramadol in extended release.  It is helping me with my taper - because I do not get any spike.  When I was using to use - I would chew the pills to break down the extended release.

Keep fighting all.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Oct 21, 2009

Cindy, You are doing so great to now have an investment of three days without any trams.   Wahoo!   As others going through this (srvbloozeand others) are describing  the acute withdrawal symptoms seem to level out by about the 5th day or so.  

Welcome Sue,  I am so sorry that you had a grand mal seizure as a result of thee damned drugs.   But as long as you are still waking up breathing, at least you have hope.   I am sure that I am not telling you anything that you don't know.  You at leasst still have a choice in the matter.

There are many people here who have a GREAT deal more knoweldge about the chemistry and medical aspects of what this drug does to a person than I do.  My knowledge of this drug primarily comes from my own long history with this drug, limited research to this point,  and largely from my interactions  with you guys over the course of the last eleven months. Thousands of posts during that time.  Sadly Sue, you aren't the first person to share that he/she has had a grand mal seizure as a result of taking high doses of this tram-a-trash.   There is of course one worse outcome for people on high doses of this drug. never hear from those folks.

But besides the obvious, this drug KILLS in big and small ways as well.

My life revolved around my supply of this drug.   Anyone taking this for any length of time knows that feeling.

I was essentially in an emotional tram-a-zone for six years.

Uncaring or at least so zoned that it didn't matter.

Incapable of feeling or experiencing emotions to any degree.

Years lost with family and friends, never to be repeated.  Just LOST to the tramadol.  

Life on this planet is finite.   Our days under the best of circumstances are numbered.

And while I can never regain my lost tramadol years, I determined a long time ago that if there was anything I could do to help someone else regain a week, a month or a year of THEIR life, I would be here.  Send me a note or private message.  Iv'e been known to respond.

DeeTram,  I don't have any knowledge of the pills you are describing. But if your husband has decreased his dose by more than half in a week, the poor guy must have a great number of symptoms by now, including indigestion, insomnia, possibly RLS, flu like symptoms, night sweats.  Withdrawal symptoms are just a fact of life anytime someone decreases as quickly as you describe he is doing now.   It is just wonderful that he can have someone like you to understand what he is going through and to support him.  It's not at all easy, but it is so worth it to be off these things.  

While I was withdrawing, thoughts that helped me keep putting yet another moment between myself and that last pill included: (1)  withdrawl symptoms are NOT a permanent condition.  There IS an ending to the misery, (2) I trusted that what others had done, I could also do, (3) getting the monkey off my back now could forever put an end to all the misery that made up my life those past six years.  (no more regular withdrawal symptoms, no more "counting pills", no more planning trips out of town around my supply of trams, etc.)

Someone said recently that we seemed to be pilgrams in tackling this "tramadol problem" on our own.  I hope that this won't always be the case, but at least for now, we do seem to be largely figuring things out as we go.  Not too many "experts" here.   But with guides like Hillbilly, Sandie, Keb, Emily, madrtram, Nancy, Polly and so many others, we will continue to extend the hand of understanding to those who undoubtedly follow.   Because the last time I checked, this "tramadol problem" wasn't even CLOSE to being under control.  

The landscape is still ruled by people who will take your money and your lives in a heartbeat.   It's OK to get a little angry.    

It still comes down to individuals taking back our lives a tiny moment at a time.  

But as I have said before, it's just no big deal.

It's just a matter of life and death.

Courage, Strength and Peace to you all,


Avatar universal
by srvblooze, Oct 21, 2009
Well said Fred. Well said, indeed.

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by Lillyval, Oct 21, 2009
Jessica - It's so great to hear from you!  You are a true warrior and we know you will ultimately be victorious in this fight.

newway - What you said about lurking here reminded me of the real beauty of this forum for newcomers.  It affirms our suspicions that tram really is a problem.  Most of us, before coming here, had been sold a bill of goods that said tramadol is the "safe non-addictive alternative to opiates".  Yet we found ourselves taking more and more for less and less benefit.  Then when we tried to stop suddenly we were sick as a dog.  Yet most of our doctors won't aknowledge that tram is the problem.  Many of us (like me) wondered what was wrong with us - and then arrived here and learned that others had experienced the same thing.  Lo and behold it's not ME who's crazy it's this stinkin drug.

Cindy - the MagOx can cause bowel problems!  Try cutting it out and see if you can start taking less immodium.  The Epsom salts I'm told will supply Magnesium through the skin - so that should make up for it.

Trammman - my heart goes out to you.  I wish you all the best.

An update on my progress - I'm already almost down to 3/4 of the average dose of Suboxone after only one week.  I have no withdrawal symptoms and absolutely NO DESIRE to take tram or other opiates.  I understand the taper off of sub will be done over an 8-12 week period.  I am very hopeful.  I know a lot of people have been prescribed benzo's for opiate withdrawal, but after all the suffering I've heard people in this forum have gone through on them I would be leary of taking them.  Suboxone is basically a low dose opiate that doesn't get you high.  The opiate, bupenorphine, has been used safely for years for things like arthritis pain.  The pain I originally had when I got on tram is gone now.  
I never really liked the idea of taking Suboxone, I guess maybe I thought it was taking the easy way out.  But since I went through the hard, painful way twice I'm glad I'm taking this route now.  I'm better now than I have been in years.  I guess the real test will be getting off of it.  I'll be the ginea pig and let you guys all know how that part of it goes.

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by booba77, Oct 21, 2009
Thanks so much for all of the supportive and informative posts.  I have quit once cold turkey but I had a seizure,and pretty much slept through the withdrawal period.  I had a grand mal seizure in the middle if "relations" with my husband.  Needless to say I scared the hell out of him and he called the rescue squad.  I of course refused to go to the hospital~im such an idiot~so I had to tell him.  I basically slept for 4 days and he took care of our daughter.  And one year later I started back on them again.  I feel like such a loser.  I cannot tell my husband because he will leave me and I wouldnt blame him.  we have been together 15 years and I cannot let that happen.  I need him.  I should have never gone back.  I ran out for awhile and the RLS was unreal.  I remember the horrible bowel problems as well, but I didnt know about the aminos, so that should help this time around.  So I have 145 pills left.  I take about 25 a day.  I really cannot afford anymore to do a slower taper.  Anyone have any suggestions for a taper schedule?

Avatar universal
by nancy652, Oct 21, 2009
Hi Lilly girl, hugs. Was Jessica here? I'm dying to see her. I'll post more later. I'm thinking of you all today, new and old, while I go about my day...we are tramadol subterfuge agents together now. :)


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by madtram, Oct 21, 2009
Hi booba, I'm a little concerned that you don't have another seizure as a result of tapering too quickly off a high dose.  What dose were you at when you quit cold turkey last time?

Tapering is far from an exact science but as you have pointed out, 145 pills is not enough to complete a slow taper.  If you are determined not to order any more pills, even to taper with, you pretty much need to start tapering immediately by dropping down to as low a dose as you can tolerate.

Not having your husband find out is going to be a challenge in these circumstances as with rapid drops in dose, the symptoms could still be quite severe for a few days.

If possible financially & logistically, I would like you to  get a script for neurontin to reduce the seizure risk, (& it will help withdrawal symptoms).   Some valium would be a good second choice to reduce the shock to your system.

An ideal alternative would be to follow Lilly's example & get on a short course of suboxone.  That way you could stop cold turkey with hopefully minimal withdrawals & you don't have to be concerned with stretching out your existing tram supply over the tapering period.  I understand if this isn't practical financially or if you are concerned about your husband but he will feel much worse if you have a serious seizure.

The aminos can definitely help in the medium term but they don't really do much to reduce the initial withdrawal shock.  I don't want to discourage you & people do come off high doses successfully but I would feel much better if you can get the anti-seizure meds.

Hugs for you,

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by booba77, Oct 21, 2009
I actually had the seizure because i had taken way too many probably over 30 that night and I lost count, but I went CT after that with no problems seizure wise.  Im petrified to go to a DR to tell them what is going on.  I know that is lame.  I have health insurance so if they gave me an rx from a real DR i could afford it.  They dont even think it is addictive and they will see me as a junkie, although that is what I am.  It hurts my heart to admit that to myself.  ~ know I could not afford subox cuz insurance wont touch it plus after the research i have done I dont think it is right for me.  I cant afford another $130 for more tramadol either tho.  my checking acct is already in the red. I am totally falling apart and havent even started tapering yet.  I just want to be ME again.  I dont even know if I remember who that person was.  4id anyone out there find an understanding doc that helped them do a slow taper and gave them a RX?

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by racegirl1965, Oct 21, 2009
Hello All....Has anyone with a tramadol addiction ever had to deal with ringing in the ears? Constant ringing!!! I was wondering if it was caused from the drug or if i was taking too many B C's.


Avatar universal
by TRAMMAN999, Oct 21, 2009
As I am thinking of going cold turkey in a couple of days I thought I would try out the Tyrosine & Vit B6. I have tried it for 4 mornings. 2000mg Tyrosine & 2 Vitamin B6 tablets. I took them on an empty stomach with breakfast an hour later. This as I understand is the way to take the combination.
I was expecting what I have read; ‘a surge of energy’ to keep me going through the day. The idea being that this will boost one’s energy when coming off the Tramadol. I did not feel anything – no extra energy – nothing!
Am I doing something wrong? Or does it not work with some people?

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by madtram, Oct 21, 2009
Hi TM, yes everyone's biochemistry is individual.  I have the opposite reaction to tyrosine, it gives me a bad case of the jitters like a caffeine overdose.  You could try doubling your dose and/or adding DLPA which is the precursor to tyrosine, sometimes adding a booster at a different step in the chemical pathway can make a difference.

The amino acids are quite subtle in their effects & it can take time for your body to adjust to the increased levels so it's worth giving it some more time to kick in.

Booba, I would post on the main addiction board & ask if anyone can recommend a sympathetic doc in your area.  It's not that you need one so much as giving yourself the best chance of getting this done.

Racegirl, we have had enough reports of ear-chimes to conclude that it is a tramadol side effect.


