Subscriptions
  • Join our People's Pharmacy Page on Facebook
  • Follow JoeGraedon on Twitter
  • Follow Us
  • Free email newsletter

Print This Page

Serious Tramadol (Ultram) Side Effects & Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Currently 4.6/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Not Helpful ..... Very Helpful
Was this information helpful? Average rating: 4.6/5 (214 votes)
What do you think? Click the stars to vote!
If you have more to say, post a comment below!

Q. Last February my 84-year-old mother had pain in her lower back due to a car accident. The doctor prescribed tramadol (Ultram). She took it for several months. It helped with the pain, but we did not realize that the problems she had were side effects that the drug was causing.

The most serious one was shortness of breath. The doctor prescribed an inhaler, and was about to refer her to a pulmonologist. Other adverse reactions included confusion, lack of appetite, depression, anxiety and very high blood pressure (we took her to the emergency room in April for blood pressure of over 200 with shortness of breath).

They did not find anything, but prescribed more blood pressure medicine. Around July she stopped taking the tramadol and she soon realized that she was no longer short of breath. Gradually she was back to her old self, with purpose, less anxiety, and able to breath well.

Perhaps the doctor should have realized that the shortness of breath was due to the tramadol. Perhaps I should have read the sheet that came with the medicine. I wonder if any other patients have had a similar experience.

A. Tramadol (brand names Ultram & Ultracet) is a complicated medication that was first approved by the FDA in 1995. It is a moderately powerful prescription pain reliever that has some "weak" opioid activity. That means it acts a bit like a narcotic. It was supposed to be safer than most pain relievers, which is why it is not categorized as "controlled" substance (the way Vicodin, Oxycontin or hydrocodone are). Doctors could prescribe Ultram without using a DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) number.

In the early days there was a belief that tramadol was much less likely to cause dependence than most other narcotic-like analgesics. In other words, there was not supposed to be an abuse potential (doctorspeak for the drug was generally considered non addicting). In theory, this pain reliever was supposed to have a low likelihood for producing withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation, especially when compared to narcotics like oxycodone.

Tramadol also affects neurochemicals such as serotonin and norepinephrine. That means the drug behaves a little like antidepressants such as Zoloft (sertraline, which is an SSRI or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) or Effexor (venlafaxine an SNRI) in the brain, though the drug has not been approved to treat depression. More on this effect (and its complications) in a moment.

The problem with theories is that they don't always work out the way they are supposed to. In the case of tramadol, there are a number of side effects and complications that were not necessarily anticipated.

TRAMADOL SIDE EFFECTS:

• Dizziness, unsteadiness, vertigo, coordination difficulties
• Nausea, vomiting
• Abdominal pain, indigestion, diarrhea
• Constipation
• Sleepiness, drowsiness, fatigue,
• Itching, skin rash (could be life threatening!)
• Sweating
• Dry mouth
• Anxiety, confusion, nervousness, cognitive dysfunction
• Headache
• Insomnia
• Seizures
• Respiratory depression, breathing difficulties (shortness of breath)
• Suicidal thoughts
• Low blood pressure on standing, hypertension, irregular heart rhythms
• Serotonin syndrome

Your mother's side effects including her breathing difficulties, confusion, lack of appetite, hypertensive episode and depression could all have been tied to tramadol. The drug can trigger something called serotonin syndrome, especially in combination with certain other medications. You can read more about serotonin syndrome at this link. It can be potentially life threatening.

Perhaps the most disturbing and unanticipated problem with tramadol is withdrawal. Even though most health professionals thought the drug would not trigger this problem, we now know that it not only happens but can be disastrous. In addition to the narcotic-like action of tramadol, the drug also behaves a bit like antidepressants such as paroxetine, sertraline or venlafaxine. At the time it was approved, the FDA may not have realized that when such drugs are stopped suddenly, people can experience very unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. This dual action (the narcotic-like effect and the serotonin "discontinuation syndrome") can lead to some terrible symptoms. Patients are not always warned about this problem.

TRAMADOL WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS:

• Anxiety, mood swings, irritability

• Brain zaps (shock-like sensations), tingling

• Sweating, chills, goose bumps, shivering

• Tremors

• Headaches

• nsomnia, sleeping difficulties, nightmares

• Flu-like symptoms

• Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite

• Depression

• Hallucinations, unusual thoughts

• Aggresiveness

Here are just two of many stories we have received about this complication:

"I had surgery on my shoulder for a partial rotator cuff tear and manipulation of my frozen shoulder at the same time. The doctor ordered for PT to begin very next day. I was taking tramadol, but starting to feel strange so I stopped taking it abruptly.

"By midnight I was having cold chills and the sweats all night long. By the next morning I was vomiting. In addition to sweating profusely and cold chills I had severe anxiety. I was ended up in ER that afternoon. Apparently, I was having withrawal from tramadol. It was a horrible experience. I do not want to ever experience the "withdrawl" symptoms again."
Keiko

+++++++++++

"I took tramadol for just over 30 days prior to having a hip replacement. I then took the pills for a week after surgery. Then I stopped.

"The withdrawal for me was worse than recovery from the surgery. I had flu like symptoms and was depressed (something I had never experienced). It took about 3 weeks to feel somewhat normal. I would never take this drug again!"
Lorraine

GENERIC TRAMADOL PROBLEMS

In addition to the side effect issues and the withdrawal symptoms associated with sudden discontinuation of tramadol, there is also the generic drug concern. We have heard from a number of people that not all generic versions of tramadol are created equal:

"I was taking the generic version of Ultram (tramadol) for several years when my pharmacy suddenly changed manufacturers (and did not point it out to me before I left the pharmacy with it).

"I gave them the benefit of the doubt, but within 24 hours of taking the other generic, I knew something was terribly wrong. All of my pain symptoms returned overnight, accompanied by extreme anxiety.

"I had to jump through hoops with the pharmacy but managed to get my doctor to write the script as DAW [dispense as written] and within an hour of taking the "Ultram," I felt completely different. The anxiety disappeared along with the lower back and leg pain."
P.J.B.

++++++++++++++

"When my doctor prescribed Ultram for my neurologic pain, it worked for the first time and I was nearly pain free for a few hours. Then the pharmacy changed to the generic tramadol and I never had total pain relief for any length of time."
Jim

The bottom line on tramadol appears to be:

• Tramadol can ease pain somewhat, but has a number of serious side effects (see above)
• Tramadol should not be discontinued abruptly. It can trigger terrible withdrawal symptoms for some people.
• The FDA has not provided physicians with clear guidelines on how to help patients phase off such drugs. We frequently see recommendations like "gradual withdrawal," but no one bothers to provide clear instructions about what that really means.
• Do not assume that all generic tramadol formulations are identical to Ultram or each other.

If you experience any side effects, withdrawal symptoms or complications with a generic version of tramadol, contact your physician and pharmacist and request the help you deserve.

Share your own story or comment below.

If you found this information of interest, you may wish to subscribe to our *free* online newsletter. It offers questions and answers about drugs, home remedies, nutrition and non-drug approaches to healing; commentaries on the most pressing health issues of the day; special alerts on breaking health news as it happens and coverage of the top health headlines of the week.

It's easy to subscribe to our free newsletter. Just click on the link below:

Sign up for our Email Newsletter

Stay informed with us, The People's Pharmacy.

  • Currently 4.6/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Not Helpful ..... Very Helpful
Was this information helpful? Average rating: 4.6/5 (214 votes)
What do you think? Click the stars to vote!
If you have more to say, post a comment below!

117 Comments

| Leave a comment

I have to take tramadol for nerve pain, probably for life [54 yso], but had issues with nucynta [tramadols stronger cousin [confusion,constant thirst]

After surgery for a torn Rotator Cuff my doctor prescribed Tramadol. On the sixth night I had a violent anxiety attack, which was a mystery to me until my wife reviewed the paper-work that came with the Tramadol. There we found all of the symptoms I was having: anxiety, profuse sweating, agitation, insomnia, etc. I decided I would rather have the pain, so I refused all pain meds. during recovery.

I have neuropathy and other conditions and Ultram really helped the pain in my feet. The tramadol doesn't seem to be as effective but I'm taking the generic now. If I forget to take my pills, my burning feet and sick stomach remind me. I feel that it's an effective drug for me and keeps me off the heavier narcotics.

My doctor switched me from Vicodin to Tramadol about a year ago. It seems to help, but I'm also taking Neurontin for nerve pain. I've not noticed any side effects; I'm on 50 mg every 6 hrs (3/day).

I was taking both Lexapro and Tramadol... After a few weeks the combination of these two drugs made my brain very very foggy, like a zombie just going thru the motions and feeling very confused.

I stopped the Lexapro which I had been taking for some 10 years but kept taking Tramadol. Within a few days, the foggy feeling in my brain went away. I now notice that Tramadol not only takes away some of my chronic back, neck, leg pain (old age), but acts like an antidepressant, anti-anxiety drug. So far so good.

Of course, I don't know the long range effects of Tramadol on me, but time will tell.

Side note: One of my doctors refused to give me Vicodin, but was OK with Tramadol.

My mum has taken tramadol for 10years recently took into Scarborough hospital for her breathing due to smoking unknown to me her tramadol was stopped altogether since she came back home her mental state is not good at all she is totally confused repeating herself not getting up some days not eating, crying, aggressive, depressed she was on 300mg. One of the doctors has put her back on 100mg; this is not doing her any good why they won't put her back to her normal dosage is beyond me.

She was fine till the hospital messed with her medication. Stopping the tramadol in hospital would this have caused the symptoms I have mentioned above she has stopped smoking she has patches. No one seems to be sorting things out people say her upset is been in hospital I say it's the hospital stopping the tramadol would be grateful if anyone any suggestions.

I have taken tramadol for about 3 years. 2 every 8 hours for arthritis pain. At the end of the month I usually run short. I usually give a few to people who also feel pain. I would get really sick. Cravings, vomiting, chills tingling sensations through my whole body. Flu like symptoms. I finally realized it was withdrawal from the medication. It felt and feels terrible. It is an extremely unpleasant experience. PLEASE BELIEVE ME. As far as a solution just take the medication again. All the symptoms will disappear. Just don't stop using it suddenly. As for relieving the pain it works for me. I'll probably be using it for the rest of my life. I won't run short again.

I've taken Tramadol for close to five years now for lower back pain. I quickly noticed I had more energy and a feeling of euphoria when taking this medicine. Earlier this week I decided that I was going to stop taking this all together, cold turkey. I was on 50Mg, 6 to 8 pills a day. I know this is not allot a I've gears people taking up to 40 in a day.

Anyhow, within hours of my last dose I had extreme agitation, nausea, diarrhea, insomnia and feeling extremely hopeless. It was awful. I'm on day four and it's getting better. I haven't told anyone about my secret struggle but I want people to know how addicting this drug really is. Be careful. Stay strong and fight to take your life back.

