Tramadol is the generic form of the brand-name medication known as Ultram, which is a prescription narcotic-like medication. It was approved in 1995 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat chronic moderate to moderately severe pain. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies tramadol as a Schedule IV Substance, which is defined as “drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence.” Tramadol belongs to the group of medications called opioid analgesics. As an opioid analgesic, tramadol binds to the opioid receptors in one’s body interfering with the communication of certain neurotransmitters as it inhibits the reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin. It also stimulates the dopamine receptors and interferes with the release of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in the central nervous system. Tramadol essentially works by blocking pain signals from one’s central nervous system and brain to the rest of the body.
There are several warnings regarding when to avoid tramadol. Tramadol should never be given to children younger than age twelve, and the extended-release version should not be given to anyone younger than eighteen years old. Anyone younger than eighteen years old who recently had surgery to remove the tonsils (tonsillectomy) or adenoids (adenoidectomy) should not be given tramadol. Pregnant women should not take tramadol, as it can cause a baby to be born with life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. It is best to avoid tramadol while breastfeeding as it may cause severe drowsiness and/ or impaired breathing in the nursing baby. Everyday Health further explains that you should not take tramadol if you are allergic to it, or if any of the following apply:
- You have severe asthma or breathing problems
- You have a stomach or bowel obstruction (including paralytic ileus)
- If you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or narcotic medications
- If you have used a MAO inhibitor, which are a class of medication used to treat depression, in the past 14 days (such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, or tranylcypromine)
While seizures are a side effect of tramadol, increased risk can occur in people that have had a head injury, epilepsy, other seizure disorder, drug or alcohol addiction, or a metabolic disorder. Due to possible drug interactions, it is always best to consult your health care provider prior to starting any new supplements or medications.
For Information and Support
If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding substance abuse and/ or addiction, we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. If left untreated, substance abuse can result in long-lasting and potentially life-threatening consequences. Keep in mind: you are not alone! There is an entire network of professionals that are available to help and support you and your loved one throughout the recovery process. The earlier you seek support, the sooner your loved one can return to a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding our specific program at Haven House Addiction Treatment and/ or general substance abuse and/ or addiction treatment-related information. Our highly trained staff is readily available to discuss how we might best be able to help you and your loved one. We can be reached by phone at 424-258-6792. You are also welcome to contact anytime us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.