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Tramadol & Ultram Recovery Room Part 30

Mar 20, 2010 - 210 comments










Hi Friends!

Welcome all Tramadol warriors. We're all very glad to see you.

Please come in and share.

Love & Healing,

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Avatar universal
by tramadont93, Mar 20, 2010
day 7 cold turkey,and I just woke up and cant really tell much since I always feel out of it and weak in the mornings.but this is a record for me...and i feel good just knowing that most of the acute W/d must be coming to an end soon! thanks everyone for there support here this past week!

Avatar universal
by LeaAnn807, Mar 20, 2010
Good Job on 7 days.  Keep it up and some relief is coming your way!!!  The hardest part is over for you.  Just be aware that you have gone through the worst, and nothing can be as bad as that first week, right?  It's a slow process from day 7, and sometimes you may feel like you have a day that wasn't as good as the day before, or an afternoon that wasn't as good as the morning, but if you start to try to see your progress by the week instead of by the day, you will feel so much better.  My point?  Don't look for drastic improvement everyday....just every week!!!!!

I have 2 weeks now, and I am trying to concentrate on how much better off I am than I was 2 weeks ago, today!!!!!

Great Job!!!!


Avatar universal
by lealea66, Mar 20, 2010
wow....i am not sure how i stumbled upon this...but i really need help and advice - or more like encouragement...k?? I am a 43 y/o w/f...wife and mom. I don't guess i really need to go into how this tramadol addiction happened, it's the same story as ev. one else', right? Prescribed for pain after rotator cuff surgery (that was a year ago!) and it made me feel so i good - i just keep getting refills....and doubling up and taking more to get the same effect - day after day after day so i can be that happy energy filled girl everyone wants and expects me to be, right???  So for ab. the past 3 mo's - i took up to 8-10 ultram a day.....i knew i had a problem, but i needed the energy so i kept taking it. I bit the bullet last week because i knew this could not go on for many reasons. So i tapered down to 2 a day for a week, then 1 a day for 3-4 days.....then cold turkey because the bottle was empty and this is as good a time as any right???  Tomorrow will be day Day #6 ("do i get a sobriety coin yet??lol) of no ultram/tramadol. The 1st 3 days were AWFUL - ZERO energy, diarrhea, listlessness, mood swings - tears, depression, laid in bed all 3 days depressed - all that wonderful stuff~ yesterday and today: no diarrhea and a tad bit more energy but still zero motivation to do anything. When will this end? i can't go on like this much longer - My house is a wreck because i cannot MAKE myself get up and do anything! :(   When will i get motivation, vibrance & longevity back?? Someone please tell me what i can do (magic, please??) to expediate this process, give me energy again - i do not wanna start taking this again...i know deep down why i shouldn't - but waking up everyday only to know that it's another day that i am gonna feel like $hit is not cutting it.....i am really depressed and  advise???  thanks! : )    

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Mar 21, 2010
Lea,  Welcome to our world.   Sadly, your detailed account of these past six days is frighteningly THE SAME as the that which most of the rest of us have experienced, who have gone through TRAM withdrawal.  Your quick taper and then cold turkey was very similar to my method, which was born by "I'm counting pills and about to run out AGAIN.   How am I gonna get out of this place so I NEVER need to return to the tram-a-train?"  For me, that happened 16 months ago.  Like you, I was amazed when I got here to find so many other people suffering from addiction/dependance on tramadol.  We each figured we were each so terminally unique until we googled something like "tramadol withdrawal" and arrived here one by one.

The LAST thing I would worry about in the next several days would be the condition of your house or your ability to be the perfect mom/wife.   By your post, I am assuming that your family doesn't know the depths of your addiction or the serious nature of the fight you find yourself in now?   It is so much easier if our family is IN on what is happening so that they can set their expectations of us at this time.   But I do appreciate that for many, it is important to maintain the myth that we ARE PERFECT.   I get that.  I am the consumate frustrated perfectionist.  

Your motivation, vibrance and usual charming traits will return if you remain strong and continue to put moments between yourself and that last LOVELY little white pill.    

At six days you ought to be coming out of the WORST of acute withdrawals.   Come back tomorrow and I will personally hand you a one week chip.   Even after the worst of insomnia, flu like symptoms (common to most opiate withdrawals) case, you will unfortunately experience WEEKS and WEEKS of ongoing improvement with more suttle psychological issues.  Things like focus, concentration, motivation, ability to make decisions, anxiety and depression will improve over the next weeks and weeks as you press on.  

You are aware that there is an anti-depressant in tramadol, yes?   The manufacturers have somehow managed to have this synthetic opiate introduced in the US in 1995 without a great many trials.  And as if the opiate wasn't sufficient to keep us all "coming back", they have included an antidepressant, which adds to our agony and depressed affect coming off the drug.  

Visualize the tramadol loosing it's GRIP on you - literally.  It won't leave without a fight.  It can't believe you are actually woman enough to tell it"goodbye".   Stand strong and moment by moment tramadol is loosing it's grip on you.

What I experienced at about the point you are at now, is an INTENSE return of emotions.   Expect this.   It's all part of the recovery process.  

Keep coming back and posting.  You will not only receive comfort and support, but I believe that your story will serve as a testimony to those coming behind you.

Click on Emily's ICON.   You will find herr profile page.   Go to anyone's profile page.   Look on the right and click on "select Ll" to see old journal entries.   You will see page numbers in the upper right of the journal page.  Keep selecting "next" to head back to her very earliest entries, beginning in about May of 2008.   Since you ain't don't housework today anyway, draw strength from reading her old entries.  

Don't minimize the significance of what you are achieving.  Make this fight the most important thing in your life for yet a few more days.   Courage, strength and love,


Avatar universal
by lealea66, Mar 21, 2010
I sent you one short note already Fred - but thnx for posting more thing i am a bit confused about after reading many many posts of those who have "gone before me" is the insomnia factor. I am just the opposite. I can presently sleep ALL DAY LONG, even though i know i shouldn't, right?? lol  My mind is saying "you should really get up and go do that laundry, chick" but my body is saying " you are so tired - take another nap!"  I am fighting thru this urge (sometimes) by walking as exercise w/ my ipod - which is also a new thing for me because i am 5 7" and 128 lbs. and never had a weight problem to feel like i should be walking for exercise. When i walk my 1-1.5 miles per day now, i return a bit energized and thankful for the fresh air...but it fades....*sigh*......i think if i could have someone to tell me that this "need to sleep all day and lay on the couch" will pass i can truly press on. I know i should not worry ab my house and how much dust is on the coffee table...but i am EXTREMELY OCD which is prob one of the reasons tramadol sucked me gave me that major boost to keep everything perfect, accomplish everything and be "wonder woman." lol

I am hopeful for today & willing to give it a shot (what other choice do you have - i know you asking that, right??) My frame of mind (even yesterday) was not good....not feeling positive about being able to get over this without the return to my "magic pill" and ended the day sitting outside smoking and crying over the extreme frustration that my house is not straight and clean and i don't have the "umph" to do certain hobbies i used to live to do! My sister is an RN - i love and trust her and she knows my "dirty little secret" (mostly) she says i am pushing myself and expecting too much too soon. My husband (whom i confessed to yesterday) is major supportive as someone who came very close to vicodin addiction a few years back after knee surgery. "Let the house go" he says...."chill".....yeah, right - i am OCD remember???  :(      So today, i will try to take it hour by hour and see if there is a difference in what i felt yesterday!  Comments on the "no-insomnia" for me??  Trammy made me the insomniac - busy,busy,busy! In bed around 2am, but then could not get up in the morning. Now without it - i am pretty darn lazy - is that weird??    

1059641 tn?1277525976
by forget_me_not, Mar 21, 2010
Lea, Welcome.  I would say the lack of insomnia in your case is "unusual" considering most of us really get slammed by it.  But Every Body really is different -- and your Body may have responded a little differently to the withdrawal (needing sleep, probably to recuperate and repair from all those months of going at 10,000rpms, like I did?)  

The insomnia may still come.  It may not, so don't worry about it.  Just know that it might, so that one night if it happens, you won't be too shocked or upset.  "Yeah, I figured this might happen!"  And try to remain focused and flexible.  Just go with the flow.  It's up and it's down.  It's all over the place.  You soar high up in the sky, feeling sure you've beaten this thing, and then a downdraft sends you into a nosedive.  It's all part of the ride.  It's normal, it's healing.  You'll recover no matter how you feel you are spinning out.

Thank goodness you have support!  THAT helps.

Stay in the moment as much as you can.  Don't worry (I know...OCD and all) about the house being just perfect.  Be gentle with yourself.  It's all going to be waiting for you when you feel better.  And you will feel better.  Soon.

Lots of love.


Avatar universal
by kimta, Mar 21, 2010
OMG, I'm back and I am a mess! I don't know if any currently posting might remember my my joining you quite a while back, for a short time. But I did. Then I talked to my doctor and thought I was gonna be all better. I am so NOT better. Let me give you a run down,

June of '09- prescribed tram 100mg 3x/day for back & neck pain.

Ran out of my scrip about 4 days early in Sept '09. Have never experienced anything like it in my life!

Went to the ER & was told I was in withdrawl from Tram. ER doc gave me a shot of Demerol & another scrip of 20 Tram to hold me over till my next refill.

Followed up with my regular doc on Monday. I WAS PISSED! I was taking Tram instead of "real" narcotics because I didn't want to develope dependency issues. Tram was NOT doing much for my pain but it helped a little & at least I wasn't using the hard stuff, right? But now I find that I DO have an addiction. There were so many times I hurt so badly that I wanted to go to my doc & beg for something stronger. But I didn't. I didn't want to go down that road. But I was noticing something else too, I was experiencing anxiety, and depression. I was having a hard time doing homework because my thoughts were... all over the place. I had a panic attack in front of one of the classes I TA for!

So, I talked to the doc. Together we decided Hydrocodone 7.5mg/2xday should help better. And I would begin to take less and less of the Tram. He put me on Prozac & gave me Vistiril for acute anxiety.

I am a full-time student & what I do in a day is not physical. I am mainly on a computer for hours, sitting, assisting other students etc. The problems with my back are in all three regions. Bulging disks to the point some are moved into the spinal canal and are pressing against the spinal cord, moderate to severe stenosis, arthritic changes in most of my joints. My arms go numb often & I feel alot of nerve pain. I know I should be thankful I am able to move around at all. Many cases are much worse than mine. But my pain is very intense at times.

I started all my new drugs. I figured I had 2 Hydros/day to help me, so I started paying close attention to when I needed them most. I pin-pointed the 2 worst and took them then, but really there were three x's/day that I thought I needed them. I made due for a while but eventually went back to my doc and asked to be able to take one more per day. No dice. He didn't really want me on them in the first place, so I was basically lucky getting what I was being given.

OK, so here's where I have made an aweful situation 100 x's worse! When I started the new drug regime I was actually just going to stop the tram altogether. The ER doc had told me the Demerol shot would calm everything because my body was craving narcotics. Demerol is a narcotic, (& boy did it help me at the time. I finally slept like a baby). So, if Hydro's are narcotics I should just be able to replace the tram with them, right? Wrong! I felt NO effects from the Hydro's unless I took at least 1 tram with it. But 1- 50mg tram 2x's/day was better than 100mg/3x's/day and if I keep dropping it down some I should be able to stop them soon. BUT! I had a third episode of pain in the day that I wasn't able to take anything for. I began taking 2 tram for it.

The Prozac (generic) was really helping with the anxiety and depression symptoms. The Hydro's almost made my joints feel like they had been OILED when I took it the 2 x's every day. And I just gritted my teeth through the one time I took only the 2 tram until time for my next Hydro.

I'm sure you can see where this train is about to wreck. My last tram scrip is almost gone. About a week ago I started cutting way back thinking it would be OK because I am taking Hydro's and they should help with most of the withdrawl symptoms. They aren't. Anxiety and deression are kicking in like gangbusters. I am having serious problems with my train of thought. I never thought that I had "mental" issues in the past. But I feel like I do now! I AM NOT FUNCTIONING WELL! I am soo gealous of lealea66, I'd take sleeping through this any day over the type of insomnia withdrawing from tram brings. I am short of breath, as a matter of fact my lungs feel like they burn just a little bit. My skin hurts, my hair hurts & I can't stay still. I can't slow down my thoughts. The pain from my back feels amplified. Worst of all is that I haven't even stopped them yet. I still have 8 tram left!      


Avatar universal
by lealea66, Mar 21, 2010
oh wow....someone is JEALOUS of me!!  i am honored...not!! lol  I have never had to take any type of other pain meds (other than trammy) so i am prob not much help.....i only know about me and my w/d issues x 6 days. Today is the 1st day that i actually feel like i want to (and am going to!) live, praise God!  You do seem to be on a visious cycle of taking this to take away that and that to help reduce the effect of that, and so on and so on......i don't know you but i hate it so bad for you. : (   I have pain from Fibromyalgia and then actually hurt my back a week ago today....but up until a few min.'s ago, I've only had an x-strength tylenol and that is only because i have a headache. Today, i am NOT sleepy one bit. I did TRY to take a nap, but found i wasn't sleepy (what's up w/that??) after all i've don't nothing but sleep for almost a week! After consulting w/my sister who is an RN and has exclusive access to her hospital's medical library....i gave her exactly what i was taking, how much/many. She did a cross reference on all my oral meds and told me that some of the other meds i take (not pain meds though) were actually working against each other and causing more problems than i was even taking those meds for....something called Seratonin Syndrome where my Cymbalta and the "anti-depressant" factor in all the trammy i was taking was creating major negative effects against one another  - making me feel 10 times worse that i should. I am not saying that may even have anything to do with what you are experiencing....but do you have someone that may can take all your med info (even OTC's) and give you some advice or direction, and just SEE if there is anything that is "colliding" into each other???  The W/D thing is h*ll, but if you can just get the WORST behind you, get some sort of supportive person around you to pick up your slack and maybe give yourself some time to wean/detox......i think you would/will feel tons better if you can just stopp the madness of taking the hydro and the trammy....hang in there - hope this helps! :)  

Avatar universal
by 4leefclover, Mar 21, 2010
Hello Warriors All !
Been in Charleston this weekend past, visiting my son at college. My daughter came in from Switzerland also. We had a wonderful family weekend. (AND I wasn't 'digging into my purse" for a 'little white' now and again....ok ok maybe two or three, even)
...what a relief....the guilt is gone. I came clean to you guys and key support people (their father, my partner, my mentors...etc) but not the kids......I know in my heart I am clean now --and I am happy to be 'fully present' in their lives....being attached so deeply to a substance creates a veil, a dishonesty, a flaw in my character and conduct that gnaws at the back of my mind...all my fancy rationalizations and justifications are just 'tissues of lies' .....VERY thin ice
tramdont- great job, Hon!! keep going! hot baths, exercise, heating pad, kindness and benevolence for yourself  your first week is behind you!! Nothing coming down the pike can stop you....keep posting!!!
tramahat- 2 WEEKS!! very nice work....what an accomplishment!!
lea-welcome!! so glad you found someone to reference all your meds and do some important teaching and offering helpful advice!!
Kimta- glad you are back! struggling with pain is difficult....coming off tram is difficult..I found the pain, coming off tram was much worse than the underlying pain I eventually had to deal with...10 days out...things REALLY calm down in the pain is a function of the w/d .....maybe a pain clinician would be of
Fred- thanks always for your wonderful presence here!
Pat- you are doing GREAT, Hon- keep posting...we believe in you!!
FMN- see you had a demanding week.... how is the depression you mentioned a few weeks back?
been thinking about you...we have to let go of everything in this world, don't we? even old ideas, which do not serve us anymore...little white pills, dogs and cats and mom went into a nursing home a few weeks back...her life is now boiled down to what she can fit into a dresser (that piece of furniture doesn't even belong to her) a little physical therapy a day...three meals at a table with other residents who don't even converse with each other...closed in and getting ready for the 'transition'
we all come from the Tao and return there...everything does...every plant, flower, sweet little dog and my old lady....ME too....

reading Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell...very potent and beautiful spiritual piece of work
also just read The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer...... favorite chapter (was every one) but particularly unconditional happiness.....very cool
sometimes life *ucks....we get dismantled by this 'thing called life'----- but every energetic part of that beloved pet is released into our collective and will hum effortlessly-- eternally-- feeding our souls with the love you imparted to her and her heartedness she imbued to reading your posts

all is Well
you are Loved

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Mar 22, 2010
Lea,  If you continue to sleep a great deal, you are MOST blessed.   The only sleep most of us get in the first week off tramadol is an hour here, a few minutes there.   Remain focused on your recovery Lea and while the worst may be over by day 7, like FMN said, be gentle with yourself...focus your OC behavior on getting well and as much as possible leave everything else go.  BTW, congratulations on making it SEVEN DAYS (drum roll please for Lea!!!)   Hippy!!!

Hello Sasha,  I don't think I was posting/present much when you arrived here.   I'll pay closer attention to your posts going forward, so I learn more about you.   I see you have "adult children" as do I (plus grandchildren).  Yes, isn't it grand to not be digging in your purse for the lovely white pills?   I can't say that I ever carry a purse, but rest assured, I knew where my stash was at all times.  

Kimta, that is a complex medical picture you paint.   Would it be worthwhile for you to see a doctor who (1) understands the addictive nature of tramadol, and (2) your other pain/health issues.   These people are - after all supposed to engaged in making people well.   I wish I could offer something more, but  I am not particularly knowledeable about poly drug interactions.

FMN, I keep saying little prayers for you at this time of loosing Cindy.   I hope you are journaling for yourself.  I know it was theraputic for me when I lost my cats last year.  And in your case (if you don't mind me saying so), your writings are so POWERFUL that one way or another, I am pretty certain that your words would help someone else some day.

Everyone have a great week.



Avatar universal
by LivingnPresent, Mar 22, 2010
Hi Everyone..just checking in...up and down over here...but still steady on the taper..saturday i travel for a week  and im scared ******** ...and filled with im not focused..and wonder how i will interact with customers, etc.  once im back..i go on 1 tram a day...then plunge into another week long 5/12 or sooner  i will be off tram completely..i dont know if im doing this right..but right seems to be the best way for me..i dont have the time to be off while i recover from cold turkey..yesterday the depression was severe even tho im on wellbutrin for 3 weeks now.
Hello to Kimta and Lea..welcome -  so much support and love here..
Sasha thanks for your ongoing means so much..Sounds like a great family weekend..and you PRESENT ..what a gift to you and to your kids...
Fmn..thinking about you sweetie...hoping that you are doing ok...
Petunia..i hope you are doing ok dear..thinking good thoughts and sending prayers your way.
Fred..thank you again for your posts..your bring so much wisdom, strength and peace to this table.
To everyone else..all the brave and courageous..who are battling...thank you for sharing your stories of strength and many of us out here struggling get so much from all that you share..please keep posting...I am wishing you all love and peace in this battle.

Avatar universal
by sandia66, Mar 22, 2010
Hello All!

I haven't posted in a few weeks, but I continue to read each and every day for the support that I find here.

As some of you know, I have kept my addiction my "little secret" from everyone - including my husband.  I didn't want him to know that the woman that I was flawed.  I was so fearful that he would judge me and that he would look at me differently.  Well, we went out of town over spring break - just the two of us - and I decided that while we were in the car with no distractions, I would break the news.  Telling him was the best thing that I have done so far on this journey.  All of the shame and guilt that I have been carrying around with me were released into the universe never to land on my shoulders again.

I was reminded why I married this man in the first place.  He is a rock.  He loves me unconditionally.  We are in this together and when my day feels shakey - I can now turn to him with honesty and ask for help.  I know that many of us here have no one to talk to except those of us on this thread.  If you can, tell someone. It's important to your recovery.

Leaving my secret on the highway was like removing the shackles - the chains to my prior life - I can now literally say - the old Susan is in my rear view mirror.

I am free and it feels damn good!

Pat Pat - you are down to two pills a day and that is friggin awesome - think about it - you are just about ready to put this in your rear view mirror as well.  If your businesss travels ever take you to Houston - I am here if you need a shoulder.

FMN - I am so sorry for your loss.  

Everyone else - keep fighting - I have been T-free for almost 50 DAYS.  I am sleeping well and my ability to focus is getting better each and every day.  Stay strong and believe in yourself.

Avatar universal
by rattytatty, Mar 22, 2010
I posted my experience with Tramadol, yet do not see it here.  What did I do wrong?  Anyways... glad to know that what I am experiencing is "normal".  I've been off Tramadol (determined NOT to have it refilled again) for three days and have slept a total of MAYBE 3 hours since Friday evening... am severely depressed to the point of crying a lot and not wanting to get out of the recliner... feeling achy and totally unmotivated to do ANYthing.
Doctor said the Tramadol was not addictive... I don't believe her.
I've never been one to be depressed and this is all new to me, and I'm NOT coping well.  Have taken tramadol regularly for a bit over three months. :(
I'm so thrilled to find this forum and read about the experiences of others.

Avatar universal
by LeaAnn807, Mar 22, 2010
Ratty....what you are going through is totally normal.  The depressed and crying feeling is something that most of us dealt with during the first few days and many struggle with for awhile.  I am about 16 days out now, and I'm feeling much stronger, emotionally.  I don't want a pill.  It's not a hard decision for me now.  When I have a fleeting thought, I just remember the days of what you are going through, and I get that thought OUT of my mind.

The insomnia is a killer.  Sleep comes back, but you may not get much for the first week.  That is why many people go back to using the tram.  They can't stand the anxiety, depression, lack of energy and insomnia!  At least that is what happened with me.  

Hang in there. You are approaching a turning point.  Don't go back now!!!  Days 1-4 are the worst.  See how close you are to the end??

Good luck!


Avatar universal
by rattytatty, Mar 22, 2010

THANK YOU... THANK YOU... THANK YOU for your response, and vote of confidence and support!!!  Until I researched this via the internet this morning, I honestly did not know what was wrong with me!   I've never been one who is prone to depression, but all of a sudden I'm thinking about all about dismal things like loss of friends and family... uncertainties of the future (economic and otherwise)... and just crappy stuff in general. :(

I cried all the way into work this morning for no reason at all, and cried the bulk of yesterday also.  Because my doctor had told me the tramadol was not addictive... I never made the connection between discontinuing it's use on Friday and my emotional state over the weekend and today.  

I've read several posts here about how the withdrawal symptoms last for more than week and if that's true, I'm sure dreading the next many days. :(  

Again... thank you so much for your good vibes.

1059641 tn?1277525976
by forget_me_not, Mar 22, 2010
good day, Warriors.

So much good progress going on here.  Rattytatty, of course you feel depressed and rotten.  This stuff is terrible, terrible poison, and it takes our bodies a while to resume normal function.  Every person's experience really is different and unique, but take heart that most of us saw a pretty dramatic improvement in things overall around days 7 - 10.  YMMV.  Hang in there, though.  Regardless how bad you feel today, you are healing.  You are not what you feel at this point in time.  Your body is a miraculous, wondrous thing that knows how to thrive without tramadol.  Just give it time to adjust.

As you may know, tramadol has a very potent SNRI antidepressant in addition to the opioid component.  None of us knew about that (well, that I know of) when we started dancing with this monster.  It's one of the little surprises that many of us found out about the first time we either ran out or tried to stop.  The SNRI discontinuation is hellish.  Opiate withdrawal is bad, but SNRI withdrawal is on a different plane altogether.

Insomnia is part of the ride for many of us, at least in the beginning.  But know it gets better.  Distract yourself as much as you can.  Stay busy.  Exercise, in whatever way you can.  Move your body.  I swear by Yoga.  I believe it may save my life.  Journal.  Post here.  When you need help, ask for it.  We will help you in any way we can.

I wish I could write more to all of you newcomers.  I am dealing with the loss of my baby dog, my Cindy, whom I had to have euthanized on Thursday morning.  She was such a precious and important part of my life.  The weather has been nice since her death until today, so I kept busy outside.  Last summer I built a little rose arbor/summer house in my yard, and when Cindy passed, I took the tile floor up and buried her beneath the arbor.  I've spent the last four days planting, arranging, decorating, generally doing anything I can do to make it a place that reflects her spirit...innocent, playful, joyful.  Today it's cold rain and sleet, so I'm stuck inside with myself, which isn't really a good thing.  I just miss her so much.  Fred, as much as I hate that you experienced this kind of loss, I have to say I was hoping you'd read the post because I know you understand.

4leef, Sandia, Pat and others...thank you so much for your support and kind words.  There's just no easy way through it, is there?  We see through clouded eyes.  If my eyes could see the truth, they would see her spirit, free and limitless, running and soaring through the universe untethered.  Instead, I see flashbacks of her last days, as hard as they were.  And I see all the places where she isn't anymore. But I know, without any doubt, that she is free now.

I just miss her.  That's it.

Love you guys.  Keep fighting the good fight.  Minute by minute, you will win.  It is all going to be ok.


Avatar universal
by rattytatty, Mar 22, 2010
Forget-Me-Not... thank you.

As a dog lover, and avid agility exhibitor with one of my four dogs... I too understand and feel the pain of your loss.  I lost my beloved doxie a year ago and still have not totally rebounded from it,  When a loss such as this hits, it consumes your being, but truly it does sound as though for the most part you are handling it well by spending the past four days doing what you can to keep her spirit alive.  Bless you for caring enough to do this.

No... there is no easy way to deal with the grief.  Just feel better a little knowing that she's waiting at the Rainbow Bridge for you. :)  I have a saying that attaches to all of my emails:

"Every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." ~~Author Unknown~~



Avatar universal
by LivingnPresent, Mar 22, 2010
Fmn....Love you right back Sweetheart..sending big hug back to you...Here for you.

Avatar universal
by LeaAnn807, Mar 22, 2010
FMN....I am so sorry about your dog.  I hate that for you so badly!

Ratty....I'll tell you something that I forgot.  I was watching Law and Order (all day marathon) when I was just starting WD, and I cried over that!!!  Law and Order?  Yep....totally sad to me on those days! don't feel so alone in your depression and grief, right?!!  It goes away eventually!  Give it just a little more time and your emotions won't be so raw!


Avatar universal
by Aussiepom, Mar 22, 2010
Just stumbled onto this site while looking for info on relief for pinched nerve. My Doc suggested that I take Tramadol for the pain and I said no way thanks. My daughter took it for a short while and had a seizure as a result. The Nuerologist told her that it was poison and he would have it banned if he could. I had no idea that so many people have been affected by the drug. Why is it still being prescribed??


Avatar universal
by 4leefclover, Mar 22, 2010
Aussie- If you read through these posts you will see over and over again...people on this site approaching their MD's about the terrible w/d to be told "it's not addicting"
your Neurologist is a very smart should recommend this site to him/her
Ratty- the emotional stuff is demanding....I struggled with it as have many others....I'd get these strong but short 'waves' of depression and anxiety....especially at work....I did get in to a highly regarded psychiatrist (I am very leary of them) and was started on clonidine for anxiety (NOT habit forming) and a mood stabilizer....many have gotten antidepressants to get over the difficult time with depression....all the feelings come out, it seems...I just wanted to make sure I didn't run back to the is a complex w/d because the opiate component causes the sneezing, hot/cold body aches flu like symtoms and insomnia ie the first 5-7 days....then there is the antidepressant component of tramodol ...chemically extremely similar to the antidepressant Effexor..... which can cause some weeks of trouble with depression and anxiety as well as insomnia....thats tough and please note that everyone is a bit different here....just want you to understand what you are dealing with...I am not an expert...but some here the some searches....KEEP GOING....get all the help you deserve it

all is well, Warriors
you are Loved

Avatar universal
by CalNative, Mar 22, 2010
Each day gets better. THE ABSOLUTE WORST DRUG ON THE PLANET.  The high is nice there is no doubt, but the w/d's!!!!