While browsing People's Pharmacy, I happened upon this thread and was reminded of my own experience, a few years back, with Tramadol and Ultram.

Prescribed after a back injury, I had been taking medication for about six months when, through a haze of inexplicable depression, "flulike symptoms," sudden anxiety, headaches, insomnia, and steadily decreasing pain relief I said to myself "This has GOT to be the pills."

In my usual all-or-nothing way, with no guidelines for gently decreasing the dose, I simply stopped taking it. For 48 hours I was curled into a ball of misery on the couch, getting a lesson in empathy for what illegal drug users must experience if they try to quit "cold turkey." When I had lived through the two days of Hell, I emerged as myself again, regaining my perspective and my personality after becoming a zombie because of what was supposed to be innocuous and helpful medication.

Bottom line: I will never take the stuff again, and am cautious about any prescription medications. Regarding Tramadol and Ultram, in particular, I think we all have reason to "Be afraid. Be VERY afraid."

I experienced severe respiratory depression when the pharmacy switched from the generic form of Tramadol to something else, a round pill about the size of an aspirin. No asthma symptoms, no wheezing, just couldn't get a full breath. Dr. Thought I was crazy but switching back to the generic made the symptoms completely disappear. I was very happy to find this page that confirmed reports of this phenomena.

I guess everyone responds differently to Tramadol. For me, it gives me lots of energy and a general feeling of well being. Not to mention a Godsend for my chronic back pain. People may call Tramadol what they want, if taken like its supposed to be, then it can be a wonderful drug.

Reading the sometimes very different stories of people's experiences with these drugs make me think again about how differently each person responds to medication. And while it was nice to see that some individuals were helped by Tramadol and Ultram, my own very negative experience--detailed in an earlier comment--may still strike a necessary cautionary note for others. I would never take either drug again, and am now extremely cautious about pharmaceuticals of any kind. But maybe that's just my body. The important thing, I think, is to listen to, and know, yours.

I can personally vouch for how physically addictive Tramadol is.

A few years ago I had a medical issue requiring several operations and thrice daily wound packing changes. I was on Lortab for about a month solid. Three days after the last surgery I was feeling much better and stopped all my pain medication - no withdrawals, zilch, nada, none.

A year later I had a herniated disc in my back. This was during the time when people were getting menengitis from the steroid injections used to treat this. My spinal doctor and I decided to go the "rest and relaxation" route. He gave me a four day prescription of Tramadol. About one day after my prescription ran out I started to get sick. It didn't occur to me at the time that it might be withdrawal symptoms. But after about three days of the weirdest flu I had ever had, I decided to look up Tramadol withdrawal - it described my symptoms to a tee.

Of course - everyone's body is different. But in my case - one month on Loratab=no withdrawal; 4 days on Tramadol=bad, bad withdrawals that I never want to repeat in my life.

Yes! I can relate completely to Kay's comment! Lortab, when I need it, has no downside or withdrawal effect, which makes it helpful for getting past short-term pain episodes. Tramadol or Ultam, on the other hand, I will never take again. If I want to feel like I have the flu (and like I've suddenly developed serious depression with it!) I'll skip my flu shot next year and take up substitute teaching again.

I've been on tramadol (ultram generic) 100mg twice a day since last fall for fybromyalgia pain, and this week was told to 'taper off' the tramadol for starting an herbal remedy for inflammation instead. My doctor never once mentioned anything about ultram withdrawal when I started it, and I didn't have negative side effects taking it, so i thought I was all set.

I took 50mg in the morning and again at night the last 3 days, without any problems, till last night I had cold sweats and kept jerking awake feeling like I would jump out of my skin I felt so much restless energy. Very bad experience. Will be calling my dr on Monday about it but for now going back to my original dose, as 100 a day instead of 200 a day is apparently way too much to cut down at once. I am angry that I didn't know it could go this way when starting the 200 a day 5 months ago.

I can relate to RG's comments. However helpful Tramadol/Ultram may be for a while, I still think it's an insidious drug (read my earlier post for my experience with it: and yes, I did take it exactly as prescribed) which needs to be presented with the strongest of cautionary notes if it's prescribed at all. I repeat: it's on my list of "No, thank you" drugs.

I had been prescribed Tramadol for pain a couple of times. Each time within the first day or two of taking it as prescribed I experienced extreme irritability and anxiety. I looked up the medicine and was surprised to see it was used as an antidepressant. Zoloft also had the same effect on me and was the worst two days of my life because of the anxiety, dread and irritability. I guess if you are not experiencing depression or other emotional/mental disorder then the effects of the drugs work the opposite. Sort of like how amphetamines calm down people with ADHD and Dimetap hypers them up.

Lortab also did not cause any serious side effects when I stopped taking it, other than a little bit of irritability. But Lortab and Vicodin have their own side effects and because they contain opiates could cause you to come out positive for morphine. This happened to a friend of mine who was taking hydrocodone about 3-4 times a week prescribed by the pain clinic. During a routine urinalysis they said he had 6 times legal dose of morphine in his system. When I heard that I stopped taking any opiates and only use Ibuprofen or occasional muscle relaxer.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Tramadol is for pain. There is no official indication for it to treat depression. We're sorry you had such trouble with the side effects.

I just stopped using Tramadol yesterday and the anxiety is really bad. I took it as directed by my Dr. for a bad lower lumbar strain. I've been taking it with Flexeril for 4 days, thankfully I have Lorazepam to help with the anxiety. I was climbing the walls about an hour ago.

I've been told by my doctor to stop taking Tramal to try some pain patches instead. When I asked if it was okay to just stop, he told me yes. Ive been taking 150mg mornings and 200mg evenings both SR, for about 6 years. After missing 3 doses I'm getting the back and knee pain again, and since going to bed 3 hours ago, have been needing to keep moving around, not really restless legs, more like restless all over!!

I'm really tired but only dozed a couple of times between the need to suddenly move. I'm not too sure what the best thing to do is now that I've read so much about stopping the medication, so I'll have to go to another doctor as my usual one is unavailable tomorrow.

Tramadol has been my worst nightmare. Took it for several months after my hand was crushed. (My doctor was afraid if I stayed on opiates I'd get addicted). Well, I had been addicted to percocet before. The withdrawals lasted about 3 days. However coming off tramadol the symptoms were 100× worse and lasted for over a month. I have never been so miserable in my life. But I got through it. Then a few weeks ago I took 2 tramadol for knee pain. ONLY 2 and now months after getting off the first time, I am experiencing THE SAME symptoms! Doctors do not seem to realize how terrible this drug is. If you have never taken it PLEASE save yourself a lot of pain and trouble and STAY AWAY from it!

I'm so beyond happy I found this page. For the past few days and even now, I've been getting those "brain zaps". Some so intense that it actually causes a tic, so to speak. It's been driving me crazy. I was prescribed tramadol for my bursitis in the hip. I am lucky enough to not have that addiction gene as I call it (both Bio parents are/were drug addicts). I only took as prescribed and started to wean myself off, taking it less frequently, and instead of 2 as prescribed every 4-6 hours, I would take 1 around every 8 hours, then 1 a day at night, Aleeve during the day. But now that I think of it, these brain zaps did start about when I reduced, then stopped taking tramadol.

I did do my research about side effects, but the brain zaps were never mentioned. And did read that this medication isn't one you are supposed to quit "cold turkey" but one that must be gradually reduced, then discontinued being taken. I do have some left, almost a weeks worth, but definitely plan on sticking with just Aleeve. Have since seen the orthopedic surgeon who gave me a cortisone shot, and instructed I take just Aleeve.

Considering my Bio parents addiction histories, it's made me far more cautious on following doctors orders, and being fully aware of what I'm about to be taking (Even otc medicines).

Hello yes I also took tramadol... I got VERY addicted and when I say VERY I mean VERY... I have been off of it for almost 8 weeks now....I have rls (restless leg syndrome) now because of it, I have no energy... I am not blaming the makers of the drug because I am the one that chose to abuse it... anyway all I want is to know if I will ever feel normal again... normal energy level... anyway thanks

Okay I am gonna tell you guys my story...I was originally prescribed tramadol for fibroids... I have two fibroids and they make for some very painful periods... anyway I started taking like I was supposed to but I like the way they made me feel energetic and happy all the time... so I started more and more pretty soon I was up to 20 a day!!!! that's right I said 20!!! I did not care... it took me to go to the doctor and get a script and go to the pharmacy and them tell me that I had "multiple doctor" issues to get me to stop...

I was scared to death I was gonna go to jail. Needless to say the pharmacy did not fill... I went "cold turkey" off of a 20 pill a day habit of ultram...it was "horrible." I never ever ever want to go through that again. I have RLS, anxiety, I had heart palps all of it... well its been close to 8 weeks now and I am over the worst of it but I still have no energy..none... I can't wait for the day I can start to say yeah I feel "normal" again......

Until a month ago, I had been taking tramadol(150mg mornings and 200mg night) for about 7 years for back and hip pain. My doctor decided to try a different drug and told me to stop the tramadol, not warning me of any side effects of stopping suddenly. Obviously I survived the withdrawal, unable to sleep due to restless jerky movements as soon as I relaxed at night, nausea depression and pain which I seemed to have all over my body. The main concern now is that I feel washed out all the time and just can't wait for bed time as I'm so tired. I am starting to feel more like my old self though, thank goodness as I really hated the way I was feeling. I will never take tramadol again!! As I don't want to go through the withdrawal again.

Had knee replacement 2 yrs ago, given Tramadol in hospital. It paralyzed me from my neck down, and I felt like I had a block of concrete on top of me, just could not move a muscle, it was scarey.

Nurse said 6-7hours to wear off. Just lay there until it wore off. I refused to have any more Tramadol. The experience was horrible.
Having hip replacement soon, and shall question any tablet I am given to take.
No more Tramadol.

Hi, I have a question. I am trying to come off my tramadol 50 mg and doc put me on tramadol-acetaminophen 37.5-325(ultracet) will this help me come off of tramadol?

Peoples Pharmacy response: The new medication contains a lower dose of tramadol, so it may be helpful in reducing your dose of tramadol. You will need to find a way to reduce the dose even further eventually.

I have spinal fractures that were discovered last year after a painful fall. My pain was well managed on tramadol 50 mg q6h (usually 3-4 times per day). Recently, though, I've had an intense flare up and begged for some kind of additional relief. My prescriber bumped me up to 100 mg q8h. I didn't initially take my nighttime dose, until I realized I was feeling horrible in the mornings until my morning dose would kick in.

I chalked it up to withdrawal and made sure I added my nighttime dose even though it made sleeping hard (my mind races when I'm on it). This brought my daily dosage up to 300 mg per day starting maybe 2 or 3 weeks ago. Last week I developed headaches, disorientation, forgetfulness, lethargy, and pressure in my ears. My prescriber told me it was all in my head - I'm just anxious because I read too much. He completely blew me off.

I had no idea it could be tramadol until I found my way to the ER a couple of nights ago. I've begun as rapid a withdrawal as I can manage. My blood pressure was skyrocketing at the ER and at my appointment with my general practitioner the following day. The ER doc things I was having absence seizures in addition to the elevated blood pressure.

Today is the first day I've felt mostly human again. I've aimed for 50 mg twice daily of the tramadol, with the expectation that I may end up needing a midday dose. Today is day 2, and I'm okay so far. I've also managed to bring down my blood pressure by 40 points with some help from hydroxyzine. I've decided I no longer want to see the prescriber any more. (He is the person I see for my spine.) It's disappointing, but if I can't trust him to catch something like this, I can't trust him to be involved in my medical care.

What's harder is to realize that this was the last of the harder pain killers that I was able to try. I have allergies to opioids and motrin thins my blood. I don't know what is next for me. This all happens on the cusp of getting epidural injections, and it's impossible to know if they've played a role, too, and now I'm afraid to try them again when the time comes. This has been pure hell, and the fun is only beginning.

I have been taking Tramadol 50mg tabs, at the dose of 2 tabs every 4-6 hrs for chronic pain. I fell and sprained my ankle and was in much more pain. I took 4 tabs 5hrs ago. I was a little sleepy but now, I'm just really short of breath if I get up and even get a glass of water. I don't know if it's from the Tramadol and the extra amt I took or if it's just being 52, overweight, and high blood pressure. Thank you for any consideration you give this comment.

Don't know if you've still been having these issues or not with breathing but my tramadol bottle says right on the side, "taking more than recommended can cause serious breathing difficulties". I hope you're alright and were able to seek out help.

I was prescribed Tramadol for swollen discs in my lower back. One 50mg pill 4 times a day. I only made it to 2 pills on the first day trying to get into a rhythm of taking them before I was unable to function. I got really sick from the pills. All I recall was sweating, chills, vomiting, headache, shakes, dizziness, blacking out, then waking up the next day with zero appetite and sick to my stomach all day.

I only take Tramadol (1/2 pill for the entire day) if I'm in serious pain. To me, the pain is more appealing than dealing with the side effects. When coming "back to earth" I can usually tell when it's going to get bad. I'll feel a small headache coming on as well as clinching my teeth (I don't know why). Following that, I'll get chills, start sweating, shaking, extremely tired, and vomiting. This all lasts between an hour and a half to two hours. After it passes I am usually apprehensive to eat right away but a glass of water and I'm fine.

I cut my pills in 1/2 to reduce the amount going into my system but if I forget to keep liquid in my system or food I'll still get sick. I also try to take a pill when I know I'll already be asleep when they wear off. That seems to work alright most of the time. Every now and then I'll wake up feeling nauseous and foggy in the head.

I haven't gone to the doctor for a different prescription as he didn't take the time to write me one for the Tramadol. I literally went into the office and said I've been having back pains and an MRI showed swollen discs... before I finished talking I was already given a prescription. The whole reason I tried this doctor was because my last doctor had me on 9 Advil a day which made my stomach hurt like crazy.

Long story short... Tramadol is horrendous when leaving your system, it works great for the pain but I'd rather be in pain than constantly feel sick for a few hours of pain relief. If doctors actually cared anymore I might try something else but the way things are these days... good luck.

I have been taking name brand ultram 400 mg a day for over 3 years now recently in the last 6 months I have went up to 600 to 900mg a day not by any means to get high just to control my severe pain. I have been on all the strongest narcotics in the past for my pain from diludid to fentanyl to oxycotin 160,s yeah I know most people didn't know they came in that strength and actually quit cold turkey from all those. It was the worst 10 days of my life to date but I was not working back then so I had the time to do it. So after that I vowed to never take narotic pain killers on a regular basis for my pain so I started ultram which never worked before because of my opiate tol. back then but worked and has worked great now for years until about 8 months ago unless I take really big doses 150mg at least or 300 at most they don't work at all like they used to they almost make my pain worse. Now I am currently out I have one 50mg left and one old time released one from over seas probably 150-200mg the last 4 days I have rapidly declined my use to 6 tabs a day then 3 then 2. Now what I have left I get horrible pain and absolutely imaginable stomach pain and cramps unless those are some other problem I happened to get even ms cotin don't help the severe bone piercing pain when I don't take any tramadol all night adderrall helps a little. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated did you make it to day 10?

I've managed to beat the tramadol. I tapered as gradually as my body would let me. Did 50 mg 2x per day a few days (down from 100 mg 3x per day) for a couple of days, then cut those in half 2x per day. Then I got stuck at 25 mg once per day. Just couldn't drop lower until one day, I just felt like I could, and I did. Cut my 50s into quarters and did 12.5 mg once per day for two days. My last dose was a week ago today.

Withdrawal included stuffiness, sneezing, lethargy, just generally feeling terrible, stomach cramps, insomnia (which still persists), CRANKINESS (omg my fuse is so short, but its getting better), maybe brain zaps?, and now I'm getting a big weepy over weird stuff. I'm really afraid my body won't pick up on the cues to start boosting my happy hormones without help. Right now I just wait and see. Good luck to the posters above me trying to stop. And to the one directly above me, for get about your extended releases.

Cut your immediate releases smaller so you don't make this any more miserable than possible. I tapered over 2 weeks and it worked out well for me. If you have any way possible of stretching your supply, do it.

I have been taking Tramadol for over 10 years and now in the past few months my coordination is off and I stagger so my new doctor took me off of it and gave me Vicodin. I have fibromyalgia and spinal stenosis and spinal arthritis as well as a so far unnamed autoimmune problem. I have been feeling SO SO odd since I came off the Tramadol and I was blaming the Vicodin, but now I realize it is withdrawl from the Tramadol.

So happy I read this article. Thanks for the information! BTW I'm a female 62 years old.

I have declared tramadol my worst enemy after I was prescribed 100mg x4 a day whilst in hospital with back injury.

Had no idea I would have such a bad reaction to the drug, first couple of hours I felt ok and my pain lessened. Towards the end of the first day I felt so anxious and started tripping really bad, felt like my mind was constantly flipping between reality and non-reality - I've never felt so confused in my whole life.

By the second day I no longer recognised my hospital room and my breathing got very shallow. On the third day I experienced some serious visual and auditory hallucinations that nearly tipped me over the edge, as I thought one of the nurses was trying to kill me. Some how I managed to stop taking the drug as in my psychotic state I thought the drug had been poisoned by the nurse, I then started feeling very nauseous and sick.

Only 3 days after stopping all pain meds out of hospital did I realise how confused and delirious I had been. I think I'm ok now but still slightly traumatised by the whole thing.

The health profession are too readily pushing these drugs onto people without truly being aware of the more serious side effects of this drug, from the numerous forums it is obvious that a large number of people have issues with it. PLEASE DON'T TAKE TRAMADOL!

The reason they took your mother from 300 mg down to 100 mg is because 100 mg four times daily is the absolute highest dose allowed by law. Whether it worked or not, whoever prescribed her 300 mg at a time not only put her health in danger, but should be losing his medical license. He was basically overdosing her. If the maximum dosage of a medication is not effective, you try a different medication, not overdose them by THREE times the maximum dosage allowed. Be thankful she is still alive...

People's Pharmacy response: According to Epocrates, the maximum dose for tramadol is 300 mg/day.

I have a question. I take 50mg Tramadol PRN for back pain caused by a car accident. I've noticed that sometimes when I take it I start to get a headache as it is wearing off. Is that a normal side effect? I feel like it can't be withdrawal because I only take it about once a week or so, but maybe my not taking it very often plays a part?

Interesting. Mosby's drug guide says for immediate release, 400 mg/day is the max.

I took tramadol for two weeks, and lost my erection for a week now. Please help me. What do I do?

I have been taking tramadol in conjunction with indomethacin for a year now and it has been miraculous for my arthritis. Without the two of them, I would hardly be able to finish the day at my job. I also take brand Synthroid every morning except for Sunday. For the past two Sundays, I have taken tramadol before church, because I have to eat in order to safely take the indomethacin and I wanted something on board before the pain got too bad. I don't eat breakfast before church because I am not hungry, and I don't take the Synthroid on Sundays. Every other morning, I take my Synthroid and eat breakfast before work. I take 40mg of Citalopram at bedtime every night.

The past two Sundays, I have come home from church and a couple of hours later, I got extremely dizzy, to the point of nausea. The first time, I fell asleep and felt better when I woke up, but this past Sunday, I was unable to go to sleep due to a party I had to attend. I felt awful. I ended up lying down at my daughter's house anyway for an hour and a half, and when I did come out to join the party, I still felt not quite present. I was scared half to death that this would BE the death of me. I looked up serotonin toxicity because the pharmacist explained that citalopram and tramadol could cause it, but I have never had this issue on any other days. I only take the one tramadol for that reason, to head off serotonin toxicity. It didn't seem to fit what I experienced, but the side effects of tramadol did.

So, what's the deal? Is it the food or the Synthroid that protect me from those awful side effects on days other than Sundays?

I appreciate you sharing this. All of these comments have really helped. I have been on tramadol for eight years after a bad accident. At first, I felt wonderful, increased energy, weight loss, no pain. Every time I try to get off of it, I can not handle the withdrawal and keep using it. I made a commitment to my son who is going through drug rehab that I would get off of this drug. I am on day one - today and have cut my dose in half. I hope to keep decreasing until I am off of this drug. Withdrawal of tramadol is horrible. The symptom that usually gets me to use it again is the pain in my head and a tickle in my throat. I find it hard to swallow and have shallow breathing. I have tried so many times to stop taking this drug and have not been able to. Thank you for sharing your stories. They are encouraging.

This is very helpful. I've been taking tramadol 400mg daily for a year and a half. I'm trying to wean and it has been horrible. I take Lexapro also. The symptoms that I have experienced are vertigo, vertigo, vertigo. A classic sign of SSRI withdrawal. MD's do not know how to wean patients of Tramadol. I suggest anyone with trying to get off tramadol to have a partner to help you.

I pray God gives us the strength to fight this and we become normal again. The body is made to heal itself. We need to remember that. In Western society, drugs are the first things we most of us use because that is what we are taught by are western doctors, treat the symptoms.

Began 50mg tramadol approx. 3 years ago for moderate recurring pain in muscles and joints, especially knee, Diagnosed as HCV positive (possibly military service related) 9 years ago and energy challenged, it had the unintended effect of increasing my energy and making me more productive as well as less irritable while diminishing pain, I only use 50 to 100 mgs daily and have quit periodically with the only side effect of short term irritability, if you are hypertensive it may increase blood pressure as it did with me which was controlled by a slight increase of BP meds. Conclusions, the higher the daily dosage the more likelihood of increased/serious withdrawal symptoms, especially if you're taking 100mg and above "time released" dosages daily, it does have serotonin interaction, hence the energy/well being effect,and check your blood pressure. Less is more with tramadol, be prudent in its dosage or pay the withdrawal price.

