Tramadol is a prescription drug used for chronic pain relief, restless leg syndrome, and fibromyalgia. Tramadol is gaining popularity as a treatment for osteoarthritis. It can treat moderate to severe pain successfully.
Tramadol works by binding to opiate receptors in the brain. These receptors transmit the sensation of pain to the body.
Because it is being used to treat arthritis, some believe it is an anti-inflammatory drug. It is not. Tramadol simply alters the way the body senses pain.
Tramadol is available in immediate release formulas and extended release formulas. Immediate release dosages are generally 50mg and extended release comes in 100mg, 200mg and 300mg.
Tramadol should not be combined with alcohol, narcotics, sedatives, and anesthetics. People with the following health problems should not take tramadol:
Cirrhosis of the liver or other liver disorders, kidney disease, stomach disorder, or depression. Tramadol's side effects tend to be minor and temporary.
The following side effects may be experienced: nausea, headache, dizziness, vomiting, drowsiness, constipation, itching, diarrhea, dry mouth, rash, and sweating.
Some drugs will reduce or increase the effects of Tramadol. Carbamazepine reduces its effects and Quinidine multiples the effect by 50 to 60%.
Uses Tramadol with MAO inhibitors can cause seizures.
Because it has not been determined if it is safe to use Tramadol during pregnancy, pregnant women are urged to avoid it.
To find relief from pain without the use of narcotic, Tramadol is a good alternative. Many have received relief from chronic low back pain and osteoarthritis of the knee.
Arthritis suffers no longer felt stiffness and experienced less frequent sleep interruptions. By using Tramadol daily, pain suffers can function normally and confidently go about their activities.
This pain relief treatment has been around since the 1970's and is just now being discovered for its usefulness in treating osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.
Tramado may have other yet undiscover uses, but for now it is an undisputed non-narcotic pain relief treatment that alters how the body perceives pain and it does it quite effectively for many.
Is Tramadol a narcotic?
Tramadol is not a narcotic. It is however, used to treat mild to moderately severe pain such as, leg and back pain. Tramadol is often used for the treatment of chronic pain as well.
Is Tramadol safe for me to take if I am taking other medications?
There are some medications that react in different ways when combined with other medications. You should always tell your doctor about any medications that you are taking, even over the counter medications.
What kind of side effects can I expect when taking Tramadol?
For many people Tramadol has little to no side effects and most often if side effects are present they don't last for long. However, there are people who have experienced nausea, headaches, drowsiness, constipation, itching, dry mouth, sweating or diarrhea. It is highly uncommon for a patient to experience all of the side effects of any medication.
How does Tramadol work?
It changes the chemistry of the brain so you are not aware, or less aware, of pain messages. In particular, it slightly adjusts the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin, the neurotransmitters or chemicals responsible for transmitting messages.
How quickly does it work?
It is processed through the stomach and absorbed slightly more slowly than some other drugs but it has the advantage of staying in the bloodstream for longer.
This means even the standard version of Tramadol is effective for longer once it has reached a stable concentration in your bloodstream.
What difference does food make?
The more food you have in your stomach when you take the tablet, the longer it takes for the active ingredients to be absorbed into your bloodstream.
In the long term, this makes no difference to the effectiveness of the drug. Once you have taken two or three tablets at the appropriate time intervals, the concentration will stay stable and give you the relief you need.
Is there a difference between men and women?
Gender makes no difference to the effectiveness of the drug but the dosage may have to be adjusted to reflect differences in body weight.
Also women eliminate the drug slightly more rapidly from the bloodstream than men.
What difference does age make?
There are no formal studies testing Tramadol on people under the age of sixteen. But, above that age, there seems to be no difference in effectiveness although, if there are liver or kidney problems, a lower dosage will be required.On the label, there is a warning about seizures
In a very small number of cases, seizures have been reported in two different situations: Where the Tramadol interacts with other drugs changing the level of serotonin;
Where you already have a seizure disorder like epilepsy or the risk of seizures is increased because of a recent head injury.
What happens if you have breathing disorders like asthma?
In general, you should discuss this with a doctor if it seems appropriate to take a high dosage. In a few people, breathing can slow and cause problems.
Can you drink tramadol alcohol?
This is not recommended as it can increase the risk of slowing your breathing.
Does it cause confusion?
When you first start taking Tramadol, it can limit your concentration, cause some confusion and slightly reduce your coordination. You should avoid driving or using any equipment that might be dangerous until you are used to the drug.
Is there really a risk of dependence?
The risk is small when compared to the natural opiates but, when you experience relief from the pain, this can feel so good it produces psychological dependence over time, i.e. you come to depend on the drug to keep the pain away.
At higher dosages and over long periods of time some people also find themselves physically dependent.
What are the main drug interactions to consider?
There is quite a long list of possible difficulties but the most important are to avoid mixing any antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs that affect the level of serotonin.
Are there any problems with pregnancy?
There are no general problems in taking Tramadol while you are pregnant. But you should get your doctor’s approval if you propose to take Tramadol for pain relief during delivery, or while breastfeeding.