Avatar universal
by BVD660, Oct 21, 2009
Hello Shawn (racegirl1965),

Checkout my previous post above, but I started to experience the awful ringing after being on tram for
about 3 years.  I was on it for a total of 8 years with the ringing staying about the same. It never got
any better or worse.  I have been off the tram now for about 6 months with no improvement.

Grandmagirl, newway, and myself have all experienced this problem.  There was also one other person
that I can't recall their name that had this as well.

I know it's tough living with and it's not something you ever get used to.  Ambient noise works for me
most of the time.  Thank God for television;)


Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 22, 2009
Hi Folks,

I havent posted for a while as I have back and neck problems which are made worse by sitting at the computer. I have tried to keep up with the posts and am amazed at all the new folk who are posting. So good you are getting support (and giving it)  guys! (

I am 89 days free of tramadol and 51 free of diazepam. But I am suffering badly again. (I have just written to KC who has been keeping me going!) I had some good days and felt that this nightmare might just be over - but no. The last 6 days have been desperate. I dont think it is the tramadol now though after all this time. It is more likely to be the benzo's.

I feel sick, have an upset tummy, am unable to eat and tummy is in spasm. I cant think straight, am spaced out and cant engage in conversation. Just feel irritable and tetchy. Depression and anxiety are back big time - and so is insomnia. I want to try melotinin but have read that it makes depression worse. (Any comment please?)

I feel at rock bottom again and although this is a tramadol support forum, I know that many of you have struggled with benzo's too. I am hoping I can get some feedback please! I know KC will reply and encourage me - she has been so unstintingly generous with her help. I just wondered if anyone out there had any thoughts too.

I guess I am needing to walk through the days until month 3 before I notice much difference. I am just so so tired.

Keep fighting the wretched tramadol all of you. And Tramman - I totally know you will do this! (Please pray for me again Keb - it helped before!)

God bless
Love Chrissie

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 22, 2009
I meant to say about the ringing in the ears. I had this for about 9 years before I went on tramadol. (Although I am sure it is also a side effect for some of you who did not have it before).

I reduced it substantially by using a homeopathic remedy Khali Bic 30 potency.  Because homoepathy is tailored for the person it might not be the right one for everyone.  But I am really saying that homeopathy helped me in this area - so might be worth a try for others.

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by Dev0n, Oct 22, 2009
Hi everyone... Day 12
Day 12 or 12 days or nearly 2 weeks..doesnt matter how you say it but it sounds good. I feel so much better today All the physical stuff seems to have subsided to minimal levels.
Of course this improves my mental health as things seem easier to cope with,Still having sleep problems and mood swings and sometimes feel very very tired but nowhere near as intense or last for so long.

I did a very long taper(6weeks) so was already experiencing w/d for a few weeks before i stopped taking this poison.It seems to have worked for me, but maybe not everyone is suited to this method.

amitriptylene may be doing some good, it is supposed to help with the way pain is percieved by the brain.It takes about 2 weeks to take effect(about now).
I have over 200 trams in our drawer and i am just about to flush them down the toilet.

Well good luck to you all...keep fighting never look back!

Healing thoughts to you all

Dave from very rainy Devon

Avatar universal
by Hillbilly47, Oct 22, 2009
Hey Dave from Devon.  Congrats on 12 days of freedom.  I did the flush of which you speak 37 days ago, and it set me free.

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 22, 2009
Brilliant news Dave. You have done so well. (Really appreciated your note too - thank you.)

Avatar universal
by newway, Oct 22, 2009
As mentioned - I have had the ringing in my ears, from very early in my tram use - I have my fingers crossed that it will go away when I get off this horrible stuff.

Chrissie - I am tapering off tramadol and then will tackle the benzo's - so I am probably going to be using your posts as a guide! lol  What I did want to mention is that often with substance abuse other issues often exist.  I am not one who just had a tramadol issue - I was put on tramadol because of my addictions - to opiates, alcohol and benzo's.  My using is to numb feelings, cover up emotions.  As I slowly get off all the substances I have to deal with the issues lurking in the background.
Even now, on a slow taper - I am plagued by moments of unbelievable fatigue - where I can barley speak I am so tired.  I know some of this may be the taper and the tram.  Some of it is my own anxiety and depression.
For me - just being clean and sober is not going to be enough - I have to deal with my stuff or I will be back to the misery of using again.  In some ways - once I am clean - the hard work starts for me.  
Self care is really important - while we are not all runners like some of our friends here - regular exercise is important as is diet and sleep.  
Again, not everyone is in the same situation as me - some got stuck on the tram wreck and that is the only addiction they have had - they will feel better the longer they are off.
But some of us may have to look to other avenues to get back to 100%
Take care of yourself - I will be thinking of you.

Where I am at - I went to an addiction specialist yesterday - to discuss a taper verses medical detox (off tram and benzo's) and to look into an initial relapse prevention program for the first few months I am clean.  I did come away with a plan - but not before I was made to feel like a bit of a fool for being "addicted" to tram.  I am not sure the Dr was convinced.  I am in there quite nervous and adament about my fear of this tram withdrawal - explaining previous withdrawal from Oxy and the fact that it seemed easy compared to tramadol.

That was my initial meeting with him - I am to go back weekly to monitor the taper.  He is an MD - specializing in addictions so it may end up being a combination of a taper and a medical detox.
They did all the intitial tests - blood pressure, urine, took blood etc - I filled out a ton of forms on my history.  Basically, he said he would have to look into tramadol - and we would discuss it the next time I go in.
What a crappy feeling - I am trying to tackle this beast of a drug - and I wasn't taken that seriously.  So much for empathy and support!!
I am going to find as many legitimate studies to either send to his office or take with me.  I need him to say to me - "damn, I'm sorry - this drug is a demon"  I want to shove this forum down his throat!!!  Sorry just needed to vent.
I am going back - only because there are few places that I think can offer me what I need - a structured plan, regular follow up - basically something that keeps me accountable - and I can afford this - it is covered by our health plan.  He was recomended and is supposed to be good - so I have my fingers crossed that he will look at the information and come around.
It still doesn't make it any less frustrating - I left his office with my tail between my legs!!  

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by booba77, Oct 22, 2009
Chrissie145~I have never heard that about melatonin, and have used it off and on for years, but there is also something new out you may want to try.  it is called Melissa and you can get it at any drugstore.  I got mine at CVS but it was hard to find.  it is in a yellow box with a leaf on it.  It has calcium and other calming nutrients and some herb from Sweden that helps with relaxation and sleep.  It promotes a good mood with no ill effects.  I have to take 2 to get sleep tho if i have insomnia.  It is pricey but it works great.

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by booba77, Oct 22, 2009
Newway~I was hoping someone on here could recommend a good doc that understood tramadol addiction but maybe they dont exist.  you could print the pages of blogs and send them.  there are so many of us struggling and it seems that no one is being taken seriously by the docs.  Anyone know a good addiction doc in VA?  I would like to develop a plan soon myself because I have few left and it will either be a rapid taper or cold turkey if I dont get some help.  Cannot afford to oorder online for slow taper.  I do jave health insurance but is there a dr that wiould take me seriously?  

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by madtram, Oct 22, 2009
Newway, keep your head high, you are dealing with a system that still can't decide whether addiction is a disease or a character defect.  If you pm me your email, I can send you some studies which address tramadol's addictive properties.

Chrissie, sorry you are still having bad patches.  I am confident that time is mostly the answer for you.  Tram/ benzo withdrawal is a beastly process, I went from being a daily gym junkie who could press serious weight to a bedridden invalid.  Getting better did take "weeks and weeks" and I worried constantly about my lack of progress but if I had to do it over, I would really focus on knowing that although it seems forever, it really is just a short time that your body absolutely needs to find its equilibrium again.  If you can make peace with the process, it is one less stressor to deal with.

I also found that the insomnia came & went for quite a while after coming off the sleep med.  Like all hormones, Melatonin's efficacy will vary amongst individuals.  It is a powerful antioxidant so worth taking anyway but it never put me sleep and yes, it does make me feel depressed, (I don't feel depressed usually).  Many people find it very effective though, (perhaps because their natural levels of melatonin are too low).

Congratulations to Devon Dave, let us know how you are getting on occasionally.


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by Lillyval, Oct 22, 2009
Newway - I so feel for you.  When I went to the addiction specialist and told him about the tramadol his exact words were "that's pretty weak isn't it?"  He then adimitted that he didn't see too many tramadol patients.  I stood my ground and said that I've abused other drugs (oxy, hydro, etc) and that it was the tramadol that brought me to my knees.  Still, I think part of the reason he agreed to treat me was my drug history.  If I had gone in there only having taken tramadol I wonder what would have happened.  I feel I owe it not just to myself but to those coming after me to make the doctors understand that this is some seriously bad medicine.  (My primary MD who prescribed me all the tram in the first place would never concede that tram was a problem, even after I told him I was addicted to it).

Chrissie - you have come so far!  I'm sorry you're going through a hard time.  I remember you said that after this ordeal you would like to become an addiction counselor.  I believe you will suceed and you will be a great help to others recovering from dugs.

booba - previous discussions on this forum confirm what you said in your post:  It's not the withdrawal from tram that causes seizures - it's TAKING tram that does it.  Some have even had a seizure from taking a dose that they had taken before successfully.

Fred - I wanted to tell you I got a new kitten.  He's beautiful and friendly and has been a great comfort to me as I go through my recovery.

This is such a great forum.  I wish you all success in your battles.

Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Oct 22, 2009
Hi all.
Wow, so much strength, hope and just energy here!!!! Well, getting to about two days from a month of T-free living. I read some posts on the weaning, and I found that a year ago when I went cold turkey it was sort of akin to someone sticking a hot-poker you know where for some--unidentifiable amount of time...Um....Grim reaper comes to mind..:)
I did a taper this time, mind you it was Percocet-to -Tram--then down to 500 down to 100 in about a weeks time. This really did seem fast as well. But it was wayyyyyy, better for me than stuck in SWITZERLAND__on vacation not telling anyone, and feeling like I am going to die...And actually wondering what happens in foriegn emergency-rooms.
I have found that this week, I am mentally "better feeling" I think the first two weeks were really a complete lesson for me, and loss of time, but by reading here. and trying to just take baby steps, I mean "even babys finally crawl accross the room...!!!!"
So The thing that has been somewhat shocking is that I am ok, physically but --the ocd. thing, its now dawning on me how cunning addiction can be. You really need to view it as--someone said, DECLARE WAR. Now I am going into the second month and the battle lines need to be drawn for the psychological part for me.. I am off to the Mid-west tomorrow, and I hope and pray, I will come up with a strategy to --deal..I have had alot of --interesting "fun" having all these emotions. I ran for like 21/2 hours yesterday after packing-after work...I am not a marathoner, sooo--I have some energy to spin. However, I want to remember-how how this was, and I would not trade feeling FREE--of all that non-sense for anything!!!
I can go to places, like Fred said, no more counting, no more icky RLS_ and worrying about when to get more. Obsessing over it all. And Newway----I can really relate to your post here a couple days ago about-your mind always finding a WAY!!!
My mind does the same thing, I am a "pusher" so I will find the avenue if there is one, beg steal or borrow. I will create an avenue, and the scary thing is we are all intelligent enough to hide it too well. Thats the icky part, when I finally talked to people it slowly started to take away the "Inflamed--Power" the pills had. It shrinks it down,--but you have to keep doing it I notice.
To get strong, its like getting in shape. I remember when I was in 8th grade, and trying to get up to a half mile, and a mile!!!How bad that hurt!!!! Now I can go on and on, and,,well on..
But it takes practicing being--sober...Practicing some simple ideas, and Im so freakin hyper--when I start feeling better Im all--"oh, goody!!!now I can go here, and there!!do this that the other!!". Then boom!! An emotion I havent felt in a year or more,and remember..Um, baby steps....
So I want to say to everyone who is tapering--YOU CAN DO IT!!  I would not trade this free feeling of reality for anything even if it hurts at least its real!!!And its all me, and you will see yourself on the other side.. It took me months of trying to figure out what to do or who to call, and even trying to get on this blog!!! YOU hang in there!!!
Prayers, to all.
Off to Grandmas..LOL.( my grandma is soo cute!!)

Avatar universal
by yllopcat, Oct 22, 2009
One more thing.. Um yeah I love that your Dr. said it was um.."weak?"..Oh, dear. we have our work cut out..Man.

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by booba77, Oct 22, 2009
I just want to say how truly blessed I feel to have found this place.  I have never felt so totally alone before as lately and reading the posts from people going through it and successfully fighting the tram devil have given me hope to finally do this and be done with it for good.  I just want clarity of mind back.  I want to remember what it feels like to be me.  I am doing this on my own, without the aid of a doctor.  and I cannot believe that SOB said tramadol was weak.  It is almost as if they are as bad as the drug itself~beating us down and minimizing our pain.  So I hope you guys dont get tired of me, because I have a feeling I will need a lot of support and this is my only source for it.  My tapering begins now as does my war on this demonic poison.  You all have given me hope and encouragement.  Thank you Emily for starting this space for us heal and recover..  And god bless you all for being here.  

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by 12Stepper, Oct 22, 2009
Just checking in with you all, So good to see my old friends still at it and so many newcomers. I am almost at 5 mos. now and have finally started feeling good--hopeful about the future. I'm starting to notice things that were in the fog while taking tram and life's challenges seem more manageable, not so overwhelming. My memory isn't shorting out as often and I'm sleeping 6-7 hours a night with only an occasional Passion Flower (an herb) tab.

Still can't let up on the exercise maintenance schedule of walking 45 min. almost every day. That alone has made a tremendous difference. Even if I didn't want to go and had to mechanically make myself walk out that door, I always felt better afterward.

Chrissie, you are at the stage off benzos where I too had the most difficulty and thought that it would never end. That was about 3 mos. after I went off tram. Although I quit Ativan a couple months before, I think the withdrawal from it really kicked back in when quitting the Tram.

I remember thinking that something must be very wrong with my life, how I screwed up big time and will never find a solution. Those were the days of trudging. I remember it was such a relief when it was nighttime and I could just watch TV and go to bed. Still, I had to use tylanol PM or valerium root just to get a few hours sleep.

Month 3 was the real middle of my tunnel, and it was all I could do to get a flicker of hope that time was passing and that time would heal me---eventually.

I think the old saying the darkest hour is just before the dawn really applies here, since after that awful stretch, things started looking up. If you can, just find a little joy in every day. I really enjoy playing with my cats and walking in the sun. For awhile, I made myself have one outing a day--just to the library or grocery store. I discovered a beautiful library nearby and attended some classes there. These little outings helped me to feel apart of the stream of life. Now, they've become the foundation for the certainty that I'm really back in it.

So just know that these weeks will pass for you too and that the healing is taking place right now. Love and courage to all, Linn

Avatar universal
by notsosunny, Oct 22, 2009
Hi All! Well, I am new as far as posting, but I have been reading ALOT! I am on my first day of trying to get off trams(AGAIN). I have actually had a long, long, long, longgggggggg road with pills of all varieties. I was diagnosed with degenerative arthritis among other issues with my back in 1998 and I was given Lorcet 10/650. I didn't even like them. They made me sick and made me itch. I worked with an avid pill taker and she advised me that if I worked through it I would begin to enjoy the feeling and enjoy being pain free. Of course, she was right..I began to love them too much. Long story short, I moved 2 years later and had to find a new doctor. This new doctor decided to try me on this "wonderful non narcotic pill called Ultram that was not addictive like hydrocodone". I wanted my hydros, but what could I do? He started me off on 180 pills a month. I found this wonderful since I was only getting 60 hydros. Part of my enjoyment in being a "pill head" is the act of actually popping the pill so the more the merrier...I THOUGHT!  Plus he told me that the Ultram closely resembled Percocet in how they made you feel and how they worked on this worked for me. Within a year I was going through the 180 pills in less that half a month. This is when I started hitting the ER's and Urgent cares frequently and there I would get a demerol shot and usually hydros or vicodin. I knew I had to do something so I took the step to go to an addiction and pain specialist to get off the [email protected] trams completely and get something that I wouldn't build up such a tolerance to, get addicted to and something that would stop my pain. He slapped me on 60 mg of methadone a day! Once again I left with a script for 180 pills of Methadone and 120 flexiril plus he scheduled his appointments 25 days apart so you could take more on a bad day if you needed to without running out. I just thought life kept getting better and better. Well, this actually worked for me for years until I went to my monthly visit and he informed he that he had started working for the company that makes Suboxone and he had chosen 35 of his patients to put on this drug...I was, to my dismay, one of the patients. My world crumbled. I had heard of Subs and I was in no way, shape or form ready to give up my happy pills. I loved my methadone, but I had no choice, I was cut off by the very doctor that so willingly gave them to me. I went to the pharmacy, spent 300+ dollars on 30 subs and started to get my mind set to do this sh*t because I had felt withdrawals from simply running out before time for my next appointment and I was scared to death of the W/D's. I hated the Subs. I hated everything about Subs but I didn't have any w/d's at all while taking them. I hated the taste, the feeling..I just hated them and I missed popping my pills. I went to a few more doctors and got hydros, demerol, morphine sulfate, and vicodin but I was scared my doctor shopping would catch up with me so I only did that for a couple months. This is when I went 360 degrees and found tramadol online. I went ahead and ordered 180 pills and got them the next day. They were gone in 2 weeks. I ordered 180 more in my husband's name...They were gone in 2 weeks. I was spending close to 300.00 a month on trams again. So, last week when I counted my pills, as all us addicts do, I only had 36. I picked up the phone to call and place and order and I stopped myself. I just put the phone down and said to myself that it was time to stop this 11 year cycle I have been on. Oh, and by far trams have had the worst w/d's of anything I have ever been on...BY FAR THE WORSE!!! Anyway, I cut back on the trams. I could feel my body wanting to shut down on me already. I almost ordered more trams more times than I could count. But I haven't and I don't want to. Today is my first day completely tram free in ages. So far, it hasn't been too bad, but I know I am in for sheer hell soon. I just know it!!! My last does was yesterday about 7pm and it was my last 50mg. I took some Valerian root, a loading does of a multi vitamin, 2 Aleve and a dimenhydrinate. I didn't sleep too good, but I didn't have RLS, thank God, literally. This morning, which was the hardest, I took a valerian root, st. john's wort, some Aleve and coffee. I slept for 4 more hours and woke up not feeling too bad at all. I just went and stocked up on chicken soup, vitamin supplements, bottled water and gator aid. Ok, everyone, wish me luck! And I wish you all luck. Hopefully, I will be back in a fews days stating how many days I have been tram free. Oh, and if I kick this tram **** that will mean that I am completely medication free so I am praying I can do this. God Speed to everyone and thanks for giving me a place to vent. :)

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by booba77, Oct 22, 2009
Notsosunny~I can so relate to being a pill popper.  Over the years I have taken many many pills but tramadol made me feel energetic and hapoy and in the hayday I even lost weight because they tore up my stomach and I didnt eat much, but have since gained it back.  I was precribed trams for back pain due to heavy lifting but when my rx ran out I ordered online.  Now I am deep in debt and totally miserable and ashamed of myself.  I just want my life back.  I have let the chores go by the wayside and the house is a wreck.  Havent been for a pap or regular check up for 4 years, so there is no teilling what this **** has done to my body.  So I guess after my little one goes to bed I start counting my pills and figure out a taper plan.  Good luck to all of you.  These posts have really helped.  just being able totalk about it helps.  I may even post a journal.  Thanks for being there.

Avatar universal
by sustarr, Oct 22, 2009
I dont miss planning everything I do around getting Tramadol, not to mention the money I spent every week ordering online.
The hardest part right now for me is I have no energy, none. I dont know what to do it. I feel like I cant move a muscle. My doctor gave me klonapin anti seizure med & now Prestiq a new anti deppressant. I miss the energy I had while taking Tramadol, now everything is falling behind which is more stress.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Oct 23, 2009
Sue,  If you can, try to push yourself to move a few muscles.   Even beginning with a 2 minutre walk down the block will help you to begin to feel like PROGRESS is happening.  That you are in control.  