Today it is one week since I started tapering off Tramadol. I was taking 250 to 300 mg a day and am now down to 100 mg. I have been taking half a tab in am half about 1:00 and a full 50 mg at bedtime. I am feeling depressed and low energy. I now want to cut back more but am feeling my back pain too much. I do not want to be taking Alive all day. Any suggestions? Has anyone tried taking Celexa for chronic pain?

I have been taking Ultram for about a year. I took it cautiously because I do not trust what the doctors' say about a prescription.
I was taking 50 mg. at night. Recently, I had terrible insomnia - I increased my nightly dose to 100 mg. I absolutely got the restless legs to the point of complete irritation.

I have become unbelievable depressed, no appetite - after reading all the comments, I am convinced it is the Ultram. As of this eve, no more.
I so appreciated everyone's honesty. I thought I was going crazy with the depression to the point of not enjoying life at all.
Thank you everyone.

I have been getting my life back more each day I let this drug go. I am more alert and aware and available to those around me. Tramadol has put me in a fog for eight years. I started tapering off three weeks ago and am down to one 50 mg pill a day. I have had stomach issues, insomnia, restless legs nightmares, depression and no energy.

This drug is opoid-like. It is so strong and sticks with you. Do not start taking this medication if you have not. Find an alternative. My son is in rehab for heroin and he tells me my drug use affected him. This was given to me by my doctor, but it is still mood altering. God is giving me strength to let go of it and I encourage you all to stay strong.

I have been taking Tramadol 300 mg a day for 7 years for back pain. I have tried to stop taking them on my own but can not get through one day with out them. I have all the side effects mentioned above. the head zaps are bad the tingling in my arms when tiring to sleep are like restless leg syndrome, I feel like I have the flu and my moods are all over the place nightmares headaches. and when I talk to my doctor about this he says there non addictive. I don't know what to do to get off these. There the worse pill I have ever taken.

Diane, my dr told me it wasn't addictive either, which is obviously not true and so many people have trouble with it! It's been hell going off the 200mg a day I was on for just 9 months, but I'm doing it. Believe it or not I take out 25mg and still have some side effects, 3-4 days of bad zaps and racing heart all night long, but not as bad as when I don't take it at all one day... then it tapers off. I wait a week or more for my system to regulate, and try again. I've been doing this a couple months and am down to 100mg a day, it's still going to be a journey but I'll hopefully be off all the way sometime this fall. I would take a small amount out like this vs. going cold turkey, it's still the same withdrawal but not as severe. Hope this helps.

My husband and I were both prescribed Ultram (Tramadol) him for severe back pain and I for a partially torn rotator cuff in my left shoulder.

I was taking it for 2 years and had noticed my mental state was not good so I started doing research to see if others had these same symptoms, well what I read was VERY disturbing! In my opinion, this drug is the devil. It was so hard for me to wean off of it but after 3 attempts I have been off of it for a month now and I feel like my old self again.

My husband on the other hand is still taking 2 a day and his mind isn't quite what it use to be. My husband got into a lot of legal trouble when he had been on it for a little over a year. He is more aggravated, anxious and paranoid. He is a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off, but because of possibly facing jail time if he messes up he stays in check.

Please, Please I warn anyone before taking this medication, I have NO IDEA how the FDA passed this for patients to take but I WILL NEVER take another one as long as I live, it is a HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE drug that I have to sit back and watch my husband dwindle downhill every day!!! I WOULD NOT recommend anyone to even take this medication, it's not worth the risk of going through everything we have went through with us both being on it. I thank God every day for helping me stop take it, and I continue to pray my husband will stop taking it as well.

I had withdrawals from stopping this medication for 3 WEEKS!!! Yes I quit cold-turkey but I had to in order to get completely off of it. I hope my husband gets off of it soon, this is really sad.

I have just run out of tramadol, have been taking it for 10 yrs and this is the first time I have totally run out. Taking way to much due to family responsibilities and that it isn't working as well as it use to. Going to see me doctor because my husband does not think I should do this without asking him for a plan. Am starting to feel terrible now and very embarrassed about what I have done.

I was prescribed tramadol (50mg x 2 up to 4 times a day) for bad sciatica pain. I took my GP's advice as I was in such agony and frankly would have taken anything to get rid of the pain. On these for 2 weeks and have to say they did work. As the sciatica regressed I decided to stop using the tramadol - my GP siad you've been on a low dose (I only took 3 x 50mg per day fortunately) so you can just stop. Bad advice as for the next 5 days I was extremely unwell, like I had the flu, sweats, shakes, restlessness, panic attacks etc. In the end I went to hospital and the on-call GP said go back to the tablets and speak to your GP about a withdrawal strategy (seeing him next week). I currently take one 50mg tab in the morning and 1 50 mg tab in the evening which keeps the flu symptoms at bay. My pharmacist said that you should never just quit this drug and tapering off is essential. He has told me to taper off over 1 month by gradually reducing the dose so I have drawn up a withdrawal plan. Measuring reduced doses is difficult as the capsules are filled to the brim but I will do my best. I really cannot believe that I've gone from a bad back to a drug problem - I will beat this however and my heart goes out to all those in a similar situation. Will let you know how I get on.

Took tramadol for 8 months before tkr then for 2 months after I did taper off to 2 pills a week for therapy sessions then stopped. Now after 4 weeks I am still getting hot flashes every day, some days more often than others ... Drs say not possible. What kind of dr do I have to see if this really withdrawal or some others health problem...help....

I have taken Tramadol for Fibromyalgia pain for the last 15 years & it has been very effective in controlling the pain. I only take 1/day about 3x weekly on my worse days, so I hopefully won't become to dependent on it and it will still be effective. Does anyone know if long term use can cause liver or kidney failure?

I agree it can be very helpful and keep people working and functional. The key is take it a prescribed. I read about a "small" dose of 6 to 8 a day. A DAY? You are kidding! I take one in the AM early and one in the afternoon, and if it is really, really, needed, a third 50 mg in the evening for a total of 150 mg. People in this post are talking about much more. It is the excessive amount, over the minimal, that is the cause of the problems for people. Many medications have an effect on brain chem or hormones that have to readjust.

It has to be better than a strong narcotic, though not as effective. Hydration with water and proper nutrition help, as well.

EB,
I'm glad if you don't have long term issues on the dosage you've been on, however I do want to share that some of us have NOT abused the drug or taken more than wise, and are still struggling. I went through hell just trying to go off one 50mg in the am, another in the afternoon. I had to do it in stages, a 4th of a pill at a time over weeks of time, and I still got chills, 'brain zaps', insomnia etc. It was miserable, and in no way did I abuse the drug or take anymore than you are. My dr told me there was no side effects or withdrawal symptoms to worry about, which was obviously not true, and I know there are others out there like me who've not been able to go off without serious issues when taking a smaller dose.

I have been on Tramadol for pain and Cymbalta for depression. I got depressed due to the constant pain I was in. I have a sciatic nerve pain. About 10 days ago I felt extremely sick. Got myself out of bed and off to a doctor. She immediately said that I have Serotonin Syndrome and must go to Hospital Emergency Department. She called them.

They ran drips through which stopped the uncontrolled twitching. They informed me to stop taking Tramadol and Cymbalta immediately. Well that was like sending me straight to hell! I have been so ill the last 10 days. Today is the first morning I could get put of bed without first walking into something.

My symptoms are as follows:
Severe brain zaps. Cannot move my eyes and my brain zaps.
Had really bad flu.
Hyperthermia. Wake up every night and my pj's are soaked through. My husband said he touched me one night as I was restless in my sleep. He said I was all wet.
I have had diarrhoea now for 6 days.
Get very weird dreams.
In last 2 days I have felt - then depressed and crying my eyes out - next minute I want to punch someone.
Please tell me it will stop.

I have been taking Tramadol for quite some time for headaches and headache pressure. Every time I run out of pills I tell myself that I am not going to get the prescription refilled. That lasts about two days and the withdrawals are so bad that I call the doctor for a refill. Surely there are other drugs for migraine that do not cause this. The worst withdrawal effects for me are the "shocking" sensations in my head and the cold sweats. Somehow I need to overcome this.

What dose have you been on? I was on 100 mg a day and I had to go off of 14 1/2 mg at a time, a few weeks apart, in order to not have it be 'severe' symptoms. I still had the brain zaps when trying to fall asleep at night for a few nights, and the sweats, but I took benadryl nights 3-6 or so each time I took out a new dose and it balanced it out at least some so I could sleep off and on (without the benadryl the brain zaps jerked me awake every time I almost got into a deep sleep). This way to go off tramadol is in some ways harder since you drag it out so long BUT the results aren't as intense if you split it up and its not as miserable as trying to go off all at once, which I've tried at one time, and have read on here most people can barely stand. I hope this helps.

wow! I feel so fortunate and yet at the same time so foolish. due to herniated discs at c6 & c7, I was in a lot of pain. went to my Dr who referred me to an Orthopedist. within a couple of minutes, he told me the nature of the problem. he sent me for a MRI for confirmation and I left with 2 scripts - 1 for meloxicam and 1 for ultram. I got the generic for ultram - tramadol - and started taking it as soon as I got it.

I usually ask quite a few questions about things (my Dad says I should have been a lawyer because I ask so many questions), but I just held my hand out, took the script, and left his ofc. I was in pain, and I wanted relief. I took tramadol as instructed - 1 50mg tablet every 6-8 hrs, so I took 4 a day (total of 200 mg). I began to notice I felt foggy and a little of a buzz, but it didn't really do anything for the pain.

I have a very detail-oriented job that requires I have my wits about me. this med wasn't helping me with that. I took it for 11 days at approx 4 per day. the last time I took it was 3 days ago. the side effect I notice the most is the depression, it also caused me to have nightmares, but the depression to the point of despair is what really hits me most. I'll be so glad when I'm thru this horrendous period of my life, and I don't ever want to take tramadol again! unfortunately the amount of time the Sun is out is less this time of year, and that certainly doesn't help matters at all.

I am 32 year old woman that for the last 3 days I have not taken any tramadol I was taking about 10 or more a day for the last 2 years and ran out 3 days ago I have never felt so bad in my whole life I have not slept in over 60 hr and nothing will help me sleep tried benedryl nope just layed there all night long shaking sweating and so sick my legs were all jumpy I feel like I could just die. I hope this goes away I would really love some sleep!! I have never been a drug user but by god I would run out and spend my last dollar if I could get some tramadol to make all this that I am feeling go away! Good thing I have a wonderful husband that is sticking by my side through this and helping me get off this drug! I layed here all night last night asking god to help me cried and shook and held my legs, if this goes on one more night I think I will have to go to the hospital for some help!

