Pain Management

What is Tramadol?

Tramadol is a drug that’s available by prescription only. It exists in the form of tablets. Normally, this medicine can be of 2 types – immediate-release tablets and extended-release tablets. The main difference is the speed of their work. As you may guess, immediate pills produce a quick effect, while XR tablets require more time.

You can buy Tramadol in its generic version. If may find it in the pharmacies under the brand name Ultram. As a rule, generic drugs are cheaper. Moreover, they may not be presented with the necessary strength.

In any case, before you make a purchase, it’s strictly recommended to consult a doctor. Tramadol belongs to controlled drugs.

Why patients take Tramadol

The main purpose of Tramadol is to manage strong pain.

Tramadol can be used separately or as a part of treatment. It means that you can take it solo or with other drugs.

What’s the Tramadol effect on the body?

Tramadol comes from a group of drugs called opiates. All similar medications will produce the same effect. That is why they are used for the treatment of the same conditions.

Tramadol “gets rid” of the pain by changing the way your brain perceives it. We can say that Tramadol works the same way as endorphins in our body: it makes receptors lower the amount of “pain messages” that go to our brain. As a result, your brain won’t think that you are in a pain.

Some side effects

Taking Tramadol may make you sleepy. In this case, avoid driving a car, using tools or machinery, or performing any dangerous activities until the effects wear off. Tramadol can be the reason for other numerous side effects, which we will discuss below.

Most common side effects

This is the list of most side effects that Tramadol causes:

  • dizziness
  • headache
  • sleepiness
  • sickness and vomiting
  • constipation
  • lack of energy
  • sweating
  • dry mouth
  • itching

If these conditions are relatively light, just way for a couple of days/weeks and they go away naturally. If they keep causing you too much trouble, consider talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Tramadol and other medicines

Tramadol can be safely taken with other medicines. It goes well with vitamins and herbs as well. However, these interactions may alter the way a medication works: lower the effects or even cause harm.

You may avoid these effects by talking to your doctor before the start of your treatment. Tell him about all other drugs, vitamins, or herbs you’re currently using. If you want to know more about Tramadol’s interaction with other medicines, ask your pharmacist or doctor.

Restricted medications

Despite its good compatibility with many medicines, there are some drugs that should never be mixed with Tramadol. Your doctor should prescribe a new dosage and monitor your condition if you have to take Tramadol with some other medications. Together, they can cause severe side effects.

The groups of restricted drugs include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Antifungal medication
  • Heart rhythm medicines
  • Protease inhibitors

How to take Tramadol: dosage and strength

This part of the article contains information on Tramadol dosage. The amount and strength of pills will be prescribed individually for every patient. The following things are taken into account:

  • patient’s age
  • the condition
  • how severe the patient’s condition is
  • medical history
  • patient’s reaction to the first dosage
  • the type of tablet (immediate-release or extended-release)

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years) should be no more than 200 mg per day (or 50 mg 4 times a day) in case of taking immediate-release pills. If you take XR tablets, 100 mg per day is the most optimal choice.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years) can be the same (200 mg maximum) in case of taking immediate-release tablets. The XR tablets are not recommended for patients under 18. It’s also important to watch how a child reacts to the initial dosage.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older) may be bigger than the dose for adult patients. This is because the liver and kidneys of older patients don’t work the same as during adulthood. It may take longer for the medicine to start working. However, it also means that Tramadol will stay in the body for way longer and may cause side effects.

For each individual case and condition, a doctor’s prescription and consultation are a must.