Lilly, Thanks for sharing about getting your new lovely kitten.   They certainly can be good company.  Ours keeps me company every day when I work from my home office.   When I am done for the day and turn off the light there, he follows me right out.   Still trying to convince Mrs. Fred that we need another.  

Congratulations to those beginning on the journey.  It IS possible if you develop the mindset that this endeaver isn't something to incorporate into your life.   Rather, beating this thing must BECOME your life for 4-5 days or longer if you taper.

It floors me that many doctors say tramadol is a "weak drug".   Here is my  imaginary plan:   Lock said doctors up and feed him/her tramadol for about six weeks.  Never more or less than that "safe" daily dose of 400 mg.   Place video cameras in the cell for the next week.   Food water and blankets still wouldn't sooth his/her withdrawal pain.  Then ask him to tell us again how safe and weak this drug is.  

Doctors who deny the power of this drug are coping out.  They know they can't get into trouble prescribing a non-scheduled drug like this.   But it seems incumbant on them to do some of their own research.  I expect that their denial is largely fueled by the pitches those lovely drug representatives make.  With their flowing blond hair, trays of sandwiches and basketball tickets.  It bugs me to be sitting in the wating room for MY APPOINTMENT while the nurse ushers in the young lads and lasses dressed in smart looking suits and plates of cookies.  And samples of drugs like T.

Some day the lid will be blown off the dangers and potency of this drug.   Our good doctors will be watching the evening news and find that the FDA has taken action.   But not today.  Not for us.  Today we are but pilgrams finding our own those we pay to provide medical care either don't care or don't take the time to research on their own.

Courage and Strength to Everyone,


Avatar universal
by gubatzzz, Oct 23, 2009
After 7 Days Free from the spell, I am finally starting to feel much Better. Mood and energy are up. I had been taking tram for 8 years  for a bad back,prior to quiting this last week. I cannot sleep, my doctor gave me Mirapex for the RLS and Ambien for sleep. The mirapex has quited the RLS somewhat but now I cannot shut my brain off and the Ambien doesn't seem to do it for me. After the bad cold turkey withdrawal that had me  vomiting,shaking and everything else, I Gotta say that was the worst experience for me in my entire adult life. Stomach and intestine are still very tender but I am working on that.Back to the doctor on Wednesday to adjust meds and get some test results.
. Even with a 3 week taper, once I got down to 2 X 50mg pills a day the stomach and intestine problems started. At 1 pill a day the last day, I was a mess for the next 5 days from the physical withdrawal agony and mental drain. No seizures but a few little brain zaps know and then. I have a good wife thats a nurse and she has been great through this process.

Hang in there folks, you will do it when you are  ready
So glad I found this place, Thanks for the help

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 23, 2009
Hello my faithful friends.
Thank you so much to all you who wrote advice to me in these posts yesterday. I was so  helped by your caring and encouragement. I am feeling really ill today so cant write much at this moment. Just wanted to say thank you and that I appreciate you all. I will post again soon.

I think its the benzo's that are getting to me now not the tramadol. But who knows!  Its 90 days tramadol free today so I think I should be over the hurdle with them.

Keep going everyone.

God bless

Avatar universal
by srvblooze, Oct 23, 2009
Hey eveyone,

Two questions:

1) I'm on day 12 now and the insomnia hasn't gone away. My Doctor gave me Amitriptyline to sleep, and it works, but I'm thinking that it works too well. I mean, the whole next day I'm a mess. I just have no energy and I sleep all day. I'm going to try melatonin tonight instead. I may not sleep but at least I'll be closer to "normal" in the day.  Does anyone have any idea how long the insomnia really lasts? I feel I may just be prolonging it as I'm taking all this stuff to help me sleep, which then makes me sleep all day too.

2) Sugar cravings. I've never been much of a sugar person but usually at night time I REALLY want a couple of candy bars. Is that perhaps linked to Tram withdrawal?  And should I give in to it or just try to out it of my mind? How long does it last?

For the record, I'm taking some really good multi-vitamin packs, potassium and amino acids. In addition, I've got a juicer that I've been using to make fruit and veg drinks with. Trying to eat healthy (chicken & rice, pasta, etc.) and doing an hour a day on the treadmill (although I have to wait until 4 because I don't have the energy before then).

Avatar universal
by newway, Oct 23, 2009
I love the mix of new and old warriors here.

Going to the Dr's really knocked the wind out of me.  I had seen it as part of the solution and now I am not sure I will go back.
I feel bad enough - not sure I need a Dr adding to my "loser" complex.  
If it were not for this place I would be at a loss - I can't even imagine all those who are relying on the medical profession to deal with tram.  As soon as I left the Dr's I knew I needed to get on here and read - get the reality of it back, shake off the awful feeling the Dr. left me with.
I am still going strong on the taper - down to 450mg - and the only issures are being absolutely exhausted during the day and not being able to sleep at night and a bit of anxiety.  I plan to drop down to 400 next week and see how it goes.

One question for those of you who have tried the 5htp - some tell me it helps with mood and to take it 3 times a day, yet others use it for sleep.  I am exhausted during the day and really do not want to take anything that will add to that.  Is it just a higher dose that helps with the sleep?

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by madtram, Oct 23, 2009
SRV, sorry but IMO 12 days is still early days withdrawal-wise. To quote dear Fred, for enough of us, the return of normal sleep took "weeks and weeks".  The benefit of melatonin is that even if it doesn't put you to sleep, it will help to restore your sleep/ wake cycle, as will getting exposure to natural sunlight as soon after you wake as possible.   (I have visions of you in a high rise apartment in smoggy Hong Kong, so this may be easier said than done).

If you don't want to tough it out, you could ask your doctor to swap the amitryptiline for mirtazapine which might help with sleep and is less likely to keep you knocked out during the day.

Sugar cravings suggest serotonin deficiency which is likely in early tramadol withdrawal.  5htp would probably help.

Newway, reactions to 5htp will vary depending on individual biochemistry & existing serotonin levels, the only way to find out how it effects you is to experiment with timing and dosage.  It has never made me sleepy irrespective of dosage.  As you are still on 450mgs of tramadol, you are still getting the effects of the serotonin reuptake inhibitor, (although at a lower level than you have been accustomed to).  This means you do need to be a bit careful with supplemental serotonin via 5htp, as there is a risk of serotonin syndrome, (overload).  I would stay at a low dose of 5htp, (50mg), until you have tapered off.

Sustarr, the klonapin may be contributing to your lack of energy, it's a common reaction to benzos but you also need to allow yourself some time for your brain chemistry to recover.  Individual reactions to ADs vary but Pristiq seems to be helpful for energy in more cases than not.

On, warriors, on.


Avatar universal
by Hillbilly47, Oct 23, 2009
Notsosunny & Booba - keep at it:  you're on your way!

srv - My sleep issues didn't fully clear up until around day 25.  Now, at day 38, I've been sleeping without melatonin or pm meds.  In the early days, I too had horrible sugar cravings.  I figured sugar was better than tram and just ate to my heart's content. This ended pretty soon too.

Newway - I've been using the 5-htp, 2 times per day, and haven't had any sleepiness.

Avatar universal
by srvblooze, Oct 23, 2009
Madtram- thanks very much for your answer. Makes a lot of sense. Will look around 5htp tomorrow, and there are already Snickers bars in the fridge ;-)

One other thing that I've not seen addressed here is sex drive. Mine is, well, non-existent, really, and it has been ever since I started taking Tram regularly about two years ago. Has anyone else experienced this or is this perhaps a separate issue. I'm very curious about this (as is my EXTREMELY patient wife....for obvious reasons ;-)

Thanks everyone. I'm not sure I could have made 12 days without you.

Onward and upward...

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by booba77, Oct 23, 2009
srvblooze-I have a comment on the sex drive.  When I went cold turkey a couple of years ago, my sex drive came back with a vengeance, though being a woman in my early 30s helps too:).  I have noticed at the end of an RX cycle when I was running low it would come back as well, though not as strong as when the trans were totally out of my system.  Once your body adjusts and brain chemistry is back to "normal" again, that aspect of your life will be as well, and your wife will be thanking you.  

Well, I have 115 left, and now I am going to try to figure out some sort of a taper plan.  It ***** to have to do this at work, but I have a very demanding husband, 4 year old daughter, cat and dog to contend with at home.  What scares me is what will happen when I hit to full force of the W/D.  I really have no Dr., but I would like to find one to get something for the RLS, which I know will be horrible.  When I ran out a few months ago, I drove my husband crazy kicking the sheets.  I just could not stop moving my legs.  I'm hoping that if the insomnia is really bad, I can use it to clean up my house rather than lying in bed trying to sleep, but that probably won't happen.  I don't really have any leave from work, so I will have to call in or try to fully run out around Thanksgiving, which would suck as well.  What is the safest, non-habit forming RX a doctor could prescribe for RLS that would work on the extreme cases like that of tram WD?  I have to go back through the posts, because it is time to stock up on the immodium and aminos.  I have a few of the aminos, but am out of the B12.  Someone may have already asked this, but I never saw a clear answer.  Should I start the aminos into the 4th day of the WD, when the fog starts to lift, or should I start some of them while tapering, and if so, which ones?  I'm sorry for all of the questions, but you guys are incredibly wonderful, and reading your posts gives me strength and hope and courage to ask more questions.  

Avatar universal
by Angel233, Oct 23, 2009
I thought I would share my story.  I have been reading this blog for about a week now and hope it might help somebody else as it has helped me.  

I have been dealing with shoulder pain which was diagnosed as impingement syndrome.  It caused severe pain in my elbow, wrist and hand because of pinched nerves.  Dr prescribed me many types of anti-inflammatory which made my stomach upset.  Finally, got to the point where I was being prescribed pain killers like Darvocet and Codeine.  I got really tired of being on opiates as they made me really tired and zoned out.  I had no problems with addiction that I could tell.  Never had any issues with addiction.

Here is where Tramadol entered my life.  I thought it was a miracle drug.  In the beginning I felt great taking it and it was “not addictive” without any visible side effects.  I could sleep like a baby and felt like I could accomplish everything I needed to during the day.  But after about six months of taking 300mg a day, which is exactly what, was prescribed, I started feeling depressed, anxious and moody.  I started needing more and more to feel “normal”.  The problem was I didn’t know what normal was anymore.  I was fighting with my husband and feeling like everybody was against me which I never ever did before Tram.  If I stopped taking them I had terrible leg tremors and my ears would ring at night, couldn’t sleep worth anything.  I had no energy, ached all over and severely depressed so I would get more. Nothing made me happy and I thought there was nothing to look forward to anymore.  I even had no sex drive which was very strong before Tram.  I found myself counting the pills I had left and trying to make them last until I could get more. I felt as though I was going crazy and dismissed the Tramadol as the problem because after all it was “safe” and “not addictive”.   I even considered checking myself into treatment for severe depression.

I ran out October 16th again and couldn’t get more until Monday.   The weekend was hell.  I was a zombie at work on Monday.  I was having panic attacks and my back and legs ached.  I couldn’t wait to get more Tram and then it occurred to me that I should research if there were others having the same WD symptoms.  Now, I feel the miracle is that I found your stories here.  It was an epiphany!  

I am 7 days off Tram and actually feel better than I have for a long time. (I actually didn’t wake up in a pool of sweat this morning!!!)  Day 4 was the worst as it was not the physical symptoms but the panicky feelings and energy drains I would get.  Funny how the pain from my shoulder is child's play compared to Tram WD.

Even though I was tempted to refill the RX many times to just feel better and get some sleep, I was determined to get it out of my system.  I am glad I did and at this point I have the courage to never go back.  My family and career I used to enjoy so much are way more important.  My WD symptoms are not completely gone but definitely manageable after 7 days.  I feel like a new person.  My coworkers even commented this morning that I looked glowing and happier than I had been in months.  

I can't tell anybody if taper or cold turkey is better but for me taper was not an option.  Sadly, I know that if I had refilled the pills I would not have the will power to taper.

Hang in there!!!  It is worth it!  I can feel it slowly loosing its grip as everyday goes by.  What a tricky, deceptive little pill but it’s not going to control my life any longer!

Thanks for all the encouragement even though I was lurking behind the scenes.  You are in my thoughts and prayers.


Avatar universal
by Hillbilly47, Oct 23, 2009
Way to go, Malinda.  Stories like yours are what inspired me to quit back when I was lurking.

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by booba77, Oct 23, 2009
Thanks you so much for sharing your story.  Reading success stories like yours is a great motivator.

Avatar universal
by TRAMMAN999, Oct 23, 2009
Just a comment on the sex drive thing. Before Tramadol, and for many years ago I was 'rampant' (just to put it in perspective!).
The Tramadol stopped all that - who needs Bromide!?
However I have noticed before when (by accident) I have only gone to '18 hours' or so without Tram my thoughts actually turn to more pleasent things , lets say! And I am "capable" - Wow        ....     what an incentive to get off Tram.
As you are probably aware I am currently at War - no Tram now for 2 days - (I will post later when I'm able and give all the details in that it might help someone to jump - [ he says, with toungue in cheek, cause he's only done 2 days (and could crack up - who knows] - it's not all the nastie physical, emotional stuff - I'm fighting that, it's like you mentioned again in your post. I can't sleep!!! Who takes 2 doses of Clonazepam - 1 tablet of ambien and 1 zimovane and can't sleep. The reason is, I have RLS, but not just that my all body is thrutching all over the place - no chance of a sleep. So have to put up with W/D from Tram the next day in an already rotten form. Oh what difference a sleep would make in tackling w/d symptoms.
I digress: Yes, 2 days and my Pituary gland has revived before anything else, so that sort of answers your question - but there is an unfortunate, which I desperately hope doesn't leave me like this. I'm no good to anyone, (close your eyes ladies) because 2 stamps of the feet and a thrutch and it's all over. My Pituary must be so joyful it just explodes (and of course, provides those much need endorphins). As you say swrvblooze Onwards & Upwards. It is now 1.00am Saturday. Time to attempt bed - Ahhhhh.

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by madtram, Oct 23, 2009
Booba, you can start all the aminos now, except for 5htp or tryptophan which would be risky until you get down to say 100mg per day.  Make sure you take the l-tyrosine or dlpa before lunch to avoid the risk of night time stimulation.

Malinda, way to go.  I was originally prescribed tramadol for trigeminal neuralgia but during withdrawal, my blood pressure would plummet if I moved too quickly and I fainted falling heavily on my arms and tearing my rotator cuff muscles on both sides.  So now I have similar symptoms to you, shoulder pain and half of my left  hand is completely numb.  I can't tolerate the NSAIDs either but any sort of aggravation beats being on tramadol.  What a way to learn these things though.

TMan, that's great news about your pituitary, I'm sure that recovering proficiency is like bike-riding.   Just a reminder, are you drinking buckets of Indian tonic water & keeping up the epsom salts baths for the RLS?

Avatar universal
by srvblooze, Oct 23, 2009
Booba and Tramman- thanks for the insight. It's good to know that it's not just me, though it seems to be taking a little longer for me. And congratulations to Malinda on her jailbreak- WELL DONE! :-)

Avatar universal
by newway, Oct 23, 2009
I barely have the energy to get out of bed - let alone roll around in it!  

My partner and I had written it off to depression - before I realized it was the tram.  
This drug has been so hard on my relationship - go figure - aparently not everyone is content to have a zoned out, tempermental, lethargic, depressed partner, who has been hiding their addiction from them.  

I was so relieved to read others had suffered depression because of tram . I had thought I was majorly depressed over these last few years, I have never been a low energy person - combined with the extra boost the tram gave me initially - it felt like the life had been sucked out of me.  I went to the Dr (who is also prescribing me the tram) and she put me on effexor.  She never even considered that it might have been linked to the Tram , and neither did I at that point.

I haven't had much hope over the last few years - at first I thought I was going crazy, and then when I realized it was the tram I was caught in the addiction of it - the love hate relationship.
After reading the posts - realizing how unhappy so many had been - and how that changes the longer you are off tram.  I now have hope that this darkness will lift - my energy will gradually come back.

On Monday - I will be droping down to 400 mg.  The last time I got this far - I kept trying to go down 50 mg at a time and at a week or two apart.  This time I am going to go a bit slower.  Once I get to a point where 400 is okay - then I am going to 375 and so on.  If at any point the withdrawal is continuous I am just going to stock up on the needed supplies and jump off CT
Hang in there all - your posts are what keep me motivated.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Oct 24, 2009
Gubatrazzz and Malinda, thank you so much for sharing your stories.   Best continued success to each of you along the "jail break" trail (as Hilbilly puts it).  

It truly does take a village to hold us together on this journey and we have a village of caring people here.   Special thanks to madtram for constantly weighing in on the medical aspects of withdrawing from this stuff.  

All of the flu like symptoms aside, insomnia for most all of us is the # 1 difficulty during withdrawal.   Those first days, I tried tylenol pms, dosing multiple times, certain that if I took enough, I could fall asleep.   I can't recommend this and I am sure it was unhealthy, but the point is that I tried I continued to thrash about every time I hit the sheets.  I could have felt dead on my feet (and was most all the time that first week), but as soon as I hit the pillow, I - um - could have strangled my feet or better yet, cut those suckers right off.   That's how horrible the RLS was.   Quinnine (available in some tonic water and in Hylands Restful Legs) may have helped a bit if I used huge quantities.   Even though it was a futile excercise, I took as many as 6-8 bathes in one night.  It got to be rather annoying to say the least for both me and Mrs. Fred.  Often I could only stick it out in bed for ten minutes and I was like, WTF, this is crazy.  And I would thrust the damned covers off again and pop up, going out of my mind.   Eventually, my doctor prescribed gabapentin, which I must say DID help the RLS greatly.  

RLS is actually too polite of a term to describe the way my feet and legs ache during withdrawal.   I would think that attaching electodes up to my lower extremities and flipping the switch would have felt better than that damned RLS.   The only good news I can share is that eventually, if you endure enough nights of this, normal sleep patterns can and do return.  

In case some of you newer folks here didn't know, as if the "safe, non-habit forming analgesic" OPIATE isn't bad enough, there is an anti-depressent that the makers of tramadol slip into it.  So achieving freedom from this drug not only requires beating the opiate withdrawal, but one is required to beat the anti-depressant affects of the drug as well.   It's no wonder we feel anxious and depressed coming off this drug.   It's no wonder so many good people remain on this drug.  And it's no wonder the ******* manufacturers are getting filthy rich at our expense.   A "weak drug" huh?  

The good news is that full recovery is possible.  Don't EVER loose sight of that fact.  
Goodnight to all (I hope)...fred

Avatar universal
by hanginin, Oct 24, 2009
I'm new to this post and I know full well what everyone is going through. It is terrible that this drug is still on the market. Its counterpart that has just been released is scheduled as a CII drug. Why tramadol is non controlled at least in most states is beyone me.  I am currently on day 2 of my ct and I had a terrible day yesterday but I think today is going to be a little better. I was just recently off for 1 month and can't for the life of me figure why I took that 1 stupid tablet because as we know one leads to 3-4 in just a few days. I'm glad I found this because I've got to get this stopped and get my life back in order.

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by lindsmw, Oct 24, 2009
I guess I'm a little afraid to post my difficulties here.  Unlike so many of you who NEEDED Tramadol for pain and found yourselves sucked in, I became hooked on Tramadol solely for recreational purposes.  

The faux-piate chemistry mixed with the anti-depressant must have been what hooked me.  My grandmother is prescribed Tramadol for terrible arthritis pain, and (as much as I hate to admit it) I stole her pills to foster my habit.  I've been stealing her meds as often as possible for at least 2 years.  This allowed me to keep a pretty steady stream of narcotics in my body.  I took AT LEAST 3 daily.  More often than not I took 6 or 7.  At my worst I began grinding the pills and snorting them for a stronger high.  