I quit taking Tramadol three days ago! The extreme shortness of breath is what scared me the most! I would wake up gasping for breath, then I would lie back in my recliner but I couldn't get comfortable because my legs ached, especially my right knee (arthritis). I'd try sitting at my desk, back to bed, back to the recliner. This was over a period of several weeks - I napped, never ever able to sleep more than an hour or two at a time. Anyway, three days ago I couldn't handle the shortness of breath, the extreme depression (I have cried at the least little thing), and anger and fits of rage (even though I'm on blood pressure meds) so I quit taking the Tramadol and I will never take it again! I had been on Paxil for about 15 or 20 years and had quit taking it so I could take Tramadol (thank goodness for an alert pharmacist).

I am wondering now, how long should I wait before going back on Paxil? I still have my prescription but I'm not sure how long I should wait after stopping the Tramadol. Any advice? By the way, thanks for such a helpful website!

I posted on here awhile back ago and since I have seen so many more people commenting the same exact symptoms my husband had. Also since my husband is down to 1 or 2 pills (tramadol) a day (doctor had him on 1 to 2 pills every 4-6 hours so he was taking them as prescribed...not abusing them!) Thank God we are getting through this slowly!! He literally was going insane! I don't understand why or even how the FDA approved this medication...it is the devil!!! My prayers are with each and every one of you!! ♥♡ I love my husband so much i will be here to get him through this!! God bless you all!

This website is the most honest and helpful. I have been taking Tramadol for 13 years. Tried to go off several times. Stay Away from it. This is my 3rd time trying to go off with all the symptoms stated by everyone. My mistake is I took 2 last night cause was in severe pain, now have to go through withdrawal again. I also take Lyrica which helps me go through withdrawal, it helps a whole lot, and the best thing for everyone who can't sleep the Lyrica will make you sleep very well. One thing I want to say is it is not just Tramadol it's all medication that you can become addicted to and go through withdrawal. Going to try again hope I can do it this time.

I have had severe pain in both my shoulders due to chronic dislocations and fairly bad knee pain due to marathoning for about 25 years. I am not going to have surgery because it is usually not a solution for problems such as mine. I am on 400mg a day and I find that my pain is controlled fairly well and I make sure I do not run out of the medication. I also have Oxy as a backup pain relief if I need it.

I have found that if I run out of Tramadol the substitution of Oxy as a pain reliever in fairly moderate doses will make withdrawal from Tramadol a lot easier not that I want to do that. In the beginning I also was shocked by the withdrawal symptoms but managing the drug is as important as the pain relief it provides.

I feel terrible for all of you who are coping with wretched withdrawal symptoms and wish you a speedy recovery.

My question relates to the very beginning of treatment. My doctor started me on the low dose of 25 mg. once a day. I took my first pill yesterday with just mild queasiness and a little headache. Even got a little pain relief from my tiny dose.

Today, I took my 25 mg. and felt okay for the first 5 or so hours. Now, about 8 hours after taking it, I am very nauseous - can't even think about dinner. I would have thought the stuff would be out of my system by now. Does this ring a bell with anyone? Maybe I just have a GI virus??

Yes pg that sounds very familiar! My husband and I both were put on them for our pain (his back and my rotor cuff) and neither one of us wanted to ever eat and it got to where 2 a day wasn't enough so we started taking more because our pain wasn't being controlled anymore (keep in mind the prescription THE DR. WROTE was for us to take 8 a day!! We started with 2!) then we started noticing psychosis. I am off of them completely and have been for 6 mos...I was very ill, flu like symptoms and leg aches for 3 weeks! My husband is back down to just 2 a day...he doesn't want to stop taking them after he saw me suffer! Tramadol should be outlawed or AT LEAST considered a narcotic, whatever drug schedule that is. Hope you feel better soon!

Beth

I have been taking tramadol 50mg 3 x a day for 3 years for nerve pain fybro. I recently decided it was time to quit it so I quit cold turkey (I had been told by my GP it was not addictive). Wrong! After about 12 hrs my entire body went into a tail spin. As soon as I went back and took another dose my symptoms all begin to subside.

I then cut back to two a day morning and night for a week but each time I would reduce to one a day my symptoms would begin all over again. I had almost every symptom that has been mentioned. I went back to two a day for three weeks. I was coping on two a day reasonably well. After being on two a day for three weeks I had to have surgery on my foot. The foot doctor gave me hydrocodon for pain and told me not to take the Tramodol with it.

I took the hydrocodon for four days. I have now been off the hydrocodon for four days and have not taken anymore of the Tramodol. I am still experiencing sleeplessness and restlessness especially at night but feel I can now make it on my own. I would never have taken this had I realized how hard it would be to quit. I will never take Tramadol again. Hope each and everyone is able to get through the withdrawals.

I can identify with all the above. I have been on 50mgs, usually once a day and sometimes twice a day for at least three years. I have tried to stop taking it, but then realized that I need to taper down. I plan to cut my dose in quarters and hope to be able to get off this devil drug before my knee replacement surgery in February.
wish me luck!! I wish the doctors were more aware of this medication. Most do not believe me when I tell them I get extremely anxious when trying to cut down.
good luck to all of you!! I know we can beat this Monkey on our Back,
kathie

How long before you started sleeping normal again after stopping tramadol? It's been 8 days for me. Was taking 2 50mg 2x day for 3 1/2 months before my hip replacement.

I'm so sorry you went through that! I'm betting the cymbalta is the culprit of the majority of brain zaps and weird dreams. Not that Ultram doesn't come with a litany of fun n games w/d as well (how do you think I got to this page...lol). My mom took cymbalta and watching her try to w/d was hard. She went through what you describe. It was a long process but can be done. Take heart... it does eventually get better.

I'm having fun with ultram w/d. I slept only 90 mins last night and am full of painful anxiety, restlessness, headaches and feeling like I simply can not relax at all. My legs are cramping continually. It has been a miserable experience. I had spine surgery and needed something to get through recovery. I came off percocet easier, I believe. :-(

Well, I guess I've got a bit of a different take on Tramadol/Ultram. Most of the posts seem to be people who've had serious problems with this medication (generic or brand name). I've never had any problem with these meds, and I've been on them (from one producer or another) for several long periods of time.

The only problem I have when I stop taking them is the return of my pain (I have Fibromyalgia). This is NOT a physical addiction since I don't have any extra withdrawal symptoms. In every case I haven't been told to taper the dose, so I've gone from between 100 mg/day (two doses) and 300 mg/day (three doses). Since I've had so little trouble all the negative reports and hearing last year that it could be addictive really surprised me.

The only warning I've received was to watch for symptoms of serotonin syndrome since I've also been on various antidepressants, anti inflamatories, and muscle relaxants at the same time.

Please, if you are reading this realize that many people have very positive experiences with these medications. Remember the warnings, but don't automatically let the negative reports scare you away from trying.

The other key thing to keep in mind is that Tramadol/Ultram does much less for sharp pain than it does for achy pain. It almost completely removes the latter for me when without the medication I'm miserably full of aches. I have never found it to do much for sharp pain, which I knew from the start. Then, again, that isn't why I was prescribed them.

Hi, Yes was the first time I took tramadol. Never again. I have Crohns, fibromyalgia and arthritis due to these I am fine on 30/500 co-codamol and amitryptoline. However whilst waiting for MRI scan I needed more pain relief, hence Tramadol. Took 50 mg at 3pm then 100 mg before retiring to bed. Had dreadful kicking/restless legs. Horrible dreams. Itching. Woke up 4am nauseous and tremendous headache that I had had in years. By 9:30am throwing up violently.

Cannot believe how ill I felt. Bear in mind with Crohns I would normally have reaction in the tum. Cannot remember last time I ever vomited. Maybe decades. It's is now 8pm. Nearly 24hrs later. Headache and nausea still there. Cramps in whole body just starting to ease. Break from all tabs tonight and back to cocodamo tom night. Worse 24hrs for long time. Gonna have a hot bath now and early night with hot water bottle. Def will NOT have Tramadol again. My dad has had them and he loved them. If they not right for u, you will find out very quickly.

Well, I have postponed my knee surgery until July now. with the holidays I decided not to start reducing yet. I plan to just take the one 50mg a day for four days and then reduce by one quarter each week. Hopefully in a month I will be done with this nightmare of a drug.

I will keep you posted as to how I am doing. Sorry for not replying sooner, but had company at the house.
kathie

I agree with you!!! I've had the same experience when I take my dose a couple of hours to late or try to cut back by one tablet a day. I too will probably just take it the rest of my life due to my condition and age. It's given quality back to my life.

It is the devil!!!!!!!!! I was taking it for migraines and loved the energy it gave me till I ran out of it. I started ordering it on the net. When I tried to stop I got awful stomach pains and could not sleep. I would order again. I finally stopped when they took it off the net. It was awful I had to get sleeping pills to sleep. I can not believe the doctors say it is not addictive they are CRAZY!!! My cousin is still on them and had to go to the emergency room for seizures. I am happy to say I am done and will never go back :-)

Karen's is about the only comment here that I can relate to. I was prescribed Tramadol for chronic low back pain about 6-7 years ago. The first time I took it (50mg) was at night, and it kept me awake, so I discontinued it for about a year.

In the meantime, I read many horror stories about it, and also some comments on the Erowid site to the effect that it enhances athletic activity. I started taking half a pill (25 mg) in conjunction with my daily walks of 5-6 miles, and found it beneficial.

I have never increased the dosage, and have no particular discomfort from not taking it for periods of time. The trouble with taking it for pain is that if you take enough to make a difference, you get up in the area of 200-300 mg a day, with many negative side effects, including addiction. At a very low dose, it is a mild mood elevator, but the medical benefits are negligible, and (like marijuana) it doesn't seem like the sort of thing you should have to get from a doctor.

hey I feel u. had to take them for my broken hand and been off them for only 2 days and feel like I just ran a marathon every day then can't sleep during the night.. not to mention the unbearable depression I've been feeling.. tramadol supposedly is a non narcotic drug so u think that the withdrawal symptoms would be very minimal to none but this is 100 times worse then the withdrawal I experienced from methadone what docs give recovering heroine addicts. I just don't get it this really sucks!

I took tramadol (50) for four nights and stopped 10 nights ago. I have chondomalacia in my knees and wanted something to help me sleep. I had a horrible reaction to it - felt like a drug was racing through my veins and leaving an icy/hot feeling, starts with my legs, shoulders, back, neck and chest. When it crept on my chest, I was scared to death that I was going to have a heart attack. It was awful! Now being off of it, my shins and feet tingle badly especially at rest and in bed. Yesterday (9 days post tramadol), my arms started tingling too. Is this normal for someone only on 50m for 4 nights? How long should this last?

I'm so relieved to have found this discussion. Most of the discussion boards/article comments I've found are several years old, so it's great to find something current. Like others have said, I was prescribed Tramadol 300 mg ER for chronic back pain.

At first, it worked great. I had to stop taking Celexa (citalopram), which I had been on for years, but, amazingly, the tramadol also erased my depression completely. I was energetic, and felt happy for the first time in a decade.

But that wasn't the end of my story. Over a year's time, the pain relief became less effective, and in November 2013, I suddenly began to experience major anxiety, panic attacks, and sever depression, worse than I had ever had, When I went to my doctor to talk about the depression, he and I both thought I needed to get off the tramadol and back on an SSRI.

So he tried to taper me off tramadol by having me take 200 mg for 2 days, then 100 for two days, then skip 2 days, then starts the zoloft. WAY TOO FAST! By day 4, I honestly did not see how I would survive the anxiety and depression.

I went back to him immediately and he referred me to a psychiatrist, but also gave me a very low dose xanax (.25, twice a day if needed) to deal with the anxiety. So I saw the psychiatrist, who added wellbutrin and referred me back to the pain specialist who put me on tramadol in the first place to work on a weaning schedule. He can't see for for a couple more weeks, but at that time I expect to start getting off tramadol and back on an SSRI for my lifelong depression.

Until I get a tapering schedule, I am (still) on 300 mg. ER tramadol, 100 mg. wellbutrin (bupropion), and 1-2 xanax per day (usually only one). I'm very wary of getting hooked on the xanax so I take as little as possible, but I literally cannot function due to the anxiety without at least one a day. I have also started going to yoga, walking 1-3 miles a day, seeing a therapist weekly, doing breathing exercises, and meditating. Believe it or not, there are a lot of free Iphone apps for these. That is helping me manage the anxiety and depression, but I dread thinking about how the tapering process is going to be, once I start it.

The weird part of my story is that the depression and anxiety started before I decided to go off tramadol, and they are still bad even though my intended 5-day weaning was a failure. But it makes me wonder whether the tramadol itself, after a years' time, was what caused the depression and anxiety to suddenly come on, after a year of being pretty happy. I am going to call my pharmacy tomorrow and ask whether they switched manufacturers last fall, as this is when my problems began.

Thanks for reading my long story, and for posting your own and letting me know I am not alone and not simply having a mental breakdown!

hello all, im about 2 weeks out of an 8day detox for oxy and tramadol, I was given subutex for detox for those 8 days. every thing was fine till my 2nd day home with no subutex, I developed really horrible RLS but all over my body, brain zaps that sent electric shock like feelings threw my arms and legs, one at a time. And a bad burning sensation all over my body.

Burning stopped 2 days ago more or less, but full body day and night restless leg still going strong, way worse at night, also no energy or happiness/enthusiasm. I was on oxy and tramadol "only took tram as directed" for about 4 years.

Does any one have any idea when the restless leg may stop or ease up a lot? Has any one had the burning sensation all over their bodies?

I have been on tramadol for several years (50mg 2xday). I have stopped taking it many times and experienced horrible depression, rls, anxiety, chills and sweats. It usually lasts 3-4 days after stopping cold turkey. I am usually feeling good by day 5 and 100% normal a week after. I love the feeling of euphoria this drug gives me along with the energy. I think that's why I keep getting myself hooked on it:( I have horrible arthritis in both knees and this drug keeps me working as a plumber.

I'm 36 years old and have to provide for my family of 5. I hate that I have to be on drugs to work but I have found no other option. I have developed a bad pain in my left side under my rib cage about six months ago and it goes away if I stop taking the tramadol. I've been to the dr. And had ultrasounds, bloodwork, and GI testing and nothing was found. I think this drug has messed up my liver, pancreas or stomach. I'm on day 2 of quitting and I feel like jumping off a bridge... This sucks!!! I will never take it again!!!!

I am a 59 year old women was put on tramadol for pain in my ribs. I started in Nov. 2013 and in Jan. 2014 stop taking it. I start withdrawal systems had anxiety, high blood pressure depression it was horrible. Went to my Doc he put me back on Tramadol and said to taper off. I am only taking 100mg a day then went to 50mg. I am now back having anxiety, high blood pressure and depression. I think I am going to have a heart attack if something not done. what now?

Debi I had the same problem with going from 100 down to 50, racing heart and sweats at night, the works. I took out only 12.5 mg a week from 100 down instead of such a big dose out all at once, and although I still had some depression and difficulty sleeping, it was manageable. I hope this helps.

I have been taking Tramadol since January (2014) as I await a hip replacement. I also take paracetamol and ibuprofen at their maximum doses and when they were no longer enough to deal with my pain I started the Tramadol and worked up to taking my maximum prescribed dosage (300mg). I still have pain even with all those meds. I have learned the hard way that I can't stop the Tramadol without getting terrible withdrawal, mainly in the form of anxiety (where I just want to crawl out of my skin and can't do anything to feel right/comfortable).

I learned this one day recently when I tried to have a break from the pain relievers for a bit, just to give my body a rest, but realised after only two missed doses that I am addicted to the Tramadol. It was a horrible experience. I also get myriad side-effects from taking it (dry mouth/dehydration, itchy skin, vivid (unpleasant) dreams, nausea, shakes, sleepiness...) but those side effects are significantly better than the withdrawal I experienced. I hate the stuff - for all the side effects, it doesn't completely relieve my pain and I'm addicted to it, I have to take it. I worry about coming off it when I have had my surgery (due for June). Stupid Tramadol.

MZ
I have been on tramadol for 5 years 300mg/day. I finally got off 40 days ago. I immediately got tingling in my feet so bad I could not control them! Add to that the intense anxiety and no sleep. I had tried to taper in the past and got to 100mg. At that point I couldn't go less without the terrible withdrawal happening. The only way I was able to get off was at an inpatient facility. While that got me off of tramadol the lasting effects still linger. While mentally I feel better than in a long time it is the physical feelings that make it hard. I hear that there are different walls that you hit, 1mo. 3mo. 6mo. 9mo. and 1yr. The brain can take that long to retrain itself.

Good luck and stick with it.

Hi, I read your post about Tramadol withdraw and was wondering if the burning sensation has stopped for you? I have been on Tramadol for about 8 years, started with one then two, now up to two in the am and two in the pm, but recently the burning in my abdomen, pelvis and ribs is terrible. Not sure if its from the tramadol as I had an accident that involved a lot of pain. Just trying to decide if its the Tramadol or the accident causing all the BURNING.
Hope you're doing better and I would appreciate your reply if you have some time.
DC

I take Tramadol (up to 300mg per day) and Lortab (40mg/day) for chronic low back pain...

I have found that the lortab works quickly, but wears off quickly too. When I take the tramadol with the lortab, it seems that the pain relief lasts longer. My Doctor seems to have no problem with the respective doses that I am taking.

I am writing to detail the fact that, for me, the tramadol is much prone to causing nasty withdrawal symptoms than that of the lortab (hydrocodone)...

Thinking that the lortab, being an opiate, was certainly the more troublesome and addicting of the two medications, several times in the past, I would just stop taking the lortab for a week or so but continue taking the tramadol. While the pain control was not as effective, I was surprised to find that I was able to simply stop taking the lortab with very little withdrawal symptoms being noticed. It was surprising to me how easy it was to simply quit taking the lortab while continuing on with the tramadol.

Contrary to my experience with lortab, when I attempted to stop taking the tramadol, within twelve hours of I was in a full blown drug addict type of withdrawal situation. I felt like just balling up into the fetal position but could not stand to be still for even a second. I had some kind of weird restless legs syndrome thing and I got a strange ringing in my ears that would come and go depending on how I moved my head. I was very irritable and anxious... I took a long soak in a hot tub and that helped while I was in the tub, but I seemed worse when I got out of the tub.

I now know that, at least for me, tramadol causes much more withdrawal problems than the hydrocodone does.

Regarding the tramadol and stomach. In my case I never had stomach problems until I stopped the tramadol. It is exactly 2 months now from when I took my last tramadol. I have no urges whatsoever to take or even want to take tramadol. Looking back I lost 5 years of my life to doctors and trying to figure out all of the physical problems I had. Then the 3 years of psychiatrists and counselors because I was diagnosed as generalized anxiety and depression. My brain was always numb and in a fog.

Within days of stopping tramadol I started to have stomach pain (not cramps) very different. It took around 7 weeks for the pain to finally slow up. I still have a very bloated stomach but no pain.

My mental state started to improve at around week 6 and now at week 8 I feel mentally like I am finally back in the game. My friends and family notice the change also. I never thought I could feel this way again. I have renewed hope that the longer the distance I get from the tramadol that my physical health will keep improving. There is hope. I am happy to finally be able to share this! I have read many posts through out the years and I can finally post myself to tell how bad the experience really is.

EMO

I feel for you! I took tramadol 300mg for 5 years and for the last 4 been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Finally I am 2 months away from tramadol and my mood is getting back to normal. No more anxiety or depression. It is a terrible drug that I hope some doctors have to take some day to find out what they are really prescribing!

JP

Tramadol I believe is way worse then any other pain meds out there. I was taking 10mg and it gave me the worst side effects I have ever went through on pain med. I felt like I was going to have seizures every time I took em, also I felt like I was lost, confused,dizzy were I couldn't even stand up. But all together it was horrible!!! My doctor wrote a script for my interstitial cystitis, which at no means did it help me with that terrible pain. I would not suggest any one to take tramadol ever!!

I'm glad I found this website but at the same time somewhat depressed because nobody seems to have experienced quite what I'm going through. The max I was ever on Tramadol was 3 X 50mg per day. They had reduced my dosage and I was at about 75mg a day and then I moved and my new doctor doesn't see it as much of a problem as my previous one did and bumped me back up to 150mg per day. But I never got there (still was only taking about 1-1 1/2 50mg per day). I've been on this drug for about three or four years and have been experiencing some really terrifying side effects over the last year (maybe two).

Please note that all of the things I am about to say happen after my second dose of the day. First, it does something to the blood vessels in my neck that makes it feel like I'm choking or somebody's squeezing my neck - hard to explain but that's the best I can do (I actually quit smoking because I thought it was the cigarettes but it wasn't). I also get severe headaches after the second dose that do not go away with aspirin, ibuprofen, or more Tramadol.

At night (this happens both with a third dose and without), I will be on the edge of sleep and suddenly feel like I'm passing out or dying (kind of a physical falling sensation but worse) and I will actually feel myself stop breathing and am jerked out of sleep. This can actually happen several times as I'm trying to go to sleep, but not at any other time (i.e. during the night or day). When I am jerked out of sleep, I am shaking and experiencing tingling in my arms and my heart rate is highly elevated. I'm frustrated because this medication helps with my chronic pain and does not completely make me stupid during the day (a half is manageable while at work). But now I have to stop it (I was on such a low dose withdrawal is not a concern) and go back to dealing with pain.

Any comments are appreciated because I have yet to come across somebody dealing with what I'm dealing with, but this is also for anybody else in the future that might have the same weird reactions. I don't have any idea why this started happening to me but I wish I did. Thank you...KLM

There is a new label that goes on the tramadol bottles. Caution can cause respiratory distress. Makes you wonder huh!

I had the same issues trying to sleep, I couldn't take the med after about 5 pm to be able to sleep through the night. I took 50 in the morning and again about 4pm and then it didn't cause the same jerking awake/breathing problems/heart issues. I hope this helps.

