Tramadol

What is tramadol?

Tramadol is a narcotic-like pain reliever.

Tramadol is used to treat moderate to severe pain.

The extended-release form of tramadol is for around-the-clock treatment of pain. The extended-release form of tramadol is not for use on an as-needed basis for pain.

Important Information

You should not take tramadol if you have severe breathing problems, a blockage in your stomach or intestines, or if you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, narcotic medication, or an MAO inhibitor (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others).

Tramadol can slow or stop your breathing, and may be habit-forming. MISUSE OF THIS MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.

Tramadol should not be given to a child younger than 12 years old. Ultram ER should not be given to anyone younger than 18 years old.

Taking tramadol during pregnancy may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.

Fatal side effects can occur if you use this medicine with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.

Before taking this medicine

You should not take tramadol if you are allergic to it, or if you have:

  •     severe asthma or breathing problems;
  •     a blockage in your stomach or intestines;
  •     if you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or narcotic medications;
  •     if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days (such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine).

Tramadol should not be given to a child younger than 12 years old. Ultram ER should not be given to anyone younger than 18 years old.

Do not give this medicine to anyone younger than 18 years old who recently had surgery to remove the tonsils or adenoids.

Avoid giving this medicine to children between 12 to 18 years of age who have conditions that may cause breathing problems.

Seizures have occurred in some people taking tramadol. Talk with your doctor about your seizure risk, which may be higher if you have ever had:

  •     a head injury, epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  •     drug or alcohol addiction;
  •     a metabolic disorder;
  •     if you also use certain antibiotics, antifungal medications, heart or blood pressure medications, or medicines to treat HIV or AIDS.

If you use tramadol while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Do not breast-feed while taking tramadol. This medicine can pass into breast milk and cause drowsiness, breathing problems, or death in a nursing baby.

To make sure tramadol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  •     liver or kidney disease;
  •     a stomach disorder;
  •     mental illness, or suicide attempt.

Tramadol side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to tramadol (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).

Like other narcotic medicines, tramadol can slow your breathing. Death may occur if breathing becomes too weak.

A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.

Call your doctor at once if you have:
  •     noisy breathing, sighing, shallow breathing;
  •     a slow heart rate or weak pulse;
  •     a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  •     seizure (convulsions);
  •     missed menstrual periods;
  •     impotence, sexual problems, loss of interest in sex;
  •     low cortisol levels – nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness or weakness.

Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are overweight, malnourished, or debilitated.

Long-term use of opioid medication may affect fertility (ability to have children) in men or women. It is not known whether opioid effects on fertility are permanent.

Common tramadol side effects may include:
  •     headache, dizziness, drowsiness, tired feeling;
  •     constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
  •     feeling nervous or anxious;
  •     itching, sweating, flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling).