David Brown discusses important basic facts about the pain relief drug tramadol. Sections about possible side effects, instructions on taking tramadol, dosing information and other topics are featured.
When chronic pain becomes moderate or severe, it’s only natural to want to get the fastest relief possible. Many patients choose to order tramadol overnight in order to get quick relief. However, if you’ve never used tramadol before, it pays to learn as much about it as you can first. While it’s possible to order tramadol overnight, you shouldn’t jump the gun on taking this powerful medication. By being open about your medical history with your doctor, you can increase the odds of having a positive and beneficial experience with tramadol.
What is Tramadol?
Tramadol is what is known as an opiate agonist. In layman’s terms, it is a drug that changes the way in which your body senses and processes pain. Because it is a narcotic-like pain reliever, tramadol must be taken exactly as directed. The misuse or abuse of tramadol can result in serious health risks; in some cases, it can even cause overdose and death.
Is Tramadol the Right Choice for You?
If you are suffering with chronic pain that is moderate to severe, you might want to consider tramadol. Since you can order tramadol overnight, it can provide relief in a fairly expedient way. That being said, tramadol is not right for everyone. If you can answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you shouldn’t take tramadol:
– Have you exhibited allergic reactions to tramadol in the past?
– Have you suffered from addictions to drugs or alcohol at any point in your life?
– Do you have a history of seizures, head injuries or metabolic disorders?
– Are you currently taking tranquilizers, narcotic pain medications, sedatives or medications for depression or anxiety?
Before you start taking tramadol, tell your doctor if you:
– Are pregnant, may become pregnant or are nursing. It is unclear whether tramadol has a negative impact on an unborn fetus; however, tramadol can be transmitted through breast milk.
– Have cirrhosis or other liver diseases.
– Have any kind of stomach disorders.
– Are on dialysis or have any kind of kidney disease.
– Drink grapefruit juice regularly.
Certain types of medication may interact negatively with tramadol. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
– St. John’s Wort
– antifungal medications
– heart rhythm medications
– cold or allergy medicine
– HIV/AIDS medications
– cancer medications
– sleeping pills
– ADHD medications
– seizure or anxiety medications
– heart or blood pressure medications
– medications for migraines
Even if a medication that you take isn’t on the above list, be sure to disclose it to your physician. The above list is not exhaustive. Other medications may not interact well with tramadol.
Side Effects of Tramadol
Don’t order tramadol overnight until you have educated yourself about its possible side effects. The information below can help you tell the difference between serious side effects and common side effects.
Serious Allergic Reactions – Get emergency help right away if you experience swelling of the throat, face, lips or tongue, hives, or if you have difficulty breathing.
Overdose Symptoms – Always make sure to take the right dose of tramadol. In the event that you miss a scheduled dose, take it as soon as you remember. If your next dose is right on the horizon, skip the missed dose and carry on as usual. The following symptoms may be signs of an overdose; seek emergency help right away if you experience: heart attack, seizure, coma, muscle weakness, shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, fainting, cold and clammy skin or excessive drowsiness.
When to Call the Doctor – Some side effects of tramadol are serious enough to warrant a call to your doctor but don’t necessarily require a trip to the ER. Examples of such symptoms include: hallucinations, loss of coordination, fainting, shallow breathing, nausea, overactive reflexes, hoarseness, agitation, rapid heartbeat, weak pulse, diarrhea or a rash that consists of peeling, blistering, red skin.
Keep an Eye on These Side Effects – There are several common side effects associated with tramadol. None of them, in and of themselves, should raise any red flags. If any of them continue on or worsen over time, though, you should contact your doctor. Such side effects include: constipation, difficulty falling asleep or waking up, dry mouth, loss of appetite, headache, upset stomach, nervousness, dizziness, anxiety, flushing and drowsiness.
Information about Taking and Using Tramadol
Tramadol is available under the brand names Rybix, Ultram, Ultram ER and Ryzolt. It is also commonly available as a regular tablet, an extended-release tablet and an orally-disintegrating tablet. Store tramadol at room temperature; be sure to keep it away from moisture and heat.
Never crush up your tramadol tablets before taking them. Swallow regular and extended-release tramadol tablets whole. Always take them with food or always take them without food – do not alternate. When taking orally-disintegrating tramadol tablets, simply let them dissolve beneath the tongue. Don’t swallow them or chew them up.
Your doctor will start you out on a low dose of tramadol. Regular tramadol can be increased by 25 mg increments once every three days; extended-release tramadol can be increased by 100 mg increments once every five days.
At the end of the day, the most important thing to keep in mind about tramadol is to take it as directed. Communicate regularly with your doctor to ensure that your health and well-being are protected.