Tramadol Important Information, Warnings, and Concerns
Uses for Tramadol
Pain: Moderate to Moderately Severe. When over-the-counters like aspirin and ibuprofen aren't strong enough, Tramadol is the best option.
Common conditions causing pain that Tramadol is used to treat are:
- Migraines and cluster headaches
- Back pain
- Joint pain
- Pain from injury
- After surgery pain
***This list is incomplete***
Restless Leg Syndrome: Tramadol is used to ease pain and discomfort caused by restless leg.
Acid Reflux: Heart Burn, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), and Acid Reflux Disease are all treatable with Tramadol.
How Tramadol Works
Tramadol is a synthetic opioid analgesic. Tramadol affects the central nervous system for pain relief. It does this by binding to the μ-opioid receptors (MOR) (mu opioid receptors), releases serotonin, and inhibiting the re-uptake of the pain hormone norepinephrine.
As a prodrug, Tramadol is converted by the human body—specifically the liver—into its active form, which is the opioid O-Desmethyltramadol.
People with allergies to specific opioid painkillers—such as codeine, morphine, and Vicodin—should ask their doctor about Tramadol allergies.
The safety and effectiveness of Tramadol for people under 16 years of age has not been tested sufficiently in clinical trials for approval.
For the aged and elderly, doctors recommend extra caution when using Tramadol. Elderly patients have a higher likelihood of experiencing certain side effects, such as constipation, upset stomach, and weakness. There is also concern about age-related kidney, heart, and liver problems.
Pregnancy and Nursing
Tramadol is in Pregnancy Class C; some testing on animals has shown that there is a risk to the fetus, though human testing has not confirmed this link.
Doctors recommend that pregnant women avoid using Tramadol if possible.
There has been no indication that women who are nursing and taking Tramadol risk their own health or the health of their child, but use with caution until further studies confirm it is safe.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
While less dangerous than many other painkillers, Tramadol still has the potential for abuse and addiction. Doctors recommend that you do not take Tramadol if you have a history of addiction to:
- Prescription drugs
- Street drugs
Psychological/Mental Health Risks
People with a history of mental health conditions, especially depression, should get approval from a psychiatrist before taking Tramadol.
How to Use Tramadol
Use only as directed by your doctor or the pharmacist.
Tramadol Side Effects
The most common side effects are:
- Loss of appetite
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose