Pain is a constant in many people’s lives. It can be hard to cope with and sometimes can even ruin your life. But it’s not impossible to get a better quality of life with a little help from your doctors and medications.
Tramadol relieves pain by two different methods. It changes the way your body senses pain (like a traditional opioid) and it interrupts messages between nerve cells.
What is Tramadol?
Tramadol is a pain reliever that is a type of opioid (narcotic) analgesic. It works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain. This medicine is available by prescription only. It can cause addiction, overdose, or death if used by someone who is not prescribed it. Keep this medication out of reach of children.
Ultram ER is used to treat moderate to severe pain. This includes pain after surgery and for some types of headaches, such as migraine headaches with aura (visual disturbances before the onset of a migraine). It is also used to treat neuropathic pain conditions, such as diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. It can also be used to treat fibromyalgia, a disorder that causes tender areas throughout the body. It can help relieve the pain and fatigue caused by this condition.
It is also used to treat multiple sclerosis, a disorder that affects the central nervous system. It can reduce pain episodes and improve overall functioning by reducing muscle spasms.
This medication may cause serious side effects, including slowed breathing, sedation, or a coma. If these occur, get emergency medical help right away. To reduce the risk of these side effects, do not drink alcohol or take other medications that can make you drowsy. Also, tell your doctor if you have had recent surgery, or have a blockage in your stomach or intestines, or if you are taking an MAO inhibitor (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine). Your doctor may need to change your doses or monitor you more closely.
How to Take Tramadol
Tramadol is a narcotic pain reliever that works by changing how your brain senses pain. It is similar to morphine and binds to receptors in your brain (narcotic or opioid receptors) to decrease the number of pain signals sent to your brain. Tramadol is not an NSAID, so it does not raise the risk for stomach ulcers and internal bleeding like some NSAIDs do.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor. Do not increase your dose or take this drug more often than prescribed. This can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Tramadol may cause drowsiness. Do not drive or operate machinery until you know how it affects you.
If you are taking extended-release tramadol tablets or ConZip capsules, swallow them whole; do not break, chew, or crush them. Swallowing broken or crushed extended-release pills can release too much medication at once, which can be dangerous or even life-threatening.
Tramadol may be habit-forming, so it should not be taken by people who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse or are prone to addiction. This medication can also harm children, so keep it out of reach of children. Talk to your doctor about other ways to manage your pain, such as exercise, healthy eating habits, and stress management.
Side Effects of Tramadol
Tramadol is a narcotic-like pain medicine that works in your brain to change the way your body feels and responds to pain. It is available by prescription only and can be taken orally as tablets or extended-release capsules. Tramadol is used to treat ongoing moderate to severe pain in adults. It is a step 2 option on the World Health Organization’s pain ladder and has about 1/10th the potency of morphine.
Tramadol can cause drowsiness, so it’s important to avoid alcohol and other depressants while taking this medication. It may also affect your coordination, so it’s best not to drive or operate machinery until you know how this drug affects you. This medication is not recommended for breastfeeding women because it can pass into breast milk and cause serious problems, including slowed breathing, confusion, more than usual sleepiness in the infant, or limpness.
Your doctor may recommend other treatment options for your pain, such as nonopioid pain medicines or physical therapy. You should tell your doctor if you have stomach or intestinal problems, liver disease, kidney disease, or any other condition. Tramadol can make certain stomach problems worse and could interfere with diagnostic tests for conditions such as a head injury or heart disease.
This medication can increase your risk of serotonin syndrome, a rare but life-threatening condition, if you take it with other drugs that affect the levels of serotonin in the brain (such as MAOIs such as phenelzine, Nardil), or linezolid (Zyvox). Get emergency medical help if you have symptoms such as fast heart rate, muscle stiffness or spasms, high fever, confusion, or hallucinations.
Precautions of Tramadol
Tramadol is not safe to take if you have certain health problems. It may increase your risk of seizures or other mental problems, and it can worsen certain stomach or kidney conditions. It can also raise blood pressure to dangerous levels, which can be life-threatening. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking this medication.
Taking this medication for a long time can cause your body to depend on it (dependence). You might have withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking the medicine suddenly. Your doctor will gradually lower your dose to prevent withdrawal and can prescribe other pain medications for you.
If you are allergic to morphine or similar medicines, you should not take tramadol. Also avoid it if you have liver disease, lung or heart disease, stomach disorder, mental illness, or suicidal thoughts. This medication can be absorbed through the skin and may harm an unborn baby. You should not breastfeed while you are taking it.
Tell your doctor about any other health problems or allergies you have. This includes any history of drug or alcohol addiction. Also let your doctor know if you have any head injury or brain problem. This medicine can increase the amount of pressure in your head, which could worsen your condition or make it harder for doctors to diagnose and find the cause.