I began to notice that Tramadol gave me migraines.  Thats right.  They didnt CURE any pain for me; taking them made me have headaches.  I began a routine of taking 5 Tramadol in the morning before work, and by the time I was back home I would need 3 Excedrine Migraine pills to combat the pain.  I quickly realized I was becoming so addicted that the second I came down from my high my body would throw itself into mini-withdrawals.  And plus, who steals their grandmothers pills?  I started hating myself for doing what I knew was wrong.

I took 6 Tramadol on a Sunday roadtrip with my family and stopped cold turkey the next morning.  I'm on 6 days cold turkey now, and I have to tell you this is my worst day.  Day one was terrible (vomiting, sweating, chills, shaking)  but today is worse.  Everything on my body feels swollen and broken.  The depression has started to kick in as well.  I felt so much more mentally stable while on the Tramadol.  Going through life high as a kite is no way to live, but day 6 is nearly worse.

I know I cant start back.  I'll hate myself.  I just hope for the continued strength to fight this off.  

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by lindsmw, Oct 24, 2009
Oh and addressing Hillbillys comment about sugar cravings:  Thank goodness you experienced it, too!  I never saw mention of it on any withdrawal sights.  The first day or so I lived on Dr Pepper and Skittles.  Literally ALL I ate in the early parts of this week.  And I've chewed unreal amounts of gum.

A suggestion:  I pace around my house for anxiety already (almost an OCD habit) but the exercise of pacing has helped me battle physical symptoms SO much.  It seems to work wonders for the RLS and also wears me out in time for bed.  Not to mention it gives me a reason to be drenched in sweat (ha ha ha).

This site is really great.  I've been stalking it in secret this whole week as well as during my previous attempts at quitting.  Thanks so much to everyone who posts on this.  The support is invaluable.

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 24, 2009
Hi folks,

Still feeling pretty awful but wanted to answer the so encouraging and helpful messages to me on the posts.

Newway. I am sure you are right about dealing with issues. I have a lot of heartache (not the least losing my mum this year.) that need sorting. Addiction came as a bit of a shock to me as i dont drink or smoke and had taken the tramadol for pain relief (you know - the non addictive sort!!!!)  But yes, the pain within doesnt help. I am so proud of you by the way. You are tackling this in a very methodical fashion and with such resolution. I have also met with the type of doctor you have. She told me that she didnt know anyone with the  problems I had coming off tramadol! (Maybe because they have all tried and had to stay on the wretched things!) But at least you have a plan in place for aftercare so I reckon its got to be worth sticking with it. I suggest printing off some of these posts to show them. By the way - does yourr doctor know about the antidepressant properties in this drug? I havent yet spoken to one who does  - and that includes pychiatrists! Also your lack of energy could well be caused by the tramadol and benzo's. Both caused me this.

Fred, I love your idea on how to educate these doctors. I hate to be so mean but I would love to do that to my self satisfied smug GP.

Booba I have pm'd you about Melissa.

Madtram, I dont know how you do it all - especially with the pain you must be suffering. But thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I will try to make peace with this process and not keep fighting it. Your expert advice is so appreciated on here!

Lily, thank you too. You are right, I did say that I hoped to use this awful experience to come alongside others (if I ever get through it!)  I worked as an addictions worker in rehabs and prisons for 7 years.(Mostly with folk addicted to heroin). I helped with goal setting, finding triggers -  and generally being a non judgemental helper. How valuable this experience would have been then! I thought I understood but now I realise that  I knew diddly squat!!!!

Linn, you got me walking today!  I sat down to write this and made myself go out instead! I didnt do 45 mins (10 actually) but it is a start. Thank you too for giving me your time scale. I am desperate for the 3 month mark to come soon.

KC I couldnt manage without you!!!

One of the worst things is the crazy breathing. My chest and throat feel tight and ache and I am so uptight.

You are all on my mind and I am so on your side Tramman. Day 2 today (and Day 9 in a week!!!)

God bless all.

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by 12Stepper, Oct 24, 2009
Greeting warriors, old and new, Really great to see the lurkers come out.

I for one will openly admit that I liked the way tramadol made me feel--high, yes, but also confident and energized, plus it did work for my pain. I probably would have stolen it--especially if I knew someone had a nice solid script with unlimited refills like they give you.

I rejoice to say that its possible to have good positive feelings about oneself and life without any drugs. Yes, it has been an incredibly long, long 5 mos. now post-tram, and depression has been one of my worst enemies in the battle, but confidence and even joy do emerge, eventually.

It helps to treat oneself kindly during this time. No matter why we got involved with this drug, we can only go forward now. We have to care about ourselves enough to continue the long fight with that insidious blood-sucking monster, tram.

So good to see you all here. Love and courage, Linn

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by booba77, Oct 24, 2009
I also loved the way it made me feel.  I had back pain, but it probably wasn't bad enough to keep using this stuff for years, especially to start back on it after having a seizure.  It will be very difficult for me to get off of tram, because of the depression.  Before Tram, I was on trazodone for years, but quit when I started trying to get pregnant.  While pregnant and after having my girl, I was fine, great really.  I went for back pain because lifting her heavy car seat all over hell and a half acre was killing me.  After my first RX I was hooked.  I have a pretty addictive personality anyway, but they said "like they to us all" that it was non-addictive, and non-habit forming.  MY doctor referred me to a specialist who prescribed physical therapy, so I started getting my refills online, which at $125 a pop, and taking  upwards of 20+ a day is not cheap.  Needless to say, I have dug myself and my family into the deepest hole of debt.  My poor fiancee has no health insurance, and needs a $700,000 open heart surgery in the next few years.  I cannot tell him about my addiction.  He was really great when I had the seizure, but he told me if he ever found out I was using again he would leave me, and we have been together 15 years, and I'm only 32.  So I have no credit cards now, no money in the checking account, so I cannot refill them, and I don't want to.  I haven't even started tapering, and have about 100 + left.  Maybe I will taper as best I can and then go cold turkey.  Now would be the best time because my parents left today for Flagstaff, AZ to see my brother.  I don't want them especially to see me go through withdrawals.  They will be able to deduct what is going on, and my finacee may too, but he is extremely non-observant.  I live next door to my parents.  I am lucky to have the best, most loving, supportive parents on earth.  How did I end up so screwed up?  What went wrong?  I have a good job, a college degree, the best man and child on earth, great parents, hell, even my dog and cat are awesomely too good for me.  Why am I on this stuff?  Life is not that bad, but for some reason, I have to screw it up, endangering my life and health and putting us in extreme debt.  I of course handle paying all of the bills, checkbook, etc., and I have begged my fiancee to do it, but he is a construction man, so he is not down for that.  I have a few minutes to write because I am home alone (supposed to be cleaning the living room and watching Degrassi that I taped last night).  A footnote, has anyone ever seen that show?  It is a Canadian teenage soap opera of sorts on the teen nick channel, but it is the biggest guilty pleasure show I have ever seen.  It is just riveting to me for some reason.  It is so obvious that something is wrong with me, isn't it?  But I digress, I just want to say that I am proud of everyone here, and THANK YOU for listening to my ramblings.  I don't have many friends, and no one I can talk to about this, so you all have become in a short time, a very important part of my life.  Keep fighting the good fight.  

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Oct 25, 2009
booba & lindsmw,   Let me affirm that this is a no judgment zone ok?   I don't know of anyone who comes here to post that doesn't/hasn't  had a problem with tramadol.   Like Linn said above, "It helps to treat oneself kindly during this time. No matter why we got involved with this drug, we can only go forward now."   It doesn't matter WHY we started with this drug.   It's like wondering whose fault it was that we stepped on a nail and injured our foot.   What IS important is what steps we chose to take to get well again.  

Entirely GOOD people with children, college degrees, jobs, and with great parents become dependant/addicted to this drug.   Men and women become dependant/addicted to this drug because we like the way it makes us feel in the beginning.   Although I was prescribed it by my doctor for post surgical's a fair assumption that my medical need for this drug ceased to exist closer to the surgery than at the end - six years later.   For anyone who takes this for a period of time, "why we started" hardly matters.   The drug CAUSES pain as our tolerance increases and we require more and more of it just to feel LESS UNWELL.     It becomes a drug dependancy problem rather than a moral problem.   If possible, please don't beat your selves up.

I SO get the concept of borrowing tomorrow's pills to use them today.   We take high quantities so we don't feel unwell.  It's no longer about feeling energetic and the END, all we can hope for is to feel less unwell than we would if we weren't taking this drug.

Booba,   You spoke a few days ago about withdrawing over Thanksgiving.   You have also said that you aren't buying any more and that you have barely more than 100 pills left.  I think you already know this, but you begin a plan fairly soon, you will never make it until next weekend, let alone Thanksgiving.   I don't mean to sound unkind's just reality.

You can either completely run out of pills in a week and then stop cold turkey or you can begin a rapid taper plan until the pills run out and then stop cold turkey.   Given the above assumptions and considering how many you have been taking on a daily basis, I would probably drop to about 5-6 pills/day for a week NOW, make another drastic cut then to 3-4 pills/day, then continue tapering until the pills run out.   If you intend to stop, I can't imagine trying to do this on your own.  Because you WILL be kicking off the sheets (as you put it.)  and going through all of the rest of the lovely withdrawal symptoms we are all to familar with.   If the above doesn't sound like it's for you, you will need to re-order more pills pretty quick.  

Tramman is doing this now.   (hugs).   So many others keep coming back to testify that there IS LIFE after tramadol.

Google the "Thomas Recipe" and stock up on supplies.   You still can't go into this thinking that there is an easy, soft way out of this mess.   You simply need to decide whether you want to stay on the tram-o-train or whether you want to get off the ride.   In any event, you are still a good person with a really bad drug problem.

But the  essential incredients needed to successful  do WAR with this drug arent found in the Thomas Recipe. They aren't found in any literature for that matter.   Those ingredients are HOPE and DETERMINATION.

If you decide to jump off the train, we'll be here to walk through this withdrawal with you.  I am nobody special at all, my will power is horrible  and my addictive personality is about as bad as I can imagine anyone having.   But like you, about eleven months ago I wandered onto this site and for the first time, I began to see that my dependancy on this drug wasn't particularly unique.   I also observed that the others here, who  had defeated tramadol's hold - did so by buckling up for the roughest ride of their lives.  