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Mar 22, 2010
Hi everyone.You are all so right about tramadol being a bad drug.Whenever I dispense that drug,I warn the patient taking that it it one of my least favorite drugs.I tell them it is a deceptive drug that develops tolerance and addiction quickly and sneakily.It is still being treated as a non narcotic,but it really is and has that antidepressant property that is not emphasized.It is difficult to stop and does not really have real potent pain relief.Codeine is better and has less interactions and does not masquerade as a non opiateWith codeine you know what you get,but with tramadol you get unexpected effects.
I try to warn everyone away from it......but you know...they all want to try it.Very few refuse to take it even with the possibility of interactions.Even the doctors insist that the chance of serotonin syndrome is minor.
I tell the patient..."I want you to know that i did warn you"

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by forget_me_not, Mar 22, 2010
On the TV news from Lexington tonight, there was a story about someone posing as a doctor to fraudulently obtain prescription drugs.  Yadda yadda.  Same story we all hear on the news everyday, right?  Except this time, it was different.

The woman was pretending to be a doctor to obtain pills from a Kroger pharmacy.  Not oxycodone, not hydrocodone, not benzos.  


The media are hunting her down, of course.  I saw her face on the screen and felt such sympathy, such pity.  I don't condone what she did.  But I get it.  I get the fear, the all-out-if-I-don't-get-a-pill-I'm-going-to-fry-in-my-own-skin fear.  The sound of the walls of my mind caving in about 24 hours into WD.  The feeling of everything turning black.  Everything fading to black.

I get it.

I looked at her, and all I could think was, "you're not alone."  We've all been burned by the flames of tramadol hell, and lived to tell about it.  We are lucky.  If you are in acute WD, think about it.  This could have been any of us.

Tramadol is on the schedule in KY.  Perhaps this case, as unfortunate as it is, will help draw attention to the tremendous misinformation being circulated about this drug.

Poison.  Rat poison.  Tramadol = RAT POISON.

fight on, warriors.

love and blessings,

Avatar universal
by ty1987, Mar 22, 2010
it just boggles my mind that tramadol still isn't scheduled's actually quite scary that a drug like this can slip through the radar, even though there are thousands of people like us out there. what the hell is the fda waiting for??? this drug ruins lives. period. anyway, that's my rant for the day....

today was my 5th day tramadol free. the worst symptom i'm experiencing now is the insomnia. i haven't slept more than 5 hours a day in over a week. it's very exhausting. the one thing i've found that helps, as i've said before, is EXERCISE. i know how hard it may be to get out of bed (believe me, i was there about a week ago), but you MUST force yourself to get some exercise. for the insomnia i've been taking 3 geltabs of diphenhydramine hydrochloride every night, which helps a little bit. you can get them at walmart for $4 over the counter. i've also been taking lots and lots of vitamins and drinking a ton of water.

just take comfort in knowing that each day of hell is one day closer to getting your life back!

Avatar universal
by CalNative, Mar 22, 2010
Ok, we know what we have been doing *****.  Its was the most fun for a while but now, we have to stop. Its that simple. Drug seeking behavior, we've been through it, we've stolen it, lied to get it and now we're hooked and want to get off the ****. Sooo, well, let's bite the bullet and do it and know that tomorrow will be better for us. We've got to keep busy, listen to our favorite music (Chicago at the moment), go for walks, go with our significant other.  Even if its just to the store. Stay busy. I'm on day 3.  Norco 10/325, 90 pills in 3 days. My doc would prescribe trams like candy-120 a whack with about 3 to 4 refills and boy, I get 'em and down the hatch they'd go.  To dodge the w/d's, I'd refill my Norco. I, we know its wrong but we do it.  Sound familiar? Well, lets do it. Me.

Avatar universal
by CalNative, Mar 22, 2010
Ty, forget the benedryl. Get melatonin.  You'll get the absolute best nites sleep.  Trader Joes has chewable and you local market has 'em too.  I pop about 5 with a glass of water and in about 45 minutes I'm sleepy.  It replaces the seratonin that you brain has been depleted of (the pineal gland I believe is what its called in you brain) as you get older. With the benedryl, if I'm not mistaken, you'll wake up a little foggy. Exercise?  Oh yes my brother. MAKE YOURSELF EXERCISE even if its a half hour walk.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Mar 23, 2010
Ty,  You are doing great.   Congratulations on five days off the drug.   I predict that you will begin to feel emensely better real quickly.  Good suggestion re: excercise.  

Pharma,  thanks always for your valuable insights.  

Ratty,  Welcome.  I liked the attachment you referenced that appears on your emails.  Pretty cool.  

FMN, Yes of course I understand deeply the loss of a beloved pet like Cindy.   (Not your exact loss per se, but the impact that my precous girl cat had and still HAS on me, now 10 months later.)   I cried reading the post you wrote a coupe days ago.  

Cal, welcome.  In order so that others here (me) might best know how to support your withdrawal, which drugs are you withdrawing from now (trams or norco?  both?)   When did you last use, etc?    Share only if you wish.   What I have found is tha tthis group is pretty darned accepting and full of mercey...cause we have been through addiction, most recently tramadol, but...

Aussie,  good luck finding a pain medication for your pinched nerve.   As you have found out, tramadol ISN'T IT!  It's pretty discusting that this drug is still being prescribed with such disregard, huh?.  I suspect that to a large extent, because the drug is not scheduled as a narcotic in most places, they (doctors) figure that the manufacturer's claims that it is a "safe, non-habit forming analgesic" must be true.  

As I recall, five states in the US ARE scheduling tramadol now, most recently Kentucy 15 months ago or so.  Ther is still a great deal to be done on this front.

Courage Strength and love,


Avatar universal
by reborn216, Mar 23, 2010
im new here i read every day but first time post going on day 13 of detox getting a lil better but the insomnia has been killin me .... last night i finally slept a full 8 hours an i feel a lil better... i am still epressed but hope the sleep again will eases my pain ...thnx for all ur postings really helped me this faar thnx

Avatar universal
by reborn216, Mar 23, 2010
i  forgot to say i took 40 pills a day an c/turky its been a long and hard journey but am reay to reap the benefits of sobriety...thnx

Avatar universal
by reborn216, Mar 23, 2010
we should all file a class action lawsuit on the makers of tramadol for there lying and hiding the risks od this drug.........

Avatar universal
by rattytatty, Mar 23, 2010
Good morning one and all...
I'm at work and just wanted to check in since so many of you were to kind to respond to my initial posts yesterday.  I had several training (dog) sessions last night which helped occupy me, and then went for a walk with my furkids.  Came in and took a long bath and watched a bit of TV and hit the bed at 10:00.  I laid there until around 11:30 and got up and watched a few recorded CSI-Miami programs... went back to bed around 1:30 and got up again at 2:30.  Read some in a book and hit the bed AGAIN at 4:00 a.m.  Not once did my eyes close.  My alarm went off at 4:30 a.m. and woke me up, so I'm assuming I got approximately 1/2 hour of sleep last night.  Not only could I not sleep... I was anxious and felt all jittery inside almost as if my muscles were in some sort of spasm (not sure I can explain it).  My tramadol bottle is empty and I have one refill left.
I came SO close to putting it in my purse when I left home this morning so I could call in that refill, but I didn't.  I cried all the way into work.  This is SOOOOOO not like me !!  My last pill was taken on Friday, March 19th.  Today in March 23rd.  
The thing is... I honestly did not feel I was dependent on this drug.  What I began to notice is that I was having to increase the dosage in order to obtain the same amount of relief that fewer pills previously provided.  It was then that I questioned what was happening.  I felt because the doctor prescribed these, they must be ok.
The depression... anxiety.... insomnia..... I could not figure out until I researched "tramadol withdrawals" on the internet and my search brought me here.  Upon reading all the posts, it was clear to me then what is happening.
I have no clue if I'm through the worst.  I'm tired... I'm cranky...I'm depressed... I'm totally un-motivated to do much of anything except sit in the recliner (but that doesn't make me happy either).
It's like this "thing" has consumed me. :(
I wish for each of you a safe journey in your efforts with getting off this medication or whatever other drugs you may have become addicted to.  I'm so glad I found you folks !
Pray that this gets better... I have to have faith that it will... for all of us who seem to be in this boat together.


Avatar universal
by rattytatty, Mar 23, 2010
I meant to ask -- does chills go along with this withdrawal?  I'm freezing one minute and sweating the next. :(

Avatar universal
by LivingnPresent, Mar 23, 2010
Hi Ratty...Im on a tapered withdrawal..but i can tell you that during day..i get quite cold..especially my hands..freezing...i do have occasional hot flushes/heat attacks..kind of like hot flashes i used to experience with menopause.  Based on what others have said out here..sounds pretty much par for the course.
Good Luck to you..very much admire your courage to get to this point..
Reborn.. welcome, welcome...unbelievable ffrom 40 a day to ct...cannot imagine that..congratulations..i find it incredible that you can type..:-)
Ty - hearty congratulations on your withdrawal are doing awesome..
AussiePom..welcome to you as well glad you stumbled on here..incredible place for those of us struggling with this demon.
strength & blessings,

Avatar universal
by rattytatty, Mar 23, 2010
Thanks, Pat... I guess I just need reassurance that all this crap I'm experiencing is "normal" (normal?) ....
Am also experiencing muscle pain and stiffness.  
They really do need to take this drug off the market or at least let the doctors know that it is indeed addictive so maybe they will think twice about dispensing re-fill unlimited prescriptions.  I've been going to my doctor for years and she told me it was not addictive.  I trusted her, and I still cannot believe she would give me an unlimited supply of something if she had knowledge that it is addictive?  Makes me concerned....

Avatar universal
by LivingnPresent, Mar 23, 2010
Yes i know what you mean.  I had back injury and initially doc put my on oxy & hydrocodone..i could not take those..wacked me out he said..ok let's try's milder not as heavy an opiate as the others..and never said anything about being addictive.  it wasnt until i was 3 years into this that he finally we are learning that tramadol can be addictive..and he encouraged me to try and take less ...By then the tram had turned on me..i was needing to take more each day..and ii was losing my energy..strength..depression set in..i was that is when i came out here and found this site...incredible gratitude for that...i went to him and having trouble and i need to get off this crap..and he said..i told you 6 months needed to ..but i had one personal tragedy after another and told him i needed to continue and he let me..he's feeling very bad..that he kept refilling..and he now knows how dangerous it he is refilling script at a tapered dose..and i will be done on 5/12.. sometimes i think that im not qualified to speak out here because i am still on the seems that everyone else is doing it i guess i dont know what it's like to not take any just yet..but i believe that my efforts are just as valid..i have not increased..i've been absolutely true to my taper and i have been experiencing some withdrawal..(primarily depression & anxiety)...occasional breathing issues..heaviness in my chest..lack of energy..but the worst is the inability to focus and the brain fog..i can retain anything...memory is awful..and this wreaks havoc with my job.
sorry to go on..your point it well taken...this drug is awful...i do feel like i've missed 4 years of my life.
thanks for being here and for posting...
Wishing courage and strength for all of us.

Avatar universal
by rattytatty, Mar 23, 2010
I assumed the muscle pain/stiffness was still part of my initial dignosis (sciatic nerve problems which caused considerable leg pain).  So when I experienced this pain, I would take the tramadol and it helped considerably.  Now the pain is worse, but the pain is not specific to my leg anymore... it's a general muscle soreness and I'm thinking (hoping) this is from the tramodol withdrawals and not some new thing going on. :(
I honestly don't know if quitting c/t is the right way to do it.  I did not ask my doctor's advice about it... I simply did not have my prescription refilled.  There may be en easier way -- perhaps the way you are doing it is the best way.  I can't say... I don't know.  

I'm not feeling like I know very much at all lately ... but best wishes to you as you continue down this path!


Avatar universal
by lealea66, Mar 23, 2010
ok...i did not post yesterday. But today for me is 1 week and 1 day...that's 8 days people!! YAY!! After have such a great day Sunday, yesterday was really crappy. But i am not sure it was the trammy w/d, i woke up Monday morn. w/ sinus, allergies, runny nose and ear ache. I felt like crap all day - so tired. back to the couch desiring energy and motivation i had the day before. I laid around ALL last week with the w/d's, this was the week i was gonna get back in the ballgame. After dragging around all day, i started having chills last night and took my temp...100* and really bad achy all over. Took some sinus med. and tylenol and went to bed. didn't sleep well at all - felt like i was awake every 10 mintues...ugh!  Today i am not quite sure yet how i feel, the jury is still out - but no fever. I so desire to enjoy Spring Break with my kids this week, but so far my body says lay around, take a nap - blow it off and the demons are kick my butt telling me to forget it and go back to bed. So is it the flu??  is it more of the same from last week?  i dunno yet. I have no cravings, but i did have the thought yesterday that if i had my "magic pills" i would be able to getup and GO and accomplish things despite the fever and ear ache..stupid right??? i am my own worst critic. i didn't walk yesterday for the 1st time since i got off trammy - i hated myself, but i was sick right??  fever is def. an excuse?? lol

for those of you that are new in this process ( and i am still quite new myself) hang on....ride out the w/d's, they will subside, keep yourself busy and don't think about "how can i cook supper tonight when i feel so bad" take it hour by hour or minute by minute...before long those minutes turn into hours, hours into a day and you can go to bed, and tomorrow will be another day you made it through!! It is really hard though, i know!! : )      

Avatar universal
by LivingnPresent, Mar 23, 2010
Thank you Ratty...very much ... best to you also.
Lea - you go girl - 8 days...AWESOME...  keep us posted on how it's going...these posts mean a lot...
Courage and Strength.

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by forget_me_not, Mar 23, 2010
Reborn, I have absolutely no doubt that there will be a class action suit against the makers of this drug.  No doubt.  It's just a matter of time.  Enough people have to get mad about what this crap has done to them.  I should be a part of that suit.  It's not about money (although it would be helpful -- I had to resign from a very good job because I was too sick to work, a large part of which was the direct result of tramadol addiction).  But my sobriety is all that matters to me personally.  I'd love to see the makers have to stand up and admit they lied.  Because that is what they have done.

Ratty, Lea, Ty: Way to go!  You guys are doing so great.  Hats off to you.  What you are doing takes courage and strength beyond anything I can describe.  And you're getting it done.

The chills, sweats, sneezing, etc...all part of the ride.  I put the "etc." in there because it's so hard to generalize the symptom set that someone is likely to experience.  It varies widely as you'll see here.  But yes, I had all of those, and many others did, too.  In addition, you might experience a lot of new pain in new places.  Pains you have never felt before, and in places you didn't know you could feel pain. For me, it was my lower legs, from my knees to my ankles.  They hurt so badly that I couldn't walk.  For days and days.  Weeks.  And if you think such a small area of the body can't hurt that badly, just break your pinkie finger.  It can.  And coming off tramadol, nerve pathways start firing off false signals.  Strange signals.  Strange pain.  Bizarre, weird pain.

Add to that the SNRI withdrawal (AKA, "Armageddon In Your Head"), and you get the picture.  It's a walk through hell.  But it's temporary!  And it's NORMAL!  You are healing.  Your precious bodies and brains are HEALING.  And if you keep taking one step at a time, you will get there.  

I went CT from 700mg/day in September.  I don't recommend that, but for me, it was the ONLY way.  I didn't quit because I ran out.  I quit because I was DONE.  Done with the perpetual suffering, done with the neverending race to try to keep ahead of the tolerance.  Done.  Period.  I had a bottle with 90 pills in it on the shelf of my closet for a long time because I needed something to hate.  I needed something to be mad at.  So I kept it.  I would occasionally get a pill out and just look at it, thinking "How could it be?"  That little pill could cause such misery, such tremendous suffering.

A few weeks in, I did the Freedom Flush, more as a symbolic gesture than anything.  I wasn't ever tempted.  I don't think any force on earth could tempt me to take another one.

But it's all part of the ride.  My path isn't going to be the same as yours.  We are all different, and this drug affects each person differently.

Pat, sweetie, you are my hero at this moment in time.  You are doing something I simply could not do, which is taper off this stuff.  I tried, I failed, repeat. Many times.  I admire your strength, and I love you for being here to show others there is a kinder, gentler way off this stuff than a long jump from a high place.

Lea, I'm so sorry you are sick.  Bless you, dear.  Hang in there.  It's hard to say whether it's the flu or the WDs.  I called it the tramaflu, because that is what it was.  It was my body fighting off an invasion from a foreign and malicious force (pill or bug, what's the difference?)

Feel better soon, dear.

Strength, love, and healing.


Avatar universal
by 4leefclover, Mar 23, 2010
Hello Warriors All-
  Everyone is doing such a Good Job!!
It is difficult...the insomnia , flu-like symptoms, lack of energy, chills and sweats, tears and rage...a tough walk through a battlefield....just remember...if you don't take that next 'little white' you will remain invisible to the enemy...on the other side of this field is you old true get to get up in the morning (sometimes after VERY LITTLE SLEEP) and look into eyes unveiled by tramagarbage.....
pharma made a suggestion a while back that I wish I would have known about that first few weeks...she recommended the use of nyquil before has a component in it that is a weak opiate-like substance (NOT the nondrowsy formula) and that taking a dose before bed for a few nights might help with the insomnia.....I would have tried it if I would have known and maybe she will review this information for us here, again.....
funny thing...even though I had very little sleep...I could still go during the day...low energy mind you but I wasn't falling asleep at the wheel or at my job.....concentration was a problem....but IT GETS BETTER......
you are doing this thing....we believe in you!!!

all is well
You are Loved

Avatar universal
by rattytatty, Mar 23, 2010
Ackkkkkkkk !!!  So THAT'S why I'm sneezing so much the past few days?  I just thought I was coming down with "something".  Wow... this stuff really DOES kick our b*tts, doesn't it?  I was SOOO clueless ! :(


Avatar universal
by rattytatty, Mar 23, 2010
..."funny thing...even though I had very little sleep...I could still go during the day...low energy mind you but I wasn't falling asleep at the wheel or at my job.....concentration was a problem...."

Oh so true !!  I haven't had 4 hours sleep in three nights... honestly!  Yet here I sit at my puter at work.  Yes... I am tired, but certainly not unfunctional and not falling asleep at my desk.  I just don't want to work.  I'd rather be here reading and posting and interacting with folks who are going through with what I'm going through.... folks I'm SO thankful to have found. :)

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by forget_me_not, Mar 23, 2010
Sasha, I have to thank you for your posts.  Every one of them.  In particular I want to ask everyone to pay special, meditative attention to her closing:

All is well
You are loved

Those two statements contain the most profound truths.  Those truths are unchanging, immutable NO MATTER WHAT YOU ARE EXPERIENCING.  If you will think about those and trust them, they will help you tremendously in this fight, in this surrender.

No matter what you feel
You are NOT what you feel.
You Are.

All Is Well

You Are Loved.

What more is there to say?  Everything under the sun is temporary.  The suffering you are experiencing? Temporary.  The insomnia?  Temporary.  The flu, tramadol WD, this day, this night, time in any quantity or experience of any kind?  The same.  It's all transient EXCEPT for those truths.

ALL is well, and You Are LOVED.

Live in those truths today.


Avatar universal
by mandyloop, Mar 23, 2010
Hi wow!!!
Im new and I cant believe this posting site!! I was on and off of Ultram for a few months and think I have experienced some of the withdrawels too. I want to be off of all of it!! I was given about 30 ultram and some hydrocodone to taper, I dont use either one every day, maybe every two or three days? And I do get the feeling cruddy, slow feeling. I want to taper before this gets ANYYY WORSE!!!!!
Can some one give me a taper routine???
If I was on, like 5 ultram for two days, then off a couple days.. Two vicodin every four hours for a day. Then off a day. And so on.
Would I be better CT?? Im afraid of that after you guys. You are all very brave!! I think its mental for me too.
I did have an injury but I dont need them this much.
Do I do like one in the am. for about three days then off or??
I dont know how but want to taper.

Avatar universal
by oompah54, Mar 23, 2010
Just weaned off of percs after a year of using and abusing.  First week was hell.  Now my surgeon has prescribed tramadol.  After reading the forum I am hesitant to take this.  Is there a safe doseage to take to help with the pain and not become addicted.  I've had two back surgeries in the last five months and at this point in my withdrawal from percs I'm not really sure if the pain is real or temporary.  

Avatar universal
by mandyloop, Mar 23, 2010
Hey guys,
Mandy here,
Sorry for the confusion, I shared my story with my co-worker, and she is also posting. I thought we could both use this site.
I am still on my first week of second time hell. We are working together on it.
It stinks.
One day, up the other down..
God bless

Avatar universal
by rattytatty, Mar 23, 2010
I'm certainly no doctor, but take it from one frustrated and disallusioned person... do NOT take tramadol...especially if you've had problems with perc addiction previously.  That... at least to me... is like stepping out of the frying pan into the fire.  

There are lots of folks here who have had more experience with this than me... I'm a newbie and struggling with the first few days of horrible withdrawals.  Maybe one of them will respond to you.

Hubby had major back surgery 4 months ago and is still recuperating, so I do understand what you are going through.  Please try to hang in there without tramadol or other such drugs if you can.


1059641 tn?1277525976
by forget_me_not, Mar 23, 2010
Oompah and Kerin, Welcome!  We're so glad you are here.

Oompah...Given that you have had a pattern of dependency on opiates in the past (as did I -- which is why I was so excited when tramadol came along, a "safe, non-habit forming alternative to opiates" -- Yeah, right!), I'd recommend that you steer clear of the tramadol.  If at all possible, stick to OTC pain relievers until you've had the chance to see how much of your pain is "real" and how much is actually being caused by the prescription pain meds.  Do you take any other medications?  Also, have you had any issues with depression in the past?  Not being just helps to fill in the picture where your particular case is concerned.  It's hard to know what to do when there is legitimate pain involved, debilitating pain, even.  We will help you in any way we can.

I'm going to strongly discourage tramadol to anyone whose doctor prescribes it.  I know first hand the destruction it can cause.

Kerin, whether you decide to go CT or via taper, be prepared to experience those WD symptoms. It will be uncomfortable either way you go.  For me, the mini-WDs I experienced every time I tapered were too much, and I chose instead to get it all over with at once.  Again, it's not the route for everyone, but it was the only way for me.  Pat (desperategrandma) is following a good taper and it's working well for her.  You might read through the posts and connect with the folks here who have tapered, gather tips and pointers, and be encouraged by their stories.  

Lots of folks decrease their dose by 25mg, or even 12.5mg, every 5 to 7 days until they are off altogether.  Generally, the more gradual the taper, the less intense the WDs.  But you'll find it is uncomfortable.  It's just how it is.  

It's intimidating (scary as heck) out of the gate...But with a bit of persistence and a LOT of determination, you can do it.  You'll get there!

Stay with us, keep posting.  We will help you in any way we can.

lots of love,

Avatar universal
by JG525, Mar 23, 2010
Hi everyone- Sorry for not being present! I'm still clean from tramadol and finally off the effexor too.  I'm stopping my really low dose of prozac tomorrow and I've been tapering the klonopin that I take at night.  I hope to be done with all of it by the end of April.  YAY!

For those who are tapering or in the beginning, it's not necessarily going to be as bad as you think.  I felt much worse while tapering than I did when I stopped.  If you have the right medicines to stop it helps.  Anti-depressants, clonidine and my klonopin helped me, although I don't recommend taking klonopin for long if you aren't on it.  I tapered off Effexor right after tramadol and it was hell for me.  I would recommend trying a low dose of prozac if you're having problems with depression or maybe natural stuff?  

I think someone on here mentioned Calms Forte by Hyland's and I've been taking it at night.  I find it more effective than melatonin for sleep.

Hi to all of you!

I would not recommend this drug to anyone who has had addiction problems in the past.  Whether the addiction is pills, food, smoking, etc.  If anyone is even mildly prone to addiction, I would stay away from this drug too.


Avatar universal
by CalNative, Mar 23, 2010
Fred and All-Norco 10/325, 90 a whack from the doc. W/Ds from that and trams. Last time was March 19th,.  30 vikes, 750 mgs. 30 in one day then that nite, got buzzed on wine...nice.  Today is day four. The depression was the worst. Sunday I went to church and was ready to cry at any moment. I pleaded with God.  I swear he was there for me and said: "stop and I'll help." The priest talked about alcohol, etc., basically substance abuse. Wow, something made me want to go to church.  Anyways, I'm ready. Worked out hard again today and feel great. Awake at 0553 (alarm goes off at 0615). I said, "well, I could lay here, let myself become depressed or get up and get busy. Got dressed, went to 7-11 and got some coffee and the paper, went to work. I've stolen the drugs, lied to get them (even from my parents who are in their late 70's) even did a little dr. shopping to get 'em (talkin' about the Norco/Vikes).  when all hope was lost, I'd call the Pharm. to fax the doc for trammy. Of course, the great news from the pharm. was, and I know you all must agree, was, "your prescription is ready."  Wow, the GREATEST NEWS!!!! I'd pick 'em up, get in my truck and down the hatch: 10 of them at 50 mg. each. then in a few hours, 10 more. Call in a "script" for some Norcos and  BAM: "your prescription is ready." MUSIC TO MY EARS!!!!! I'd say to myself, ****, how in the hell could he do that? Made friends with his nurse, flirted more likely, and at times she would say, "ok, I'll call it in." Subroxone? Not even. I don't NEED another drug in my system to counteract another drug.  JUST FRIGGIN' STOP MAN; THE FUN IS OVER!!!
So, THEY were no real help. Yeah, THEY. More like ME. Ok, there you go, I said it. But I'm getting better thanks this site.
FRED:  your acknowledgment of me means millions!!! Someone is there asking about ME.
How am I doing it, the plan, my plan: Prayer, keeping busy at ALL times, working out (jogging with the ipod), walking looking at the ocean and smiling. It appears, most importantly, THIS SITE. Man, sitting one on one with A counselor? Naw. People here is what I need and its helping. Knowing this will not last. Cal.

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by forget_me_not, Mar 23, 2010 are so right. This site is the BEST help I received during my break-up with tramadol.  It meant so much to me when someone actually recognized me here and asked how I was doing.  The support here is incredible...truly awesome and humbling.  

Know that we are here for you unconditionally.  You can come here and talk, rant, scream, ask questions...whatever you need to do.  There are a lot of folks here at various points on the Freedom Trail, and we will give you every pointer, tip, piece of helpful advice that we can.  

We want YOU to succeed, CalNative.  We want you to beat this devil drug addiction that so desires to own your soul.

Wherever you are tonight, Warriors, please, read these words from our precious Sasha's closing.

All is well
You are Loved.

It is true.  Believe it.


