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Tramadol is the generic of Ultram a synthetic pain pill that acts like an opioid. When it first came out we were told it was not an opioid even though it acted like one and was not addictive. Since that time the classification has changed. It now is considered a controlled substance. According to Harvard, it is at the safer end of the spectrum when compared to other controlled substances such as Vicodin or Oxy. 

What are the uses 

Even though it is more addictive than first thought, doctors prescribe it for patients with arthritis and those with other chronic pain conditions. The doctors have to write a new prescription every 6 months for the patient and each prescription can only have 5 refills on it. This helps doctors control and regulate the patients’ usage. 

Doctors see the patient every 6 months to check their progress. Often they will also send the patient to physical therapy and use alternative health options such as exercise, massage therapy, meditation, and others to help reduce the pain so the patient does not have to use as much of the tramadol.  

The dose prescribed is either 50 mg tablets or 100mg Extended-release capsules. The 50 mg tablets are generally prescribed as taking one every 4 to 6 hours. For those with chronic severe pain it an go to 2 tablets every 4 to 6 hours. 

Side effects and withdrawal symptoms

The side effects of tramadol include the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Faintness 
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach
  • Retching
  • Constipation
  • Loss of vigor
  • Perspiring 
  • Dry mouth

The more serious side effects include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Raise blood pressure
  • Higher than normal temperature
  • Hyper reflexes
  • Lack of dexterity  
  • Nausea and heaving
  • Diarrhea
  • Anxiety 
  • Delusions 
  • Unconsciousness 
  • Decreased breathing rate
  • Shallow breathing
  • Passing out
  • Wooziness  
  • Misperception

Withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  •     Irritability
  •     Nervousness
  •     Fidgety
  •     Insomnia
  •     Higher blood pressure
  •     Rapid breathing
  •     Rapid heartbeat
  •     Large pupils
  •     Upset stomach, vomiting, and a loss of appetite
  •     Diarrhea  
  •     sweating
  •     Coldness
  •     Muscle back, or joint pain
  •     Long-lasting tiredness
  •     Weakness in muscles
  •     Abdominal pain
  •     Low energy
  •     Convulsions

Other issues with tramadol

Tramadol can interact with other medications, addiction, and withdrawal. There is the possibility of seizures, allergies, and can cause issues for other underlying medical issues such as kidney problems and others. Your doctor should know your health issues but do remind them of any medical problems and medications you are taking to avoid dangerous interactions. 

You should not drink alcohol when taking this medication or drive an auto. Most people can tolerate it well but until you know for sure how it will affect you, you need to take care. 


If you are addicted to tramadol, recovery is possible. At 449 Recovery we offer monitored detox and therapies that can help you achieve and maintain recovery. Call us today (855) 435-7449 to find out more about our programs. We even have family counseling every third weekend of the month at 449 Recovery we got you covered when it comes to recovery.