Tramadol is a prescription drug that is used to treat chronic pain. It belongs to the group of drugs known as opioid analgesic. They act in the brain and in the nervous system to change the way your body feels and responds to pain. The extended release is given to patients who need round-the-clock relief from pain.
Uses of Tramadol
Tramadol is a pain medication that works similarly to an opioid. It is used to treat moderate to severe pain in adults when non-opioid medications won’t work. Tramadol is prescribed to help relieve moderate to severe pain in the following clinical conditions:
- Severe pain from an injury
- Pain due to irritated or damaged nerves in the body
How does it work?
Tramadol is a centrally acting opioid analgesic with a structure and mechanism of action similar to morphine and codeine. Unlike opioid medications, Tramadol is both an opioid and monoamine agonist. It influences the substance involved in modulating pain like serotonin and norepinephrine. This inhibits the pain pathway and alters how your body feels and responds to pain.
It is fast-acting, with an analgesic effect felt 15 minutes to 30 minutes after intake. The pain-relieving effect typically lasts for an average of 6 hours.
How much Tramadol to take?
Take Tramadol exactly as prescribed. The recommended starting dose to treat ongoing chronic pain is 25 mg every morning. Gradually increase your dose by 20 to 50 mg per day every 3 days up to 50 to 100 mg every 4 to 6 hours or as needed. Do not exceed the maximum recommended dose of 400 mg/ day. For acute pain, take 50 to 100 mg every 4 to 6 hours or as needed. Do not take more than 400 mg in a day.
Do not exceed the recommended dosage. Swallow the tablet whole with plenty of water. Do not chew, crush or break the tablet. Doing so can result in too much dose being delivered at once and may cause in drug overdose, serious health problems, or death. You can take it with or without food.
Tips for taking Tramadol safely and effectively
- It is not recommended to use the extended form for pain on an as-needed basis. Extended-release tramadol is used to treat pain around the clock.
- Use Tramadol only if all other pain-relieving medications don’t work.
- Do not use Tramadol if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- Breathing problems like asthma, COPD
- Bowel or stomach obstruction
- You have used MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days
- You have recently used any narcotic drugs, alcohol, sedatives
- Misuse of Tramadol can cause overdose, addiction, or death, especially for those who use this without prescription.
- If you wish to stop taking this drug, inform your doctor. Your doctor will likely reduce your dose gradually as a sudden stop could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.
- Keep this medication out of reach from children. In case of accidental ingestion, seek medical help as soon as possible.
- Children under 12 years of age should not take this medication. Additionally, children below 18 years should not take this after tonsil surgery.
- Tramadol is not recommended for people with seizures. The use of Tramadol in combination with other mental health medications and opioids can exacerbate the effects of seizures.
- Tramadol can cause breathing problems, especially during the first few days of treatment and at any time you increase your dose. If you suffer from asthma and other breathing problems, your doctor won’t likely prescribe Tramadol to you.
- The use of this medication during pregnancy may result in a neonatal withdrawal syndrome in the newborn.