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by forget_me_not, Mar 23, 2010
"I pleaded with God.  I swear he was there for me and said: "stop and I'll help." "

I have to address this because I did the exact same thing.  I was on my knees praying, scared half to death knowing what I was in for on my last day of captivity.  I prayed to God to help me, and IMMEDIATELY felt the knowledge settle into my spirit that, if I would simply surrender, God would bring me through this intact.  It wouldn't be easy, no.  (My time in the desert.)  

One by one, the layers of me were peeled away.  All the dysfunctional crap that I had built around me.  All the lies I had told myself over the years (that if I only excelled in my job, my education, my relationships, fill in the blank) I would be a Whole Person, a Worthy Person.  All I had done to myself -- my shingles over a mud foundation -- were destined to come down.  They had to if I were going to survive.

It wasn't just about quitting a drug.  It was about quitting the lies.  The unrealistic ways I had tried to measure myself over the years.  Over a lifespan.  A lifetime of self-reproach and shame, of not being "good enough", of looking for one way or another to be perfect.

But when that knowledge settled into me, I knew.  The victory in this war is in surrendering.  The irony isn't lost on me that I call all of us warriors, that I have told many that only a War Mentality will get you through acute WD.  It's true, every bit of it was true for me.  I had to be mad enough at this addiction to be willing to Beat It or Die.  But the key to my success was the realization that, in surrendering my idea of my "self", of all that I thought I had to be, I was claiming my victory.

I am LeeAnn.  I am an addict.  But more importantly, I am a Child of God.

He promised that in Him, all things are possible.

He came to set the captive free.

This, warriors, is love.

The fight was over before it began.  Tramadol's hold on me was broken when I realized...really realized that I didn't have to be stronger than it is.  Someone else will win this one on my behalf if I can just surrender.

The ultimate act of faith.  Believing, during acute WD, that I am in the Palm of God's Hand.

Taking each subsequent step knowing that, if I just step, the road will be there beneath my feet.  

Trusting the light even though something "stronger than me" has blindfolded me with lies.

Come to me, all you who are burdened, and I will give you Rest.

This isn't a sermon.  It's my witness.

peace, Warriors.


Avatar universal
by reborn216, Mar 24, 2010
2day makes 14 days sober of years of hell.. i feel like a new man already... not lookin back got both feet on the ground running! i was addicted to tramadol for 5 years and peaked at 40 pills aday.. felt enuff was enuf and woke up one day and decided to cold turkey, its been hell but ifeel if i can do it anyone can,, i know its hard but everyday is better im back to finally slepping again and i feel great. thnx for ur support and posts it really helped me through all this . day by day, hour by hour  thank u all i feel reborn...                                  

Avatar universal
by LeaAnn807, Mar 24, 2010
Ok, here I am at about 19 days (I think) out.  18 or 19 anyway!  It makes me happy to see how many people are putting their pills down.  Not happy that anyone is addicted but that if they are, they are putting them down.  

I slept some last night.  I seem to be in a hit-and-miss pattern with sleep.  I always get "some" sleep, but depending on the night, sometimes I get more than others.  I think that I am at a point where what I do during the day has something to do with my nights.  If I am moving quite a bit during the day and don't DARE take a nap then I do a lot better at night.  I get so sleepy after lunch that I would do anything for a nap, but I have been distracting myself so that I sleep better at night!  Any other suggestions?

I have something going on next week that won't be pleasant, and I am worried about it.  Just asking for thoughts and prayers that it goes ok and I come out after it NOT back on anything!!!

All my best to everyone here!!  


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by forget_me_not, Mar 24, 2010
Reborn and TH...Great job, both of you!  Two full weeks is a major accomplishment, reborn.  That's when I started to have days when the aching legs, body pain, and HORRIFIC fatigue started to be scattered, rather than constant.  By about three weeks, where TH is approaching, I actually had whole DAYS where I felt relatively normal.  Miraculous!

Things are only going to get better for both of you.  TH, whatever is going on next week, you've got support here, and of course, you're in my thoughts.  Be strong, be confident in your new self.  You survived acute can get through anything.

love and peace, Warriors.


Avatar universal
by oompah54, Mar 24, 2010
After reading this forum I find it hard to believe my doctor would prescribe tramadol after a year of using and abusing percs.  I'm on my 13th day off the percs and scared to death to take the tramadol.  Why do so many doctors prescribe this as an alternative to the opiates.  Sounds like the same withdrawals and addiction properties.  I pray everyday that the back pain will subside.  For now, I reak of ben gay and wear icy hot patches all over my body.  With my history of addiction, I'm thinking I should probably dump them in the toilet.  (Haven't done this yet but I know I should)    

Avatar universal
by lealea66, Mar 24, 2010
Arkansas became one of the 1st states to put tramadol/ultram in a controlled catagory in Aug.2009..... they have really tightened down on the refills, the regulation of the dispensing not only by the  local pharm's but the mail order companies that ship to pt's in Ar. This came about because of a death by overdoes by a teenager in our state (Arkansas) My sister is an RN and is also on the state pharmacy board and informed me of this action and the logic behind it. The companies that sell over the internet will not and do not ship to Arkansas....more states should follow suite with this activity of controlling and regulation of ultram and tramadol....had Ar. done this earlier i would not have gotten myself in the state i found myself in recently.....that's just some fyi, but i am 1 week and 2 days free from 3-10 pills per day for a year and feelin' good   - it's a process people! :)  

Avatar universal
by lealea66, Mar 24, 2010
Ratty: i have this feeling that you are going to find your aches and pains will diminish/go away after you d/c your trammy....i had this SAME thing and it went as far as me being referred to a rheumatologist, put on other meds 2 x day for fibromyalgia....had i come CLEAN with my physician and told him how much trammy i was taking and for how long i would have been told that Trammy CREATES this (not FM but the aches and pains) My knees and back, elbows, etc were debilitating me every morning, and i kept taking trammy because i "hurt" little did i know that the Trammy was only making it all worse!!! Now that i am off of the trammy - i am even getting off the meds i was prescribed for FM because i don't need them anymore, the aches and pains were a result of me doctoring myself with the trammy.....ironic huh???  Please let me know how your aches and pains are.....My sister is an RN and did some cross referencing for me of my meds when i told her my "secret"....she is the one that provided me w/ this info that trammy DOES affect your muscles and joints, and by golly - now that i've been off almost 2 weeks, she was soooo correct! : )

Avatar universal
by learning4me, Mar 24, 2010
I am sitting here trying to control this overwhelming fear. I have only been on Tramadol for a year for the cysts on my ovaries & constant pain associated with them. I was told to take them every six hrs & not to wait for the pain just go ahead & take them. The other day my doctor left me a message that I should start taking advil but my pain is still as severe. I was never told they could be addicting & never thought they would because I never felt any type of "high". Now I am feeling what I imagine are withdrawals. I am tired, shaking, sick to my stomach, headache,insomnia...and I still have the abdominal pain. I have left messages to my doctor asking him to return my call so I can let him know whats going on but have not heard from him. I am so afraid. Does anyone know what I can do??
I wonder why my doctor put me on this medication without telling me what could happen. I had NO idea it contained an antidepressant. I went a day without taking it about six months ago & discussed with my doctor the idea that I might be slightly addicted. He felt that my reactions were from hormones & not addiction to Tramadol. I don't know who to turn to. what to do for these horrible symptoms of withdrawal????? HELP

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by forget_me_not, Mar 24, 2010
learning...Welcome to the most supportive community on the web!  We are so glad you are here.

First... I am so, so sorry you are going through this.  I remember it well.  I had the exact same experience, about six months after I started taking this drug, having been assured it was a "safe, non-habit forming alternative to narcotics".  My doctor encouraged me to take it preventatively for back pain, cramps, migraine.  On and on.  And, of course, I did.

And then, one day, I didn't take it.  And I thought I was dying.

Talking to your doctor is the first step.  Hopefully (I'm praying for you on this) he will be understanding and supportive and HELP you get off this stuff.  If not, please DO NOT pass go, find a new doctor who will help you.  There are many physicians who still don't claim to know the truth about tramadol, but there are others who do.

In the mean time...get some Immodium (or generic with loperamide) for the cramps and stomach pain.  It also helps soothe the angry opiate receptors in your intestines.  NyQuil (no decongestant) can help with the insomnia.  B12 sublinguals can help with fatigue.  Warm showers with epsom salts for body aches.  Potassium rich foods for RLS (bananas, baked potatoes, etc.).

How many days have you been without tramadol?

Stay with us.  Let us know how it goes with your doctor.

You can and will get through this.

love and healing,

Avatar universal
by mandyloop, Mar 24, 2010
I have to dump again. Ive been trying to help a friend and co-worker with some of her addiction. And here I am on my second, W/D. Its from the dabbling I have done since like January. I was never commited to really "never" taking any again. And so I began to slip. Its been a steady slide ever since.
I am mainly coming off of Hydro-s and or occasional percocet.
The Tram at least I have stayed almost completely away from due to sheer fear, and hatred of it. I NEVEr will do that again. That I do know.
But for some reason, I thought if I had occasional pain or issue with my back or ( what ever came to mind ).
I would be ok since I could use vicodin ( once in a while) Clearly Im not at the once ina while zone.
I am just so ashamed of this. This is the second time, I do try to help others, but here I am trying to be in denial. I have to come to terms with the fact I never wanted to completely give it up. And still dont. But I am determined to start over, and figure out what went wrong. I dont like certain ways of dealing with this stuff. Im a hard trained athlete, and I work and have other obligations like you all. Im so scared, I have wrecked every bit of effort I put in. Why does it take more than once to understand this garbage will never be ok?? I finally want my "whole" life back. Not bits and pieces.
I go up this morning, yesterday I used what was about 30 mg of perc. And that was to get me off a tram hangover.
Had to work, and all this stuff. ( excuse) Then today I have only 5 pills left after taking a couple this am. I intend-prayerfully to not take any more today at all.
See how it gos over night and if Im dying in the am ( which we all know is the worst or is for me) I may for two or three days take, one or two then just keep trying to get 24hrs, till they are gone.
I guess this week end will stink. I have to work, but I need to tart now I have been so ashamed and these last two months I havent been able to admit to myself that duh, I have a narcotics problem. I want this done. Killed. Any hope, advice or support is welcome Ive obviously gotten to far from the class and lost my way. Im on the lower end of the slope and really need, help.

Avatar universal
by LeaAnn807, Mar 24, 2010
Mandy, some of us (me!) are just harder to convince to stay off this junk!  I always wondered how ON EARTH I could forget how horrible the WD was when I was so sick for a few days.  I tried the dabbling like you talk about.  I can tell you that it does not work for addicts.  It's impossible.  Like telling an alcoholic to just have one drink, once in a while.  Impossible.  My husband is a recovering alcoholic, and he DOES NOT drink at all! He can't.  It would be all over if he started.  I am always amazed at how many people think that after detox they can just take a few pills here and there.  I would be interested to know how many addicts have ever been able to do that?  I'm guessing the number is low!!!  You can get thru this.  Just take it slow and be patient and nice to yourself!  You know the drill!!!

Learning, I would keep trying to reach the doctor.  Important question is how many days have you been without it?  It might be enough days that starting to get any tapering help or meds now would not really help.  If you have made it 4 won't get worse than what you have had already.  May not get better really fast, but it won't get any worse.  FMN gave you some good advice.  Also, heating pad, advil, hyland's restless leg stuff might help.  Gatorade will help.  I am still drinking it almost 3 weeks later!!!  It is rich in potassium and has some sodium in it.  That helps with not peeing every 5 minutes!!! (which I did for several days in the beginning!)  I am using Hylands leg cramps pills now cause my legs cramp alot.  Not so much RLS.  Just cramps.

All my best to EVERYONE in this war with me!!!


Avatar universal
by rattytatty, Mar 24, 2010
I.. for one... never want to go through this again.  It's AWFUL !!  A friend told me to contact my doctor and get some anti-depressants, and I refuse to do that.  I've never been one to take much more than an aspirin if needed and now here I am experiencing some of the worst days of my entire life! :(   Why would I even CONSIDER taking another drug???  

I stopped on the way home from work yesterday to purchase some melatonin (sp?) and took 4 1mg tablets last night.  I did manage to get two hours of sleep (MUCH better than the previous three nights), so I don't know if it was the melatonin or the fact that I've just had so much loss of sleep my body was exhausted.  But after the initial 2 hours I kept waking up and looking at the clock and only 15 minutes would have passed.  

I think I'm better... no Tram since Friday so this is my 5th day.  But my muscles still ache and yesterday afternoon I took the furkids for a walk and literally did not think I was going to make it back home.  So... LeaLea66... thank you for confirming that the muscle soreness is a part of the withdrawal process.  Knowing this will help me handle it better.  I've been able to focus more at work today, and went for a walk to enjoy the sunshine at lunch.  

I just want this to be over... and the sooner the better !

For all of you who are struggling with the Tram withdrawals... or withdrawals from other drugs... please know my prayers for you are that you will find the strength to get through each day drug-free.  I'm fighting hard to not get my pills re-filled.  It's like the Tramadol relieves the achy muscles... but yet the achy muscles are part of the withdrawal.  You are right -- quite ironic indeed.

I hope the sun is shining bright on each of you today - wherever you are. :)


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by micheleTX, Mar 24, 2010
oh wow  hello..I was just wondering what this is here, and now I see :)  I took tramadol after a surgery, my doctor prescribed it, said it was less addicting (not non) and proceeded to give me bags and bags of samples that someone gave him every week.  I only took it for a few months, then switched to vicodin, but I know it killed my pain and made me feel like I could conquer the world at the time...Im so sorry that anyone gets addicted to this from pain because alot of drs. think it is non habit forming,e tc.
Just wanted to say hello :)  Have a great day.

Avatar universal
by CalNative, Mar 24, 2010
Fred, FMN: Done with day 5!!!!!!!! Man, A 50 year old man, I'm so lucky that I didn't lose it all. Addiction has many faces.  I have one of those faces. I slipped a little though.  No, no drugs, but a little "drug seeking behavior" and I'm so glad my buddy didn't catch on.  I prayed, and went on. I didn't dwell on it.  I continued the fight.  Tomorrow I'm on duty; a good workout in the morning and to tackle the day and save lives. I stayed real busy today to the point that I'm exhausted. More tomorrow.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Mar 25, 2010
Hey Calnative,  I am SO glad that you didn't give in to the demon tramadol this time!   Complete recovery isn't as quick as getting DONE with a real life flu, but after the first 5-6 days the WORST of acute symptoms begin to decrease.  Hopefully by that time, we are just grateful that we have made it past the worst, that we remain motivated to keep putting days between ourselves and that last lovely white pill.

oompah, you touched on a couple of subjects worth exploring when you ask, "After reading this forum I find it hard to believe my doctor would prescribe tramadol after a year of using and abusing percs.  I'm on my 13th day off the percs and scared to death to take the tramadol.  Why do so many doctors prescribe this as an alternative to the opiates?  Sounds like the same withdrawals and addiction properties.  I pray everyday that the back pain will subside.

First of all, tramadol IS a real opiate.   It just isn't made from poppy seeds grown in the ground.  It is synthetic, i.e., man made.   It is difficult to understand why any doctor would prescribe this rat pooh to anyone, let alone someone like me with addictive tendancies.   But the very same doctor who told me ten years ago that I needed to stop drinking (or it would kill me) prescribed tramadol to ween me off percs after hip replacement surgery 7 years ago or so.

But yeah, the withdrawal symptoms from tramadol seem to mirror withdrawal symptoms from "real opiates", except that SINCE TRAMADOL HAS AN ANTIDEPRESSANT in it, these withdrawals may actually be worse.  

My mechanic has me running synthetic oil in my vehicles.  He tells me it holds up longer and is FAR BETTER THAN THE REAL THING (oil).   Someone share an example of a synthetic not holding up better kicking more punch than the natural product?  Cause for my money, unless a synthetic can act bigger, stronger, better than the product it is intended to replace, it doesn't get picked up in the market place.

Withdrawal symptoms - Thinking back, I now know that I began experiencing withdrawal symptoms soon after I started taking this drug.  I just didn't know them as withdrawal symptoms at the time.

Honestly, I do recall reading that tramadol was a "synthetic opiate" soon after I started taking it.   I tend to excuse my behavior and look for ways to rationalize.   So when I saw "synthetic" before that word, opiate, I discounted the probable potentcy of this drug.   And over the course of the next six years, yes, I developed tolerance to the drug so that the same dose did nothing but leave me in a constant state of achy-fluish-withdrawal symptoms. But I discovered that if I would take more rat poison, my withdrawal symptoms would ease.

The maximum "recommended dose" of 8 pills/day is silly.  Most anyone I know who has taken this drug for any length of time, finds that their tolerance has increased such that their daily dose keeps going up.  And any time you feed the body less than the beast demands, you will have withdrawal symptoms.

Silly me, I didn't realize I could have bought these on the internet!   At this point, I must say that I so totally understand WHY people order the demon pills online.   I just wasn't smart enough to have figured it out.

So when I got up to 8 pills a day and my doctor wouldn't refill my RX any faster, I was in a nearly constant state of withdrawal.  Insomnia, flu like symptoms, chills, aches, depression, etc. etc.  I took a "theraputic dose" at the beginning of each RX cycle just so I wouldn't feel unwell for a few days.   And then I would start counting pills. And the last week of every RX cycle was hell.   As I tapered from 8-12 pills/day down to 2-5 pills/day.  

When I got to this place, I realized that it WAS possible to withdraw from this drug.   I had plenty of past experience with "forced tapers" and neither the drug nor I liked it much.   I have developed the utmost respect and admiration for people who successfully taper.  I just knew that I wasn't well suited to a slow gradual taper.   I had proved to myself over many years, that I was incapable of staying on a drug budget, so to speak.

Looking back now 16 months after stopping tramadol, I seriously ask myself why I didn't stop years before.   The regular withdrawal, time missed from work, etc., etc,. over the years was horrid.    I would have traded the short term week long HELL for a lifetime of freedom from the drug years before if I had only known...

I still have a pinched nerve in my neck, but I am choosing to live with the pain than to live with the pain that tramadol caused.  And for me, by the time I was done with this drug, it was causing pain in places I didn't know a person could experience pain.   Most people report feeling much LESS pain once then stop taking this drug.

So, I'll keep coming back and checking in on you guys from time to time.   Because as I see it, I owe a lifetime's debt of graditude to the people who came before me and were posting hee when I got here.

LeAnn, Beautifully written post of 03/23.   Stunningly honest.

Tramadol was more powerful than me.  IT had established that as a fact years before...

So, yeah, I could never have found a way to escape the power of this drug except by finding a power greater than both tramadol and I.  

Faith is the substance of things hoped for...the evidence of things not YET seen.   I found that it was iimportant  to not only come to the place where I realized that my "power" to defeat this drug was weak, but I needed HOPE that the drug could be defeated.   I needed to know that others had done what I hoped to do.   And trusting a power greater than myself was important.  

Good night to all (I hope!),


Avatar universal
by lealea66, Mar 25, 2010
hi guys....i am day 10 checking in with a thought for the day.....when i have that fleeting thought that "you know i do still have a refill left, i could get it just to take maybe one a day to get me going again" (Duh Lea, then what when it runs out sista??? do you wanna go thru this crap again??") I remember something someone told me a couple of years ago who had just been thru a rehab stay for addiction to Rx drugs. As a little background, she somehow found herself in a mess w/ hydro-codone. She's a very dear friend, an advanced nurse practitioner and a divine gal - beautiful blonde, thin, from a very well to do family in town with the "life" anyone would die for - 2 beautiful small children, dream home, handsome successful husband, the best of everything money could buy.....before she knew it, one thing led to another and she found herself writing her own scripts for massive doses to keep up that "perfect" image and eventually it all caught up w/ her. Her physican mentor/boss agreed not to press charges if she would get help (i.e. go to rehab) she went away for a few months to a facility in Atlanta i believe. Anyway, upon us visiting about this when she returned (2-3 years ago, and yes she is still sober today and has gotten her ANP license back now) she told me this when i asked how she was gonna stay on this side of sobriety:

"You gotta be Bigger than the Drug".....

this is so true. There will never be a day that she doesn't think about it, a fleeting habitual thought of "if i could just take one to get me going" which as we all know would turn into 2 and so on and so forth......While my own story is not as dramatic, i didn't loose a license nor nearly a husband/family...It was jacked up and spiraling outta control all the same - trying to keep up the pace that trammy had set me up to maintain, i was killing myself mentally and physically trying to keep up that perfect image running in circles, screaming at people out of my frustration that the house was not perfect and spending 16-24 hours sleeping on the weekends as my body's way of trying to recover from what i had put it thru that week trying to keep it all going at my home and at my business.. So if you are struggling today....remember -
**You, too, gotta be BIGGER than the drug....and we all can be and are....go us!!! : )

Avatar universal
by chessgames56, Mar 25, 2010
Great post, Fred. And it is possible to suffer substantial withdrawal from on 2 tabs a day. Tramadol and Effexor both seem to cause worse SNRI 'withdrawal' effects than other similar drugs:

Interesting Stuff Your Doctor Probably Won't Tell You: Few, if any doctors, will discuss the possibility that Effexor XR (venlafaxine hydrochloride) could become a permanent part of your life, whether you like the results of Effexor XR (venlafaxine hydrochloride) or not. Granted that is a very rare adverse effect, but it does happen. It's hard enough to get them to discuss SSRI discontinuation syndrome., let alone get them to admit that Effexor's symptoms are the absolute worst and the longest lasting of all serotonergic drugs.  The discontinuation from Paxil (paroxetine) is bad enough, it's much, much worse with Effexor (venlafaxine hydrochloride).

And the way Effexor XR (venlafaxine hydrochloride) works on neurotransmitters is very complicated. Your doctor may or may not explain this to you. Here's how it works: First it starts to work on your serotonin. Then somewhere around 200 mg a day it starts to work on norepinephrine. Then around 300 mg a day it starts to work on your dopamine. Mileage will vary for each individual, and there's no guarantee on getting all that much dopamine action.

Effexor and Tramadol action are very similar. Thus, it is a bad drug to give those not suffering from depression or other related psychiatric disorders. And they are handing this stuff out like candy. Very irresponsible.

Avatar universal
by chessgames56, Mar 25, 2010
As a follow up to my previous post, I had awful withdrawal symptoms taking only 2-3 tabs a day. Apparently, I'm much more sensitive to this drug then most. More than 1.5 tabs at a time, and I experience horrid anxiety. One night I took a mile walk in the freezing cold to 'calm down.'  The opiate part of the withdrawal can be handled with dextromethorphan, but the SNRI effects, are much worse and longer lasting (3 weeks or more for many). The Dopamine level can be compensated for somewhat by bromocryptine (Parlodell), and it's cousin 'hydergine' can help with mood and functioning. Neither of these drugs are addicting, and have other benefits. Hydergine has a protective action on the brain as well and improves oxygen utilization, and can even prevent brain damage due to hypoxia. I think Tramadol is more appealing to us as we get older because the faux energy it provides makes us feel more youthful. I know it does me. Of course, when the nerve receptors overcompensate, we must take it just to feel 'normal.'

Avatar universal
by LivingnPresent, Mar 25, 2010
Just checking in to express my gratitude for each and everyone of you out here is the place I come back to for peace,encouragement, information and  the knowledge that I am not alone in this fight.  My precious body is talking to me..wondering what the heck is going on...but it is gradual ..and though Im noticing pains I never experienced..and Im struggling with the depression, anxiety, confusion and sleep disruption...every day I moved forward with that much less Tram in my system..there's that place deep down inside of me that loving presence (God)..that assures me that I am going to be ok - so I am holding on to that and holding out hope for the life I deserve of being drug free, productive and happy..
Thanks to those of your who've  reached out to me personally. I could not start this journey without you.....all of I've said before..maybe we don't realize how something we post out here can literally save someone's life ..who is reading, is scared, desperate, alone and not a clue to know how or where to find help.   I say to you all reading..please stay with us..keep reading..write if you are so inclined..ask for help..there's so much help and caring here.  I start travel this weekend for business..I humbly ask for your prayers and good thoughts as I continue taper and try to focus on the tasks at hand.
Wishing you all blessings, strength & great courage

Avatar universal
by rattytatty, Mar 25, 2010
Good morning everyone....entering day 6 with no tramadol !!

I've enjoyed reading the posts that have been added since yesterday.  Fred ... particularly enjoyed yours... so very insightful and honest.  Pat -- prayers going with you for a successful weekend.  Hopefully you'll be able to focus as you need to. :)

I'm still a bit mind-boggled at the number of folks here who have had this Tramadol issue....I was SO clueless!  I don't feel I have an "addictive nature", and have been one all my life who barely took an aspirin when needed.  But the sciatic pain that started a year ago really did lay me low and kept me from functioning as I needed/wanted to.  The Tramadol did help, but I think the thing that helped the most were the epidural steroid injections (3).  When relief came from the injections... I continued the tramadol because they were CHEAPER than Advil !  I still experienced occasional leg pain... although not as excruciating as it once was ... and the tramdol really did help.  As Fred said and explained so eloquently... we indeed DO rationalize, don't we?

I was up to 10 pills a day by last Friday.

Last night, for the first time... I slept for three hours straight.  My last pill was taken last Friday, March 19.  I'm praying that as I trudge through the next week or so that things will continue to improve.  I'm still experiencing depression.. muscle aches... feeling "jittery" inside (not sure how to explain this feeling)... but perhaps less today than yesterday? :)

I agree with chessgames56's comment that as we get older the tramadol makes us feel younger !

Thanks to several of you who have contacted me personally.  I come here each day to interact and it's such a deep comfort knowing I'm NOT crazy... and I'm not alone.

Peace to you all..


Avatar universal
by LivingnPresent, Mar 25, 2010
Ratty:  Mindboggling to think of being on 10  a  day  down to nothing since last Friday.  You have amazing courage and strength to do this..something I could not begin to consider. .Congratulations!!  Sending out prayers for your continued recovery ...
Thank you for your kind words.

Avatar universal
by rattytatty, Mar 25, 2010
Pat -- I did not make the connection between the tramadol and how I was feeling until I researched it on the internet and found this site earlier this week... discovering that almost everyone here was going through the same thing.  I thought I was "coming down" with "something". :(  By that time it was already Monday or Tuesday and it made no sense to me to try to taper off even though I have one refill left... so I just pludged onward since I already had two days behind me.  Trust me... I thought about it though !  

I need to throw the bottle away, but I haven't.  Not sure why. :(

Avatar universal
by mandyloop, Mar 25, 2010
Using very little vics to get off this for the last time. Im so mad at myself. But I made it 17hours yesterday to this morning. And  I still managed to get some hard training in. ( very little work) and planned my week end schedule in case I feel very ick.
I knwo thanx, Tramhater: I guess its true that the idea of making it off for two weeks, I got very impatient. I think its a grateful thought to know it wont get worse. Im just so active, even if I feel ick Ill go on and try to do things, and end up crying my way through. I feel more guilty for sitting around. Hard, hard to let myself heal
I need time under my belt to heal.
So I am working on spreading the 17 hrs to longer, ect. Its wierd to me the vics are easier to wean off the tram then almost anything to me.
Your right though I dont think any weaning meds are very needed. I just really need support.
Im on day two I imagine Ill shoot for 24hrs. Then like a day and 1/2/
Then so on.
Its the working on when can I return to life. Obviously I have descisions to make. And I have to let myself make them as best I can. While doing this.
Thanks for help.
I think three weeks from now I will be at least able to maybe see, how far slipped I got. I just know that there is no such thing as, ( dabbling) or half way for me. At least not at this point.
See you guys tomorrow.
Good luck all. The difference today then yesderday was also lack of sleep.
Sweats, temperature regulation issues, ect.

