Tramadol is a narcotic-like pain reliever.
Tramadol is used to treat moderate to severe pain in adults. The extended-release form of tramadol is for around-the-clock treatment of pain. The extended-release form of tramadol is not for use on an as-needed basis for pain.
Before taking this medicine
You should not take tramadol if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- severe asthma or breathing problems;
- a blockage in your stomach or intestines;
- if you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or narcotic medications; or
- if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days (such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine).
Tramadol should not be given to a child younger than 12 years old. Ultram ER should not be given to anyone younger than 18 years old.
Do not give this medicine to anyone younger than 18 years old who recently had surgery to remove the tonsils or adenoids.
Avoid giving this medicine to children between 12 to 18 years of age who have conditions that may cause breathing problems.
Seizures have occurred in some people taking tramadol. Talk with your doctor about your seizure risk, which may be higher if you have ever had:
- a head injury, epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
- f you also use certain antidepressants, muscle relaxants, opioids, or other medications.
If you use tramadol while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Do not breast-feed while taking tramadol. This medicine can pass into breast milk and cause drowsiness, breathing problems, or death in a nursing baby.
To make sure tramadol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- liver or kidney disease;
- urination problems;
- problems with your gallbladder, pancreas, or thyroid;
- a stomach disorder; or
- mental illness, or suicide attempt.
How should I take tramadol?
Take tramadol exactly as prescribed. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Tramadol can slow or stop your breathing, especially when you start using this medicine or whenever your dose is changed. Never take this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.
Tramadol may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. MISUSE OF PAIN MEDICATION CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.
Stop taking all other around-the-clock narcotic pain medications when you start taking tramadol.
Tramadol can be taken with or without food, but take it the same way each time.
Do not crush, break, or open an extended-release tablet or capsule (ConZip, Ultram ER). Swallow it whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose.
Never crush or break a tablet inhale the powder or mix it into a liquid to inject the drug into your vein. This practice has resulted in death.
If you use the tramadol extended-release tablet, the tablet shell may pass into your stools (bowel movements). This is normal and does not mean that you are not receiving enough of the medicine.
Do not stop using this medicine suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep track of your medicine. Tramadol is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
NOTE: Do not keep leftover opioid medication. Just one dose can cause death in someone using this medicine accidentally or improperly. Ask your pharmacist where to locate a drug take-back disposal program. If there is no take-back program, flush the unused medicine down the toilet.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since tramadol is used for pain, you are not likely to miss a dose. Skip any missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What should I avoid while taking tramadol?
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death could occur.
This medicine may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.
Tramadol side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to tramadol (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).
Like other narcotic medicines, tramadol can slow your breathing. Death may occur if breathing becomes too weak.
A person caring for you should seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- noisy breathing, sighing, shallow breathing;
- a slow heart rate or weak pulse;
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
- seizure (convulsions);
- missed menstrual periods;
- impotence, sexual problems, loss of interest in sex; or
- nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness or weakness.
Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are overweight, malnourished, or debilitated.
Long-term use of opioid medication may affect fertility (ability to have children) in men or women. It is not known whether opioid effects on fertility are permanent.
Common tramadol side effects may include:
- constipation, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
- dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness;
- headache; or