How to Use Tramadol
Tramadol is one of the most popular painkillers used for management of moderate to moderately severe pain. In fact, many people consider it a ‘miracle’ drug because it provides them with pain relief where other drugs haven’t.
It works by decreasing how the body feels pain by binding to opioid receptors. Users experience effects very close to morphine, but without the potential for addiction, since Tramadol is only 1/10th as potent. Tramadol also has antidepressant properties, which can help prevent and calm pain by decreasing the reuptake in the brain of neurochemicals norepinephrine and serotonin.
It is prescribed as an immediate release or extended-release tablet. Users take extended-release tablets only once a day to treat chronic pain and need long-term pain relief. Tramadol is commonly used to treat pain related to Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia, although it is also effective for treating nerve pain associated with conditions such as Restless Leg Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. It may also be given for temporary pain relief after an injury or surgery.
Some studies have also shown that people who suffer from osteoarthritis may benefit from taking Tramadol for as long as three months. Aside from decreased pain, users may enjoy overall improvements in well-being as well as improvements in stiffness and function. But there is also a risk of significant side effects, so if the user starts experiencing them the doctor may ask them to stop taking it.
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Side Effects of Tramadol
The most common side effects associated with the drug are drowsiness, vomiting, nausea, dizziness, headache and constipation. Less frequent side effects include vertigo, dry mouth, sweating, itching, seizures and rash. Most people who take Tramadol are able to tolerate it without experiencing any side effects. Any side effects are usually temporary and will pass after a while. If symptoms persist, get in touch with your doctor or seek medical help immediately.
Some users have also reported suffering from symptoms of serotonin syndrome, which is caused by an overproduction of serotonin. Symptoms include elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate, nausea, diarrhea, agitation, confusion, hallucinations, dilated pupils and intermittent tremors.
Tramadol interacting with other medications may also cause serotonin syndrome. These drugs include antidepressant drugs that are serotonin agnostic agents, since they irreversibly inhibit monoamine oxidase. “Triptans”, which are serotonergic agents which are used to treat migraines.
To avoid the risk of adverse drug reactions, you should always give your doctor a list of any medications you are currently taking. You should also include any wellness supplements you are taking, such as herbal products.
If you are taking medications that can make you drowsy, such as narcotics or sedatives, you should not use Tramadol. Of course, you should never take Tramadol if you have been drinking alcohol. If you have combined Tramadol with any of these drugs, you should avoid performing any activities that require mental alertness, such as driving. There is also the risk that the combination of Tramadol with narcotics and recreational drugs may affect your breathing and even cause it to stop.
There is also potential for Tramadol to be habit-forming since it is structurally related to opioids, although it is less potent. Users who have a history of addictive behavior may be at greater risk of developing an addiction to the drug. The risk of abuse has caused Tramadol to be classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a controlled substance in all fifty states. This means that within a six-month period after a prescription for Tramadol is written, you can only refill it five times before your doctor has to issue a new prescription.
Who Should Not Take Tramadol
Pregnant women should not take Tramadol since there is a risk that your baby will become dependent on the drug while in the womb. This can cause potentially life-threatening withdrawal symptoms when the baby is born. If you are breastfeeding, you should also not take Tramadol since the drug may pass to the nursing baby through breast milk. You should inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to have a baby.
Children below 12 should not take Tramadol. Tramadol sold under the brand name Ultram ER should not be given to users below 18. Those below 18 who have had an operation to remove their adenoids or tonsils should also not take Tramadol.
How to Take Tramadol and Proper Dosages
Users should always take Tramadol pills and capsules whole. They must never crush or chew pills since this can affect the dosage you are receiving. Always follow the prescription instructions and your doctor’s directions when taking this medicine. The maximum dosage per day should not exceed 400 mg, but older adults 75 years and up should not take more than 300 mg per day.
Immediate-release tablets come in 50 mg doses, and users take 50 mg to 100 mg every 4 to 6 hours. The maximum dosage for this form of Tramadol is 400 mg a day.
Extended-release tablets come in 100 mg, 200 mg, and 300 mg doses, and which are generally taken once a day. These tablets are prescribed for users who suffer from chronic pain and who need long-term, continuous relief. The maximum dose for this type of Tramadol is 300 mg a day.
If you are taking Quinidine, it may increase the concentration of Tramadol by 50 to 60 percent. If you are taking Carbamazepine, it can reduce Tramadol effects. You should tell your doctor if you are taking either of these medications so he can adjust your dosage or prescribe an alternative.
You should never stop taking Tramadol until your doctor directs you to do so, since you may suffer from withdrawal symptoms. If you start to suffer symptoms such as anxiety, nausea, tremors, diarrhea, shivering and difficulty sleeping, see your doctor immediately. He may help alleviate your symptoms by re-starting opioid therapy and then gradually reducing the dosage. He may also provide you with support to manage your symptoms.