Avatar universal
by chessgames56, Mar 25, 2010
Just got from the dentist. Going for the root canal 4/15. The dentist prescribed me Tylenol 3 and an antibiotic, since the tooth is beginning to abscess. Only a slight dull ache in the tooth now that comes and goes. Glad he didn't prescribe Tramadol for tooth pain!

Avatar universal
by LivingnPresent, Mar 25, 2010
Ratty...If I had done what you did...just stopped innocently...started feeling bad..and discovered it was the tram..and had a quite certain i would have gotten it refilled.  but you havent - and that is significant and demonstrates'll flush that bottle when you are ready..  
Push on warrior will be great.

Ken..i had major abscess...draining into my sinus..had my root canal last week..and they said take motrin. ..but thankfully i've had no pain... hope you heal good and quick.

Avatar universal
by CalNative, Mar 25, 2010
Day 6 and I feel like a million bucks! Great workout, shower, prayer. Its a tough road. IT CAN BE DONE.  Man, I feel great!  So: "why would you want to feel any different? You can feel like tis forever? You never have to worry about coming down." As I began my jog, the first song was by Tom Petty called Learning to Fly.  I listened to the words and it applied to me/us. Just like the other day when something pulled me into church.  The priest spoke about substance abuse.  I did a big project with my son.  He says to me: "See Dad how fun it can be, we laugh, you're calm, no big deal."  What he doesn't know that when I was using to "feel better", I was actually a short tempered *******.
Just my thoughts.  I hope that we all can learn from each others experiences. This site is a Godsend.

Avatar universal
by rattytatty, Mar 25, 2010
CalNative -- wish I could say I feel great on my day 6 -- GOOD FOR YOU !!! (seriously!).  Maybe I have more in my system to push out than you did?  Regardless -- it's no small feat that you have mastered.  

Pat -- trust me... I keep thinking about the one last refill, but honestly don't want to go through this again.

I have oral surgery next week... two extractions and preparing for more surgery for implants. :(  No doubt I will be prescribed something for pain and I'm hoping I can make do with Advil, and have the strength to refuse any offered prescription.  

Mandyloop -- YOU CAN DO THIS !!!!  One step... one hour at a time. :)


Avatar universal
by ty1987, Mar 25, 2010
rattytatty - just an long as you still have that refill, it will continue to haunt you. thankfully, you can do something about it. call up the pharmacy and pick up the refill as soon as you can. then, flush the pills down the toilet. it will be very tough, but once you do it you'll feel so much better about taking control over your addiction.

Avatar universal
by LivingnPresent, Mar 25, 2010
Oh Ratty...Dear God..i just realized I wrote nonsense above...I realized you had a refill not the pills ...and then I said "you'll flush that bottle when you're ready" sorry about that....I really was paying attention but this is just an example of the tramafog...yes that's my excuse and Im sticking to it.

Avatar universal
by 4leefclover, Mar 25, 2010
Hello Warriors All-
  I read all of your posts and enjoy seeing the camaraderie here. I posted a few times a day during my first week off trammies. This site saved my arss in the c/t w/d. You wonderful people are doing a fabulous job getting off this stuff. I hope you can always keep that thought in the front of your mind. I got a lot of wisdom and support in the subsequent weeks with the anxiety and some depression I had from the effexor component of Tramadol. (I had NO IDEA until I found this site that tram had that part in it's pain control arsenal.....) chess has done a nice job here posting the pharmaceutical and chemical properties of tram...he also has introduced all of us to Guy Finley...who teaches a wonderful spiritual approach to life
course whenever we reach out....say we are done, surrender to the truth about our addictions the Universe conspires toward our freedom.
I remember the first time I drank alcohol...14 years gave me a feeling unfamiliar...warm, confident, peaceful, I could talk to boys without being self conscious....whew  I WAS HOOKED....right working into things 4 me
so alcohol was never my problem....that fateful day when I found became my solution for my true problems
which, of course were the opposite of all the thing alcohol did for me in 'the beginning' insides felt raw, I was self conscious, lacked confidence and never knew a moment of peace.....those were my problems
that is how I became an was fast forward to tramadol
same ticket....what a ride
so all....keep posting and supporting one another...I read every word you share and enjoy your successes with you
I am pleased and happy for all of you
if I can get through this....y'all can, also (cause I can be a REAL baby)

all is well
You are Loved

Avatar universal
by MerryHeart, Mar 25, 2010
First time seeing this site, and I'm so encouraged to see everyone's progress on this brave road we're all on together!! Tomorrow will be my 3rd day off Ultram ER 300-600mg daily cold turkey, and by the grace of God, I can honestly say "All is well." A little tough going to sleep last night but took some Benadryl to help. I've MADE myself get outside and walk and get fresh air every day ON PURPOSE!  I feel more clarity and thankfully haven't had the negative side effects. Will keep posting and am thankful for this refreshingly honest page! :)

Avatar universal
by CalNative, Mar 25, 2010
Ratty-Hmm, a refill available. Going home and flushing it down the toilet? My friend, lets do better than that: AS SOON AS YOU WALK OUT OF THE PHARMACY, EMPTY THAT **** IN THE TRASH CAN!!!!!  Otherwise, you'll probably have a few down the hatch prior to getting home not to mention the I right. right now you're probably going: "yep!" Yes I do feel good. But man, a moment of doing nothing and I start thinking...not too good. Also, just to let you know I'm not completely out of danger yet, I'm still sweating at night...all night...cold sweats. Stay off the Tramdevils.  Each day gets better as you have been told and know.  Your dentistry issue? Hmm, thats a tough one. Well my friend, if you don't have a problem with Vicodin, use those.  Personally, I don't think they're nearly as dangerous as the Tramms. For me? I'm an idiot plain and simple. My plan is not to put myself into a position to have 'em in front of me or within my grasps.
Your alternative: you do know that IF you get the refill its going to happen..we know that. How about this: "DON'T CALL AND GET IT!" Just DON'T MAKE THE CALL..DON'T MAKE THE CALL!!!  Cal.

Avatar universal
by rattytatty, Mar 25, 2010
I have not made the call. :)  I'm really proud of that.  This is the longest (6 days) I've gone without getting it refilled over the past year.  But ... being honest here... I can't say I feel great.  I'm still depressed (it rained here today AGAIN, and I could not get outside, so did laundry instead. yuck!) ... hot one minute and cold the next... muscle aches is the WORST.  Sleep, however, is coming finally last night I slept for 4 hours straight.  

I don't think I want to get the drug refilled and then dispose of it.  Not sure I trust myself that far yet. :(

MerryHeart - welcome.  I found my way here just recently also.


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by forget_me_not, Mar 25, 2010 are nearing a turning point at 6 days.  Most of us experience a pretty dramatic improvement between days 7 and 10 (some earlier).  So hang on, girl!  You're almost over the hump.

I can't wait to see you come on here and tell everyone that you had your first day with ZERO muscle aches or thermostat malfunctions.  It's coming!

The depression...yii.  That's a hard one.  It gets better for many people after acute withdrawal is finished.  For some of us, it returns.  Did you suffer from depression before starting tramadol?  I think that, for some of us at least, having prior depression issues makes us a bit more predisposed to experience it post-acute WD.  Just know that it might happen, and that way, if it does, you won't be too surprised.  The SNRI properties of this drug have wicked effects on the limbic systems of some of our brains.  The emotional control center gets really thrown off kilter by the antidepressant in tramadol.  Recovery is not linear.  It's unpredictable.  But it happens, steadily and over time.  

Expect good days and bad days.  Good hours and bad hours.  Most of all, stay busy.  Distract yourself.  Focus on the NOW, not on tomorrow or next week.  When you feel bad, acknowledge it, realize it's TEMPORARY, and don't let it bother your resolve.  It's especially helpful during recovery to realize that we are NOT our feelings.  Feelings are fleeting, temporary.  Transient.  They change, often rather quickly.

Do things that make you happy.  Even if you don't feel like it, try to do them anyway.  I remember making myself play my guitar because it could pull me out of myself like nothing else could.  I would be in the middle of a crying jag, feeling like the gum on the bottom of someone's shoe, and when I focused on the music coming from my guitar, I would find myself transported out of that place into a much better one.  

Take care of you.  Be gentle with yourself.  Find what makes you happy and do it.  Exercise as much as you can.  Most of all, identify your feelings, acknowledge them, and tell yourself often that those feelings are NOT a definition of you.  They are just feelings, and they will change.

Sasha, so good to hear from you.  Merry, YAY!  You're so lucky to get off this stuff with minimal WD symptoms.  Everyone is different, and it sounds like you're one of the blessed to get out of the grip before the destruction hits.

Pat, I still have days when the tramafog is so dense I can barely see my own reflection.  My voice sounds like a weird recording.  I don't recognize my thoughts, much less my words.  It gets better, though.  You're doing so amazingly well, and I am tremendously proud of you.  Love, love, love.

peace, warriors.


Avatar universal
by CalNative, Mar 25, 2010
Ratty-Me personally, would look at having my sleep appear as a milestone that has been crossed and would look at it as: "this is great! I'm sleeping! That must mean tomorrow will be that much better!" In fact, that's just one of the w/d symptoms you will NOT have to worry about.  The depression WILL lessen, the aches WILL lessen. My friend: YOU ARE ON YOUR WAY!!!!!!! As we say in California: "I'm stoked for you!!"
The refill: Yeah I think you're right: you are not there yet and can't be trusted so DON'T GET IT. Call friend, have 'em come over, watch a movie, go for a drive (if you do that is) to the mall, go get take out, see people, smile. You wold not believe how powerful listening to your music is. Do you have an mp3 or ipod?  
Like I said earlier: YOU ARE ON YOUR WAY! You are congratulated. Good job!
Rain? What's that? 70 degrees AGAIN here today. Peace to you. CalNative :-)

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Mar 25, 2010
I have a serious question for those of you acquainted with anger and depression.  I feel like I can trust you guys.

I took Chantix for two months beginning three months ago and I did in fact quit smoking.  (yay, me).   I pretty much poo pooed the warnings and I haven't acted violently or anything.  However, I have noticed that I have far less patience generally with things I encounter, I feel hopelessly behind at work, and am trying to resist the urge to simply quit my job as a corporate attorney.   I suppose I ought to go see my doctor before doing anything drastic like walking away from my long time career, but that is how I am feeling.  

Chess you warned against taking Effexor XR.  Does anyone know of any safe,effective antidepressants and those to stir clear of?    Any advice will be appreciated.


Avatar universal
by LivingnPresent, Mar 26, 2010
Fred...I am in no way an expert on anti-depressants..but I understand that Wellbutrin is used to help smoking cessation.  I have taken it in the past and Im presently taking it as Im getting off the Tramadol.  I realize everyone is different...but you might want to research it a bit or ask your doctor.  I think pretty much all anti-depressants have some risk factor...but overall I have not had any problems with Wellbutrin.  Maybe others out here can speak to this.  Good Luck Fred...sorry you are having these issues..

Avatar universal
by lealea66, Mar 26, 2010
Day 11......slept 8 hours last night. Mood and frustration much better yesterday. I feel good, my mind is saying "let's get up and do something good today" when i wake up now instead of "just go back to sleep, you're gonna just feel bad anyway!!"   I did not know how bad i felt on this stuff until i got off of it - my turning point was a couple of days ago i think - but there are still some demons talking to me that i am working thru....but they are beginning to be fewer in number and less in frequency - get up, get out and take a walk.....get an ice cream cone.....get a pedicure....if you've reached this far, you deserve some congrats to yourself......peace out! : )

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by bayba16, Mar 26, 2010
Hi everyone, new here.  Day 3 Tram WDs CT.  Can barely type.  Having all the symptoms, depression, RLS, hot cold, pain, anxiety, tightness in gut, insomnia.  Got some sleep last nite thanks to some Xanax.  WD from 50mg 2x.  Tapered to 75 mg total, but suffering WD so threw the rest away.  Was taking for only 1&1/2 month for back pain, Doc said they were very safe. HA
I have some Celexa, does anyone know how long after quitting Tram is it safe to take anti-depressants?  Dont want to get serotonin syndrome.
Thanks for your help, you are all brave, loving souls.

Avatar universal
by ty1987, Mar 26, 2010
bayba - i starting taking anti-depressants about 4 days after my last tramadol. from what i've read, the odds of getting serotonin syndrome are very, very slim, especially now that you're off the tramadol. however, if you want to be safe, i'd wait a couple days until you start taking them.

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by bayba16, Mar 26, 2010
Thank you, ty1987,
I am having very bad depression, I will see if I can wait until tomorrow, day 4.  I mustered all my strength and walked around the block.  Came home and took a hot bath.  Have been constipated on the Trams, had a BM after the walk.  Diarreah should kick in soon,no?
Also am taking L-tyrosine, St Johns and B-multis.
I ate some food yesterday, but stomach feels like it doesnt want to digest...might vomit.  I am very worried about my weight...went from 125 to 113 since I started the trams Feb 1.
What should I eat?  Is sugary stuff like gatorade a bad Idea?

thanks again so much!

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Mar 26, 2010
Just don't mix St.Johns wort with antidepressants.Either one or the other.Celexa 10mg daily is a good dose to start and see how you do.You may not need more than that or you can increase as needed.

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by bayba16, Mar 26, 2010
Thank you, Pharma!  I am still hanging on!

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by forget_me_not, Mar 26, 2010
Bayba...Welcome!  We're so glad you are here.

I'm so sorry you are going through this.  It's rough.  But being on here is one of the best things you can do for yourself.  So many here have so much wisdom and experience (and helpful tips!) to share.  Read back through old posts when you can.  Tons of good info in Emily's journals.

Definitely stay away from anything else that affects serotonin while taking the St. John's wort.  If it doesn't help you, talking with your doctor about an AD might be a good idea.  Many of us (including me) have really struggled with depression once we stop this poison.  Tramadol has a very powerful antidepressant in it -- something few, if any, of us knew when we started taking it.  We found out the hard way when we stopped.

Things improve rather steadily, although not in a linear way at all.  You can expect to have some tough times, but they are TEMPORARY now that you are off the tramadol.  Better days ahead!

What helped me most:

Exercise (as much as you can)
B12 sublinguals from your local pharmacy
Hot baths/showers for body aches
Wraps for my arms and legs...helped with the chills and aches, too
Potassium rich foods like bananas and baked potatoes for RLS
Imodium (or equivalent with loperamide as main ingredient) for cramps and diarrhea
Lots of gatorade and water
Proteins -- high quality proteins like lean chicken, beans, even Slim-fast bars that are high in protein

And most of all... Distraction.  Stay busy.  Do things you enjoy, even if you don't really feel like it.

All of these can help smooth out the acute WD period.  But really, it's just a matter of time.  Give it time, be gentle with yourself, and know (KNOW) it gets better.  You are healing.

Lots of love,


Avatar universal
by rattytatty, Mar 26, 2010
Good afternoon everyone (this is the afternoon of day 7 without Tramadol)

I spoke too soon about the insomnia.  I was awake this morning until 4:00 a.m. and my alarm goes off at 4:30.  I even took Melatonin ... 4 one-mg tablets.  Is that not enough?  I was hopeful, because the night before I experienced a few hours of continuous, blessed sleep. :(  So is this how it is?  Sleep one night for a few hours and not much at all the next?  I guess I had hoped (prayed) that once I could begin getting some sleep .. it would continue.  I guess I wasn't so lucky.

Am still very depressed... muscles are sore and achy and it hurts to get up and down, so I've been "down" most of the day.  I'm tired.  The lack of sleep has caught up with me today, and I've been struggling to stay awake at work, for the first time this week.  I'm cranky and irritable and simply don't want to be bothered by anything or anyone.  I hate to ask "HOW LONG WILL THIS LAST" because I'm realistic enough to understand it varies depending on the person and the levels of dependency.  But it sure would be nice to have a concrete answer, ya know?

Sorry to vent...just feeling very frustrated, disappointed, and helpless this afternoon.  Hubby is out of town, so I'm meeting a good friend for dinner in a few hours.  That will be nice, but I just hope I can stay awake.  

Golly gee whiz... they NEED to take this crap drug off the market. :(

Fred -- think long and hard before quitting your job !!   So many folks right now would sure love to have your job... or any job for that matter.  Stop and realize how blessed you are and know that you WILL get through this. :)

For those of you who are experiencing a GOOD day -- peace be with you, and best wishes for an even better day tomorrow.


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by bayba16, Mar 26, 2010
Thanks, LeeAnn

This is my story: I am a 52 year old chronic back pain sufferer. This was my own fault, abusing my back, no work injury. Right now I cannot sit in a chair or stand without back and leg pain.  As I write, I am sittling with legs folded under me, with a pillow under my butt, Japanese style to take the pressure off my spine,with the laptop ont he couch.  I have been in increasing pain for years. Bulging lumbar discs and sciatic leg pain.   Also had depression. Was on Celexa and Lexapro some years, and looking back, I think it helped with the pain.  Then over a year and a half ago, I had some serious depression and panic attack issues, and checked self into outpatient mental program.  They gave me a drug called Cymbalta, and over a months time it  took practically all my pain away.  One troubling side effect was the nervousness.  I  took up self-hypnosis and deep breathing to deal with it, and it significantly decreased.  So last October, in a really stupid move, I quit the Cymbalta altogether, forgetting how much of the pain it took away.  My pain gradually came back, worse than ever, so in Jan. I saw my new Doctor (my last three doctors quit), a young woman from a foreign country.  She signed me up for an epidural and gave me Tramadol, telling me that it was very safe, not addicting like the opiates.  I took them.  Two weeks later I quit them because I did not like the way they made me feel.  Two days later I couldnt sleep, had no appetite, and day 3 I threw up like a firehose.  I saw things come out that I had eaten three days ago!  I was depressed and had suicidal thoughts. The epidural shot did not work.  So I went back on the Tram  50mgx2 and stayed on it a couple more weeks until  I started to taper a 1/4 pill a day.  I was having WD's doing that.  So I threw the rest away, and here I am on Day 3, feeling really bad.
My plan is to get thru the WDs and pain,  go back on the Cymbalta, and just deal with the side effect.  Way better than what I am going thru with Tram  In the meantime, I'll take the Celexa, cuz with the WD anxiety now, cant handle Cymbalta yet.
I am in a lot of pain.  I cannot sit in a chair, but I can walk and ' lay down for only a few hours at a time.
I am very sad about the nightmare our healthcare system has become. Doctors don't check your history before they see you and give you poison like Tramadol.  I have an appt. with a new older american doc april 1, and i hope he can help me and understand my situation.  I dont think Obama care will make it any better.
My husband travels on business and it is hard for me.  I talk to my faraway elderly mom on the phone, dont want to upset her too much.  Hubby will be home tonite, and I look forward to him being by my side while I am going thru this.
This forum is the only thing that is  keeping me going.  I want to thank all of you for your love and support.  I have been reading all your posts.  If any of you Tram victims also suffer from back pain, I would love to hear from you.

sorry about the long post

Avatar universal
by CalNative, Mar 26, 2010
Bayba, Fred, Despgrandma & Ratty,

They do sell Melatonin in 5 mg tablets. I take 4 to 5 prior to bed and it does wonders. Its a tough road WE are all going through.  Today is day 6 for me. I didn't workout today and don't really feel that great which tells me something. There is one thing I know through personal experience: TIME. Also, doing some type of semi physical activity helps tremendously. Listening to my favorite music helps too. Plenty of water mixed with a bit of lemon juice not to mention. The first 6 days aren't too cool as you all know.  But it will get better.  If you don't believe in God, START. Being alone DOES NOT HELP. Call and/or see your friends and family. Constipation is another evil benefit that comes with this "non-addicting" drug.  To REALLY clean yourself out and aid in the detox, I use epsom salt. A couple of heaping tablespoons in about a half cup of water (hot water to let it break down to pure liquid) just before bed and in the morning: WHOSHKA! WATER, WATER AND MORE WATER. Diet: NOTHING made by man. Fruits, veggies and a powdered protein supplement. If you've ever watched that documentary FOOD Inc., you'll see why I stay away from chicken, beef and pig. You can buy the powder and any health food store, Costco etc. Chocolate or vanilla. Blend with ice and your favorite fruit.  Make sure that it contains very little if NO sugar. You want your body to absorb the nutrients and out of your body quickly, effortlessly.  The hormone infested, forced fed animal products stay in your body a long time.  Your body has enough to do with the Tramadol still lingering.  Let the food that God made grab it and accompany the ride down the sewer. If you live in a area where there's warm sunshine, get out and experience it.  Walk with your headphones, talk to God.  Your mood will change dramatically as you hear your favorite songs (70's for me). KEEP MOVING!!!! Tell yourself: "quit friggin feeling sorry for yourself, smile and MAKE yourself happy."  Get the juices flowing, the heart pumping.  As you exercise, your seratonin levels increase which will put you in a better mood. Sitting around playing the "whoa is me" gig is very damaging.  The mind is more powerful than you think.
This is how I'm am defeating the monster.  I pray for all of you. It can be done. Lets talk to each other. Knowing someone is out there who really cares counts. CalNative.

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by bayba16, Mar 26, 2010
To everyone,
Sorry about that last post.  I know it sounded bigoted, but I didnt mean it to.   It doesnt matter whether the doc is male or female, foreign or native.  I am just frustrated at poor care I am getting from doctors nowadays.  My old doctors were very caring, but docs are leaving primary care in droves,  America has always had the best medical training, but all the US grads go into specialties instead of internal medicine or family practice..and many of the ones who do primary care are schooled outside the US. The new ones are either too inexperienced, undertrained, or just too overloaded with patients to care that much, I guess. I myself am a woman who works in a male dominated field and am always expected more of.

My apologies to anyone on this post who was offended

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by ComingClean, Mar 26, 2010
Hello All,
It's been quite a while since I last posted on here (close to 2 months). I think I am finally over the hump of my tramadol habit. I finally came clean to my Doc, and she totally understood. Wow, never thought I would have the guts to tell her, but I did. She did a pretty quick taper...5 a day for 3 days...3 a day for 3 days so on and so on. She gave me Clonodine for the WD symptoms but in my personal situation it felt like it really didnt help. She started me on Pristiq (AD) and after 3 weeks of that and no tramadol... I finally feel like I'm on track again. I hope all is well with everyone and know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. Trust me, I does get better. Until next time....

Avatar universal
by LivingnPresent, Mar 26, 2010
Love, courage, prayers to all....Im off on travel for a few days.. Thank you all for the recent posts..there are so many of us...and there is strength in numbers....praying the withdrawal will be manageable as i try to present as "normal"... wishing you all peace and so much love,

Avatar universal
by 4leefclover, Mar 27, 2010
Hi Kids! (ha)

Sat am....foggy, with a soft sweet rain....trees are budding and the birds tentatively singing
at sunrise
the w/d from Tram is protracted......but, what choice do we have?
this drug is complex and 'hits' many receptors..whipsawing the system and ravaging the psyche
3 weeks ago I thought I was at baseline....turns out I am still 'getting there'
the good news is....I forgot what baseline was!
an undisguised blessing

I have to say the book The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer is remarkable

you know, it is a rare individual who isn't addicted to SOMETHING
let's look at a short list
fixing problems
pleasing others
avoiding conflict

all based in FEAR

Shakespeare said
"nothing is either good nor bad but thinking makes it so"
here is the Good News!!
nothing has to change but ME
and I can be free

all is well
You are Loved

Avatar universal
by 4leefclover, Mar 27, 2010
Oh Fred---did you quit the Chantix?
FMN- thanks for always being here-and sharing your lovely spirit
Hi Chess,Bode
Keeping Going and posting ALL

clean since Feb 3rd

Avatar universal
by xxclarexx, Mar 27, 2010
hi luckily i am not addicted to tramadol i get bad side effects so try to take it as little as possible but have to for gallbladder pains i have a question that may be some one here can answere i get severe itching after iv taken tramadol but i only get it in 1 place and nothing iv tried has helped it can any one help! thank you and good luck every one x

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by Onedaynow, Mar 27, 2010
I have been lurking here for over a month. You all are angels. I started reading the 2008 journals and tried to get through all of them to reach the present. The support that is here is unbelieveable! I found you by googling "tramadol wean" and thank God I did. In the last month of lurking I have decreased from 400mg daily to my current 50mg a half in the am one half in the pm. It has been PAINFUL but doable. I have been on them for 7 years because they made me feel great....I, like so many of you am the eternal perfectionist, and at the beginning, Tramadol helped with this illusion. It of course turns on us to the point I was becoming depressed and have no desire to really do anything, everything has become a chore.

So many of your stories have brought me to tears and also inspired me to continue through the pain. This is my second day on 50mg and I am feeling withdrawl so bad I am wondering if this should just be the jumping off point....I think I just have to listen to my body here but can promise all, I will not go above 50mg.

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you....You strangers have been my life saver and I send out my best of wishes to all of you in your battle with this beast.

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by forget_me_not, Mar 27, 2010
Onedaynow...Welcome!  On behalf of the most awesome group of people on the web, I would like to thank you for "coming out of the shadows" and sharing your story!  It's always so good to see others, like you, who are getting free from this poison.

You've already come a LONG way tapering from 400mg to 50mg.  How are you feeling?  You mentioned that you are experiencing the WD, which is definitely to be expected once you get down to a low dose.  How quickly are you tapering?

I'm glad you are reading through the older journals.  That's where I found my first glimmer of hope that I could (*could*) get off this stuff.  Emily, Fred, and others had done it's possible that I can, too?  Now I'm tram-free since September, and I feel a tremendous debt of gratitude to the support and info on this journal.

xxclarexx, interesting that you mention the itching.  I also experienced it, but only on the front of my upper legs, between hip and knee.  Both legs.  It was bad.  I would scratch until they bled while I was sleeping.  An allergy, perhaps?

Pat, safe travels, dear.  We love you and we're here if you need us.

ComingClean, it's good to hear from you!  It's awesome that you are taking the bull by the horns.  You have proven that you can do it.  

Again, welcome newcomers.  We are so glad you are here.

love and healing,

Avatar universal
by ty1987, Mar 28, 2010
i would experience the itching as well, but only for about the first 2 months i was on tramadol. itching is actually a common side effect from opiates. when i was prescribed vicodin it would make me itch as well

Avatar universal
by LivingnPresent, Mar 28, 2010
Thanks leeann..had challenge yesterday...i actually thought about deviating from taper....really thought about it..but I did not!!!!  Very grateful for you all and how u can appreciate the significance of day at a hour at a time..
Welcome to all the new folks are safe here...this is a no shame zone..
Love, strength & courage

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by forget_me_not, Mar 28, 2010
You thought about it but you DIDN'T do it!!  You're right, I/we all can appreciate what a milestone that is.  I'm so very proud of you.  You are winning the war, Pat.  Stay the course.  You will win.  

