Get the facts about Tramadol addiction

What Is Tramadol?

What Is Tramadol?

Tramadol is a man-made analgesic. Tramadol’s actions are unknown yet it is believed that the drug works in a similar way to morphine. Tramadol binds itself to opioid receptors found in the brain. These receptors usually transmit a sensation of pain. In binding to these receptors, the drug can be used to alleviate pain.

Tramadol is available in both an immediate release and extended release formulation. The extended release Tramadol tablets are often reserved for patients who suffer from chronic pain and need continuous treatment over a long period of time. In its extended release form, Tramadol must be swallowed whole. It should not be chewed up or crushed. It is essential for anyone who has been prescribed Tramadol to follow the instructions provided to them by their prescribing physician. If the drug is taken improperly, serious side effects may result.

A Tramadol addiction can develop in some people. For this reason, Tramadol should always be taken as per the prescription guidelines. Taking larger doses of Tramadol or taking Tramadol more often may result in a Tramadol dependency. Patients on Tramadol should not suddenly stop taking the drug in the absence of consulting with their physician. If use of the drug is stopped suddenly, withdrawal symptoms may result. Anyone who wishes to stop using Tramadol must decrease their dosage of the drug gradually, under the guidance of their physician.

What Is Tramadol?

Drug interactions can occur with Tramadol. Carbamazepine can reduce the effectiveness of Tramadol while Quinidine can increase the concentration of Tramadol by as much as 60%. Combining Tramadol with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor may result in seizures or other severe side effects. For this reason, anyone who is to be prescribed the drug must ensure that their physician is aware of the medications that they are already taking.

When used in combination with other substances, Tramadol can increase the risk of respiratory and central nervous system depression. This means that an individual’s breathing can be affected or even stop completely. Substances that should not be used with Tramadol include alcohol, sedatives, anesthetics, narcotics and tranquilizers, unless otherwise indicated by a physician.

Tramadol use should be avoided during pregnancy. This is because the safety of the use of the drug during pregnancy has not been ascertained. The safe use of the drug in breastfeeding mothers has not been established either.

Tramadol is typically well-tolerated and any side effects experienced due to the use of Tramadol are usually only temporary. Common side effects associated with the use of the medication include but are not limited to: dizziness, headache, vomiting, drowsiness and nausea.

A Cochrane Review of the use of Tramadol in patients with osteoarthritis revealed that the drug may offer some benefit. The Cochrane Review found that, when Tramadol is prescribed for a maximum of 3 months, patients may experience decreased pain, a greater sense of well-being and an improvement in their symptoms. However, Tramadol may cause side effects that require the patient to stop taking the drug. The risks associated with the drug outweighed the benefits for many patients who had tried Tramadol.

An overdose of Tramadol can be fatal. In the event that an overdose occurs, a poison control center must be contacted and immediate medical advice sought. The symptoms of Tramadol overdose include seizure, decreased pupil size, unconsciousness, difficulty breathing, coma and heart attack.