You use it for headaches, backaches or other body aches when they turn intolerable. Tramadol, a widely used analgesic with a high efficacy is a proven anti-depressant also. But, there are several other similar things about Tramadol that you do not know and end up in getting more harm from the medicine than any good.
Given here are 10 things that you do not know about this commonly used pain-killer.
But, before that here is a quick insight:
What is Tramadol?
You will get tramadol in the market by the name of Ultram or Ultracet also. It is a synthetic opioid analgesic which is used to treat moderate to severe and chronic pain. The drug is helpful for the patients of arthritis and also sold under the brands like Synapryn, FusePaq, Rybix, Ryzolt and ConZip.
How Tramadol Works?
Tramadol modifies the pain signals that travel between the brain and nerves. It works similar to heroin or morphine and like other opioid receptors in the spinal cord and brain.
What Type of Pain Can Tramadol Treat?
Tramadol can treat any type of pain. So, right from the modest headache, you can take tramadol for treating the chronic pain experienced after surgery. In the chronic pain doctors advise to take extended-release form of the tablets that give them a long lasting relief without any need of taking this medication frequently.
Is Tramadol Harmful?
In August 2014, the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration has listed this drug as a Schedule IV controlled substance. It has a risk attached to overdose and addiction. But it is far less potent than the other commonly used narcotics like morphine and considered as a safer alternative.
But, do not:
- Take more than the required dose of morphine
- Take it more frequently
- Take it with alcohol or other controlled substances
- Take it for non-medical purposes or without prescription.
Tramadol is Not an Anti-inflammatory Drug:
As mentioned, Tramadol belongs to opiate agonists. It bids to the pain receptors in the brain and provides relief. Some people are mistaken and they think that tramadol is NSAID (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), but this is not so.
It is not approved for the Kids below 18 Years and Nursing Mothers:
FDA is not approved for the kids that are below the age of 18 years. Doctors are of the belief that young children can experience drug induced breathing problems when they take tramadol. The drug is also not approved for the mothers who breastfed their babies. Drug can pass through the milk of mothers which is harmful for the newborns. It is better not to use the medicine during pregnancy also.
Its Two Forms are Available in The Market:
Tramadol is available in the market and prescribed in two forms. Immediate-release 50 mg tablet or an extended-release form 100, 200, 300 mg are available in the market. The extended release form of the tablets is prescribed only for the patients with chronic pain. Since Tramadol is a Schedule IV controlled drug in US hence the patients can get maximum of 5 refills over a six month period.
Only Swallow the Drug, Do not chew or Crush:
Patients must only swallow these pills as a whole and in no case they should chew, spit or crush the extended release forms of these tablets because breaking the pills can result in release of too much of the drug into your system at once. Take the medicine exactly as directed by the doctors.
Overdose of Tramadol Can be treated with Narcan:
Symptoms of this drug overdose are marked by unconsciousness, coma, seizure, hear-attacks and more. Report your doctor immediately if you begin to experience withdrawal reactions of the drug. Overdose of the drug is treated with Narcan if these symptoms are detected early.
It can have Deadly Interactions with Other Medications:
The drug can interact with other medicines which can be life threatening like sedation, breathing problems or even coma. It has risky interactions with Ativan, Parnate, and Nardil etc. In no case, it should be taken with other controlled substances like sedatives, tranquilizers etc. All the medicines and supplements should be discussed with doctors beforehand.
How faster it Acts varies from Person to Person:
Tramadol is broken in the liver and excreted out by the kidneys. Only 7 percent of the over and population are the poor metabolizers as a result of which they have active drug in their blood stream for a longer time. These people are at risk and cannot take other medicines that react with other drugs.
Tramadol Can be a Habit-forming Drug:
There are reports of people using Tramadol for getting a high or for recreational use. The drug without prescription was hence banned by the US Government. So, you need to talk to your physician if you think that you are becoming addictive to it or taking it in more than required amount. The drug is to be kept strictly out of reach from the children and must not be used for recreational purposes in any case as an overdose of the drug can prove to be immensely harmful.
There is no doubt about the efficacy of Tramadol. No wonder, doctor recommend this drug for the most severe pains. However, there are a number of cautions that you need to take when you buy tramadol. Buy, the drug only from a certified and licensed pharmacy being run from professionals. There are vendors who sell fake tramadol also. So, beware if you feel the drug is not genuine.