There is nothing in this world worth taking that pill for.  Nothing.  It won't fix anything.

You are all heroes.  Every one of you.

love and healing, warriors.


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by Onedaynow, Mar 28, 2010
FMN thanks for the words of encouragement, it is nicer being a part of the forum then lurking around : ) I started the taper about 4 weeks ago now, dropping immediately from 400mg daily (my max dose over the 7 years) to 200mg. I stayed at 200mg for about a week with very little discomfort, if any (any more than the usual tram discomfort). I then went to 150 which was horribly difficult. Now, I have to admit, I have told no one but those of you on this forum. I am a nurse manager, am married for the past 2 years (second marriage) and just felt I could let no one know, I think the shock would floor my family and friends. Anyway, so weaning while trying to pretend all is well has been hard. I finally felt somewhat all right on 150 and dropped to 75mg where I stayed only a few days and just 2 days ago dropped to half pill in AM one half pill in PM...I am NOT ready to drop further but again, will not take more than 50mg.

I am way ahead of my planned "wean". I kind of figured it has been in my system 7 years so getting it out slowly would be smarter. I really have always been a "moderate" so am shocked at my addiction. But, in listening to all of you, I am not going to beat myself up at this point, I am going to move forward and be proud of making it to where I am right now.

Desperategrndma, I feel I have much in common with you regarding your wean. I feel like you have struggled watching many others here "jump off" and go CT while you stay on your wean. Well know I am with you. I watch and often have wanted to jump as others have but somewhere inside know this is not the best way for me. Yes, we still go through WDs but it seems they are milder and we can still manage our daily activities, albeit, not the best performance but enough to get by.

Again, I would not be here without all of you! I figure after AWD and I take my very last crumb, I should likely find a good therapist so this never happens again but right now, the support here really has been enough to help me see the light and fight the battle.


Avatar universal
by kimta, Mar 28, 2010
Hello Everybody,
This place is amazing. I left it a few days ago when there were only about 9 posts. Logged back on today and see 111! It just warms my heart to know so many people care so deeply about each other and what they are going through.

I have spent the last week doing absolutely NOTHING. I hate it, but I just can't function well and feel somewhat paranoid around people. This is just... crazy.

Ratty-Tatty, that you, (and others), even make it to work is commendable. I am doing my detox over spring break from college. I am a psychological mess right now. I'm down to my last half-pill that I will take tomorrow morning. My doctor thinks I don't know what I'm talking about when I say this drug is bad. I think he believes that it is everything that the drug companies have toted it as. Non-addicting, etc, etc. But we know what the reality of this stuff is. And right now I am really scared of all the side effects de-railing me.

(Please bear with me during this post. It really helps to share with everyone here but my thoughts are all over the place and it's not easy trying to have them make sense.)

Ratty-Tatty, you don't have to apologize for your venting. Everything you said you are feeling is exactly where I'm at. And having this place to unload it is so helpful.

I'm a bit embarrassed, as this post is going to be left unfinished. I have more to say but can't get it out. I'm going to try to go back to sleep and pick this up again later.

Maybe I'll just rest and read. I sooo hate this guys, thanks for being there.

Avatar universal
by carminesmama104, Mar 29, 2010
Hi everyone !

Avatar universal
by carminesmama104, Mar 29, 2010
I found this by chance by google and have been reading everyones comments and just like everyone else here I to am a tramadol addict. I really really need  help. I have a very serious addiction to the drug and still on them. I have known for a long time that I have needed help. I have been taking 18 50mg pills 2 to 3 times a day. Pretty extreme I know. 18 at once is really alot. It has been almost 4 years now. I was mislead by the doctor as well. I have tried to quit(if u call it qutting) maybe for a day or so but all I do is supplement it with some other drug like hydrocodone to subside the withdrawls. The withdraws are almost unbearable. I get the sweats, tremors, restless legs but I also blow up, hand feet ect. Its like a feeling of no other. I have 3 children one who died when he was 2 2 years ago he aspirated and eventually because of the lack of oxygen he died from brain death. The addiction became much worse rt after that. I also have the most wonderful husband who is fully aware of my addiction and has tried to help me kick it too many times to count. After awhile he just turned blind eye but I know it really hurts him. We fight about it and I say I'll get better(not that I dont mean it cuz i do)but things to eventually go back to the way they were. He has tried with me but tonight he broke. Hes actually on the couch rt now. I want to quit I really really do. He says he cant understand what it feels like for me but he cant do it anymore. I dont want to lose my family. Hes under the understanding u will do it if u love us. I do love them, always but its to effin hard. Cold turkey? after 4 years of taking these and about a year now of this high of a dose. He doesnt understand and I really dont ever ever want him too. I should mention this is my second "addiction" I was previously addicted to loratabs and even went to rehab. Vinnie was wonderful and so understanding. He went to meetings and took care of the kids but now looking back that addiction wasnt a pimple on the *** to this one. I have what some would call a "addictive personality" maybe thats a cop out who knows. But thats how I began taking tramadol. My doc knew of the situation and I have spinal stenosis in my back so because of the loratab addiction he prescribed tramadol not telling me it was addictive. So this is where I am at I have 180 pills left , what should I do ? Should I wean ?? Should I go to rehab?? Just the thought of not seeing my kids again kills me, but cold turkey?  I know everyone here knows what I am going through but if I dont do something and I mean like right now , I am done. I will have no family. Or husband or everything that I love.I dont want that, I dont want this. I dont want the stress it causes when Im trying to get my next script or having to remember the tons of pharmacies that I fill at. And the dates of the scripts , I cant I cant do it anymore, almost to the point of suicidal. Maybe that ultra detox? rehab?Weening?Please someone give me some guidance Im begging. Im only 27 and I dont want to lose my family.... Can someone please help .....

Avatar universal
by carminesmama104, Mar 29, 2010
I did want to mention too , I found this forum by chance and I wasnt a member so I had to sign up. I started freaking out cuz after I made my screen name and password I didnt know how to get back to where all of you were. Everyone here truly is wonderful and so nice and i guess its nice to see Im not the only one addicted to the "not addicting" pill. But I did some thinking and some rereading. What about like a ween plan? Maybe i can talk to my husband and with the help of all of you come up with a ween plan? I do know there are the set of vitamins you should take the tyrosine(excuse my spelling) and the vitamin B. My husband bought me all that on one of my IM QUITTING for good rants. Maybe with the help of all of you, we can come up with some sort of best way to quit things. I can show my husband, and maybe I can have him be the one who gives me the doses for me to ween. Now I have 180 but i still have another refill ... cuz Im thinking that 180 might not be enough to have to do a proper ween. Then I can give u a blow by blow on my days, maybe get some inspiration, maybe I can even get my husband to come on here and give his point of view.... ok I actually started to feel a little hope right now. Sorry guys maybe cuz its late but i felt a little glimmer of hope LOL Thanks though for all the inspiration ....  DANA

Avatar universal
by Sumac60, Mar 29, 2010
Wow Carm, you should definately see a doctor to help you. It sounds like you might seize trying to do it yourself. I think most addictions, what I've read, are around 300 mg a day. I can tell you that it's tough at that level to even wean off it. I took my last pill almost two weeks ago and I am still having problems sleeping. Good Luck Dear!

Avatar universal
by 4leefclover, Mar 29, 2010
Hello Warriors All!
Good Morning!
OneDaynow- nice work on the our Pat-- your wean makes sense and it will allow you to 'show up' in your life much better than a c/t w/d would....there is a certain 'percentage' of you that isn't 'there' right now cause you are in low level w/d all the time...but, after a week on the lower dose your body begins to equilibrate...then it's time to go down sound like you know the drill...I admire your ability to do it this way....I could not...I TRIED...but , you know...something would 'happen' like, a bad day, one of the kids struggling, mom sick-- WHATEVER --and I'd excuse myself from a 'wean plan' til 'later'
uh oh
the wean never can happen...I am always interrupting something...turns out there is ALWAYS something (for me)
I am a nurse too, by the way....I was able to tell my partner about my addiction and it was very helpful..he wasn't, as I imagined --face aghast- "YOU LOSER!"-  he was great about it and very supportive...I am glad you are finding plenty of support here...we believe in you!! The w/d from Tram is complex and takes time...I am glad you are taking your time coming will help with the SNRI component of the w/d I am sure    keep going!

Sumac- great job on the 2 weeks....sleep is elusive, isn't it? there are many strategies listed here...lately I have been using mulungu tea before bed and am finding some good help with an improved sleep could do a search on this site and find a gazillion other ideas.....keep going and post when you can!

Dana- Oh Honey...SO GLAD you posted here! If you haven't had a seizure taking 18 three times a day you WILL NOT seize as you lower your dose. It is impossible to suggest a route for you...I think you need to figure out what makes sense for you...and THEN we can support you on your chosen path....the situation you have with your marriage right now is a catalyst for a life changing and enhancing event!!! You WILL be grateful for this 'squeeze' later....I probably NEED things to be this 'tight' to get goin' --- nothing wrong with'll not only keep your family, Girl but you'll get your life back!
you will wake up one day and gaze into the mirror into eyes that are not veiled by the Trammies, anymore
crystal clear......any of your strategies could work...BUT I think a supervised w/d (with suboxone or rehab) is a strong option for DESERVE this cleansing, Hon.....we are here for you!!
Fred- how are you? thinking of you......
Kimta- it gets better!!
the low energy is tough...I enjoyed the energy I got from tram, initially....but that started to I just took more!!
your adrenals and overall chemistry is tired right now but...truth be told--the human body has a tremendous capacity for time your energy will start creeping back....sometimes there is a rough day thrown in there but it is a gradual ascent ... from the 'jaws of hel*" ...someone wrote, here, once that the w/d from tram feels THE OPPOSITE of the way it hit you in the beginning of the use....if it gave you energy, it will make you tired, if it took your pain away, your pain receptors will feel on fire....if it helped you sleep?  you get the idea.....the good news gets better every day....keep going!!

Hi FMN and Pat

all is well
You are Loved

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by Lillyval, Mar 29, 2010
Welcome all you newcomers - you've come to the right place!   Diane, you were smart to go back and read the older posts.  I spent many hours doing that in my recovery and there is a ton of info. there.  You've probably read posts from others who say (and I agree) that once you get down to 50mg (or anything less than 100 really) you are already in almost constant withdrawal.  So you might want to consider jumping off soon to stop prolonging it.  If you can, take a couple of "sick days" and clear your calendar, so you can just take care of you. I wish everyone here could do that, but I know many of you cant get time off from work/kids.  I'm in favor of saying you have the flu if you have to.  I'm cheering for you, Diane, and all of you others who are in the process of coming off the poison.

I often visit other addiction sites and I am apalled at how  many times I see people recommend tramadol to addicts trying to get off other drugs!  It's that old "non-narcotic alternative" thing.   I was just on another forum where someone recommended Ultram to an opiate addict.  Another person wrote an excellent response, so I copied it for you guys:

"Well, tramadol isn't a "narcotic" in the legal sense (it's not in the schedule of controlled substances maintained by the DEA), but it gets about 1/2 of its analgesic activity by acting as a codeine-like "pro-drug": tramadol is a mixture of 4 stereoisomers (mirror-image arrangements of molecules), one of which is converted by the liver into a mildly potent (say, between Darvon and Demerol) opiate agonist. So, you would expect that opiate aspect of tramadol's analgesic activity to be fairly well blocked by a drug like Subutex or Suboxone.

Strangely enough, when tramadol is administered along with a pure antagonist like IV naloxone (naloxone taken orally or sublingually either isn't absorbed well and/or is destroyed in the first pass thru the liver), tramadol still seems to keep about 1/2 of its pain-relieving activity; this is believed to be because of non-opiate effects on the neurotransmitters serotonin and (prob. more important) norepinephrine. This is somewhat similar to the antidepressants Effexor and Cymbalta, which are sometimes used to treat neuropathic pain such as is seen in diabetes, shingles or fibromyalgia. So, the other stereoisomers of tramadol act on the reuptake of these neurotransmitters and somehow contribute to the reduction in the perception of some forms of pain, without acting like opiates.

This is another reason why the very small group of people who get really hooked on tramadol find that tramadol's "withdrawal syndrome" is unique, because it includes some features of opiate withdrawal, but is also mixed up with the well-known spacey/weird problems with suddenly stopping or even missing doses of some SSRI and SNRI antidepressant drugs, especially those with short half-lives (Paxil and Effexor are notorious for this). That can really complicate matters and confuses the hell out of doctors and patients who assume that tramadol is just another weak/mild opiate." -submitted by a poster named foobear

The only part I would disagree with is "the very small group".  Having been on this forum for the last year, I would say it's a very large group.


Avatar universal
by Sumac60, Mar 29, 2010
Hey Sasha thanks for the tip, seems I can't use any of the over the counter sleep aids anymore because I wake up an hour later with jitters in my upper body. Thank goodness the lower body jitters, restless leg, is gone. I have been using a dropperful of passionflower, ginseng and valerian root in a shot of V8. Not the best tasting stuff in the world, little like dirty old gym socks smell. I also took 10 mg of prednisone per day for a year for 'suspected' brain cancer and was detoxing from that with the tramadol. I started doing daily injections of forteo for osteoporosis at the same time. Hmmm talk about a confused state my poor old body was in. Just reading all the comments have helped me so much. I wanted to know where I could get the mulungu bark. I am now an advocate for herbal remedies, uh, besides taking the forteo that is. Thanks. Sue

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by forget_me_not, Mar 29, 2010
Carminesmama, Welcome!  We are so glad you are here.  Thank you for posting, for sharing your story.

I am so sorry for what you are experiencing, for what you have already experienced.  You've had a tough road.  Please know that you're in a place that is amazingly supportive, and you can share anything, everything with this bunch.  We just want to see you beat this monster.

At 36 pills a day you probably feel like this is just un-doable.  But take heart...there have been others who came down from even higher daily doses and succeeded.  It CAN be done.  In your case, I'd suggest a straight-up discussion with your husband AND your doctor about tapering your dose.  CT from that dose won't be any fun.  You'll feel terrible, but I suspect you already feel pretty terrible if your tolerance has grown that high.  Do you experience the WD symptoms now?  Fatigue, depression, body aches, etc.?  I did after the drug turned on me.  Even if I took it, I was in a constant state of WD because I was unable to give my body the amount it needed to just feel "normal".

Please think about your unique situation, talk with your doctor, and find what will work for you.  Do you think you can taper successfully?  Some of us don't have the "willpower" to deal with the WD symptoms when tapering.  I was one of those people.  CT was my only option, but others have had good success tapering.

Most of all, make a plan and stick to it.  Make a decision.  As you know, it's not going to get any easier if you prolong it.  Make a plan and DO it.  Get off this stuff now.

We'll do anything we can to help you.


Avatar universal
by rattytatty, Mar 29, 2010
Wow!  Miss a day or two and you miss a lot, don't we?  Good afternoon everyone.  I'm into my 10th day of no Tramadol, and yes... I AM better !!  Still dealing with muscle soreness... temperature ups and downs... and insomnia, but at least I'm not crying all the time. :)  Focus is better too!  

Question -- is it ok to take Tylenol PM?  I did take two on Friday evening because after a week with very little sleep... I was "done".  I slept like a baby that night, but then Saturday night did not sleep but about 2 hours.  Last night I again took 2 TPM and slept well.  I hope it's ok to do this?  Does anyone know?

Welcome to the new members.  This forum is blessed with wonderful support from folks who are going through what you are going through.   Some of you took more pills than did (I took about 10 a day) and some of you took less.  But regardless where you are in this "journey".. please know you CAN do it !!  

I threw my empty Tramadol bottle away finally... after holding on to it for a week.. and it had a refill left. :)  Of course, I know I can still get it refilled if I want without the bottle, but throwing the bottle away was somewhat symbolic to me of the progress I've made.

Peace and love to you all...

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by JT50, Mar 29, 2010
Hello again y'all....

I was under the impression that you slowly get better the longer it's been since you've last taken tram.  Here it is one month later and I feel worse for the past three days than anytime during the second week.  Is this the norm?

Is this what I can expect for the next several months, feeling back to normal one day and like I have the flu plus hangover the next?  Has anyone been able to determine what prolongs or makes the WD symptoms worse?  Does coffee/caffeen?  Any other kind of medicines that you might be taking, (clariton-D, over-the-counter meds, etc.)?



Avatar universal
by reborn216, Mar 29, 2010
hello carminesmom,,,, i too took traumadol for over 5 years and peaked for the last year at 40 pills a day,,, needless to say am going on day 20 of cold turkey... the first few days suck bad, but with ur husbands help u can get thru it .. if i can doit anyone can.. be strong day by day  sometimrs minute by minute, were here for u ... u can doit ur not alone,, reborn

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by Christina33, Mar 29, 2010
Carminesmom (Dana) and reborn,

I've been keeping an eye on these posts for a few days now. I've struggled with a tramadol addiction for a while. I was also up to 15+ at a time. I was afraid to say that until I saw I wasn't the only one. It seems so extreme I don't know how I could let myself get up that high. Anyway, the other day I was particularly stressed and tired and still had a lot to get done so I took 18 and an hour later I was vomiting violently, then - crazy symptoms all night. extreme dizziness, twitching, visual and auditory hallucinations and paranoia - I was sure I was dying and up until then it hadn't really bothered me. I'm pretty sure I threw myself into seritonin syndrome and am now on 3 pills a day and am in hell - I want to write more but my fingers are shaking and it's almost impossible. I'll try to post more as thing progress. I'm greatful to you all for sharing your stories. It helps.

Avatar universal
by 4leefclover, Mar 29, 2010
Sumac- I got my mulungu bark from Loveleaf Gardens--you can find it online. You can google the tea for recommendations on how to make it....I tried a few concoctions before I got it figured out for me....hope this helps
Ratty- I can relate to the significance of throwing away the are doing GREAT-- keep going!
JT- don't know, maybe you DO have a flu....I am clean since Feb 3 and wonder if I am at baseline yet....but the improvements keep coming...they are VERY reinforcing....
Lilly- thanks for the info from the other site...I am forwarding that post to my e is very informative...still learning about this very complex
stay strong all!!

all is well
You are Loved

Avatar universal
by bodegirl, Mar 29, 2010
Hi everyone!  I've been thinking of all my friends on here, 4leef, Fred,emily, fmn, pharma, chess,and everyone else!  We lost power for an entire week straight and the schools were closed, what a crazy wind storm my town had!  Just want to say a quick hello and send my love!  My thoughts, prayers and encouragement for those in the heat of the tramadol battle.  I've been there. I know how bad it is.  But, when you reach the other side, you will see how worth the pain and suffering is. Being free of tramadol is the greatest feeling in the world.  

Things have progressed nicely for me. Everyday a little better. I have gained control of my life and it feels great!  I havent had trams since Jan. 13th and no other meds since March 2. Its been a hard road, but worth it.

I am thinking of you. Pulling for you all. Love and miss my friends!!!!  You are all amazingly strong.  

xoxo Bode

Avatar universal
by bodegirl, Mar 29, 2010
one more thing:
Rattytatty-I LOVE your dog quote. It made me cry. I am a dog LOVER and am still grieving the loss of mine. Thank you for sharing that.

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by Prospero73, Mar 29, 2010
Here's something I just ran across, which shows where the doctors get THEIR information:

Drug abuse and dependence
Unlike other opioids, tramadol is not usually associated with the development of tolerance, physical dependence or psychological addiction.

Although tramadol can produce drug dependence of the mu-opioid type (like codeine or dextropropoxyphene) and potentially may be abused, there has been little evidence of abuse in foreign clinical experience. In clinical trials, tramadol produced effects similar to an opioid, and at supratherapeutic doses was recognized as an opioid in subjective/behavioral studies. Tolerance development has been reported to be relatively mild and withdrawal when present, is not considered to be as severe as that produced by other opioids. Part of tramadol's activity and some extension of the duration of mu-opioid activity. Delayed mu-opioid activity is believed to reduce a drug's abuse liability.

References & Resources
1. The Merck Manual of Medical Information. Mark H. Beers et al., eds. 2nd Home Edition. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck; 2003.
Published: May 05, 2007
Last updated: January 07, 2010

Avatar universal
by mandyloop, Mar 29, 2010
Im here,
Im worried about my state of mind and patience I suppose. 2nd week of taper. Felt better today than yesterday.. One day up one down. Just trying to take it day by day. Also managed to get a sore throat after this too. Ugh...
This will be my 2nd week, And Im working on my straight time again. No more dabbling. See how I do. Yhanx to all for your stories they do help.Alot.

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by adamIScool, Mar 29, 2010
Hi. My name is Adam and I live a lie. I've never expressed the truth about myself in any means. I have great internal conflict. I consider myself a poster child of tramadol addiction I think I could also do a spread for "depression quarterly" or "DQ" for short. Mmm dq...(drool).... Tramadol has both saved my life and forced several declarations to end it. I'm what is called twice-exceptional. It's an oxymoron of sorts. It means that I've intellectual giftedness however there is a seperate manifestation beguiling the true usage of said gift. It's a painful exhistence. My "seperate manifestion" is a disease called depression. What the hel-eck does this have to do with tramadol you ask? My depression and twice-exceptionalism became most apparent in high school. I began coming up with new ideas then contemplating those ideas with new. It doesn't stop art just ideas though it becomes a full body problem. I analyze some things until they have no value. After high school I was left badly torn in 'da membrane. A huge part of me new I wanted to go to college- another huge part of me contrasted the idea to the point of causing circular depression that exhists even to this day, some 10 years later. Anyway, I began having back problems at 23 and the doc gave me ultracet. I liked the way it made me feel. The constant sprawlled thinking and contrasts were much more agreeable while under the loving intoxification of this substance. My use of the medication was sporadic for a few years until I really hit bottom. And that's bottom with a captial B as in Boooootay! I like big butts and I can not lie! I'm so white. I was homeless and had gone through 40-some jobs in 6 years after high school. Like I said- I'm gifted enough to get the jobs easily but too depressed to keep them. I watched my mother die from Parkinsons disease. It was actually shy-drager syndrome which is just about the most hellish way for someone to die. She was alert yet totally bed-ridden, relying on tubes, pumps and tons of drugs to let her suffer for another day at time. I've experienced things related to her that I can't put into words. Shortly before she got the disease she was in a horribly abusive relationship which killed me. All signs really pointed to me becoming some type of drug addict, the question was which and when? Well, I needed something to end the pain that I felt both emotionally and physically and my back was getting progressively worse. I'll it this shorter at this point because I'm on my iPhone and getting a cramp in my thumb. I'm addicted, reliant and dependant on tramadol. In a life that had been so unstable, underachieved and uncared for this crutch has afforded me the ability to hold a steady job for three years. Move up the ladder so fast that I ended up creating my own job position at the company. I want to stop the tramadol but everytime I think about it I give up and hate myself. I love my daughter and I think I love my wife. I can't tell. It was hard enough reading my emotions before tramadol, let alone after 5 years of hard use. I want to quit. I want to be stable and experience the sensations of the world around me. I go through cycles of use where I'll cut back the dosages by about 75% for about a month or two then I slowly climb to about 6 pills every 4-6 hours. I'm so desperate. I'm so alone. I've hidden an entire world in my head (not the crazy kind but the funny, musical, talented kind) and I want it to just burst open to the world. Wait- maybe that was a bad choice of words fro someone who has thought about ending it all so many times. I'd never kill myself, heck- it'd take all the fun out of life. I'd rob a bank first then see what jails all about. 3 hots and a cot and solid stable walls would be fine for me! Where was I? Oh yea, tramadol. It's a nasty nasty potion that buys you dinner, kisses your beck then forcefully throws one in your *** in the alley behind the restaraunt. Now, where's my pill bottle (and Vaseline)?

Please blame any obvius errors on my aformentioned use of my iPhone.

PS: I hate most drugs. Weed made my mental issues much worse. Alcohol is just nasty and everything else is just scary. I get crazy paranoia when I use any type of drug (except trammy).

I have horrible dreams every night.


Avatar universal
by learning4me, Mar 29, 2010
Still here guys & after talking with the doc (who still didn't believe I had any type of addiction) he agreed to allow me to taper myself off Tram. Three pills a day & I hate this. All I do is worry about the end of the week when I have to cut myself down to two /day. What pisses me off the most is that I had no choice in this. I was NEVER told this drug could ruin your life. If I knew I was starting an addiction I could have gone for something a little more fun!!!!!....JK  
It seems to me that it will NEVER end. I don't know how to get through one day without being worried about the next. I want to focus on the beauty of the moment like I used to do. Now this poison controls my EVERY MOMENT. Why couldn't the doctor or pharmacy just have told us what could happen. Why did they take the choice away. I hate the pain of my condition but it is a hell of alot better than this....

Peace to all,

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Mar 30, 2010
Amie,   You can do this girlfriend!   You are not alone though.  Most of us came into the tram-a-hell experience by being told by our doctors that this was safe and non-addictive.  Join the club.   The good news is that yes, the withdrawal symptoms you feel today WILL END.   As much as possible, let tomorrow go for now.   Just stay focused on THIS moment, OK?   You will never be able to do "this moment" unless you turn your gaze away from tomorrow.   You can do this.

Sasha and LeAnne,   The love and beautiful, caring words you let flow through these interwebs is such a blessing.  Thank you for speaking to me and others every time you tickle the keys.

Lilly, thank you for redoing the information on drug affects, etc.  

Bode,  Yikes being without power or water for a week sounds horrid.   Glad you came out the other side and lived to tell about it.

Adam,   Welcome to our world.   You typed all THAT from an iphone?   And I thought I did well to set up my voice greeting?  Keep coming back.   You will find a great deal of support and caring people here.

And to those who inquired:   I started taking Chantix 12/12/09, my last cigarette was 12/19/09, I stopped taking Chantix in mid February and I have been suffering from mild confusion and depression since December.   Like I told my doctor last Friday, "the good news is I stopped smoking.  The bad news is that I want to kill myself."   Sorry for the black humor folks!

This too shall pass I expect.  

Finishing on a positive note, Ratty, congratulations on making it 10 days without a single tram.  Glad you are feeling better each day.   Keep coming back.   There are plenty of others following behind who need to hear how you did it, OK?

Courage strength and love,


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by Onedaynow, Mar 30, 2010
So I am awake and writing at 2:15 AM, the insomnia is upon me. I have to agree with just jumping off at this point (50mg day) as I don't think it is keeping symptoms at bay just prolonging the agony...although as I sit here I can also say I love that I can actually feel my stomach growl and see it work on its own. I also feel more, the good and the bad, but have really focused on those good feelings. Simple things, like seeing the flowers bloom can bring tears to my eyes. Sounds corny but after 7 years of not feeling much, it feels good to feel at all!

The worst symptom right now for me (tapered from 400mg daily for the last 7 years to 50 mg in about 4 to 5 weeks) is what I call parasthesias or "pins and needles" in my legs. I guess that is what everyone has referred to as RLS. My legs dont feel restless they feel like my bone marrow is filled with moving bugs that itch and every once in a while light a fire in there. AHHHH! Still getting occasional cold sweats but much less severe. It seems most symptoms I am feeling are the WD from the SSRI.

