Tramadol is also known to many as Ultram. This medication is primarily used for those with chronic pain that is scored at moderate to moderately severe. Those taking Tramadol include chronic daily pain sufferers such as those with Fibromyalgia a well as those with neuropathy pain and Restless Leg Syndrome. Some of the diagnosis that are treated off-label with Tramadol include, but are not limited to, diabetic neuropathy, opiate withdrawal management, a withdrawal aid for some anti-depressant withdrawal medications, migraines, different types of neuralgia, and in some cases for premature ejaculation.
Tramadol is an Opioid and Considered a Narcotic in Some States
Tramadol, in some states, is considered a narcotic. In all states of the USA it is by prescription only, but this medication is a type of opiate. The difference between Tramadol and other opioids such as Codeine and Oxycodone is the way it metabolizes in the body as well as its selectivity subtype that prevents it from giving off the euphoric feelings that the misuse of its opiate cousins can do. This makes for the medication to be less likely to be used as a street drug.
New Studies Show Tramadol is Addictive
Although the medication for moderate to moderately severe pain was introduced to the pharmaceutical world in the seventies, it wasn’t until the 2010 Physician’s Desk Reference dispelled old beliefs about the medication and put into place new warnings for the medication and took away some of its prescriptive uses. Some of the warnings added included that the drug is addictive.
For decades it had been marketed as a non-addictive type of pain medication. Research later found that the drug can be addictive and the withdrawal symptoms could begin to occur in as little as 12 hours from the last dose of the pain medication. The withdrawal symptoms of Tramadol were similar to that of other opioid withdrawal symptoms.
2010 PDR Warns Against Old Methods of Opiate Withdrawal Aids
The PDR went on to say that the use of Tramadol as an aid in the weaning off of other opiates was no longer endorsed. Another claim about Tramadol was the danger it possessed when taken with certain types of anti-depressants. Since Tramadol does release serotonin, mixing it with depression medication that contains serotonin could cause Serotonin Toxicity and could lead to dangerous health issues including death.
How Tramadol Works to Alleviate Pain
Tramadol works by altering the way the body perceives pain. This centrally acting pain reliever is effective for many people who suffer from chronic daily pain and studies have yet to be released to show that the medication is harmful to the body when used accordingly with the PDR’s recommendations. Other opioids have been shown to depress the respiratory system and cause damage to the liver and other parts of the body.
Why Tramadol is not Considered a Street Drug
Other opioids are also often found being sold as a street drug and are able to be misused by snorting the other types of opiates or by other means of ingestion that is not recommended by the label. These other methods of ingesting the opiates create a euphoric feeling for the person. Tramadol does not provide this effect and is not considered a threat to be used illegally or in any other way than intended. It is likely that patients will take more than they should and could possibly obtain a short “buzz-like” feeling; but that feeling is then quickly followed by nausea, vomiting, constipation and so on.
The medication has been found to be addictive by recent research; however, the addiction is not the same as the dependency on other opiates in its class. Tramadol remains a leading choice for pain relief and since studies have not proven that long term use is dangerous to the body or brain, it remains a better option than using other opioids for long term use. If your doctor prescribes Tramadol for your condition, be informed and inform your doctor of all medication you are currently taking, including SSRIs. Not all SSRIs are a threat, so it is important to relay the type you are on to ensure you will not be at risk for Serotonin Toxicity. Tramadol is an effective and relatively safe opioid pain analgesic for those suffering from acute to chronic pain.
Effects of chronic tramadol on pre- and post-synaptic measures of monoamine function.
Tramadol – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Effects of chronic tramadol on pre- and post-synap… [J Psychopharmacol. 2001] – PubMed
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