Anna Richardson provides a guide for tramadol HCL users or anyone considering this medication as a pain-reliever. She discusses the benefits of the drug, what it’s used for, and includes cautionary suggestions for safe use.
Tramadol is a potent pain-reliever similar to codeine. Whereas codeine is derived from the opium poppy, tramadol is a synthetic opiate. It’s also something of a designer drug because, unlike codeine and other opiate analgesics, it has antidepressant properties similar to Zoloft to elevate mood. Tramadol is the generic form of brand-name Ultram.
What Does Tramadol Do?
Introduced in the late 1970s by a German pharmaceutical company, tramadol’s mode of action is similar to that of other opiates: It relieves pain by numbing the brain’s pain signal. Meanwhile, its stimulating effects create a happier mood. The result is highly effective for treating moderate to severe pain, especially for patients with chronic, ongoing pain who would otherwise be unable to function.
Why Is This Drug Prescribed?
It’s usually prescribed for short-term relief from pain caused by surgery or other injuries. It’s also used to treat chronic conditions like back pain, arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Tramadol does not change, treat or heal the underlying cause of pain. It’s merely a means of feeling more comfortable when pain is present.
How Is Tramadol Taken?
Tramadol Hcl 50mg tablets relieve moderate pain for about 4-6 hours. Although the most common form of the drug is the 50 mg tablet, it’s also available in 100 mg tablets and in time-release formulations of from 100-300 mg per dose. The time-release tablets are generally prescribed only for severe and chronic pain, and the effects last all day.
Is Tramadol Safe?
This medicine is safe when used appropriately, but it can be dangerous as well. Let your doctor know if you have a history of:
* Drug or alcohol addiction
* Kidney disease
* Liver disease
* Mental illness
* Suicide thoughts or attempts
* Stomach disorders
Can I Take Too Much?
Tramadol has the potential to cause seizures, respiratory depression, coma, even death if the prescribed dose is exceeded. Symptoms of overdose can include:
* Respiratory difficulties
* Pinpoint pupils
* Heart attack
Are There Side Effects?
Tramadol Hcl 50mg tablets may cause side effects. Let your physician know if you experience any of the following:
* Skin rashes
* Weak pulse
* Blurred vision
* Nausea or vomiting
Be especially alert for any of these side effects. If they occur, call your doctor immediately:
* Breathing problems
* Sores in the mouth, throat, nose or eyes
* Difficulty swallowing
* Localized swelling
What About Drug Interactions?
There are quite a few medicines with which tramadol does not mix. Be certain to let your doctor know if you’re taking any of the following drugs and, if you’re taking tramadol, do not mix it with any of these medicines without first consulting your physician:
* Muscle relaxers
* Other opiate pain relievers
* Sleeping pills
* HIV/AIDS medicines
* Cold or allergy medications
* Seizure medications
* Nausea medicines
* Migraine medications
* Heart, heart rhythm, or blood pressure drugs
* Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) medications
* Anti-fungal drugs
* St. John’s Wort
* Cough suppressants
* Cancer treatment drugs
Finally, avoid drinking grapefruit juice while taking tramadol.
Is Tramadol Prescribed For Weight Loss?
Some patients experience weight loss while taking tramadol Hcl 50mg tablets although the drug is not intended as a weight loss product and should not be used as one. Weight loss can result from the loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting that sometimes accompanies this medicine.
Is Tramadol Habit-Forming?
Tramadol is an effective and beneficial pain reliever when used as directed but, as with other opiate drugs, it can be addictive. For that reason it should be taken exactly as prescribed and only as long as pain continues.
If you want a tramadol Hcl 50mg tablet more often than every 4-6 hours or if you want the medication when you have no pain, contact your doctor immediately. This drug should be used cautiously and only as directed.
Can I Stop Taking Tramadol?
Stopping this medication suddenly can cause severe withdrawal symptoms. Long-term users or those with a dependence on tramadol should be weaned from the medicine gradually and under the care of a physician. Withdrawal symptoms can include hallucinations, tremors, insomnia, anxiety, muscle rigidity, and diarrhea.
Is Tramadol Available Online?
You can purchase both generic tramadol and brand-name Ultram on the Internet from US pharmacies with a doctor’s prescription. Many patients prefer to purchase medicines from web pharmacies because it’s cheaper and more convenient. For a listing of legitimate US pharmacies where you can buy FDA-approved tramadol at a discount, check with LegitScript at http://www.legitscript.com/pharmacies/legitimate
It can also be purchased from overseas pharmacies for even more savings and without a prescription. Prescriptions are not required in countries like Mexico, India and Canada. The downside is that you’re taking a risk. Before purchasing tramadol from overseas pharmacies, do some research to identify a reputable and reliable online drugstore.
In some countries like the UK, you can purchase tramadol online after completing a questionnaire and submitting it to an in-house physician. The doctor will review your request and can supply a prescription. You’ll be charged for the consultation and the prescription as well as for the price of medication.