Tramadol Drug Facts | A Center for Addiction Recovery

Talk to a Counselor Now

1 (800) 570-4562

Information provided below is courtesy of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Tramadol Overview

Tramadol Addiction TreatmentTramadol is a narcotic-like medication used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is available as a time-release capsule and as an orally ingested tablet. The time-release capsule is designed to release doses of the medication into the body throughout the day and should never be chewed or crushed. Individuals who take Tramadol under the doctor's instruction are at risk for developing dependence if taken daily, although not as much as individuals who take the medication illicitly and at higher frequencies and doses. Addiction is especially prominent in individuals who crush time-release capsules of Tramadol, and either snort, inject, or swallow the medication for powerful instantaneous effects.

Addictive Qualities

Tramadol does have an addictive potential as a powerful pain killer. It produces euphoric and sedative qualities. When abused, these qualities intensify and can lead to other physical effects.

Dependence and Tolerance

Tramadol poses a few long-term side effects, the most common being addiction. Tolerance to the medication can begin to build up in the body in as little as two weeks, necessitating higher or more frequent doses, or both. With the build-up of tolerance, dependence and/or addiction is likely to occur.

Effects of Tramadol Abuse

Short-Term Effects

Tramadol typically produces mild euphoric and sedative sensations, which include muscle relaxation. The medication does carry a serious warning about seizures. If an individual has a history of seizures or takes medication that lowers the threshold of seizures, a doctor should be consulted before taking Tramadol. Otherwise, there are both more serious and less serious side effects which can be experienced after taking Tramadol, depending on the person's body, and the amount of the drug taken. The less serious side effects which are listed below should be monitored:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness or spinning sensation
  • Constipation or upset stomach
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety

The list of more serious side effects listed below should be watched out for. At the first sign of any of the below symptoms, use of Tramadol should be stopped and medical attention should be sought immediately.

  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • Fast heart rate
  • Seizure
  • Loss of coordination
  • Fainting
  • Overactive reflexes
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Red, blistering, peeling skin rash
  • Shallow breathing
  • Weak pulse

Tramadol also has certain risks with individuals who have suffered from depression or have thoughts of suicide. There have been casualties related to suicidal thoughts or erratic behavior after taking Tramadol.

Long-Term Effects

Tramadol also poses the risk of developing long-term symptoms such as:

  • Depression
  • Lasting fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Higher risk of seizure
  • Coma

Withdrawal and Detoxification

Withdrawal symptoms of Tramadol can be experienced by dependent users as quickly as just an hour after the medication wears off. Symptoms can be intense and highly uncomfortable but can be mostly avoided if an individual is weaned off of the medication. Detoxification from Tramadol should be carried out in a medically managed detoxification facility where medical personnel, including certified doctors, can supervise and regulate the gradual decrease of the drug. Suddenly stopping use of Tramadol is not recommended for users who experience withdrawal symptoms or are dependent on the medication. Possible withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Sweating
  • Panic attacks
  • Tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • Hallucinations
  • Unusual sensations such as tingling, burning or pricking feelings

Detoxification can last from 3 to 7 days. It is advised that a rehabilitation program be utilized to minimalize the risk of relapsing back into abusing Tramadol after detoxification.

At A Center for Addiction Recovery we help clients with a Tramadol addiction to discover or rediscover the original problem or problems. Next we teach them how to overcome their problems with real-life solutions by equipping them with tools and life skills to confront and handle common obstacles encountered in life. Only when both the underlying reasons for the Tramadol addiction and the Tramadol addiction problem are resolved can a person become a healthy and happy member of society.

For information about prescription drug rehab, please contact us at 1 (800) 570-4562