Welcome to the Tramadol reserach and advocacy site. Maybe someone can come up with an acronym for us. Thanks to Fred and madtram for everything they do on the sister Tramadol site. This site wouldn't be here without them.
We have created this site as many of us have unanswered questions about Tramadol. We come from different parts of the world on the Tramadol support site....many, of course, in the US and UK. If you'd like to identify your country, it would help when we look at your laws, for example.
We are people who have personal experience with tramadol and we know that for us, it was a negative experience, in part because we believe we were not informed about the addiction and abuse potential of the drug. Some of us are lawyers and aspiring doctors, pharmacists, students, etc. In the end, our professions don't matter much, but I can tell you that, as a lawyer, I plan on using my resources to help this group. My point here is that everyone has something to offer, including some excellent chemical analysis and research skills and we welcome whatever skills you can offer, including moral support.
My personal goal is consumer advocacy. I want to publish as much information and analysis about Tramadol as I can find. If you have something to share, welcome.
My personal agenda: I am for personal empowerment through information. I am a lawyer who has done consumer protection class action work. I am not filing a Tramadol products liability lawsuit and will not consider a consumer class action because everybody knows that success in a class action comes on the day everybody gets paid to shut up. So I'm going to take a different route here.
Let's start with the FDA. Tramadol is an unscheduled drug in the US, except for in the few states that have started to regulate it. This is because the DEA did not recommend that it be scheduled when it came up upon its introduction into the US. If the FDA doesn't recommend scheduling, the DEA cannot regulate it. In the coming days, look here for my information on the dates that Tramadol was approved by the FDA. I will give out addys to petition the DEA for Freedom of Information requests regarding Tramadol's history at the FDA.
Let's study some history about the drug's maker, a German pharma firm called Chemie Grunenthal. They are best known for developing thalidomide. In the coming days, I will post links to their website, where they provide their own backgound and mission statement.
In an effort to promote clarity, let's me tell you that, like many others who have studied drug policy in depth, I am anti-regulation, at least in the sense that we have regulated drugs up until this point in the US. The FDA/DEA structure is riddled with conflciting policy and sometimes dirty politics. However, I am not indicting the often good people who work for regulatory agencies that truly want to protect us from harm. The problem is that its not working.
I am also not anti-doctor. Though I believe that many doctors neglgently prescribed Tramadol, I cannot lay the blame at their feet, as I believe many of them were misled by the published medical trials. I will publish links to studies done by various doctors at Johns Hopkins and other established, preeminent facilities, so you can see if you agree with their findings about tramadol's addiction and abuse potential.
Also, let's look at the firms that Chemie Grunenthal cross-licensed with in the US, such as Ortho-McNeil and Caraco. In the US there is current pending litigation in a US District court about when generics will be allowed for some Tramadol compounds. Chemie G still owns the patent here.
Additionally, Chemie Grunenthal has developed a kind of "second generation" tramadol style drug. It is called, I believe tapentadol. I will correct this if wrong, but I can't navigate away right now. It is currently on track to be a schedule ii drug, which is more regulated than CG would have liked.
Finally, we need to discuss strategies for getting our information out there. A google search of Tramadol brings up mass marketing sites, many of unclear origin, which promote Tramadol. Time to fight the rankings war. Computer and math people, where are you?
Listen, we are not going to be a normal group here. I think of it as a guerilla information campaign. Even if Tramadol were to be scheduled, it wouldn't solve all our problems. But let's start with...how did we get here? Let's track down the spread of this drug from inception to this point. What is its European history? Why the misunderstanding with addiction potential? Why the skewed reseach? Why the unscheduled status in the US? How did this happen? This drug had, if you excuse the term, some heavy pushing behind it.
And let's be clear: this drug works for some people. But let's do a cost/benefit analysis as to how well it works as oppossed to regular opiates that are regulated to the...let's say, high heavens...to the point where doctors are afraid to prescribe them. Yet, tramadol, which quickly spirals into an intense jones and nasty wd, even after short-term usage, is available over the counter in many places, and is available even in the US over the internet counter, with an internet prescription.
I'm not going to remain anonymous forever. But you can. You can fight right here with us as part of your effort to get free from whatever is is your're fighting. It helped some of us to ask these questions when we were struggling to shake the tram out of synapses. For me, the Tram smoothes out everything that made me an effective advocate. I was good and smooth with it. But now I'm off it and I'm great and...let's face it, not so smooth. In fact, you might say I'm ready to fight a little rough. All for a good cause.
Care to join me? Let me know what you can do best.
Nancy, Thank you for the great idea of beginning this site, dedicated not to our own personal battles with this drug, but rather, what we can do to see that the DEA/FDA properly recognize the dangers of this drug and make certain that the public has a fighting chance.
Research does seem to be the first order - into the history of the company that introduced the drug into the world, the tests they did dor did not do, and how it is that the FDA was convinced to not schedule the drug or otherwise regulate the online commerce related to Tramadol. I envision this place as a location where we can share research and stategy and information.
I would not expect that this thread would have a wide appeal to the masses, but rather a place we can direct that occassional tramadol warrior, who expresses an interest in working on the general problem of reckless, uncontrolled tramadol distribution and/or on improving public awareness.
I am not personally all that concerned about fighting the "rankings war' on google. Emily's journal is right up there and it will continue to bring people into health and healing on her site. Sites move up based on the number of "hits" a particular site gets. Maybe someone will come along with other knowledge or concerns.
Prospero, I don't believe that anyone has suggested that this drug ought to be outlawed. Scheduled yes possibly. Because if it were scheduled, doctors would think twice refilling prescriptions without at least face to face examinations. And scheduling would also make it more difficult to sell this online.
Getting the public informed should also be another aspect of our attack that we may want to look into.
I expect that people who post here will have work schedules that will wax and wain. I expect to be quite busy in the next few weeks. But I will also have times when my work schedule isn't crushing, when I will be able to devote time to the business of the guerilla information campaign Nancy mentioned. Fred
M again. Finally found some sense in the European Journal of Psychiatry from March this year & couldn't wait to post this summary, (the article is included in the bundle I have emailed to you both):-
"Pain, depression and pain, somatic diseases, previous addiction diseases, psychiatric family history, being a member of medical staff increase the risk to develop dependence to prescribed tramadol. Tramadol dependent patients show a high rate of suicidal trials and of seizures."
So pain increases the risk of dependence, hmmm, maybe it's a drug more suited to recreational drug users with no pain.
Our challenge remains all the other studies that conclude that tramadol is no more addictive than Advil.
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