Those seeking an easy way out never find it.   To this day, except for those who have traded another addiction for their tramadol addiction - nobody has ever gotten free of this drug by expecting the journey to be easy.   It simply is NOT easy.   Unless you have $10,000. or GREAT insurance to get into some fancy in patient ************** program.  Welcome to our world.

When I arrived here, I hadn't even considered that a higher power may give me the HOPE that I needed.    I knew full well that this drug is WAY more powerful than I was.   My highest power, best intentions, hardest efforts, and my strongest determination had gotten me nowhere in six years.   It wasn't much of a leap to conclude that it was at least POSSIBLE that a power greater than tramadol existed.   Because without such a concept of POSSIBILITY overcoming the IMPOSSIBLE, we of all people are indeed a most hopeless lot.  

If you can somehow achieve that moment of clarity, if you can believe that a higher power of your choosing can make the impossible - posible,  and you are willing to  go to any lengths to achieve sobriety, this thing is do able.  

Keep coming back.   fred

Avatar universal
by hanginin, Oct 25, 2009
Hey everyone. Morning of the third day and while its been rough I can begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I told my  wife yesterday about the problem and she is going to help and try to hold me accountable. If we can all simply remember how the first few days feel and then think about that without taking that 1 pill you may have laying around or borrowing from a friend then we can all truly beat this awful medicine.
Thanks for everyone being so strong.

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 25, 2009
Hello everyone.Another inspiring post from Fred.You are so eloquent and I love to hear from you.Altho I do not have a tramadol addiction I do (or did) have a codeine addiction.It has been about 6 weeks that I have been clean and feel great.The principles of withdrawal are the same and once the withdrawal pain subsided I have been able to control my RA pain with non Rx meds.I realized that I was looking  forward to the high more than the pain relief and made up my mind that I would stop them.I had a few fleeting moments of loss that I would not have the high to look forward to,but put these thoughts out of my mind.Now I have many good and long thoughts that that I do not depend on or look forward to the high of the codeine because I do not need itI guess what I am saying is that the short term high is not worth the long term pain and my life is not dependent on the narcotics.It is such a good feeling and my pain is so much less than before.Keep plugging everyone and love to all.

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by booba77, Oct 25, 2009
Fred-You are indeed, very eloquent, and I totally appreciate you bringing me down to reality in a firm, yet uncondescending way.  My biggest fear of the withdrawals is the effect they will have on my 4 year old daughter, who is extremely clingy and dependent on Mommy.  That being said, taking all of the pills and being highly dependent on them isn't doing either of us any good, and if I wait, I will be on this **** forever.  That is not what I want at all.  

And I don't want to wait until Thanksgiving.  I am trying desperately to have a moment of clarity, which is silly, because these things cannot be forced.  I do however, want to get through Halloween without horrible withdrawals, so my plan is to taper a little less rapidly than you suggested, and totally run out next Sunday (a week from today).  Then it will be cold turkey.  I am unsure of how much work I can miss, as I have no leave left, but I am sure that I won't be any good if I'm there through the worst of it.  Luckily I have a desk job, and my office is a far walk for most, so I should be able to hide out and contact via e-mail as best as I can.  My goal is to get through this and be fully functional (tram free, and physical withdrawal free) by November 18th (about 7 bids at work to fill out).

Also, I have stocked up on everything from the Thomas Recipe, except I will not be taking the valium, and I haven't bought the immodium yet, but from the last cold turkey, I know that at least 2 boxes will be absolutely necessary.  I also have all of the aminos suggested by END YOUR ADDICTION NOW, as posted on Avisg's journal.  So I am prepared, but needed someone to give me that last kick in the ***.  And you did it Fred, and for that, I am extremely appreciative.  

And please Fred,  do not say that you are nobody special at all.  You have beaten this, and still get on this site to offer advise and help others.  You give your time, wisdom and support, and for that we are very grateful.  I have spent a large part of the day reading your older posts, and Emily's, trying to "gear up" for what lies ahead.  I will keep reading and posting, and next Sunday (unless I flush them or run out sooner) my personal hell begins, but I am going to consider it my start of the fight-my body purging out the poison.  At that point I will be on here 24/7.  If I am too weak to sit at the computer, I will access the site via cellphone, which is the way I usually post.  Thanks a lot for your support.

Avatar universal
by inspiring, Oct 25, 2009
I am new here and SO appreciate everyones advice.  I started on tramadol in a very innocent way, my shoulder was really giving me pain and a girlfriend said TAKE these:  I was so amazed at he difference, my pain went away and the first day I felt a little weird, kinda high, dizzy etc.  I took another pill that first day and has the best sleep I had in years. The second day I took another pill as my shoulder was niggling me but i knew I took the tram 'cos I liked the high. No fears, anxiety, pain I went out and washed and waxed my truck.  My girlfriend said her Dr prescribes her as many as she wants, it is not addicting, dangerous  ETC ETC ETC  NOW I know different, it has only been 3 mths of taking 2 pills a day BUT I was about to run out and NO WAY would I handle the withdrawals with cold turkey. I started tapering to half a pill twice a day, then down to half a pill a day down to half pill every other day. I felt unwell but not into bad WD's

I am now on day 2 with no pills at all and last night without any tram I was miserable. I just could not get comfortable even tho I had started 2 weeks ago with the thomas recipe suggestions, figured I need to learn and eat all the vitamins, amino acids and eat a good diet to prepare my body for strength against WD.  Last night I COULD NOT sleep, my legs were so restless,I was wide awake, I have learned to get up instead of trying to sleep, I read thru this website, I watched a comedy movie, took some tylenol pm and eventually slept BUT had nightmares and felt panicky this morning.  I took my L-tyrosine and other vitamins, ate bananas, made a healthy smoothie noe feeling hopeful again. I dread trying to sleep tonite but ready with valerian root and 5-HTP and nightynight tea

Reading others posts and writing this REALLY helps and I THANK those who give support and hope to others who are learning.

I urge people like booba77 to be able to TELL others what is happening and ask for their support. there is NOTHING to be ashamed of, look at how SO many writers damn this little white pill.  Have your significant other READ these posts to understand how you feel and how much support you need to feel good again. If he threatens to leave you if he finds out you're taking pills - then he doesn;t understand how big this is for you - or he is not caring for you enough.  Guilt is hard enough, the pills are harder

I am NEW here but would still like to offer some advise - don't put off tapering if you can help it.  I picked a time to stop when the house was clean, I had no work to deal with, plenty of good food around - in other words the easiest time for me - I just took a bath and felt awful, sick panicky,  but feeling better already. I felt so hopeless and black and I SO feel for others who have been addicted longer than me and have family and jobs to try and take of.

be good to yourself, put yourself first, believe you are worthy, believe it will get better,  when high on tram I wrote down my feelings - so content, no worries, ability to do anything  I read this now, knowing I can feel like this without drugs, I just have to help myself feel better naturally, I long for that day  best wishes and love yourself

We only change when the pain of change is less than the pain of staying the same

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Oct 25, 2009
Wow inspiring I love your statement that we only change when the pain of change is less than the pain of staying the same.I always had my saying that you have to really want one thing more than the other and you will be successful at whatever you try.Everyone here is so inspiring and at different levels in their healing.The end result will be that we will all appreciate our true emotions and not be fogged by drugs.I am so happy since I got off narcotics that I feel a little guilty when I seem to be bragging about my success.I just want everyone to know that it is possible and if someone would have told me a few months ago that my pain would be less without narcotics I would not have believed them.But my pain is truly,truly not any worse and even less with plain old tylenol.I just feel so good.I wish everyone success in their healing and understand how these drugs grab you.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Oct 26, 2009
Hello Tramadol Warriors!!!

Days: From what I can recall, days 1 & 2 were more bearable than taht next few days.  There have been people her who could work (with flu like symptoms and sleep depervation), but I wasn't one of them.  

Hanging in & Inspiring:  Welcome to our world.  It's cool when two people can virtually withdraw together.  You two should start sending notes or messages to one another in the coming few days.  

Good Night to al ( I hope).  fred

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 26, 2009
Has anyone tried propanolol for anxiety and 'fluttering' feelings in the chest? And is is safe? (Not going to interfere with tramadol and benzo w/d?)  (Any ideas please Madtram and Pharma 9 - or anyone?)

Thank you!

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by madtram, Oct 26, 2009
Chrissie, propanolol is safe, (has been around for long enough to be tested) and will help with the anxiety & fluttering.  The most commonly complained of side effects are weight gain, (which probably isn't an issue for you if I remember correctly, you lost too much weight while on tramadol) & tiredness at higher doses.

Like all pharmaceuticals it can have a wide range of effects on individuals, try starting on a low dose & take at night as it may help you sleep.

I think that Emily may have tried propanolol, hopefully she might see your post.

Booba, I echo the sentiments of Fred & Inspiring, there's never a really great time to start a taper.  I know it's tough with a four year old & work but if you can make a largeish drop to start, you may find you can get away with a few days of "stomach flu" & recover enough to be functional.  Extra hugs for you at this time.

Avatar universal
by hanginin, Oct 26, 2009
Day 4 for me today. I've got to go back to work where I have easy access to the devil pill. I know that I'm going to be strong and all of your stories have made me realize I'm not the only person going thru this battle. I already feel better and my feet and legs aren't jumping and tingling.  Good luck warriors today and lets all be strong together.

Avatar universal
by chrissie145, Oct 26, 2009
Thank you Madtram. Thats really helpful. It would be nice to hear from Emily again - so I hope she has a chance to read the posts.
If you are 'looking in' Emily - I need to thank you for this place. I believe you have saved a lot of lives by setting up this. When I found the forum I was seriously suicidal. This place was very significant for me. I know I cannot go back on drugs and 'the long sleep' seemed the only answer at times. There are still days during the hell that is benzo w/d when I think like this - but somehow I am still here.  Thank you!

Booba - Good luck!. I would just mention that Lillyvale has been helped by suboxone. I know we all have to find our own way but I mention it in case it could help you. Hanginin - so glad the legs are better. Thats a huge plus!

Keep fighting all.