Fred, I have gotten so much from your posts over the last month of reading; I do hope you are feeling better soon. If half of what you have given out here on this forum is returned to you, you will be out of this low in no time : )

JT50, I looked into what was the best way to wean from SSRIs, which is what you are likely experiencing, and from what I have read limiting caffeine and alcohol is important. It also seems that all the supplements suggested on this site are helpful particularly the b12. I do hope you get some relief soon also.

Bode, Sasha, Lilly thanks for coming back and checking on us new ones! Your words are always inspiring (there are a couple of you who should seriously consider writing professionally!).

And to all coming to this site for help; we are in it together! We will beat it!

Thanks to all and I think I will go back to that supine position, and see if sleep comes....


Avatar universal
by Sumac60, Mar 30, 2010
Thank you Sasha, the tea is on sale too! If I could just get more than 2 hours at a time I know I'll feel better.

Hi JT, I have found that I have even less tolerance for coffee now than ever before after taking tramadol but I also have seasonal allergies and that seems worse too. I take Zrytec gel caps, only 1 a day, when I start feeling really bad. The gels are better than the tablets because they act faster and I know I needed that feeling this crummy for so long. That does put me back feeling 'normal' again. I plan on seeing my ENT soon for some help with this.

Why in the world do they continue to prescribe this drug? I have been programming computers for over 20 years and this is the first time I have ever joined any discussion online. Does the body's natural processes ever come back?

Thanks for everyone's support. Sue

Avatar universal
by 4leefclover, Mar 30, 2010
Hello Warriors All-
  I am AMAZED at the love and healing here! To all newcomers....there is hope and life after this w/d...don't ever give up
dedicate your life to freedom from this horrific drug......It will come...BELIEVE in your body's ability to find it's own rhythms and balance....that is homeostasis and each system in your body is geared toward that end
meditate and pray....keep reaching are not alone...we are here for you and believe in you!!

Fred- nicotine is an antidepressant....(also, in my case...with the gum...a blankey)
sorry about the trade off you have The Untethered Soul if the idea moves you
currently, in my opinion...the best antidepressant on the planet right now

Bode- yeah! great to hear from you, hon!

  I am enjoying a peace that passeth all understanding today. It is fueled, in part, by all you brave souls.
Every one of you inspire me
thank you for that

all is well
You are Loved

Avatar universal
by tramalush, Mar 30, 2010
Good Morning;
I have been reading this site for over 8 months, but I had to make up my mind to quit. I have been off of Trams for 7 days. I was prescribed them for female problems and immediately loved them. Well when my RX ran out I turned to the Internet. The 1st day CT was pretty bad, I stayed in the tub all day. The only problems that I had after that was not being able to sleep for more than 2-3 hours. My question is are most of you getting your rx's from the Pharmacy or Internet. The night that I stopped CT I was taking 25 pill a night. The only thing I can figure is that the pills I was getting had fillers and were really not true trams. I was always increasing, but when I had the ones from the Pharmacy I only increased about 1 time a month.

Fred- Chantix has gotten bad reviews I am trying to stop smoking also and I started taking Wellbutrin yesterday, maybe that can help you.

Adam- we must be around the same age. Love that old dance/rap music too.

I wish everyone the best. Even though I have never posted I have been reading to get up the courage- Thank you sooooo much.

Now if I could just sleep.

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by Christina33, Mar 30, 2010
Hi again. c/t since last night - have some if I need them but have to get off due to seritonin sydrome and liver damage - I'm surviving with LOTS of support but SO sick and FREAKED OUT. Reading a lot of old posts when my eyes will focus.

Avatar universal
by learning4me, Mar 30, 2010
Fred thanks so much for your words of support. I have found a blessing in this fight & that is all of you here reminding me that I'm not alone.....By the way Fred I just recently quit smoking as well. It is easier than the Tram...that I know for sure...:). Christina I know that FREAKED OUT feeling as does everyone here I'm sure. Your in my thoughts and prayers for I feel the urgency of your words. Good Luck sweetie.
Peace to all (I hope),

Avatar universal
by 4leefclover, Mar 30, 2010
christina- read through wantmyselfback posts about esinophil levels, etc HE had going on with the dec-jan of this year....he turned the damage around in 1 week! I know how hard it is, Honey....a few days and you'll feel your toes touch the ground.....It bites...but won't kill kind in your thoughts and deeds toward yourself...visualize your cells calming down...they are having a tantrum now...cause they want the drug....soon they will relax a bit and accept that it's not coming

Stay Strong

all is well
You are Loved

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by Onedaynow, Mar 30, 2010
My legs, my legs, my legs.....Ahhhhhhhhh!

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by cotigerlily, Mar 30, 2010
Hi to all-I'm new on this site as well.  Like so many of you, I realize that I have let myself become one, hot mess.  The entire life story is obviously way too long to get into, but I was wondering if anybody could answer a few questions. . .
A little background-I have fought clinical depression from around age 12 til now (38) and have been on several meds for that.  Most recently Lexapro 20 mg (have also had zoloft, wellbutrin, etc) Also, I have ADD and decided (being  facetious here) that adding Ritalin would be a great idea.  Oh, and I haven't slept without meds in probably 5 years.  Literally; I cannot sleep even one second without meds.  Add to that tramadol and you can see how much of a mess I have gotten myself into.  
I lost my job last week and had to write a bad check yesterday to get my refill of tramadol. I feel terrible in every conceivable way.  I have three children, no money, power is about to be shut off, empty refrigerator and all I can do is sit and feel sorry for myself or think of things I should be doing but don't.
I ran out of my lexapro one week ago and have gone cold turkey without it.  Crazy, crazy brain zaps and shocks from that withdrawal, but with so many drugs in my system I don't know where one side effect crosses with another's withdrawal, and so on.  (I'm so sorry this is so scattered; I truly  hope it makes some sense to some one here)
Finally to a question-I wonder if anyone else here has experience in stopping SSRI's and tramadol at the same time.  Oh-I have the ER version of tramadol in 200's and 300's.  I chew them, just to make matters worse, and take basically 500 mg a day.  I really want to quit everything.  It would be a lot easier to just die, but I look at my children's faces and cannot do that to them.  
If anyone can make sense out of this, please give me some feedback.  I don't know what else to do or where to go.

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Mar 31, 2010
Hello Tramadol Warriors,  

Cotigerlily,   Welcome to our world!   You have come to a place of love and healing.  And this place is full of imperfect, understanding folks who have all had our own battles with tramadol and other drugs.   Try to take some long, deep breathes and try to let the bad thoughts leave you as you exhale, just for the moment feel the air fill young lungs.  You have life today.   That's an acceptable starting place.   Keep choosing life.   Being DEAD is no an ideal time to begin working on parenting skills.   Peace.

I am by no means a professional, but from what you have said, I would try to get back on your lexapro and make a decision to stop tramadol ASAP.   Is ther ea mental health clinic you could avail yourself of?   Reach out for yourself and for your children.

OneDay/Diane,   Yeppers, parasthesias or "pins and needles" in your legs is indeed what we loving call Restless Leg Syndrome.   It's that feeling like something is crawling around in your legs and you wish that you could just tear the legs off at the hips.  Try drinking tonic water with quinne.  Hylands Restful Legs may also "help", but I had to take a lot more than what was prescribed.   My doctor also prescribed a drug "gabapentin", which took away  the RLS effectively.   If you don't try any of the above, this too will pass.   One looses a great deal of sleep in the meantime however.  

More than the chills, body aches, indigestion, fevers - for me, the worst part of withdrawal was RLS and accompanying insomnia.   It won't last forever however.   Try putting tiny moments between yourself and the last pill and the ravages of this demon drug will eventually leave you alone.  Epson salt baths feel good too.

I well recall that first week of withdrawing from this drug.   Feeling like I was sleep walking, certain I could fall asleep as I slid into bed for the 10th time.  Then BONG, immediately the feet and legs would hurt so bad that I grew angry as I laid there.  Someone here described it as "kicking at the covers", which I thought was pretty descriptive.

In for my 3rd and 4th bath of the night.   Certain each time  that THIS  time I would be so relaxed and sleepy that I could fall asleep.  Unfortunately sleep was illusive for me in those early days as it has been for most others.  I recall the wet tile floor, a PILE of wet towels each night, and a spouse whose sleep was becoming nearly as interupted as my own.  The disgust that I felt each time I climbed out of bed was audible I expect.  WTF?

Learning4me,  I totally agree.  Smoking was much less painful to give up than withdrawing from tramadol.  Today is day 100 for me of being nicotine free.  

Christina,   (hugs)   you are doing a hard thing.   Keep coming back and letting us know how the battle is going.  

tramalush,  Congratulations on seven (7) days off the killer T.  

Sasha,  Thanks for the suggestion on reading, "The Untethered Soul".   I will definatly check it out.

Sue, you asked, "Why in the world do they continue to prescribe this drug? PROFITS.  I have been programming computers for over 20 years and this is the first time I have ever joined any discussion online. MKE TOO.  I AM A FIRST TIME DISCUSSION online JOINER AS WELL.   THANK GOODNESS FOR YOU ALL!  Does the body's natural processes ever come back?"  YES SUE,  it will takes "weeks and weeks" for things like focus and concentration to return fully, but these too will return.

Good Night to All (I hope!  :))


Avatar universal
by Sumac60, Mar 31, 2010
hey Fred, I don't know much about the medical profession and want to know how my doctor profits from prescribing this pill. I wonder because I asked for physical therapy and instead he gave me the pills, twice. Before this another doctor prescribed xanax for tinnitus when xanax makes tinnitus worse, I was on that for 4 years until I detoxed myself. (slow to learn). Another doctor prescribed prednisone for brain swelling that made my osteoporosis so bad I fractured a rib by opening a bottle of dressing and did nothing for the brain. Same doctor did a sonagram on my carotids and told me I had carotid artery disease and could have a stroke at any moment and tried putting me on statins which made me sick too. So they did an MRA and 'OOPS' guess I don't have carotid artery disease. The technician had rubbed my neck so much that my arteries must have swelled. One good thing is that I changed my diet so radically I lost 50 lbs. Back in the 70's I had two different doctors prescribing valium, turned me into an anorexic.  I detoxed myself then too. Ok, I know I have an addictive personality. I think the tramadol cured me though. Never again. Ever. One other thing that I have learned through all this is that doctors are just human beings and some of them not much smarter than any of their patients but don't tell them you looked for information yourself, makes them mad.

see, all in all, there is a bright side to just about anything.. this whole mess has changed me and I worry for others

my new motto, 'less is more', I'm keeping it simple from now on, less doctors, less drugs, better food and exercise

I hope you slept well. Mine keeps getting better, little by little

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by Christina33, Mar 31, 2010
Hi guys. I'm working on my second tramadol free 24 hrs. I'm actually feeling a LITTLE better. I feel terrible, but like I might make it through. haven't slept more than 3 hrs a night in about a week now - two nights with no sleep at all - and that's getting pretty rough. It sounds like that's to be expected though. Luckily my mother in law is able to keep my kids for a little while so I can push through this!

Cotigerlily: If it's at all possible you might need to get some professional help with this. Coming off everything at once could bottom you out. Even if you can't afford it - I would try. Your kids need their mom!

Everyone: If any of you are considering EVER taking this stuff again, Please don't. It seriously almost killed me, and it was a very scary way to go. This drug CAN cause serotonin syndrome among other things and serotonin builds up in your brain molecule by molecule so you never know what dose will push you over the edge. There is a risk even if you aren't on another antidepressant, but if you are taking another a/d and tram - you are playing with fire!!

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by Christina33, Mar 31, 2010
Fred: 3 or 4 baths a night sounds about right. I think I was in the tub more than the bed last night. I have to keep showering during the day too because of all the sweating! I've probably never been so clean before in my life : )

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Mar 31, 2010 are SO RIGHT about the seroronin never know when it will happen.You can be fine with those combinations that cause high serotonin and then unexpectedly  BAM...serotonin syndrome.I warn all my customers and doctors about it if they prescribe tramadol to someone taking serotonin drugs.Often the doctor says that serotonin syndrome is rare and wants the patient to continue...but I still warn them that you can be fine for a while,but it can hit anytime.
I warn everyone about tramadol in general but the doctors still prescribe it because they believe the literature and have run out of ideas for pain relief.

Avatar universal
by 4leefclover, Mar 31, 2010
Fred- great to hear from you!! Did you stop the chantix? you will LOVE that book.....
hi pharma- nice post about serotonin work I dish so many is always amazing to me how the
MD's rarely seem to consider this syndrome...I am sure you've seen it.....loading more than one AD and then how about some imitrex thrown in there....
christina--many many hot baths are in order those first 5-7 days.....epsom salts in the water have an additive effect...keep going hon...the edge of the woods is near
cotigerlilly- hey girl, know what? you are no different than anyone are just in some deep do right now...ANY situation can be healed...we must address each piece with plenty of CAN't get too much help....what are your resources now as you see them?

all is well
You are Loved

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by TreeHealing, Mar 31, 2010
I am too sick to post much.  I am so glad to have found this place.  I really thought something was terribly wrong with me.  I have cut down my Tramadol from 200 mg a day to 50 and feel like I have a terrible flu. Maybe I should just quit all together and get this torture overwith sooner, I don't know.  This is horrid!! I will post more later if I feel better.....

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by TreeHealing, Mar 31, 2010
I am not sure how this works or how to get back to here.  Any ideas on how to get back here?

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Mar 31, 2010
Bookmark this page and you will come to it instantly.

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by Lillyval, Mar 31, 2010
Fred - I've been meaning to get back to you on the SSRI thing.  I hope your doctor allayed some of your fears Friday.  The black box warning for suicide/'homicide refers to an adverse reaction that is most commonly seen at the ONSET of treatment.  I think I even read that it usu. occurs in the first 2 weeks of starting an SSRI.  So I'd be pretty confident that the Chantix is not causing it.

As far as other AD's, I've been on about 5 different ones.  Celexa has been the best one for me (never had any withdrawals from it), and many folks here have been on lexapro (same active ingredient).  Finding the right one for you is a process of trial and error I'm afraid.  I thought I just had bad docs who were using the guinea pig approach, but the more I talk to people I find that actually is how it's done.  They make a best guess based on your symptoms, and if the one they give you doesn't agree with you they try something else.  I've heard here and elsewhere that Effexor has similarities to tramadol, so you might want to skip that one.

On another forum I'm on the DOCTOR who started it actually weighed in on tramadol.  He said that it has one of the worst withdrawal syndromes, and that the "brain zaps" are due to the abrupt discontinuation of it's SNRI effects.  Wow! a doctor who actually knows about this.  Maybe there is hope.

TreeHealing - Use your toolbar to bookmark this page.  That is your best bet.

Cotigerlily and all you other newcomers, welcome!  Hang in there - we are here to support you - just keep posting.

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by Lillyval, Mar 31, 2010
Cotigerlily - Just re-read your post.  Speaking from experience DO NOT go off SSRI's and tramadol at the same time.  Stay on the SSRI until you have been clean for a couple of months (even if you have to borrow money to get your script).  Especially since you already sound very depressed.  Maybe even talk to the doc about upping your lexapro dose while you're coming off the tram.  I wasn't clear what you said about the ADD med., but if you're on it you may want to get off that first, because one of the major withdrawal effects of tram is insomnia and the ADD med will exacerbate that.

Believe me I know how miserable you are - I've been there.  I got off tram while taking care of 2 kids.  Just know that there is hope and it CAN be done.  I'm happy to talk to you offline if you want.  Send me a message.

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by TreeHealing, Mar 31, 2010
I am on 50 mg and very sick; should I just quit now???  I don't think I can feel any worse.

Avatar universal
by 4leefclover, Mar 31, 2010
Tree- going from 200 to 50 is a rapid taper...when did you take the 50? I know it is tough, takes a few days after the last dose for things to calm down. I had to call in sick for 3 days then I had the back to work the next mon.Did ok...I had the flu symptoms and some gastrointestinal stuff..a gnawing in my tummy...lots of hot and arms legs and tummy were so tender it was hard to hug my honey....oh man.....5 days out things calmed down....the sleep remained an issue
the w/d from the SNRI component of Tramadol was hard too....but doable....get as much support as you can...lots of baths....
I got a heating pad and used it for 2 months..(course it was winter....) lots of vits...B12 and fish oil too....we all went through it
we are so glad you are here with us........

all is well
You are Loved

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by Onedaynow, Mar 31, 2010
I have continued this slow taper instead of jumping off....started to jump and made it 18 hours and could not bear it....remember, I am working and not sharing this with my spouse (very unhealthy, I know, and I will work on that next). But, the good news is I have stayed well within my planned taper. I am taking 25mg in AM and 25mg in PM. RLS and insomnia persist, my husband is wondering why I can't sleep but otherwise I am hanging in there. I have a 7 day off stretch at work and husband has a business trip in three weeks so if I have to wait until then to stop I will but will continue to minimize my daily dose as I can tolerate without everyone around me thinking I have a horrible disease. I have not had even a slight temptation to take more than my planned wean so I think this method works for me.

Fred, yes, hot baths, with epsom salts every evening. 5 HTP has seemed to help and I am going to find the hylands restless leg remedy (looked at one drugstore but no luck). I am so glad you still visit here, you have been a blessing! I loved some of your very early and very passionate posts as I have read all : )

Cotigerlily, as a nurse I can say don't stop Lexapro cold turkey, I think it is as hard, or the tram withdrawal only longer. I don't think anyone should have to suffer coming off both CT at once. But again, I know we each must proceed in what works best for our mental/physical selves.

OK one day, one hour, one minute, one second at a time. Thanks again to all of you the support here is invaluable.


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by cotigerlily, Mar 31, 2010
I want to thank everyone so much for their kind replies. My life is so messed up at the moment I truly don't know what to do.  Depression and Dependence are so terrible together.  They go hand in hand and create a horrible vicious cycle.  Which is worse?  No answer; you can die from either just the same.  
I know that we are all just ordinary people here, without med degrees etc., but from experience, can someone tell me where to start?  
My 'regular' meds have been:
30 mg generic ritalin
3 (depending) or so 200 mg tramadol ER, or 2 (ish) 300 mg tramadol ER
20 mg lexapro
15 to 20mg ambien-supposed to take one, but now have to take 1.5 or 2 10 mg to sleep any.

I am out of lexapro; has been 8 or 9 days without now.  should I just stay off?  Someone can look up lexapro withdrawal also if they have a minute. (not an opiate or anything remotely like it, but still, it has a LOT of w/d symptoms from cold turkey)
Also, I am now out of my ambien.  supposed to take 10 mg, but it no longer worked and so I upped it to 1.5 or 2 per night.
Two days ago I decided to reduce tramadol-I took 300 total (two halves of the 300 ER; but you aren't supposed to split it.  I don't know if that makes a difference or not.  Today I have had 150 mg and I don't know where the wd from lexapro and the wd from tramadol blend or not.  It's about half the regular amount I have been taking.  I'm so sick of taking drugs; pills, pills and more pills to just exist.  I would love to stop taking everything and just be normal.  But I don't know what that looks like anymore.  And, can a truly depressed person ever hope for a life without meds?  (like SSRI's or similar)

Do I just detox completely?  If I am this far out without the lexapro is is fair to assume the worse is over?  (weird brain zaps, crazy, sweaty, hot mess)

If anyone on this forum has any experience in dealing with tramadol addiction/withdrawal, etc  AND SSRI's for clinical depression, I would love to hear from you.  I would love to hear from anyone actually.  

peace to all

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by cotigerlily, Mar 31, 2010
I'm sorry-
I should have read the most recent posts before replying above.  I had to pick up kids and left my reply part way through.  I agree that technically it isn't the best to have stopped the lexapro cold turkey.  I feel awful-the similarities of withdrawal seem comparable all across the board no matter what your DOC.  But, I'm sure I feel awful from tram w/d also.  Or no?  It's been basically 48 hours or so of taking half the amount I usually do.  So, maybe it's all in my head or from lexapro?

I am just so darn tired of needing a pill for everything!  Pill for depression, pill cause I can't concentrate, pill for pain, pill cause I can't sleep.  and so on, and so on.  I don't want to take anything anymore!!!!

anyways, thanks for the patience; sorry about asking all of the questions again that people already replied to.

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by Onedaynow, Mar 31, 2010

I have not taken antidepressants so am not an expert in the first person but have seen others go through getting off. I do think part of what you are feeling is due to the decrease in Tram. When I went from 200mg a day to 150mg I felt horrible, the cold sweats, RLS, anxiety, brain definitely just the decrease will cause symptoms. Every time I taper in 25mg increments it starts again. And no, you should never break a long acting tab (ER) in half as it releases all of the drug immediately that would normally be time released if the whole tab is taken. It is very dangerous.

Do you have anyone that you trust who can help you through this so you are not alone (well we are here but a real warm body is nice)? I think with the combination you have going and the limited supply you have, coming clean with your MD and asking for help would be advised. She/he can then put you on a safe taper. If you are determined to go CT then getting someone to help you, especially with caring for your children would be strongly recommended.

I also suggest reading through all of the posts, starting way back 2008; there are others who were on more than Tram and they describe their experiences. It helped me more than anything has...knowing others successfully made it to the goal and descriptions of what helped in the endeavor.

You are definitely not alone. Please keep us posted as you move forward.

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by cotigerlily, Mar 31, 2010
uh oh-maybe that is why I got in such a mess to begin with?  I have been chewing/crushing the ER tabs for over a year now.  I knew that I shouldn't I suppose, but taking just one of the ER's didn't seem to be helping anymore.  So instead of taking an extra one, I basically split them open.  anyone know pharmacology better than I do?  I was thinking (bad for me to do sometimes) that 300 mg was 300 mg-no matter of if I took it in the form of 6 50's (like I used to) or as one time release broken.  
geez I sound like a druggy.

I don't really have anyone to trust all of this with.  My ex husband, who is actually quite a great guy, knows about my history of depression and I told him recently that I was having major struggles with it again.  He would be able to help with the children for a few extra days, but money is always a huge factor.  . .
sorry; brain zap: maybe I should be posting just under a depression site?  But to me, my tram addiction is one of the biggest factor's involved. ?  I'm sorry if I am not on the right forum exactly; but I'm comfortable with you guys (been reading for a while now)
I know that I need some professional help.  but I don't know how to get it.  This country, as great as it is (and I truly mean that!!!) doesn't exactly know how to help people in my situation.  Because I get child support, I 'make' too much money to qualify for state or governbment help, but I certainly don't have enough money to do it!  And depression, whether from withdrawal or otherwise is so evil that it zaps all of your power.

thanks for listening to me ramble.  I have taken up too much space probably.

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by TreeHealing, Mar 31, 2010
I reinstated another 50 mg and am feeling a bit better.  I am going to take it slow and cut 1/4 out every few days.  This morning was pure torture.

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by cotigerlily, Mar 31, 2010
Hi Tree-
I just wanted to let you know that someone was thinking about you.  I'm proud of you, for whatever that is worth :-)

hang in there.  Don't know where 'everyone' is right now?  different time zones I suppose.

love to you

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by Christina33, Mar 31, 2010
I'm still tramadol free but I'm crawling out of my skin!!

Cotigerlily: have you contacted your local community mental health center? They will see people without insurance regardless of ability to pay. Many communities even have 24 hour hotline numbersavailable

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by Lillyval, Mar 31, 2010
Cotigerlily - Don't worry, you're in the right place.  You may also benefit from a depression site, but you are more than welcome here.   I'm not a medical professional, but I have to take the prize for crushing & chewing ER tabs, I did it for almost 3 years.  I think it's even worse than taking handfuls of pills because the whole dose just hits you all at once, no waiting for tablets to dissolve.

Anyway, if you've only been off lexapro for a week it's probably still in your system and I would get a new script ASAP.  The first time I quit tram, I and another man on this site both quit Celexa just before going off tram and we both regretted it horribly.  If I remember right, the other poster, Stephen, ended up going for an inpatient hospitilization after that.  After I relapsed I went bck on Celexa, got stabilized and then tapered off of tram, and the process went much better as far as the depression goes.

I'm not a doctor, but having been here reading this blog for a year and having gone off tram 3 times as well as off SSRI's I'll give you my humble opinion.  I would go off the Ritalin first (if that is something you're trying to get off of)  I don't know anything about that, so maybe call the pharmacist (free advice) or do some research on going off of that.  Then I would start tapering the tram.

One thing that worked well for me even though it killed me to do it, was that (on the advice of a doctor) I took the ER's whole.  In other words take 1 300mg ER once a day for 10 days, take 1 200mg ER once a day for the next 10 days, and then take 1 100mg ER a day for the next 10 days.  The benefit is it keeps you at a steady state with no ups and downs AND gets you out of the habit of popping pills all day.  Once you get through the 100's you can try to to down to 50.  I, personally was pretty miserable at fifty and decided to jump off at that point.

Once you get all the way off of the trams you might go through a period of insomnia, so you might need the ambien for a while.  Just don't take it any longer than you have to, because I understand it is loosely in the benzo family, and benzos have caused some serious heartache for many people here.

After you're off the other drugs for at least 90 days or more I would decide if you want to go off the lexapro.  I know it's a long journey, but it is worth it.

I also agree with what everyone else said, GET OUTSIDE HELP.  Be persistant.  Talk to a minister if you can, go to a free clinic, call a helpline, enlist a friend - whatever you can do to get some support.

Even after all the advice I've given I ultimately kept relapsing and ended up going to an addiction specialist and went on medication to help get off the drugs.  My husband wasn't crazy about the idea but I did what I had to do to stop the insanity in my life.  Today I can say I've been off tram for 5 1/2 months and off SSRI's.  I can remeber the hell you guys are going through like it was yesterday.  But just know that you CAN overcome this.

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by Christina33, Apr 01, 2010
Any specific adice for dealing with the insomnia? It's almost 3:30am and I'm STILL not sleeping. I can't take many more nights like this. I'm taking phenergan and clonidine and still awake. Don't know what else to do. I'm going to pick up melatonin tomorrow. I just thought I'd put this out there and ask for suggestions. I'm on about day 8 of very little or no sleep per night and it's taking a huge toll. (insomnia is part of ser. syndrome too so that's why I've had it so long) Pain is skyrocketing also. I'm not giving up though. I'm too stubborn and too ticked off at myself and at the whole situation. I WILL GET THROUGH THIS!!!

Avatar universal
by Lizzie777, Apr 01, 2010
Hello everyone :O)
I can't believe the pace at which this thread is growing... its both heartening for all the time and care everyone is taking and very upsetting. To say that the prescription of this drug needs some serious re-evaluation is an understatement.

I last checked in on Jan 15th this year and wanted to thank Bodegirl who replied to me and also to share what I have found since I decided to taper Tramadol on December 20th in case it helps anyone else :O) Fred is totally right that a good war like attitude is really needed - a one pointedness of mind with a singular purpose - to stop taking this stuff.

In case this is helpful this is what got me to the point where I knew I had to stop...