My 24 year old became addicted to Tramadol following a back injury, if I knew what I know now I would never of let him take it. He is on a withdrawal program and since being on it he has had 3 fits, shaking, unable to sleep and hallucination. GP says it's not addictive which is rubbish and what we are all going through as a family is awful

That is helpful in that I'm glad I'm not alone in this reaction, but I still experience the jerking/breathing problem/heart issues even if I take the last one at 2pm or 3pm (not to mention the headaches and choking sensation in my neck). It's very frustrating because this medication is effective in treating the pain and yet didn't totally mess me up at work. I've finally made the choice to move on and try some other options because the cost became just too high and outweighs the benefit. Thank you for your reply!

I have been taking tramadol for a year since I had my big toe amputated because of diabetes at first I didn't see any of the side effects until now I have insomnia I will go to bed at a normal time about 10 pm and by midnight I am wide awake can't sleep for nothing and the itching is horrible I get hives so bad it usually will last for an hour than goes away but it will come back later in the day. I first thought that the hives were from my diabetes but I now know it is from taking tramadol. And withdrawal is so bad I get so paranoid that people are watching me and I get the shakes really bad it will last for about 5 days and I am good after thd. Now I am experiencing leg pain and I am taking tramadol 3 times a day with a Tylenol tablet and it finally worked the side effects are not as bad now.

This probably does not make you feel better but you definitely are not alone! It seems taking tramadol gives some side effects but not nearly as many as when you try to get off of it. The lack of sleep is the most consistent I have seen and am still going through. The rest make you seem like a hypochondriac to your doctor. Many symptoms/problems that the doc usually cannot find an answer.

I really think the physical addiction that the body gets is much worse than any psychological addiction. In my case after seeing how the tramadol has kept me in a holding pattern for 5 years of dull senses and emotions I can finally see what I have been missing out on. You could never have told me that was the case while I was taking it because it seemed to give a feeling of well being.

In my case my feet are still tingling every day. Never happened before or while on tramadol. Only when I stopped taking it did the really crappy stuff start coming out. I still am only 45 days off tramadol but have my life back. I still have a long way to go and know it will take time for my brain to do its repair work. Feeling better mentally but crappy physically still gives me hope. It is taking the first step and getting as far away from tramadol as possible!
JP

I've been taking tramadol for years off and on. I'm a UPS driver and started taking it everyday for SI joint pain. I was told to only take it when needed so that's what I did. I took one 50mg pill every day for about 6 months. Sometimes the pain was bad and I took 2 but not often. I got some injection in my SI joints a month ago and it helped a lot. I started only taking one when I had to work. It didn't take long for withdrawals to kick in. I would take one on Friday for work and go all weekend without. I wasn't hurting so I didn't think about it till Monday morning. The diarrhea started first thing Monday morning along with vomiting. it would last all day and all night with no relief from anything I took. It took about three weeks of only being sick on Monday's and Tuesday before I figured out why. Once food poisoning was ruled out I had to find out what I changed every weekend to cause The violent diarrhea and vomiting. Once I figured out it was the tramadol I took one pill. With in two hours symptoms improved. By the following day I was better. Looking back I now know that I was going through withdrawals all the time and wrote it off as other things. Final symptom count is: extreme diarrhea
Vomiting
Headache
body aches
chills
I am back to taking it everyday until I figure out how to stop without ever going through that again. My doctor told me to take as needed. Never told me not to skip a dose. Being a UPS driver means I don't always have a bathroom available.

I'm on day 10 off high dose tramadol (400-500 mg/day for years) and it has been an unusual hell. Was taking it per dr orders and thought it an innocuous alternative to opiates for severe pain.

My pain mgmt dr had me stop the tramadol and go to vicodin every 4 hrs. Almost immediately began tons of nasal congestion, sneezing fits and nose running, insomnia and anxiety. I thought it was allergies but nothing was working to stop the sinus swelling, could only breathe thru my mouth;

On day 7 I emailed the dr who'd asked me to let him know how I was doing. I told him it was awful, what should I do. He never answered. Luckily I got online and figured out it was the tramadol withdrawal, found a nasal spray that stopped the swelling and over-production of mucous but still have sneezing fits approx every 4 hrs.
I wonder if the dr thinks this just isn't any big deal?
I got pretty scared, wondering if my airway was going to close, unable to sleep, my sinuses filling my head to bursting---oh yea headaches too.

I'm mad at my dr for taking this so lightly. The vicodin helped with pain but didn't offset the withdrawal symptoms at all.

This information on withdrawal needs to be more known to the doctors that prescribe it---and esp those that abruptly take patients off it. It can be avoided with a slow taper.
It does feel good to have my brain back. I take the vicodin only when I can't take the pain, along with regular motrin 600 every 5hrs. I have no idea how long this is going to go on but still must use the nasal spray or am swamped by mucous and the swelling starts. Don't know if anyone else has had this. I'm 66 and have some serious medical problems and am amazed at how cavalier the stopping of high dose/long duration of this medication was.
Please get the word out. I hate this drug now, used to think it was a holy grail.

I too experienced this great sense of wellbeing when I took 4 tramadol per day. For the better part of a year I took 1 every 4 hours, as directed. The problem for me happened when I began to cut back. Then all the wind that tramadol had put in my sails simply vanished. I'm now down to 1 per day and feel like I can hardly make it through the day without a nap. I think it behaves differently at different dosages.

Take this drug for trigeminal neuralgia. Nerve severed during dental surgery. Horrible year getting adjusted to meds. Falls, meaness, really lots of pain. Called the suicide disease. True. Tramadol has saved me. Also Klonipin.. Remember at 61 with an incurable injury this drug is helping me have some quality of life. That is all I have been able to take and I thank the people who invented this.

These drugs are used as anti-seizure meds and to treat depression. They are not for everyone. I am at this moment making it without till my script. ready. Mind over matter and over the counter extra strength pain meds. and nausea med. This will pass but I am in severe pain with headache, earache, and pain that is indescribable. All due to my condition and some withdrawals too.

I have been taking these meds for 15 yrs since colon cancer and serious spine disorder restless leg syndrome anxiety. I am thankful and have been given some horrible meds that have not worked.

Man! I hear you Jennifer. I have known about this for a long time but I just got the 2nd of 2 main issues that I've had for quite sometime now taken care of and after being on Tramadol 50 and ER Tramadol 200 for 7 years now I'm stopping the extended release first but know that I have all of the symptoms on this web site so far and am so scared.

I literally cannot stand the crawling out of my skin all night. I was just looking for, and couldn't find a site to tell me how long I'm going to have to boulder through this. Day one very very anxious. Good luck to You and my prayers are with all of us. it's too bad that the help has to be this way when You hope it's no longer needed any more. I too have to go through getting off cymbalta when I am done with this. Just don't want to get off everything at once. )0:

Hi Ric,
I got Serotonin syndrome as I was on Tramadol and Cymbalta together. I was told to stop both immediately as I could die. Easier said than done. I went through a month of pure hell. Got all the withdrawal symptoms together. After a month it subsided. Still got the occasional twitches and tearful episodes. I was blessed by finding a doctor that listened to my complaints about my sciatic nerve pain. She did heaps more investigations and now I am on new medication and feel better than what I have felt like in the last 4 years.

Jennifer
I really feel for you. I was in the same place Feb 1st this year. I too had the same problems as you but added the stomach pain and tingling in my feet all the time. I was prescribed 3 strong sleep drugs at once and only slept maybe 3 hrs for 3 weeks. What I have found is that after around 6 weeks my brain finally came around and the depression left. I finally felt back in the world again.

It has been 4 full months and I still have the tingly feet all the time and stomach issues. My head feels pressure kind of like when I was on Tramadol. It is a long road and I do feel that eventually after my brain rewires itself that things will get even better! The journey is not fun though. Please stay strong and know that even though it is the fight of your life that you will get through it stronger. I agree with you that the doctors have no clue what this drug is doing to people. I wish a few of them would have to take tramadol and then someone tell them to just stop it. I think they would have a different view of it. With all of the physical symptoms created from the withdrawal it makes you look like a hypochondriac to your doctor and they think you are crazy! It sucks!
Good luck and stay strong!

I'm sure you did not mean to imply that people who experience a problem are doing so because they are not taking the medication as prescribed. Certainly you are aware that everyone has a different body chemistry, and may be on different medication regimens that may not play nicely with a specific drug.

I found this page because I have taken it tramadol (150mg total over the course of the day), and recently stopped--tramadol and a couple of other things. I have been recovering from a severely adverse reaction to Reclast in March. It has been the worst struggle of my life. This is a drug given through an IV infusion, so no chance of my not taking it "properly." After awhile of this, I realized the tramadol was not really helping with pain, and the muscle relaxant was not working either, not the anti-anxiety medication. I read their official paper work and saw no warnings about discontinuing. I felt since they were not working I could up the dose or stop taking them, and I was curious to see if I would feel better. Yes and no. For the last several days my tremor has been worse, horrid headaches, a new fascination for re-opening old scars from a divorce. As I stood there this morning, making my decaff, I thought "this is like withdrawal is portrayed." So, I got online and found this page. It pretty much covers the nut.

I am on day three since cutting it off, so I will just sweat it out, but I wish I had known about this earlier. I am glad it works for you, but you should consider yourself lucky. Reclast is ok for most people, too, but turns out I am not one of them. I am just glad I am not the small percentage who go into renal failure and die within the first few days.

hiya, I would suggest you write to your health minister, this has to be taken seriously esp if the hospital isn't taking it onboard.

I have been on tramadol for more than 10 yrs, have been using it because of fibromyalgia and I have arthritis of the spine, I have complained about more than a few of the side effects but I was looked at like I had two heads by a couple of doctors, they were putting it down to the fibromyalgia.

I am a smoker and my breathing, day on day off can vary, I can do very minimal some days as it is with the fibro etc, but when my breathings bad it really is very upsetting and uncomfortable

Please don't let this go keep complaining until you get the answers you deserve. Best of luck to your mum and yourself. I am currently going to seek advise from my g.p to come off this nasty drug.

Hez from Aberdeenshire

i really feel sorry for all who have had these horrid experiences with tramadol, i have been on a slow release tramadol 200 mg and the dissolving tramadol i can take up to 60 mg a day for over ten days, i feel so ill headaches gastric problems, breathing is shallow, although i am a smoker, but intending to stop !

