Pain Management

What you need to know about Tramadol

Tramadol belongs to the class of prescription medicines. It exists in the form of tablets and is taken orally. Doctor and their patients may choose between immediate-release (IR) and extended-release (XR) formulations. They differ in strength and the amount of time required for the active component to start working.

The tablets can be also purchased in their generic version. This would be way cheaper than paying for brand name version of Tramadol. On the market, the immediate-release tablets are available under the brand name Ultram. There are no known generic versions for XR formulation so the pills are limited when it comes to the variety of strengths.

Traditionally, Tramadol belongs to a class of controlled drugs. A doctor’s supervision and monitoring are necessary during the whole treatment.

When you need Tramadol

Tramadol is a great painkiller when it comes to reducing moderate or mild pain.

The medicine can be combined with other drugs. The good interaction of Tramadol with many meds is one of the advantages of taking it.

Tramadol effect explained

From a scientific point of view, Tramadol can be described as a synthetic opioid. It belongs to the group of medications with the same effect and can be used for managing similar conditions.

Tramadol work can be compared to the activity of endorphins. But in this case, the medicament acts as an artificial binder of the receptors that transfer different signals and messages to the brain. In particular, we are talking about pain messages. Since there are fewer signals are reaching the brain, the patient thinks he’s in less pain than he actually is.

Dealing with side effects

Treatment with Tramadol can be full of negative surprises. One of the most common side effects is sleepiness. If you feel drowsy during the day, be sure to avoid dangerous activities (including driving or using heavy machinery).

Tramadol may also be the reason for some other side effects.

What are some most frequent side effects?

You may one or several of these conditions during your treatment with Tramadol:

  • feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • headaches
  • feeling sleepy
  • nausea (sometimes, vomiting)
  • constipation
  • absence of energy
  • sweating
  • dry mouth
  • itching

Don’t rush to the doctor if these effects are mild or moderate. They will go away naturally in a few days (in some cases, weeks). However, if the intensity of these conditions bothers you, don’t hesitate to call your pharmacist or doctor.

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How does Tramadol interact with other drugs?

Unlike many other medicines, Tramadol can be combined with vitamins, herbs, and even other drugs. Although this drug-drug interaction is recommended, it’s better to seek a doctor’s recommendation in advance.

In order to avoid unpleasant outcomes or zero efficacy, tell your doctor everything about the medicines you are currently taking. This information can be helpful because your doctor will determine the correct amount of pills and their strength.

Regardless of the most accurate calculations, Tramadol can be the reason for severe side effects, especially if you take the drug with other medicines. In this case, you need constant supervision of your well-being and health by a professional.

These are the examples of such medicines:

  • Antibacterial drugs
  • Anti-anxiety medicine
  • Antifungal drugs
  • Medication for heart rhythm
  • Protease inhibitors

Safe dosage of Tramadol

When it comes to determining the dosage of Tramadol, several factors are taken into account. Every patient develops a different reaction to the drug so the doctor should keep in mind the following things:

  • patient’s age
  • condition
  • intensity of condition
  • the general state of health
  • reaction to the first dosage

Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years) should be limited to up to 200 mg per day (4 pills of 50 mg strength) in case of IR formulation. If taking XR tablets, the maximum daily dosage shouldn’t be more than 100 mg.

Child dosage (ages 0–17 years) depends on the individual reaction of the young body to the medication. In some cases, it can be as big as an adult’s dosage. However, this applies only to IR tablets. The extended-release formulation is not used for treating patients under 18.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older) can be a bit bigger – up to 300 mg per day. This is necessary because the medication doesn’t affect elder patients in the same way. Plus there’s a change in the way that kidneys and the liver work at this age. One of the disadvantages of a bigger dosage is a higher risk of side effects.