I was first prescribed Tramadol capsules together with Diazepam, Voltarol, Paracetamol for a badly herniated disc and sciatica in 2001 - ended up in hospital as I had a suspected cauda equina compression and lost a bit of function in my legs/bladder. 8 years later, quite a few doctors visits and I was now taking Gabapentin, Amytriptyline but still with Tramadol. Why this is I am now not sure...but am hoping very much to find out :O)

Some of these things I know and some I can't be totally sure of as like many folk here I am now wondering in all seriousness how much pain this drug produces rather than treats? I'd love to hear from anyone else prescribed this for back or similar pain with nerve involvement to see if there's any patterns here? :O)

By Christmas last year 2009 I still wasn't sleeping reliably mainly due to my legs - like nettle stings/ sunburn on my feet, aching arches - to the point where I often get to sleep by trapping my feet between the bed and the wall, I have seriously considered hitting them with a hammer as this has been going on for a few years - if it was my toe I have to say it would be no more!  and then by about 5-6am aching in my back/hips all of which led to the Amytriptyline and then Gabapentin

Only things which I thought affected this are:

- temperature rises as in the summer I get this during the day
- sorry to the gentleman in advance :O) but also I'm always much better when I actually get my period?
- also I have a funny collapsing / electric shock thing which shoots up down my back and occasionally into my hands

I am now wondering very seriously WHETHER THE PAIN THAT WAS AS A RESULT OF MY DISC WAS PERPETUATED OR HAS BEEN REPLACED BY SYMPTOMS CAUSED BY TRAMADOL and also if the aching is withdrawal or something similar my body is doing? I have mentioned all of the above to both a pain specialist and my GP - and not once has anyone suggested it could be due to this drug nor has anyone really given an explanation or just said you're a crank which would at least be a point of view? This is not cool because I haven't been at rest or comfortable in bed for years yet I have kept acquiring more medication and I suspect if I had have gone back at Christmas even more! On a bad day I wonder what I would have done if I'd have slept well and not taken this but there's nothing productive to be gained from this line of thought I know :O)

Aside from this tedious sleeping pattern I got a shake in my hands at Christmas which thankfully troubled me enough to think of Emily and this thread and also of another lady who had written about her mother who had developed a sort of Parkinson's tremor while on Gabapentin for nerve pain so I...

I am now just over 3 months into my taper so firstly even after 9 years of use this isn't hopeless :O) so please don't be scared as there's so many folk on here who are testament to the fact that this can be done :O)

I'm not trying to scare anyone as this CAN BE DONE BUT FOR SAFETY :O) ...especially if anyone's in a good few years like me it should be taken seriously as lowering this can affect blood pressure etc I believe so I would urge anyone especially with any pre-existing conditions who wants to go cold turkey to be careful - and to try to find someone medical who could keep an eye on things like that.

Also something I learnt is that if you've built up a real tolerance to this drug so you can take more than the stated dose - say more than 100mg of standard caps at a time -  should you encounter trouble with a taper or cold turkey please don't in desperation take an old style dose as this is when most overdoses happen - you built up to that dose and it will be too much and you're body might react very badly to it.


- posting on here as there's so much support and some very kind, wise people indeed with tons of useful experience which helped me make my battle plan :O)

- as Fred said develop a war like attitude to this - do not for an instant let any thought that you won't do it enter into your head - if they do try to sneak in there and they did at one point for me - kick em out - post on here, write a journal, talk to god (I did that too :O) a friend, yourself, watch a film/listen to a song that motivates you anything ...but don't let em in :O)

- it helped me so much to have a real deep rooted reason outside myself to do this - the shaking wasn't cool but my partner has a serious illness and my parents who I love very much are approaching their twilight years and both need me to be super fit so this is the one for me! plus I wouldn't ideally want to conceive while on drugs and as I'm now in my thirties this has been on my mind too! I don't want Tramadol to take this possibility away from me!

- if you're lucky enough to have someone you can tell - do it - it didn't feel particularly nice - I felt sort of grubby - but they can keep an eye on you

- if you want to taper - I've found slow and steady has been the way for me - to decide this I used all the information on here and also saw where my body was when I dropped 50mg - I needed to keep working and to function pretty well - and that was the most drop I could stand to do this - but you may need to do less or be able to do more but you'll know

- how will you know? THIS IS ONLY MY EXPERIENCE but Tramadol withdrawal for me has produced all the symptoms of typical Opiate Sickness so you may get these, some of them or hopefully not many at all! :O)

- sneezing
- runny nose (anyone else not had a normal cold while on Tramadol ie. no runny nose? but really bad head/aches?)
- runny ears! I know super weird!
- swollen glands, low grade sore throat
- cough/urge to cough - particularly at night
- upset stomach - I'm really lucky and haven't been sick or had v.bad diarrhea hence the taper!
- restless legs
- chills
- hot flashes - very much in face - I get a big red nose!
- insomnia
- boundless energy
- few weeks later not much energy
- general creeps

All of the above symptoms didn't all come at once for me and at each drop I've had a pattern - nose stuff first, chills, energy, funny stomach, funny sleep - which I've found helpful as I can prepare for them or get better at coping with them :O)

I've had a couple of bad nights mainly with my temperature, legs, creepiness but nothing to be really scared of - this won't be pleasant but its doable :O)

- keep a physical record of your progress so you can how well you're doing in black and white :O)

- if you take more than you're meant to on a taper one day - don't give up on giving up and resolve not to do it the next day - don't turn it back into a habit

- if you get into trouble with one drop  (it took me two goes to go from 4 to 3 x 50mg) try staying at your current level for a while longer and then give it another go - this worked for me :O)

- I found setting another goal alongside this really helpful - and used my energetic phase to start to walk to get fitter and to take on more work as concentrating on something else has helped me a lot! :O)

- I've found I did better with the withdrawal symptoms when I've been walking as since the weather has been bad and I've not been out as much I've noticed a difference - it really helps if you feel sad too - you probably won't be skipping out but you might be coming back! :O)

- I've used Paracetamol sensibly to help with any pain while I'm trying to discover which of it is real!

- drink plenty of good fluids, hot ones are lovely when you're cold, as are hot showers/baths, Amazon do a safe electric heated vest which fits on your back - good if your backs stiff and its heaven when you have chills

- eat good food, keep red meat to a minimum, lots of veggies etc as it will give your body less additional toxins to deal with while its trying to sort through all this

Really hope this helps :O)

I'm now holding at 150mg from 400mg and am about to try 100mg - for me this has taken 3 months. I've not as yet taken any supplements as have really tried with my diet but am thinking of trying a good EPA/DHA fish oil as I'm starting to loose the energy a bit :O)

The insomnia is a bugger - will possibly consider Melatonin or other soon but again its not not doable :O)

Stay strong guys and very best wishes - any feedback much appreciated. Really hope no-one minds this is so long :O)

Avatar universal
by learning4me, Apr 01, 2010
Yes Christina you will!! I wish I had as much confidence in my own recovery. I don't have the depression (or I didn't prior to the Tram) I don't have other addictions to overcome, and I have awesome support through my family & great friends,and all you AMAZING people. Even with all that I still feel like a loser for allowing myself to continue taking. Even though I am tapering down I'm not sure I can handle the symptoms of no Tram at all....You all seem so much stronger than me. I don't know how to fight this one. I have always been strong. I am a mother of four...that makes me a fighter but the Tram is beating me.......

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by cotigerlily, Apr 01, 2010
Good Morning all-

Lillyval-I owe you something!  How amazing is it that you took so much time to write me wanting to help.  You are a blessing.  I am hanging in there today.  I actually got my children (3) to school on time this morning.  The teachers probably all fell out when they saw them before the bell rang :-)  I haven't slept for three days, so I was up anyways and decided I may as well take advantage of the situation.

Last night was hard-so many of you mention restless legs, but I have to say that my arms are the ones with their own energy source.  My forearms and hands just ache and need to be massaged and I have to keep rotating my wrists.  Similar I'm sure to the leg feeling; hey, I always do my own thing.  ha!
I ended up taking another half of my ER 300 around 4 am and it seemed to help with the w/d symptoms, but I wasn't happy with myself.  I wish I had the strength to do it cold turkey, but it terrifies me. Maybe because I have so many other issues and meds to deal with at the same time?  

I wanted to add my version of going off meds-we all know the withdrawal symptoms suck and you feel miserable in mcanental and physical ways.  but, for anyone wondering how in the world we/you can do it I offer this.  Even despite the miserable symptoms, I can catch a glimmer of hope.  My body hurts and shakes and you could fry an egg on my neck from the hot flashes and sweats, but I FEEL something inside stirring.  I little whisper of hope that says life is still inside me and that I can have it.  I deserve it, despite all of the crap I have done wrong to others and to myself, I deserve to have hope of a 'normal' life.
Every time I get a hot flash or wave of misery I know that I am one less away from getting my life back.  It's the evilness of this drug leaving my body.  (for you ladies that have children, I compare it to contractions almost.  I knew with every one that occurred, it was one BEHIND me.  One more I didn't have to experience any longer)

I hope that makes sense to someone.  I am trying to embrace these days of misery and insanity (at least I feel kind of crazy) because I know that the drugs are leaving my body and I will not be putting them back.

I have not decided what to do about the SSRI's right  now.  It's a whole different topic of conversation, but I don't think lexapro is doing me any favors now.  What good is life without feeling alive?

love and peace to all

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by Onedaynow, Apr 01, 2010
Great posts here. Lizzy your description is great...I also struggled at the 200mg to 150mg drop, could not figure why that one was so difficult. Same symptoms you describe, very random, not linear at all.

Cotigerlily, you sound much better this morning. I do get the "glimmer of hope" and how despite the horrid WD symptoms there is a joy in knowing it is the beginning of the end of the tram nightmare.

I managed about 6 hours of strange sleep. Dreams are weird and I wake often. I have found taking Nyquil helps me, I take half the dose at it seems to help me sleep for a few hours. I am also taking Melatonin and 5 HTP. The 5 HTP seems to relieve the RLS. During the day I am taking all the previously mentioned supplements and only putting good healthy food into me. I figure my poor body can use any bit of help I can provide.

I am down to 37.5 mg day (if my math is correct), one quarter of a 50mg tab in the AM and still a half tab in the PM. A year ago I would have been so excited to think I could be at such a low dose. I keep in mind that this is victorious for me, for today, and so much closer to being off this trash. And I have to agree with the post above, for those who can taper without temptation, it seems a kinder way to go. Yes, the WD is there but it is doable and I am still able to work and function while getting this slowly out of my system.

I wish you all a peaceful day and strength in your battle.


Avatar universal
by reborn216, Apr 01, 2010
hey all, today makes day 22 or 23 of being clean not sure, from 40 pills a day to cold turkey,,,, i feel much better , sleep through the night still get a lil depressed by like 5 or 6 pm its wierd i dunno, but other then that am doing great,,  keep up the good work , i cant wait for one month clean , looking forward to it.. thnx for everyone who posted and helped me through it

Avatar universal
by HanztheDawg, Apr 01, 2010
Moved from 3 threads back, I was slow.

Hello All,
     I'm an ex-Marine that has broken just about every bone in my body.  I have had my back and neck fused, my shoulder reconstructed and both my knees scoped.  The Navy docs wanted to cut off my right leg from the kness down when I had a severe compartment syndrome in the knee and didn't go to sick bay for 3 days.  That being said and that being no excuse, I'm addicted to pain meds.  I took my very first narcotic in '99 with my back.  Since then it has graduated to 8-7.5 lortabs, 12-50 tramadols, and 3-350 somas a day.  I never had a problem quitting anything before: smokeless tobacco in '86, smoking '88, alcohol in '96.  I never had withdrawals with any of them, not even the alcohol and all cold-turkey.  I self medicated with alcohol  the 10 years I was in the Marines and I drank ALOT, hell I was a Marine.
     I was glad to see that others have the same problems as I do and that I'm not crazy.  I have stopped (not quit, quitting is forever) the lortabs and somas a number of times with no problems.  Somas are easy, I even forget to take them.  The tramadols are hell on earth to quit.  I get sick after 12-18 hours after stopping.  I will try the "fixes"  I have read on here, my wife will appreciate it.  I have the night sweats, brain zaps, restless legs, nausea, NO ENERGY.  I have had the "suicide" thoughts which I thought would never happen to me, crap I was mentally stronger than that, other people get it.  I have a problem in that I'm addicted to "pain free".  I make it maybe 3 days and I have to cave to the "Mighty T".  I have thought about 'weening" myself but I'm a "yes or no", "all or nothing" person.Was nice to vent and read other's vents.

thx y'all

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by Onedaynow, Apr 01, 2010
Reborn congratulations to you! You are doing great!

Hanzthe Dawg, this is a great place for support and helpful hints, I am glad you found it.

Bad, bad day for me....I was so thrilled my intestines were working again but today they have had me doubled over in pain....and mentally down after an up yesterday. Ah yes, the roller coaster....I will just continue to hang on!

Avatar universal
by Lizzie777, Apr 01, 2010
Learning4me - I feel just the same too for taking these so long but I don't think you are at all! :O) You've made it this far to tapering which is incredible :O) I've wondered about this same thing and had guilt etc but I realise I can't sadly take my own head off and have a look at myself as I'm in it and it was full of Tramadol! so the faculty which might have wondered what was going on was tied up in this too and as far as you or any of us knew was feeling 'real' feelings? Its bad prescribing etc as I was given this as the less addictive alternative to codeine so naively assumed I would just stop it when my back was better! You sound like you have superb support and if you've come this far you can do it :O) This is what I'm telling myself - that others have done it so it can be done and even though the thought of being on 0mg scares me too - if you look back would the taper have scared you before? as it did me! and I'm still not sure how I made it to tapering this far but we have... so if we keep taking it one day at a time and plugging away may we both have the strength to join the others on here and be posting how many days we've been clean some time this year? :O)

Cotigerlily - wow! its beautiful how someone helped you and you're hanging in there and you're totally making sense to me as I gave up sleeping at just before 7 this morning and am still up? :O) I think I have the legs to your arms! but yes that sounds exactly like whats going on with mine and others legs. I know I struggled stepping down from 200 to 150mg and now know I am not alone thanks to OneDayNow :O) I had to stick a bit longer at 200mg but second time lucky!! I've also taken the odd extra tablet at times when I've had stuff to do as the sleeping is no joke and I wasn't happy with myself for it but don't be disheartened and feel so bad you feel you've failed and want to give up as next time if you're the same as me and others you'll find its that bit easier or you have the strength to leave it and keep going down which is the main thing :O)

Diane (OneDayNow) - thank you so much for picking up my post as I too now know I am not crazy! :O) Its given me great strength thank you :O) I'm so sorry you're having a bad day today. I just wanted to say that at 37.5mg I you've done incredibly :O) :O) I too wish you total strength in your battle :O) x

HanztheDawg - totally as OneDayNow said there are a lot of folk here who have gone the cold turkey route and who are kind enough to offer advice and support  (I hope i'm right in saying that the wonderful Emily who started this thread did it this way and there's a ton of good stuff if you check back through the threads on how to make this easier :O)

I had to make a plan and really get my head right to do this but its got to all fit for you I guess as its what you decide that will get you through the tough times. It not all bad and it does get better though - there's so much testament to this fact here :O) and I can see at 250mg down that I'm already different to how I was on 400mg which together with my reasons for deciding to do this are keeping me going :O) It sounds as you mention your wife that she knows which is really good as I know some folk are having to hide it which is doubly tough. Keep reading and posting as it took a while but it got me started :O)

Loads of strength and love to you all :O)

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by cotigerlily, Apr 01, 2010
Thanks lizzie!
I finally broke today and told my best friend about my addictions.  He was sweet and wanted to help but was honest in saying he didn't know much about the process.  I have gone ct now (9 days) with lexapro (I know it's not an opiate and is TOTALLY different to stop taking than tramadol, but it's not without some crazy, similar, awful weird withdrawal feelings)  also stopped ambien so no sleep for 3 days, half the usual ritalin and  half the amount of tram.  My brain juice is probably all confused and jacked up!!!
just an aside: addiction and dependency are different and it only really hit me recently how.  My body is dependent on lexapro-meaning that it needs it to function as it has for the past several years.  But I have no desire or craving to take some.  This addiction to tramadol is a physical dependency AND a craving to take it.  You guys all know that already, but it was somewhat of a revelation to me. Lexapro doesn't make me feel good the way tramadol did/does.  No way should it ever be classified as non addicting.  That's just ridiculousness.
My body hurts and the numbness in my hands, fingers, feet, etc is just plain odd and scary.  I can't stop wanting to move around a lot, but yet I don't really have the physical energy to do so.  It's a big ole fashioned mindf**** also.  (pardon my asteric french)  
My friend today was trying to be supportive but basically said that maybe I am trying to do too much at one time.  I don't know what I think about that?  Anybody else stopped multiple drugging at the same time?  I kinda figure why not; may as well feel terrible once than several times.  But I also am a single mom of three and don't want to screw myself into a bad situation either.  Guess I will just go one day at a time and listen to my body.  I feel stuck right now.  Should I jump off the bridge with the rest of the tramadol?  It's not the pain I fear.  It's the anxiety; the feeling of having a major panic attack and not being able to cope.  I get paranoid some anyways if I think too much about things and I don't want to freak myself out.  BUT, I would bet you all went through that-am I just making excuses or justifications to stay on this amount right now?  

I do want to be completely off of everything.  I don't want to be dependent on anything.  Ever again!!!!  I was thinking of following advice I received earlier today-stop splitting the ER tab and just take it whole.  but all I have are 300's and it seems too much.  Should I ask doc about the regular version instead of the ER's?  Any advice is truly and totally appreciated.

I'm sorry if I'm too needy.

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Apr 01, 2010
Lexapro is an ssri antidepressant and will help you get through the antidepressant withdrawal of tramadol.
I really like your explanation of physical dependence and addiction comparing lexapro and opiates.
That is why I feel it is ok to keep taking lexapro during tramadol withdrawals.I worry about the 2 taken together along with ritalin...SEROTONIN SYNDROME big time.
Out of all those drugs the lexapro is the one I would recommend keeping for now and you can work on that one slowly later.
You can take ibuprofen and/or tylenol in recommended doses for rebound pain
The Thomas recipe is good to help nourish the brain and nervous system during healing.
Lots of epsom salt baths to help pain and restless legs.
One poster used caffeine energy drinks and I have read that ceffeine does stimulate dopamine in the brain and can help depression.Just don't overdo it so you can't sleep at night which is the worst symptom.
Even tylenol and ibuprofen stimulate dopamine to some extent and can be a good alternative to opiates

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by cotigerlily, Apr 01, 2010
thank  you pharma9.  I do have some worries about serotonin syndrome and have wondered why my doc or pharmacist never talked about it with me.  I had a kidney infection about two weeks ago that scared me into stopping meds.  No idea if it was related to taking so many different drugs for so long, but it is quite coincidental.

I have done a lot of research the past few days about withdrawal from tramadol and lexapro.  I am convinced now that these drugs (as are so many out there) are poisoning us.  I don't mean to say that nobody should take meds.  Just that I personally think that I have taken too many for too long.
My son was diagnosed with ADD (not easy as people think actually: it took months of doc visits and psychologist visits) and he has really been helped by ritalin.  He has finally caught up with the rest of his class in the past two months.  But I certainly don't want him stuck in a life cycle of meds like I am.  

do you not think that now, after almost ten days off the lexapro that I could stay off? or should I reinstate at 10 mgs instead of the 20 I was on?  Also, any opinion of the ER tramadol thing?  Or just jumping off?

caffeine helps a ton in the morning to get going.  but I'm not rare to think that :-)
and yest, ibuprofen works waaaaayyyyyy better than tylenol (acetaminiphen) for pain.  I took a piping hot bath today, which I never do and it did temporarily help with things.

Avatar universal
by pharma9, Apr 01, 2010
The ER is better in some ways because you do not get the "highs" like with the rapid release tramadol,but much harder  to taper.
If you were doing well on the lexapro my gut feeling is that it is better to stay with that till you get through the major withdrawals of the antidepressant effects of tramadol,possibly at 10mg daily.It will make your withdrawals so much easier.You can tackle the lexapro later when you are completely free of tramadol's clutches and resulting withdrawals.
You are right antidepressants are hard to discontinue and must be done slowly to prevent rebound depression.
You did well to come here for there are many wonderful people who can advise you better about tramadol withdrawal.
I did not withdraw from tramadol,but from opiates and found this site researching more thoroughly about tramadol.I did not believe the lies that the literature and salespeople gave us about the safety of tramadol.
I am almost 7 months clean from opiates and find that otc pain meds are just fine for me.

Avatar universal
by ty1987, Apr 02, 2010
first of all just want to say congrats to all who are well on their way to getting off this is a huge accomplishment!!

i've been off tramadol now for about 2 weeks. it was a sunny day here in iowa today, but i felt terrible. the past 2 weeks have been so up and down. one day i'll feel great and the next i'll feel terrible. it truly is a rollercoaster ride.

i began doubting myself today. doubting if i'll ever be completely sober. the truth is, i don't like myself very much when i'm sober. i know having these thoughts is absolutely terrible to have when i'm so early in recovery, but i know it would be best to tell somebody how i'm feeling. staying off tramadol may be something i'll be able to do, but i just don't know if i'll be able to stay clean for the rest of my life.

i don't want to discourage anyone else here, but you all must know that it is truly a long process. one day you'll feel great and think you've finally beat this drug, and then next day you'll feel terrible again. just know that, in the end, it will all be worth it.

i wish i could take my own advice.

Avatar universal
by HanztheDawg, Apr 02, 2010
Long night.  Came into work this morning sporting a Pepto bottle.  All my techs said I looked as if I had been out partying.  Tried the Epson salt bath, no good.  Standing in the hot shower is better.  Now if only I could sleep standing up and the hot water wouldn't run out.  I bought the B12, 5htp, and emergenC.  Too early to tell if they will work.  I notice people taking Klonapin (sp) I have that and Trazodone for sleep but they never worked.  I can't go the caffeine route, I have a caffeine sensitive blood pressure problem that causes SVT so I stay away from caffeine.  Question.  When I have the night sweats and have to go shower, when I get out of the shower I am freezing til he hurts to move.  Anybody else?  Off the grind of making money.

Avatar universal
by Lizzie777, Apr 02, 2010
Cotigerlily - I'm really glad you told your best friend as thats massive and very courageous :O) I'd love to be able to tell mine but she's in such a good place I'm scared so I think its brilliant :O)

I'm nowhere near as expert as a lot of folk on here but I started tapering Gabapentin, Tramadol and Amytriptyline - the lack of Gabapentin hasn't done much for my legs but thankfully I'd not long been prescribed that so that side was mentally ok :O) just the legs that are a nuisance!

But I know Amytriptyline is an anti-depressant too so this is only me but I decided to go with Pharma9 too :O) and I've re-instated it and am going to tackle it afterwards. I started to get very down, sat it out for a bit but kind of hit a wall with it so I started to get concerned that might get the better of me together with legs and lack of sleep and cause me to slip with more Tramadol - I'm not 100% sure but it felt like too much to me to try to do all three at once :O) But yes Serotonin Syndrome was never mentioned to me either - I only found out about it when I read the leaflet inside the pack!

I know with Tramadol you can get it in capsules, tablets and slow release - I wonder if perhaps you can get less than 300mg ER capsules from your doctor if perhaps they make a 250 or 200mg? or failing that I have read of folk filling their own Gelatin capsules by obtaining the powder out of theirs but taking a bit less out etc to make a stepped down dose? :O)

ty1987 - Congratulations to you for being off Tramadol for 2 weeks! Oh my goodness thats incredible :O) Thank you for the advice :O) as I know I read FinallyFred who I think put in the context of a war and he's right somedays its a lot harder than others - totally the same here - and you've really got to dig deep. I'm not always good at taking my own advice but hope you can and you can keep pushing through :O) (I know I'm not trying to think too far ahead as if I think of too many days at a time and think off stepping off altogether it scares me but I know stepping off the 400 did too but I did it :O)

HanztheDawg - yes! I'm only tapering but have had the chills with each drop just like someone keeps pouring a bucket of ice water down my back - I wonder if you or your wife have a strong hairdryer as mine will do a really good hot and cold blast which has really helped take the edge off the chills for me - it sort of pushes the heat in but you're right the shower is the best :O)

Wishing everyone all the very best over Easter

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by Christina33, Apr 02, 2010
ty: the self doubt and not liking yourself thing might be part of the rebound depression part of the wd - hang in there and hopefully that will get better. If not it will be something to work on : )

Lizzie and Hanz: There's nothing better than blasting the hairdryer under a big comforter for the chills - it really helps my legs also.

Cotigerlilly: Hang in there! You're doing great. I'm a little worried about you not having direct medical advice though with all you are dealing with. Keep us posted.

I'm on day 4 c/t and hanging in there. I'm still not sleeping as well as I would like and crawling out of my skin half the time but some of the other things are getting better.

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by Christina33, Apr 02, 2010
Learning4me: Don't give up! You are stonger than you think. That's probably the wd talking : )

Reborn: congrats : ) Thanks for letting us know it gets better!

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by Onedaynow, Apr 02, 2010
Oh my safety net here. I look forward to hearing everyones progress and knowing I am not alone in this battle.

Ty, hang in there! I am sure you are experiencing that post tram depression; I have no doubt you are better sober than not sober and I imagine your friends would agree. Maybe an antidepressant for a short time to get you through? Whatever you need to do my thoughts and positive energy are with you....hang on.

Lizzy, sounds like you are hanging in there also. For me, the day of the decrease was a killer than each day following seems a little better.

Cotigerlily, you also sound like you are in a better space, at least mentally...I know the physical symptoms likely suck but you sound really good.

Hanz, heating pads also help following the shower. I need one at every taper.

Pharma, thanks for checking in on us every so often. It is good to know you are there.

My day today seems so far, a little better. Still at the 37.5 a day and think I will stay here at least a few days. My poor body is so confused! So is my family....they think I have a virus that is lingering....I am certainly not sleeping well and it seems Nyquil has stopped working so I will stop that, probably not really healthy anyway.

OK I wish you all as best a day as possible and lots of strength.

Thanks for all the support!


Avatar universal
by LivingnPresent, Apr 02, 2010
Hello to all.   just got back from travels last night..I want to comment on all the amzing and courageous posts since i was on a week ago..For those of you new and looking for help. please give yourself credit for posting and asking for help..and for the acknowledgement that you want to get off the tram-a-go-round - this is huge..big part of this battle. I am inspired by all of your stories..cannot believe how many of us are out here waging this war.  rough week for i continue taper. started 2/12 going from 5-6 or 7  trams a day..been on 2/day since 3/12..and will go down to 1 on 4/12.. as i was trying to interface with people this week..i was hit with stomach bad..i had the pill bottle in my hand and 1/2 a tram ready to pop..knowing i had to get some relief from the pain so I could just function ... stared at it for a really pissed and threw it back in..not easy by any stretch..but probably nothing relative to what many of you are dealing with out here..but it's my little victory and im holding on to it. occasionally i think about that last pill...about not having the bottle with me all the time..about counting, etc..and i get anxious..but then i try to reframe and think of that last pill as my ticket to wings, so to speak, to soar beyond a tram-free life.. i have no illusions..i know it wont be easy..but as long as i keep talking, sharing, and coming here for the reminder that i am not alone..i have great hope.  So i greatly appreciate reading all the posts about others who are's hard having this drug leave our bodies..but hopefully the effects are not as dramatic..I admire those who can go CT...and get thru it quicker..I just know that I am not able to do this as I cannot take anytime off ..i have to work and show up for my family  and my job every day.. Just hoping that the mental piece..ability to focus, remember, depression etc. will find it's way is really impacting my work..  but i do have brief, fleeting moments of clarity  every once in a i am hopeful
LeeAnn, Sasha, Bode, Pharma,   thanks for being ever present out here and for your healing very grateful for you all.  For all of you..who have posted..i dont have time right now to acknowledge you all personally but i've read your stories and they've all touched my heart...please know that I am praying and putting out positive thoughts for all of you.  Please keep coming back here..dont leave..keep writing (that alone is cathartic)..asking for help...we can all get through this to the other side... As previously helps to get helped me this past week to keep from increasing on my taper.
off on more travels tuesday.
Blessings fellow warriors...
Strength & courage,

Avatar universal
by learning4me, Apr 02, 2010
Pat, Awesome thing you did putting that pill back. I imagine that even with the anger it was very hard. You should be so proud of that huge victory!!!!!! I am proud of you as I imagine everyone here is as well!!!!

