How should you take tramadol?
As with any other drug designed to have a positive effect on you, it is important you follow the instructions given by your doctor or pharmacist. In the clinical trials before the FDA gave its approval, very few participants reported adverse side effects. That is why it was licensed for sale in the US. The experience since confirms most people can use this drug safely. Nevertheless, you should only take the dosage prescribed for you and do not take it for longer than indicated. The maximum safe daily dosage is 300 ml.
The standard versions of tramadol come in tablet or capsule form. You should not chew the pill or crush it. This changes the rate at which the active chemicals are absorbed into your bloodstream. The plan is to slowly build up the concentration of the drug and this requires a steady and predictable rate of absorption. This is particularly important if you are taking the extended or controlled-release versions that usually come in capsule form. This is a larger dose and, if you absorb it too quickly, there are risks of adverse side effects.
You should swallow the medicine whole with a full glass of water. There are no rules about food. It is up to you whether you take the tablet with or without food. Just be consistent.
Finally, you should keep the drug safely out of the reach of children. If any of your family or friends with access to your house have had problems with drug abuse, keep this drug in a secure place where they cannot be tempted to steal your pills.
How long can you take tramadol?
Tramadol is not addictive in the same way as the more powerful opiate drugs. But there is a risk of what is called dependence. When you are in pain, you find it unpleasant. You want it to go away. When you take tramadol, the pain does go away. You feel relief. You do not want the pain to come back again. That means you are tempted to take more tramadol every time you feel the pain returning. If you exceed the safe dosage, there are real risks of side effects. Should you take too much for too long, you may come to depend on the drug. This makes it difficult to stop taking it.
You must be disciplined and only take the prescribed dose at the times indicated. Do not take it for longer than the doctor allows. If the pain is acute, it should slowly pass away. If the pain is chronic, there are other ways to control it without having to rely entirely on drugs. Should you find you are dependent, do not stop taking tramadol suddenly. The strategy is slowly to reduce the dose over time. You must wean yourself off the drug. It can be unpleasant and you must be prepared for the withdrawal symptoms. With patience, you will get through the problem and emerge whole.