I suffer from fibromyalgia and doctors have convinced me over the years that this was the best medication for fibro , i also have arthritis in spine, now what i can see a lot of the fibro suffers who is on tramadol may think its the fibro thats giving them these symptons , i also experience headaches daily, i get shaky hands some days but not sure if thats a side effect of the tramadol or the fibro. i have recently came off two other medications that doctors have prescribed me but still feel really ill... so i am going to have to wean myself off the tramodol and start from a clean slate , and what i have read on here this is just appalled me to find out what tramadol is doing to people.... best of luck folks i know i will need it :)
heather from Aberdeenshire

I had two knee surgeries one right after another one on March 20, 2014 and another on April 4, 2014. When I was taken to the ER on the date of the injury which was March 16th, 2014. I was put on Tramadol for pain and was sent home, they took x-rays and told me nothing was broken had some bruising and I was given three pills and was told I could walk out of the hospital. I could not walk out of the hospital and was told to follow up with my normal doctor the next day. I did and I had an MRI and x-rays done again. My knee at the top of my tibia was sheered off like you were peeling an apple which was bone and I was in a lot of pain.

My regular dr referred me to a orthopedic surgeon and four days later I had my first surgery. Still on Tramadol, I came out of surgery, dr couldn't fix it so I was sent to another dr and he put a 2 inch titanium screw in it. I have been going to PT and have been on crutches for 4 months now, still taking the Tramadol. I have tried to get off the Tramadol but when I do, I feel like I have the flu, no appetite, weepy, absolutely cannot sleep at all and I only have been taking one a day at night. I take it because it makes me sleep sooooo good. I am also on blood pressure pills and an antidepressant each one per day. I want to be off the Tramadol completely and have called my dr to see how I need to wean off.

I have been taking Tramadal for about 10 years for my shoulder pain. This April I was having carpal tunnel surgery and the doctor said I should not take Tramadal and Mobic because he was prescribing a Hydrocodone drug for surgery pain. I quit both tramadal and mobic and the next day I was experiencing WITHDRAWAL!

I called thier office to make sure that I wasn't suppose to take tramadal, and they said I COULD TAKE TRAMADAL. My symptoms quit. Then I went to see my reg. doctor for a painful knee and he said not to take Mobic or Tramadal, and I quit both, and I was going thru the same withdrawal again. Constant Crying. I had Racing Heart, excruciating HOT FLASHES, high pulse, high blood sugar, sweating, numb left arm and numb left leg. Excruciating nervousness and terrible weakness. Did not sleep for 2 days. I felt nauseated.

I thought I was dying. I could not concentrate or think clearly. It was PURE HELL!!!!! I did go to see my doctor but he was not in. The Doctor that I did see said I should take a tramadal to take off the edge. I said no. I then saw my reg. doctor on Monday and he said that I should try Lorizopan (anxiety drug) to take the edge off.

I tried a half pill and it put me to sleep. But I have taken that 1/2 pill for 2 days, and I don't think it's helping much. At least I slept some. I NEVER WANT TO GO THROUGH THAT AGAIN!! It's been a week and I still have extreme weakness and shakyness and high blood sugar. MY ADVICE, DO NOT GET ON THIS DRUG, TRAMADAL!!!

My husband and I have danced with this devil on and off for years. I have stage 4 endometriosis and he lower back pain. It's a love/hate. The only thing that eases the withdrawal symptoms is hydrocodone. We take 1 500mg Vicodin 2xs a day for a few days to help ease the tramadol withdrawal. Takes us about a week to stop most of the withdrawal symptoms. The depression and low energy level issues take a month or more to stabilize. I am proscribed 50mg 3x's daily, him 50mg 6x's daily. The flu, combined with restless body syndrome (wish it were just our legs), the need to stretch/crack every bone/muscle, weight loss, depression, irritability when stopping is ridiculous if you try to stop cold turkey. I would much rather get 2 Vicodin 500mg a day than this BS but Dr.'s can't/won't proscribe opiates much anymore.

I always feel like being put on "the rack" would help... that if my body could be stretched to the limit it would relieve the withdrawal feeling of wanting to unzip my skin and crawl out. At first when you take it, it's like speed. Major energy and sense of well being, but that goes away over time unless you up the frequency or dosage. Other than ibuprofen/Tylenol/aleve we take nothing.

Can you tell me the name of your new medication? Thanks.

I have been on Tramadol for 2.5 years for fibromyalgia. It has been very effective for the pain, without making me feel tired. I was up to 100 mg ER + 50 mg in the morning, and 50 mg at night. I occasionally have the jerking body motions in bed at night (legs & abdomen) and constant ringing in the ears. I regularly experience a zipping noise in my ears, on top of the ringing, (similar to sand blocks rubbing together). It is intermittent, but always when I am due for a dose, and sometimes occurs randomly when I am not due for a dose. My hair has become very brittle and dull, and I am not certain if it is related.

Due to these symptoms, I recently reduced my dosage of Tramadol;I am currently taking 50 mg in the morning and 50 mg at night, along with malic acid, 1 gm two times per day. Initially, it was easy to decrease and I felt terrific on the malic acid however that was a month ago. Now, with the decrease, I have noted that by 7 pm, I am having increased fibro pain, the zipping noise in my ears, a sore throat and a runny nose every evening, accompanied by a feeling of agitation, that is all relieved by taking Tramadol. I am also in a lot of pain waking up every morning on this reduced dose, and not sleeping through the night anymore. The zipping noise has awakened me in the middle of the night. Seems the malic acid effect was short-lived.

I see my PCP in two weeks and hopefully we will come up with a plan to manage both the pain and side effects. Until then, I have decided to cut my Tramadol 50 mg tablets in half and take a half dose at 4 pm and the another 25 mg at bedtime along with Melatonin to see if that works better. If it does, I may cut the morning dose in half and spread that out as well so that I take 25 mg every 6 hrs, and then stretch it to 8 hrs. I will post the results.

Aside from medication, I am walking 2-3 miles 4-5 days a week and doing weight resistant exercises once per week, with a goal of 2-3 times per week. Would love to feel normal every day without the meds and I keep trying!

I am curious if anyone else has the hearing side effects; I have read about brain zaps but this is strictly hearing, no physical zapping.

It's true. I used round tabs for years, then CVS went to oval ones and they made me sick. Then I went to target and theirs were skinny ones. Those did not make me sick. So I believe those are definitely a different formula!!
why?

These were not ultram but tramadol.

How are you doing with the tramadol withdrawl? Is it getting better?

I have been on Ultram (Tramadol) 50mg once a day for bad low back pain (stenosis) that I endure for 2 yrs now, pain going down on both legs and mornings are terrible for me, to start walking, I wake up in pain with no energy to get up. still driving my car but not going out of the house more than one hour, pain is too terrible.I had to quit Advil (which didn't help at all...) I end up with severe stomach problems with it, and more high blood pressure. I am 72 yrs old.

Tramadol helps a bit more than Advil but I take white wine everyday, I am depressed, cannot meet my friend like before, and wine pushes me out of my blues... sometimes. Last night I took more and today was real bad. Diarrhea since this morning and no relief from pain. Also cramps and nausea... I think the wine doesn't help. I drank a lot of water only today, hardly eat, hoping it will be better tomorrow... hope it is o.k. May be will have a soup for supper..

Had some infiltrations 2 yrs ago and it didn't help a bit. Seeing my psychiatrist this week. Heard lot people are on Lyrica.. is it better...so many different opinions.
The way it goes, I wont be to walk at all if nothing helps.. I was a real active person till it hit me, kayak, natation, cross c.-ski... all this is behind me.
Stairs are very hard for me, and I am still living in my house..
Good talking to you, God help us...

I've been taking Tramadol since Oct 2010. I have the whole lower back package of bulging discs, spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, scoliosis and a few other things going on. I've been suffering from severe chronic pain since Oct 1996 aka the injury date. Its gotten worse over time. I also have chonic GERD and have had plenty of stomach acid in the nasal passage and lungs.

Needless to say, the problem breathing has gotten worse. Yet, the Veteran's Hospital keeps me on this worthless medication. I nearly pass out when I have to bend over to tie my shoes. It does not even give me any relief whatsoever. I also have Insomnia which means taking Trazadone. My Tramadol prescription is 150 mg a day and any more than that I really have problems breathing. To the point my inhalers do not work. They barely give me any relief on 150 mg. If Texas allowed the use of marijuana use for chronic back pain, I'd be the first to sign up for it and skip taking a few of my medications I'm taking and its 8 different kinds.

And for the record, Tramadol has been changed to a Class IV drug.
Controlled Status:
On July 2, 2014, the DEA published in the Federal Register the final rule placing tramadol into schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act. This rule will become effective on August 18, 2014. All regulatory requirements applicable to schedule IV controlled substances will apply to tramadol beginning

August 18, 2014. The final rule is available online at
www.regulations.gov

The following is all my opinion:

Tramadol shouldn't be treated as a painkiller. Its effects on serotonin and norepinephrine make it more like an antidepressant.

I take between one and a half and two 50mg tablets per day and it has changed my life. After taking tramadol for depression, I realize it's been 30 years since I've been happy. My fears disappear and my energy rises after I take tramadol and I finally feel good after being miserable for so long. 1

That such a small amount affects me so profoundly suggests to me that most of the problems people have with tramadol come from overdosing. Many of the symptoms I see here are similar to those that occur when people overdose on SRAs, SSRIs, or SSNRIs. The withdrawal symptoms are also similar.

The problem is that tramadol is such modest painkiller that large doses are needed to match the effectiveness of opiates. As a result it's difficult to avoid the side effects common with taking too much of an SSNRI. The threshold dose for pain relief seems only slightly less than the dose that causes SSNRI side effects.

This doesn't make tramadol useless, though. As I said, the antidepressant character of the drug has changed my life (and maybe saved it). Nothing else has worked.

I hope someone studies the use of tramadol as an antidepressant. Its misuse as a pain killer has given it a bad reputation. I think it could help many people, especially those that need a quick rescue when a traditional SSRI might take weeks to work. For me, the blues go away in mere hours after I take it.

The only problem I have is with the insomnia. It isn't unpleasant, but I know intellectually that the body needs sleep. Still, it's better than the days and days of grey skies I've had for much of my life.

Again, all my opinion.


Hi I was taking 8 sometimes 10 x 50mg tramadol hydrochloride capsules for lower back pain for about 10 years. I then had 2 heart attacks and cardiact arrest in one night I was brought back and had 2 stents fitted and diagnosed with heart failure. I then dropped down to 3 x 50 mg per day 1 morning 1 evening and 1 night time.

I have been suffering shortness of breath which I figured was caused by my heart failure the heart consultant has said that I have a good ejection factor and after testing my chest and lung function cant find any reason for my shortness of breath and to get my g.p. look into other avenues. 1 g.p. told me it could be in my mind and prescribed some anti depressants which I will not take as I don't consider myself depressed.

Looking at the effects of tramadol on these comments I was wondering if I were able to stop would I get my breathing back and if so how long after I have stopped could I expect to be back to normal or is the damage irreversible. thank you regards peter.

Leave a comment

Share your comments or questions with the People's Pharmacy online community. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from other visitors to this web site should not be considered a substitute for appropriate medical attention. Concerns about medications should be discussed with a health professional. Do not stop any medication without first checking with your physician.

Check this box to be notified by email when follow-up comments are posted.