Avatar universal
by Hillbilly47, Oct 26, 2009
Booba - plan it out and then work the plan.  You can do it!

Lindsmw - don't worry about judgments.  Regardless of how we started the journey, we've all pretty much arrived together.

Day 41 and I'm starting to feel like I may be able to knock this one down.  Peace and love to all you fellow warriors.

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by booba77, Oct 26, 2009
Thanks for all of the supportive sentiments.  Yesterday I only took 13 trams.  That is huge considering 25 is usually my average per day.  I have all of my pills labeled per day and ready to go.  13 again today and then will drop down 1 or 2 tomorrow.  feel okay, just a little irritable and tired this morning.  Thanks for the good wishes.  Will post later.

Avatar universal
by notsosunny, Oct 26, 2009
Just checking in...HAD A HORRIFIC WEEKEND. I told you guys I knew I was in for sheer h*ll! UGH! I am good, though! No trams. YAY! I almost...almost...see a light at the end of the tunnel. Just fighting anxiety and depression severely...not to mention the physical pain! All I can think is WHY DID I ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN TO ME??? Well, this too shall pass. I hope. Although I am having those wonderful feelings of dread I know if I have gone this far I can do this. Even had a "friend" call and offer me some Roxycontin..never heard of it, but she was singing it's praises. I graciously declined, although you all know I was tempted simply because I am feeling so horrible at that moment. I think I got a bigger "high" just knowing I could have something offered to me and I could decline. I felt good about myself for the first time in a long long time. So there is hope for me I guess. LOL.. Everyone have a great day and keep fighting a good fight. Peace!

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by booba77, Oct 26, 2009
notsosunny, congrats.  That is a huge step.  We are all very proud of you.  I think you are over the worst of it.  Hang in there.  You are doing great!!

Avatar universal
by JG525, Oct 26, 2009
Hi Everyone- I've been taking Tramadol for a few years now at varying doses.  Probably 200-500 mgs a day.  I was switched to a 90 day pharmacy and I now realize how much I've been taking because I have 30 days left, 10 until I can refill.  It's tempting to find some way to drag it out until then, but I really don't want to.  I've reached out to my doctor, husband and mom before and I think some of them are in denial and my doctor just said to try tapering, but continues to give them to me in the same dose. Well, duh, I told her that the withdrawal was Anti-depressant withdrawal and I don't think she gets it.  

I've had some addiction issues in the past, although never got hooked on any drugs outside of alcohol, which I don't drink anymore.  

It looks like I'm going to have to quit and have to call and tell the pharmacy not to refill my prescription?  How do I stop that without having my doctor call?  I don't really want to do that.  Ugh.  I realize that telling my doctor would probably be the best thing.

Can anyone tell me if they've taken 5-htp with an SNRI?  I take Pristiq (newer effexor), which will be fun to get off of too, and I don't know if I can take 5-htp or tryptophan (sp?).

I have about 6 pills left and I'm trying to space these out so as not to have it all hit me at once, but should I bother?  Is cold turkey better?  I don't have any sick time and have a work event on Thurs out of town.  At minimum, I'd have to wait until after that.



Avatar universal
by Hillbilly47, Oct 26, 2009
Notsosunny - Great Job!  You're going to start feeling better any time now.

Jenny - I tried to taper off Tramadol and quickly found myself in mini-withdrawal, so I went cold turkey.  With as few as you have left, you'll be there soon anyway.  Insofar as the 5-htp is concerned, you should read up on it, but I don't think you should take it with together with any drug that has an effect on serotonin.  Also, if you're going to jump today or tomorrow, you'll likely have too bad a case of the "flu" to do any work traveling in 3 days.  However you go about it, I'll keep you in prayers for speedy recovery.  Know this:  you can (and should) get off the tram as soon as you can.

Avatar universal
by JG525, Oct 26, 2009
Thank you.  That's what I figured about the 5-htp.  I think I can make these last through my work event Thursday.  I've only had 2 today and I feel okay.  If I have nothing, the flu symptoms set in.  So, maybe I'll make it through the event and then no more at all.  I've told my mom already, not my husband yet.  My mom takes ultram, but not much, so I have to have her hide them at her house.

Thanks! It's been helpful to read all of your posts.  I feel like a "sissy" because ultram isn't taken very seriously, so it's nice to see that I'm not alone.


Avatar universal
by notsosunny, Oct 26, 2009
Thanks so much for the words of encouragement. This is harder than I anticipated. I have gone through it before but, like I said, it was only because I ran out of meds before I was able to get more. The first couple days off the trams went so well. I couldn't believe it. I actually started to think "okay, it is mind over matter.." I thought that if I kept telling myself I wouldn't withdraw I wouldn't..HAHAHAHAHAHA! I wish it were that easy. I am not sleeping worth a ****, but I haven't had RLS. I don't understand why I haven't had that, but I am thankful. I am just worried about EVERYTHING! Ugh! I can't stand this anxiety. I have somehow managed to exercise everyday and I haven't missed a beat with that so I know that is helping. I forced myself to go to the tanning bed Saturday and shopping yesterday. ( I purposely spent my PILL MONEY!!! ) That helped and last night I watched horror flicks with my kids and for a couple hours I found myself so preoccupied with LIFE that I didn't think about pills. THAT WAS GREAT but short-lived!!!

Booba and Hillbilly, thanks for the encouraging words. I so so so greatly appreciate it.

Goodluck to everyone going through this or thinking about going through it. It is tough...but worth it. I keep thinking about all the $$$$$$$$$$ I am going to save. LOL...that is incentive! Plus, it is helping coming here and "talking" to people who truly understand.

Peace & Strength to ALL! :)

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by madtram, Oct 26, 2009
Great start, Booba, I so hope that you get by with just irritable and tired.

Notsosunny, well done you too, there is definitely hope & not just wishful thinking.  I don't know your history but as has been said many times & remains true, it doesn't matter how any of us came to be here.  Tramadol tolerance & withdrawal can develop whether we use it for  pain relief or mood boosting.  It just doesn't work for long term use, (& there are better options for short term pain relief).

Jenny, welcome to the tramadol withdrawal resort & health spa.  I'm in Australia so can't say for sure but I have seen other US posters say that they have called the pharmacy & told them to mark their file with "tramadol allergy" which seems to do the trick without involving your doctor.  Hopefully someone in your region can clarify this.

The general recommendation is against taking 5htp or tryptophan with SSRIs or SNRIs due to the risk of serotonin overload.  However, there are reports from psychiatrists who have patients safely taking both at low doses & one can enhance the effect of the other.

  As you are already on Pristiq, don't add the 5htp until you are completely free of tramadol.  The Pristiq should help maintain your serotonin levels in early withdrawal.  If you feel you need the 5htp as well, just be careful, try a 50mg dose taken at the opposite end of the day to your Pristiq dose.

6 pills doesn't allow you much of a taper, if you do cold turkey, odds are you will need some serious down time so maybe if you can stretch your remaining pills until Friday, you would then have the weekend to hibernate if necessary.

Avatar universal
by JG525, Oct 26, 2009
Thanks Madtram- That's what I was thinking as well.  It sounds like my mom is willing to help me get through the weekend and then she will cut me off (by my request).

LOL about the resort and spa...I was just wishing for independent wealth, so that I could go to my luxe detox on Tahiti!  I take klonopin at night for night terrors as well and am weaning off that (won't do that at the same time).  I don't abuse that one, but benzos are just hard to come off of.  Actually, I have extras of them because I've been tapering, will they help with the sleep withdrawal stuff?  I don't want to become further addicted to them either though.  I wish I could hibernate and go off all three, but I know that's not possible without months.

I am going to try and find a psychiatrist that can help me with all of these.  A close family member is an addictions counselor, so I think he might know someone that wouldn't promote going ON meds.

All of these medicines make me sound like I must have a lot wrong with me, but I have low-lying depression (probably caused by a recently diagnosed thyroid problem) and shouldn't really have been put on ADs.  I have a low back injury and probably shouldn't have started on tramadol.  I have night terrors and really only take the klonopin to make my partner's sleep better.  My sleep doctor didn't warn me how addictive that was. Ack.

In hindsight, especially given my propensity towards addiction, I shouldn't have been on any of these things.  But of course, different doctors for different things, so they didn't know better or didn't care as long as I was "fixed."



Avatar universal
by JG525, Oct 26, 2009
I just realized that I have some Ultram ER.  I didn't like them because they made me tired and I couldn't take a bunch.  Do you think if I took one of those per day for a few days that would help until I can stop fully?  Or would the Extended Release make withdrawal harder?  Psychologically, I have zero interest in the ER because I didn't get the same feeling. Thanks!

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by booba77, Oct 26, 2009
Hillbilly~I have a feeling that you are right about going CT cuz of miniwithdrawals.  I suddenly got chills and was disoriented here at work, so I took a few to get through the day.  Madtram-the past few years i have gotten the trams online only, so I cannot call a pharmacy unfortunately to blacklist myself.  it is good tho because this is a true test and I am finally gonna break free this time, and get MY life back.  You guys have been my inspiration and given me hope and courage.  THANK YOU ALL!

Avatar universal
by Hillbilly47, Oct 26, 2009
Jenny, I'm not sure if the ER will work that way.  I would think it should help, but I never took them.  Maybe someone else on here has ???

Booba, you are also one of my inspirations and sources of courage.  We are all those things for one another, if for no other reason than misery loves company.  Keep on keeping on and you'll get your life back.  I know you can do it.

Avatar universal
by JG525, Oct 26, 2009
I'm sorry, hillbilly, did you mean it wouldn't work to taper with them? Or that they wouldn't make it any harder than trying with regular tramadol? It could be that they wouldn't be enough for me at this point anyway, which would give the mini withdrawal you speak of.  It's easy to try and drag this out when addicted.

I'm working on trying to get an appointment with an addiction psychiatrist that my family member knows.  I would assume he'd just have me taper anyway though and not go on Suboxone or anything.  Not sure it's worth that?  He's in the program, so hopefully he'd be helpful.

Thanks for the input!

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by EmilyPost, Oct 26, 2009
This thread is closed.

Please come to Part 18

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