Tramadol, brand name Ultram, is a synthetic Opioid pain reliever that is commonly prescribed by a doctor for mild to severe pain management. Tramadol is legally available through prescription only and is most often prescribed for short-term and long-term pain relief. In 1995, Tramadol was first approved for the market in the United states. According to the DEA, the drug was marketed as a noncontrolled analgesic by the name Ultram. Almost immediately after Tramadol hit the market, there were reports on abuse and diversion of the drug. Tramadol is considered an Opioid Analgesic. The addictive nature of the opioid activity in the drug is known to override the therapeutic aspects of the drug’s pharmacological effects. Like many other Opioid analgesics, Tramadol often results in adverse effects and abuse.
Tramadol is an analgesic that acts both as an Opioid agonist and monoamine reuptake inhibiter. Tramadol acts on the system through hindering the reuptake of monoamines in the nerve stations of both Serotonin and Norepinephrine. Aside from the analgesic effects produced, Tramadol has various symptoms such as somnolence, dizziness, constipation and nausea, much like other Opioids do. Moreover, serotonin syndrome is common when Tramadol in taken in high doses and combined with monoamine oxidase inhibitors otherwise known as MAOs or selective serotine reuptake inhibitors, also known as SSRIs. Serotonin syndrome often results in symptoms such as hyperthermia, pain, convulsions and muscle rigidity. Other dangers of prescription Tramadol are still being discovered. Over the past several years, the labeling for Tramadol approved by the FDA has undergone multiple modifications. The newest warning prescription label includes that Tramadol can cause physical and or psychological dependence. Tramadol abuse and dependence may incite drug-seeking behavior, such as taking illegal action in attempt to obtain the prescription drug. Tramadol Hydrochloride, which is meant to be an extended release version of the drug, has higher possibility for abuse and even more of an association with tolerance and development of cravings.
Tramadol is often abused by individuals addicted to Narcotics, also known as Opiates, health professionals and chronic pain management patients. Many people are prescribed Narcotic pain medication to manage symptoms for extended periods of time without knowing that these are highly addictive drugs. Anyone who takes pain medication, such as Tramadol, for extended lengths of time are at great risk for developing an addiction. Chronic pain sufferers who take pain medication will naturally become physically dependent. However, to be considered addicted, there must also be other attributing factors, such as psychological addiction. Life without Narcotics can seem daunting, even frightening, for many people who deal with chronic pain. Additionally, people who are consistently and chronically in pain are at high risk for emotional problems such as depression, anxiety and PTSD. It is all too easy to start relying on the Narcotic pain medicine to numb not only the physical aspects of chronic pain, but the emotional and psychological aspects as well. Anyone who takes Tramadol is at risk of developing not only a dependence to the drug but an addiction as well. In short, Tramadol is an Opiate utilized for pain relief as well as pain management and it is highly addictive.
If you or a loved one has been taking Tramadol for any considerable period, undergoing symptoms of withdrawal is expected. This is due to Tramadol working on both the pain receptors in a person brain, as well as the effects it has on other neurotransmitters. Tramadol withdrawal symptoms are a combination of symptoms from an antidepressant withdrawal and Opiate withdrawal. The potential of developing a tolerance and dependence to Tramadol is much higher among individuals who abuse it. Moreover, the risk is increased for individuals who have a history of substance abuse and addiction.
There are many drugs commonly known to be abused with or taken with Tramadol. Use of other substances with Tramadol is usually done to dampen or increase the drugs overall effects. When combining Tramadol with other drugs, the drug becomes much more dangerous. The most common types of drugs combined with Tramadol include Alcohol, Sedatives, Hypnotics, Opioid Painkillers and cold medications. Drinking Alcohol and taking Tramadol do not mix. Alcohol is a drug and a depressant, like the Tramadol, so that the two substances perpetuate each other’s effects when combined. The results of this combination can be deadly. Too much of either substance or in combination causes low heart rate, respiration and blood pressure which can lead to unconsciousness. When Hypnotics or Sedatives are combined with Tramadol, the effects are much like that produced by Alcohol, as these substances are also depressants and lead to negative life-threatening effects when combined. Tramadol is often ingested with other Opioid Painkillers in attempt to increase the effect for pain relief, however it also increases the chances of overdose significantly.
If you or a loved one needs treatment for Tramadol abuse or addiction, contact an addiction specialist today.