Tramadol, a narcotic-like opioid drug, is used to treat moderate to severe pain. According to the Controlled Substances Act, it is not classed as a narcotic although it has been shown in research to work in a similar way to morphine, which is a narcotic.
Medical personnel class pain into one of two categories – either chronic or acute pain. Pain that comes on quickly, after heavy lifting, an injury or a fall is acute. Post-surgical pain would fall into this category. Chronic pain lasts beyond 30 days or more, and can continue for weeks, months or even years, as pain signals continue to fire in the nervous system, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Chronic pain is caused by a condition such as body damage suffered in a past injury, or medical conditions such as cancer or arthritis. A telephone survey conducted by Harris Interactive in 2006 disclosed nearly half of the 46% of those who answered the survey reported chronic pain caused them to lose time from work and interfered with their job performance. A recent estimate states that over 700 million days of work are lost in the United States every year as a result of workers suffering from chronic pain.
Tramadol, a registered trademark of the manufacturer, Biovail Corp., has two ways to bring relief from both acute and chronic pain. It is an SSRI, in that it inhibits the nerves’ serotonin and norepinephrin reuptake, and also binds to the opioid receptors on the nerves. This reduces pain signals to the brain through the spinal cord. It is available in an extended-release tablet to be taken once a day, and a regular tablet to take every 4 to 6 hours as needed. Patients will do the CWE (Cold Water Extraction) to remove toxic in the drug, you can read more to learn how to do cold water extraction step by step.
Tramadol is good for patients who may not want to take stronger drugs such as vicodin or oxycontin, but need something stronger than acetaminophen alone. The medication should not be increased, or more doses taken during a 24-hour period than recommended by a physician. Side effects may include, but are not limited to nausea, dizziness, constipation, headache, vomiting and drowsiness. Such side effects are usually of short duration until the body adjusts to the medication. The prescribing physician should be contacted if side effects worsen or are severe.
Report Medical History
The patient should report to his or her doctor any known allergies or past allergic reactions to drugs such as the cough medicine meperidine, codeine, morphine, oxycodone or hydrocone or any other allergies. The doctor and pharmicist should be informed of any other medications that will be taken with Tramadol, either prescription or over the counter, especially monoamine oxidase inhibitors, digoxin, antifungals, erythromycin, muscle relaxants, sleeping pills, seizure medications or SSRIs such as Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil and Celexa, as well as the seizure drug Tegretol, or any other drugs not on this list. Nutritional and herbal supplements should also be reported, especially St. John’s Wort and Valerian.
Other information that should be given to the physician are head injuries, infection in the spine or brain, stroke, a brain tumor or other conditions that may have caused pressure in the skull. Thoughts of suicide, planning or attempting suicide should be reported. Tell the physician about any use of street drugs, overuse of other medications, excessive alcohol use, lung disease, breathing problems or diabetes. Warnings information has been strengthened for Tramadol to emphasize the suicide risk in patients taking antidepressants or tranquilizers, or who are at risk for addiction or overdosing. Patients who have a history of emotional disorders or abuse of alcohol, opioids or illicit drugs may be at risk for depression of the central nervous system.
Tramadol should not be stopped suddenly without a doctor’s supervision, as it needs to be gradually decreased to avoid symptoms of withdrawal such as panic, agitation, nervousness, difficulty sleeping, sweating, nausea, chills, uncontrolled shaking, or hallucinations.