Avatar universal
by LivingnPresent, Apr 02, 2010
Thank you so much Amie...i appreciate your and all my friends out here..really do help  sustain me thru the tough times.  and i do know what you mean totally when you write about anxiety over the taper..
hope that you have a wonderful weekend...sending over hugs & prayers your way.

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by Onedaynow, Apr 02, 2010
Pat, good for you! You are making it through your travels and I know you were very concerned if you were going to be able to do it. Not only are you doing it but you have been really strong and not deviated in your taper. Step by step by step we will get there.

I do have a question, at 37.5mg a day I am still having horrible ringing in my ears, anyone else have or had this problem?

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by Lillyval, Apr 02, 2010
Hi Everyone, it's great to see there's so much activity going on here, and I wish I had time to reply to everyone, but I'm exhausted tonite.  I just wanted to say that reading cotigerlily's comment made me feel great (and I've been pretty down lately).  She wrote:
"I FEEL something inside stirring.  I little whisper of hope that says life is still inside me and that I can have it.  I deserve it..."
That's a sign of recovery!  

Avatar universal
by HanztheDawg, Apr 03, 2010
Long night again.  Had to get up and and go be motived to coach soccer and not scream at my team because I have the DTs.  We won so takes my mind off of the pain for awhile.  But now is hard part.  Spring is here in LA (lower Alabama) and it's time to uncover the pool, fire up all the machines; rider lawnmowers, push lawnmowers, generators ( I live in hurricane zone), pick up the limbs from winter, all around get out and bust my *** knowing the back, shoulder, and neck will be killing me and the "Mighty T" will be calling from the medicine cabinet.  Well off to work on the 40.

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by cotigerlily, Apr 03, 2010
Yay I made someone smile!
Lilly, you are a doll.  
So, an update on all my crap-ola:

still no lexapro or other SSRI/SNRI: think it's day 10.
have stuck to a taper plan with tramadol, but i'm not happy with myself: I think I need to cut out more.  I have taken approx 300 mg per 24 hrs for the past 3-4 days.  I absolutely have not slept in about 5 days, so I am always up and it is making it hard to do such complex arithmetic as mg per hr.  LOL
no ambien or other sleep meds for 5 days.  this one might be the kicker though.  I need sleep bad.  I figure if I still haven't slept by monday I may refill the Rx for it.  But make no mistake:  I WILL come off of those too!!!!  I'm so friggin sick of having my entire life revolve around pills.
ritalin-gone from abusing it to using it as prescribed or less.  I can take 30 mg, but have been only taking 20 first thing in the am (that's what it's called when the big round, yellow ball comes up in the sky, right?) so I can get my kids to school.

so, I guess I am proud of myself for some things, but disappointed in myself for others.  
Last night was bad, lots of panic, racing heart, numbness in my extremities and still nasty, clammy sweats.  
But I'm here.  I'm alive and somewhere inside I must care.  

keep on keeping on all!!!!

ps hanz, I love when you post.  don't know why exactly (slaphappy I guess) but you make me smile!!

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by Christina33, Apr 03, 2010
I hear you on the sleep thing - I got zero hours again last night. Well, I dozed off twice for about 5-10minutes I guess. I can't go on like this much longer. The night before last I got 4 blessed hours and thought I might be out of the woods. It doesn't even matter what I take - phenergan, clonidine, melatonin - anything non-addicting I can think of but nothing is working. I feel like I'm losing my mind again today. I have to be back at work and school Monday and I'm scared I can't do it. I SHOULD be feeling better by now!! I really feel like I'd be okay if I could sleep. The sweats are pretty much gone. The anxiety is still bad though.

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by cotigerlily, Apr 03, 2010
K all-
I  just got back from my first NA meeting and I had to come back to chat.
You know what is CRAZY?   Pretty much none of the people had even heard of tramadol before.  I felt almost like I didn't deserve to be there because I wasn't addicted to heroine or something 'harder.'  --um, major, facetiousness with that.

Don't take that wrong-they were all awesome and helpful and etc, but it just blew my mind nobody even really knew anything about that drug.

I feel weird and spacey and stupid.  My brain hasn't had to fire on all of it's own cylinders in years and I think it is rebelling :-)

I got lots of good info and may go back again tonight to a different one.  just wanted to check in and say the above-


Avatar universal
by LivingnPresent, Apr 03, 2010
OneDay Now..thank you so much - appreciate the ears are ringing like crazy now..but i've always had just seems much more intense right im with ya there...maddening... I've heard that vitamin E, Zinc & beta carotine can help ..i've never tried myself..also read where stress can bring it on...if that is true..then couldnt we say that withdrawing from Tram is about as stressful as anything out there??!!!!   would be interested to know if anyone else out here has had the ringing ears?

Avatar universal
by FinallyFred, Apr 04, 2010
Ty,  I was reading your post from the morning of 04/02, especially your honest concern about REMAINING sober and off drugs for the rest of your life.   Here's the good part, you only need to live today, today.   Tomorrow may not even come or it may be far different that our fears may have us believing it looks like from today's prospective.

In AA I learned that I will never be cured from my addiction(s).   What we CAN have is a daily reprive THIS MOMENT from our crazy thinking and addictions.   The quality of our sobriety today is based on our spiritual condition.    

Forever is a long time and tomorrow is too much for me to handle most of the time.   I'm trying to stay in this moment.    

Jenn,  Congratulations on your progress and for having the courage to go to your fist NA meeting.  Most cities have numberous meetings and sometimes it takes going to several before someone finds a meeting that meets their needs.  If you have ever had a problem with alcohol, consider attending some AA meetings as well.  Generally there are FAR more in any given community to choose from.

Sorry I didn't address everyone.   I love you guys and believe that each one posting has taken some good steps toward full recovery.  

Some are trying items listed in the Thomas Recipe and I did as well that first week doing battle with tramadol.  TIP:  There are a couple of important ingrediants NOT listed in the Recipe:  (1) Hope (2) Determination.  

I like the concept of Easter, though you won't find me in church this morning.   The concept that LIFE is POSSIBLE where only dispair, death, and DEFEAT existed before is comforting to me.   It means that today need not be like yesterday for me.  

It doesn't take a very long walk outdoors this time of the year to encounter signs of new life in the buds on the trees and blooms in the garden...growth where lifelessness lay only weeks ago.

Courage, Strength and LOVE to you all,


Avatar universal
by bodegirl, Apr 04, 2010
Fred, So well put regarding Easter and new life.  Sometimes, it is so hard to see any growth or progress when you are in the grips of despair.  But it is happening.

I wish you all some relief in knowing it gets better.  Each minute, even if you can't feel it or see it yet.


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by Onedaynow, Apr 04, 2010
Wishing you all a peaceful Easter day. Again, your help is invaluable! I am definitely learning to live in the "now" and there is nothing wrong with that. Just guess, I had to learn the hard way.


Avatar universal
by Lizzie777, Apr 04, 2010
Hi everyone :O) Got up this morning and was thinking of everyone and wondered how you were doing - it really sounds as if everyone is hanging in there :O)

The sun is out here and just as Fred said there's daffodils and Robin's pairing in our garden and its lovely - this season is my favorite by far :O) Thank you so much for your words Fred as they're beautiful :O)

Thank you too Bodegirl as you were the first person who replied to me and I'm so grateful as it kept me from being disheartened  - so I hope things are good with you :O)

Christina33 - Thank you - you're absolutely right about the hairdryer :O) I hope you're still hanging in there and that the creepiness has lessened a bit by now? :O)

OneDayNow - I was thinking about you and am so glad to see you here as I was a little worried when you posted that your innards hurt so much so was very glad to read you'd had a better day of it and hope thats still the case? :O)

Cotigerlily - gosh was quite shocked too to read of your experience at NA - hopefully another group will prove better? :O)

Desperategrndma - I can't help with the ringing in the ears I'm afraid as I haven't had that - but you're totally right!!!! that withdrawing from this is totally stressful as aside from thinking about it ( I know in my case whether I'm acting funny/look funny - I had crazy looking eyes apparently! am a pain? am I a moody pain? whether anyone who doesn't know has noticed me being any of the above!!!) the withdrawal gives you anxiety so I will keep my fingers crossed that perhaps when you're through the worst of this it will ease? Does a masker help? - sorry if you've already been through all that :O) (I ask as my father has tinnitus :O)

Lillyval and Hanz am thinking and rooting for you and hope you're holding on to that whisper of hope :O)

Love Lizzie

Avatar universal
by Lizzie777, Apr 04, 2010
I had a funny old day yesterday as I went to bed on Friday with little back pain at all (all good there) - cannot for the life of me work out how this happened - must have had a fight in my sleep as I spent all day pretty much in bed as I couldn't stand up straight or sit for very long at all - tried a hairdryer, shower, pushing my own bum in so I was straight etc but it was having none of it.. anyway normally I would have taken more Tramadol as by 7pm I'd have assumed this state was here at least in to the next day or so I thought...

but I didn't as it would have broken my taper and although I'm not massively comfortable sitting here its a different back to the one I had yesterday! :O) but it made me realise something and I think I could relate to what you were saying Hanz as I too have been in the mindset of have pain - get rid of pain... with Tramadol.

How many times in the past have the assumptions I made about what was going to happen based on what had happened been wrong? Rating my pain eg. this is x bad so it won't go too quickly (in under say 1 day and I have to go to work, do ironing etc) and so reaching for my usual medication? But even more crucially would I have done that if this was a medication you could just stop and start???? Were these assumptions even me or was is it the fact that my body was now also physically dependent on Tramadol?

If not taking a tablet produced no symptoms then it could be a use as needed thing but it doesn't and so its not because although they don't tell you as such once you're on it you become physically dependent - sorry I know this is obvious but I only just realised!!! So how can I truly know what I feel until I'm off it?

So now I want off it so badly it hurts as I want to know what I feel! To this end I wondered if anyone would be kind enough to give me some advice please? :O)

Over the weekend I've been holding at 150mg (as have been dropping by 50mg every 3 - 4 weeks) and the other part of me is scared none the less of dropping the next 50 as at present I'm taking 2 in the morning and 1 at night - so don't know whether I'd be better splitting the 100mg into 2 doses of 50mg or take it all at once?

Its the thought of not having anything before bed and waking up in that horrible sweaty state as has anyone else had the funny coughing/choking sensation in your throat which wakes you?  - I wonder if perhaps someone might be kind enough to share how you tackled this one please? Should I ditch dropping by 50 and move to smaller increments? :O)

Also, were anyone else feet/legs strange before your started tapering but while you were on a stable dose?

Love Lizzie

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by Onedaynow, Apr 04, 2010
Pat, I am not glad to hear you are also suffering from the ringing in your ears, but I am glad I am not alone. I just thought once I tapered down this low (37.5 still) SOME of the symptoms would go away or at least decrease BUT NO....

Lizzie, I can give you my experience since I am also on a taper (from 400mg day now at 37.5 a day in about 6 weeks). Unfortunately, or fortunately, I dont know anymore, I never took this med for physical pain (how sad is that to admit) I think it was to buffer emotional pain AND how sad is that again! So I cannot address your pain question.

I have found that taking equal doses instead of one larger and one smaller dose works better for me...could be mental but at this point WHATEVER works : ) . I think if I were you I would try ditching that 2nd pill in the morning so you are taking 50 mg in AM and 50 in the PM for your next 50 mg drop off. I don't know about you but the nights are the most difficult for me. I found I can do alot of suffering during the day, even at work, even in front of my family who have no idea what is going on here BUT night time just plain ole *****. I am currently taking 12.5mg or one quarter of a pill every 8 hours and will soon start spacing out that dose so I am only taking it every 12. After that, I am jumping off, cannot cut the pill down anymore and I am getting TIRED OF THIS (its been a bad day again, what is up with this....)

I have been waking up with the coughing/choking; I did not realize that is also WD, just thought I was still trying to get over my cold. I have taken Robitussin DM a couple of times for that and it worked. My WORST symptoms are the insomnia and RLS and the RLS is now in the lead for most aggravating symptom. I have not tried the Hylands yet, but I am taking the 5HP and every other supplement listed. I need to get the Hylands tomorrow. I never had this symptom while on a large dose of Tram or if I did I was so numb I did not feel it.

OK I know I sound really bad here but I am honestly happier being this physically miserable and knowing the end is within reach than worrying about having to order more Tram, counting pills, hiding pills, not being able to go to the bathroom (sorry but true; and NO LONGER AN ISSUE :) ), forgetting everything, being in a worse fog than now, having constant word finding issues, etc. So, as difficult as all this may be, I really am happy and proud I am where I am today.

Best wishes to all!

Avatar universal
by Lizzie777, Apr 05, 2010
OneDayNow - thank you so much for all your help :O) I can't tell you how grateful I am :O) :O) Your comment re: the bathroom made me laugh as you're not wrong!!! ;o)

I'm so sorry you are and to anyone else being troubled by the RLS and insomnia as these really suck... but I agree that I'd still rather be here than where I was before so I hope so much this is the overriding thing we can all hold on to and look forward so much to these being a thing of the past for all of us :O)

I'm going to try and split my dose tomorrow as I totally agree (although my colleagues may not!) that I'm much better to deal with stuff in the day! I think I'm also going to try and get some 5HP and some Hylands if I can :O)

Love and best wishes to everyone Lizzie xx

Avatar universal
by LivingnPresent, Apr 05, 2010
Lizzie - OneDayNow...ditto on the bathroom issue..(not had to go for the Immodium yet)    I would agree that splitting your dose may be good plan.. that is what i in morning mid week when i go down to one - i will split    1/2 in am...1/2 later in day...i totally get about the "colleague" issue...same here.. You are doing great...sending you hugs..prayers and good thoughts...I am grateful for your posts...

One Day Now wrote:
"OK I know I sound really bad here but I am honestly happier being this physically miserable and knowing the end is within reach than worrying about having to order more Tram, counting pills, hiding pills, not being able to go to the bathroom (sorry but true; and NO LONGER AN ISSUE :) ), forgetting everything, being in a worse fog than now, having constant word finding issues"    
Profound for me to hear this...thank you for particular about the fog and word finding... and for the reminder that I do not want to go back, ever...  thank you so much for your share...really hit home.
Fred..thank you for the beautiful analogy of recovery and  Easter/spring... I have hope.
Love & hope to you all.

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by Christina33, Apr 05, 2010
Just wanted to share that my sleep is finally getting a little better. I still feel crummy, but I can handle it much better now that I've gotten a little rest. I'm on day 7 of no tramadol, and I'm starting to think I might make it - sweats and chills are gone and I slept 6 hrs last night and 4 the night before. Now, I'm just dealing with anxiety, low energy and exagerated pain. Good luck to all of you!

Tip to share: 6mg of melatonin seemed to do the trick for me and the doc perscribed .1 mg of clonidine to ease the withdrawal which seems to help with the anxiety issue even though it makes me a little groggy.

Avatar universal
by LivingnPresent, Apr 05, 2010
Christina...Good for you girl...7 days..that is awesome!!!  Congrats...and keep posting.  If you find the tip for low energy..pls let me know.


Avatar universal
by dirtycowboy, Apr 05, 2010
can u refill tramadol early?

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by Christina33, Apr 05, 2010
cowboy: I don't know, but if you need to it might be time to reevaluate your situation. I'm not judging - it's just that I almost died from the stuff recently, and I'd hate to see anyone get into that position. It was a terrible situation and the wd is bad too (I'm guessing you might be experiencing that now). It's just NOT worth it - especially when you have a family. Good luck! There are people here to help if you need it : )

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by Christina33, Apr 05, 2010
Thanks Pat : ) I'm back at school today too and actually able to somewhat function - not in top form, but I'm sure it will continue to improve!

Avatar universal
by 4leefclover, Apr 06, 2010
Hello Warriors All-
Christina- you are out of the woods! Yes, I remember the 'residual' as you call it....anxiety and exaggerated pain...I am so glad to hear you KNOW the pain is will calm down--- for me? about day 10...the anxiety took longer but the clonidine helps, sleep helps, exercise helps, and mostly time....the neurochemistry in the brain needs to recalibrate...takes time
in the meantime....if you struggle a lot here and there ...I found it most helpful to get additional support
you are doing great--keep going!! glad to hear you are getting sleep
Pat- hi Hon! where are you now on your wean? how is the wellbutrin working these days? and your therapist?
you are consistently encouraging and supportive to all here...I admire your resolve and dedication to getting off the trammies
keep going girl!!
to all new posters
we are glad you are here...this place saved my tush in the early days of w/d. Post often. I read every post. It is delicious to read about the agony we endure to achieve the freedom we deserve....NO MORE BONDAGE to the little whites
we stumble through the battlefield together....and remain invisible to the long as we don't take that next pill
IT GETS BETTER.....sure there are days here and there that are difficult...but I have to say..I got a lot of confidence getting through this w/d and subsequent weeks of anxiety and depression waves...cause, man, if I can get through that (with TONS of loving support) I can probably face most anything.....cause the key, for me is to not avoid pain (it IS inevitable) but to learn the skills necessary to navigate painful events and maintain my USED to think that's what the PILLS were for...) huh....turns out they were interfering with my personal onward to the next adventure......tram-less and stronger, wiser, kinder for it

clean since feb 3

All is Well
You are Loved

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by Onedaynow, Apr 06, 2010
Good morning to all!

Sasha, thanks for coming back and checking in on us! I have read through this journal over and over and I love to hear from the "famous" people who have overcome this dreaded little, ugly, falsely mighty pill. Even if I am not writing I am always reading as I get through another hour of withdrawal symptoms and WOW does it help, not just help, I honestly feel this little forum here is saving my life....pretty strong stuff!

I have just been struggling the last few days at 37.5 mg/day....I gave it a lot of thought and realized a few things that really helped me. I normally work at a desk and drink a ton of water or herbal teas but over the last 4 days was out seeing patients and not drinking much fluid at all. I realized this yesterday and started drinking a lot of fluids again and had a much better day. I also bought the hylands restless legs, and Adrenal support which I took throughout the day. Again very helpful. So, I was finally feeling good enough to go to the gym for the first time in 5 days (I am normally a regular exerciser) and had a great work out. Then, the night came, which is now when anxiety peaks due to the RLS and insomnia that is haunting to me; but, no problem....I slept at least 4 hours (also taking Melatonin 3mg and 5 HTP) woke up, and was actually able to get back to sleep I would bet within an hour. I slept another 3...AMAZING! So, with that great day and night, I am cutting to 25mg day. This is my last step before the jump off. I guess long story short is to remember to drink plenty of fluids to flush this junk through. I realize there are different thoughts about exercise, some people have said it makes the RLS worse. For me, it seems to help with the RLS. It is very hard to get myself going but once I do I feel much better.

Christina congrats to you, you are doing great and an inspiration!

Pat and Lizzy I feel we are kind of together in our taper here and it sounds like you both are doing pretty good (I realize pretty good is moments of bad followed by moments of good). But, we are close and how cool is that!!! I see the light and love it :)

Fred, I always think of you....I think you are in the Seattle area also and for some reason I just feel your energy. I hope your days have been good (in spite of the poor weather right now).

And to all the others reading this my best thoughts and wishes to you this day with this tram battle!


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by EmilyPost, Apr 06, 2010
This thread is closed.

Please post on Part 31

Avatar universal
by nursingstudent001, Aug 10, 2011
I have been on Tramadol for over a year now. I take 1/2 of a 50 mg for sciatica every night. I told my husband that I don't feel right lately and that my stomach hurts all the time. Went to the Dr. he prescribed carafate which I didn't take. (took aloe water instead) Then I told the Dr. that I am starting to experience some heart palpitations after taking the tramadol, he said "Oh thats pretty normal". DUH!! He sent me for an EKG and dropped the subject. I am so mad! I treid to get off tramadol a few weeks back and thought I was going to die! I need starts in 2 weeks and I need to get off these and get back to normality. Please, if anyone has any suggestions. And I thought (was told) all these symptoms were from menopause!

Avatar universal
by TramadolKicker, Aug 13, 2012
Hi All,

Im a newby here, but also became a victim to Tramadol.

I would like to tell you how I became sucked into such a mess and how I have emerged on the other side in freedom.

It all started 3 years ago when I was rear ended on the highway by a large truck. I was sitting still. It messed up four disc. Fortunately no surgery, just therapy and long nights.

I was prescribed hydrcodone first, but liver enzymes went up too high. Doctor changed me to oxycodone. Wow what a jump. I was taking 10mg every 4 hours, total of 60mg a day. But there came a point when I didnt need that many a day and started to stock pile them. Sound familiar to anybody????

Well, as time went by, I started getting into my treasure chest stockpile and ended up doubling up for 5 months. Finally I confessed to my wife when I realized what I was doing and decided to wean off of them with her help. I was too viscious of a circle for me to handle.

I told my doctor I wanted to get off the opiates and see what level my pain really was. He said when I was ready, he could prescribe a non addictive and zero side effect Tramadol if the pain was intolerable. He said my current oxycodone dosage was low and I should be able to wean off without professional help.
Of course I didnt tell him I was doubling up the oxycodone at the time.

Anyway, I started tapering down over several weeks and failed the first time. I tried to go too off too fast. Then I tried again slowly and then ended the oxycodone battle in 4weeks. But, I ended up with serious restless leg syndrome, back pain, and severe allergies. Strange.

Now at that time, my back pain was severe again and I had really bad restless legs at night . But, I didnt realize these were withdrawal symptoms from the opiates still lingering. The location of pain was still in my lumbar region, so I thought I still had injury pain.

I did some research on Tramadol, but obviously not enough to know what I was up against. So I went crying to my doctor, "Oh I cant sleep, my back really hurts, my legs wont stop itching and tingling." So he prescribed me the Tramadol.
Immediately my world changed. Convinced I had finally a way to manage my pain and leg problems, and started sleeping regularly, I didnt give it a second thought.

It wasn't long before my bad habits came back around and I started aquiring Tramadol on the side, along with my prescriptions. It isnt controlled like true opiates are ya know.

I was up to 400mg a day. I know that seems low to some reading here.

About 6 weeks ago I was noticing strange brain zaps. The room would go upside down for a split second. I also started developing severe ringing in the ears, heart palpitations, excellerated heart rate and anytime I didnt take a pill after 6 hours or so, my world would go to pieces like I just wanted to go hide and cry.

I became suspicious about this, thank goodness. Afterall I was supposed to be on a non addictive and zero side effect Rx, but like a dumb dumb had been taking it around the clock in excess.

When I started really researching the drug under the Tramadol name I was extremely taken back by all of the new blogs coming up about these severe side effects and the bad word - ADDICTION.
I then realized what I had done. I had thrown myself into another battle with addiction. Only this tme I read into the fact that this compound also affected my seratonin and nonadrenaline balance in my body making it much more difficult to overcome.

I started tapering down and finally got down to 50mg a day and then went cold turkey. Wow what a drag that was. It was ten times worse than getting off the oxycodone. Instead of dealing with one withdrawal I was dealing with several at one time.

I want to let everyone know about some simple things I have done so far to help myself with the withdrwal symptoms.
I am now on day 5.
Still feeling effects of insomnia and restless leg, some dizziness, some palpitaitons, excellerated heart rate, but far less than day one. I know now Im out of the woods and on my way to freedom. I take no other drugs other than my Lisinipril for high blood pressure.

During my taper down and cold turkey I changed my diet and activities.
I bought a bike and would ride at least 4-5 mile 2 times a day. Once right befor bedtime.

Drank lots and lots of water, ate lots of fruit, fish, and fresh vegetables to help reconnect severed brain receptors and such.I also stayed away from red meat. I didnt feel so loaded down all the time.

I also drank caffienated tea during the day to help curb the awful dreaded feelings that you cant go on. It worked. You've got to elevate your mood a bit because that is what Tramadol does. I did not use any high energy drinks like 5HOUR ENERGY.

Another thing that really helps is to boost your electrolytes as high as you can keep them during the day. When I did this with Pedialyte, 12oz during the day and 12oz before bedtime, my restless leg syndrome went away long enough to get at least 3 or 4 hours sleep each night. If that doesnt work, take a really hot bath and get your arms and legs in the hot water until you cant stand it.
Last night, end of day 4, I actually got about 6hours of sleep off and on. I took 30mg of Melatonin before bed and kept the place pitch black dark until time to get up.

There have been some talking about destromethorphan (spelling) helping with sleep. Made things worse for me. Excercise was the key for me.

I havent been able to stop the occasional excellerated heart rate. It comes in waves along with all the other withdrawal symptoms. Sometimes less. sometimes more. I have been monitoring my blood presuure and rate and strangely it stayed at about 110 b.p.m but didnt elevate my pressure much.

When these waves come over me, I just step outside and take a very brisk walk or ride my bike if at home. It makes me feel better even though my heart rate stays up for as much as 30min or even an hour. But, I have noticed that the frequency of these spells are diminishing.

One last thing that helped me is trying to keep my mind active, despite the feeling that I just want to lay down face first into a pillow and just vegetate. Laying around feeling sorry and not wanting to move just makes it worse. Or it did for me. I have a demanding technical job and have to program mechanical machines all day. It is keeping me distracted from my bad feeling coming off the Tramadol. Im also a musician, so pickup my guitar and playing also helps. I also garden in the front and back of the house whether it be mowing, pulling weeds, planting, or just standing around spraying water can bring your some joy and you feel better. Hang in there who ever you are. The road gets smoother and faster as you move forward.

Getting past the dragged down feeling is tough, but you just have to pull up your pants and boot straps and move forward like a trooper knowing that it just absolutely has to be done, or else you might lose.

I know my particular situation is no doubt less severe than some here, but the odds you will succeed, and the things you are up against are the same. They are all relative to the individual and it is what you make if it. You can either make your recovery easier for yourself, or you can make it excrusiatingly difficult and long.

Im feeling pretty good right now (end of day 5) and I know it just gets better from here on out. I can just feel it. And..........I have zero back pain from my injuries. My injuries are scarred in. Now I can recognize any dull back pain for what it really is. Withdrawals.

I know there are others suffering the same issues and some probably got into them the same way I did, or didn't. Dont be ashamed either way. Just make a stand and you will never have to look back again. This Tramadol is a misrepresented product and needs to be heavliy controlled, or banned in my opinion. Just my 2 cents.

Good luck to everyone in your battle to be free. You can and will do it. Be successful and live free again!!!!!!!

Sincerely, TramadolKicker

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