Tramadol is a pain reliever or analgesic that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It makes part of a drug class called opioids, which are chemically close to narcotic pain relievers but are free of downfalls associated with these drugs. Tramadol can be used to relieve various types of pain both acute and chronic, caused by a wide set of factors that can include injuries and medical conditions.
Tramadol is an opioid pain reliever, which means that is acts like narcotic painkillers used earlier in medication history. These drugs affect the central nervous system, blocking the pain nerve signals from being delivered to the brain and perceived as pain sensations. But unlike narcotics, Tramadol does not cause harmful side-effects and doesn’t suppress awareness and cause hallucinations.
Tramadol is to be taken only as prescribed by your doctor. Never take a larger or smaller amount of the drug, avoid taking it for a longer period of time than prescribed. Your daily dosage of the drug should not exceed 300mg. When ceasing a course of Tramadol decrease your dosage gradually in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Tramadol is a medication only for oral use. Never crush or chew the tablet, take it as whole with a full glass of water. Try taking the drug at the same time every day in order to maximize its effectiveness.
Never take Tramadol in conjunction with alcohol or recreational drugs as this mix can lead to a severe drop in blood pressure. Tramadol can cause drowsiness and sleepiness so tell your doctor if you use any muscle relaxers, pain relievers, sleep medications, cold and flu medications, drugs for seizures, anxiety or depression as they also add to the decrease of awareness. Tramadol can sometimes cause temporary impairment in reactions and thinking, so try to avoid operating machinery, driving or performing any hazardous tasks before you actually know how Tramadol affects your sense of awareness.
As any prescription medication Tramadol can cause various side effects. If you notice something strange after using the drug inform your doctor as soon as possible. If you experience symptoms like hives, breathing issues, swelling in your body parts these are the signs of an allergic reaction and you should seek medical assistance immediately. Some of more serious side effects with Tramadol that require you to cease taking the drug include:
- estlessness, hallucinations, fever, increased heartbeat, over-activeness, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, coordination issues, fainting;
- skin rash;
- feeling short of breath, having a weak pulse.
Some of the less serious side effects you may experience when using Tramadol that do not require immediate medical attention include:
- loss of concentration, sleepiness, weakness;
- nausea, constipation, appetite issues;
- vision problems;
- sleep disorder.
There are other less common side effects that may occur so if you notice anything strange inform your doctor right away.
Your doctor will advise you on the dosage and regularity. Tramadol is most effective when it reaches a stable level in your bloodstream. If you only take it as needed, it will be more slow to take effect.
Some people treat alcohol as another painkiller. Unfortunately, if you mix alcohol with tramadol, it can cause a serious decrease in breathing. It also slows your reaction times and makes it harder to think straight. So it is very dangerous to drive or operate any other potentially dangerous machine. The same effect results if you mix tramadol with any other drug that depresses the central nervous system. The most common being tranquillisers, sleeping pills, antihistamines, antidepressants, and so on. If untreated, you may slip into a coma.
This is not the right place to give a full list. You should discuss the risk of interactions with your doctor, particularly mentioning if you are taking any drug to treat anxiety or depressive disorders, seizures or other painkillers.
You should see your regular doctor who has access to all your medical history. If you are seeing someone new, tell him or her if you have any recent head injury, a seizure disorder, kidney or liver disease, a stomach disorder, any psychological disorders, or problems with alcoholism or drug abuse.
You should not give this drug to anyone under the age of 18.
There is evidence to show that tramadol can cause injury to your unborn child so you should not take it if you know you are pregnant. If you have started a course of tramadol and then discover you are pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.
Unfortunately, this drug passes into breast milk and, if you are feeding your newborn, it can pass into his or her body. In a baby, tramadol causes a dangerous slowdown of breathing and heart rate and, if untreated, can result in the baby’s death.
If you have already had problems with alcohol and other prescription drugs, it is unwise to start taking tramadol. The risk of psychological dependence is quite high. But if you are reasonably positive about your life and have no other problems, there is no real risk so long as you treat the drug with respect, i.e. take the lowest dosage and for the shortest period of time.