The People's Perspective on Medicine

Serious Tramadol (Ultram) Side Effects & Withdrawal Symptoms

Tramadol works to ease pain for some patients. Others find that tramadol (Ultram) side effects and withdrawal can be unbearable. NEVER stop it suddenly!

America is undergoing a massive opioid anxiety attack. It has been called an epidemic by lawmakers and the media. While many people used opioids responsibly for chronic pain, there has been substantial abuse and way too many deaths. As a result of scary headlines and DEA crackdowns, many physicians have become understandably fearful about prescribing drugs like hydrocodone (Lortab, Norco, Vicodin) or oxycodone (OxyContin). Instead, doctors are turning to different kinds of pain relievers. But one commonly prescribed drug for pain is not benign. Tramadol (Ultram) side effects can be quite serious. This reader shares a poignant story:

A Tramadol Tale of Woe and Intrgue:

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.

How Does Tramadol Work?

A. Tramadol (brand names Ultram & Ultracet) is a very 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 a “controlled” substance (the way Vicodin, OxyContin or hydrocodone are). Doctors could prescribe Ultram without using a DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) number. That reassured many health professionals. The DEA would not come after them the way it might if they were prescribing oxycodone.

Tramadol Was Not Supposed to be “Addicting”

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 hydrocodone or oxycodone.

A Little-Known Tramadol Effect:

We suspect that most health professionals do not truly understand the pharmacology of tramadol. They know that the DEA won’t spank them for prescribing it. They know it is not as potent as hydrocodone or oxycodone.

But do they know that 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. Tramadol has not been approved to treat depression, however. 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 (Ultram) 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

Responding to Our Reader’s Concerns:

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.

Tramadol and Older People:

The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare has included tramadol in its list of drugs to (BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology, October 25, 2017):

“avoid unless special reason for prescription.”

The Swedish researchers consider tramadol a “potentially inappropriate medication” in older people, especially if they are identified with “intellectual disability.” In other words, if someone is confused, they may become more confused while taking a drug like tramadol (see anticholinergic effects below).

Similar Stories from Readers:

O.G. reported:

“My doctor (and the orthopedist to whom I was referred for severe hip pain) prescribed Tramadol for recurring pain. I was nauseated, dizzy, had hot flashes, and many of the other side effects this supposedly safe drug causes.

“When I tried to stop I went through what I can only describe as withdrawal. It lasted for about 48 hours. When it was over it felt like coming out from under a cloud. This from a patient like me who is careful in her use of medications.”

Mac in South Carolina shared this:

“I took tramadol for a brief time for back pain. I tried it on three different occasions. I experienced extreme vertigo, nausea, diarrhea, and a migraine-like headache with just one dose each of those times. I had to hold on to the wall to get myself to the bathroom without falling down and could not tolerate bright light. This lasted for days.”

C.S. In Florida was also sensitive to tramadol (Ultram) side effects:

“I was prescribed tramadol for pain. After only 3 doses I experienced nausea, severe vomiting, headache, tingling in both arms and disorientation. I feared I was having a stroke and went to the emergency room. A CT scan revealed no stroke.

“I would never take this medication again. When I go to see any doctor I list tramadol in the ‘allergic to’ section of medical forms so I am not prescribed it again.”

Tramadol and Anticholinergic Activity:

Very few physicians realize that tramadol also has anticholinergic (AC) activity. That means it interferes with the action of the crucial brain chemical acetylcholine. This might explain why the woman who contacted us described her mother’s “confusion” as a possible complication of tramadol.

Learn more about the impact of anticholinergic drugs at this link:

“Are Anticholinergic Drugs Bad for Your Brain?

Tramadol has weak AC activity. But if someone were taking other drugs that also have this effect, the total AC burden could become problematic. This is especially true for older people. Here is a link to more information on drugs with anticholinergic activity.

Tramadol (Ultram) Side Effects & Withdrawal

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
• Insomnia, sleeping difficulties, nightmares
• Flu-like symptoms
• Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite
• Depression
• Hallucinations, unusual thoughts
• Aggresiveness

Here are just a few of the many stories we have received about this complication:

Keiko clearly experienced withdrawal after stopping tramadol:

“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 “withdrawal” symptoms again.”

Lorraine reports that tramadol withdrawal was awful:

“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!”

 Anonymous in Pennsylvania:

“Contrary to what doctors may say, this drug is very addictive. Use it sparingly and carefully. There is a small percentage of people who seem to be able to stop this drug cold turkey and not experience withdrawal. They are very lucky.

“More and more it’s becoming recognized that tramadol is an addictive drug and causes terrible withdrawal for many. The worst of it will last anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks and then, depending on how long you’ve been taking the drug, you may continue to experience withdrawal symptoms for months afterward.

“I can’t even begin to explain how bad the withdrawal is. If you look it up, you will find numerous reports and testimonials from others who are trying to get off this drug and can’t because the withdrawal is so bad. Others can vouch for the hellaciousness of it.

“For me the worst physical symptom was constant restless legs. Emotionally, I was extremely depressed and had zero energy. Just lifting my arm felt like a huge effort. Going up and down the stairs put me out of breath. My internal thermostat was totally out of whack. I was hot one minute, and cold the next. My hair and clothes would get drenched from night sweats.

“The list goes on and on. I don’t EVER want to go through that kind of withdrawal again. I’m not saying don’t take this drug. But do be careful and try to stay on it for only as short a length of time as possible. Oh, I should also note I had a seizure while withdrawing from tramadol, which is not uncommon when coming off this drug.”

Generic Tramadol Issues:

In addition to the side effects and 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:

P.J.B. reported the following:

“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.”

Jim also had generic drug trouble:

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

The People’s Pharmacy Perspective on tramadol:

Some people do well with tramadol. It this drug relieves their pain without side effects we are delighted. Others, however, may get modest pain relief and suffer symptoms such as dizziness, nausea and confusion. Older people may be especially vulnerable to such complications. Here is our bottom line:

• 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. Let your doctor know if tramadol is causing symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, drowsiness, dry mouth, insomnia or confusion.

Share your own story or comment below.

Revised 10/30/17

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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I started Tramadol when it first got approved in 1995 and have been on since then. I was prescribed tramadol after my lower back surgery.

Over the years I developed some memory problems and muscle aches and pains. I was on 100 mgs, 50 in the morning and 50 later in the day.

Over the last 45 days I’ve been weaning off Tramadol. I cut my dose in half over those 45 days. The weaning process has been hell. I’ve experienced high anxiety, and my knee joints are so sore that I can hardly walk.

I do medical marijuana at night so I can sleep. I just started some gabapentin which manages the skeletal/muscular pain.

I’m in the process of seeing if I can get it compounded so I can do 10% cuts over a one month period from here on out.

I always read patients’ comments but never comment on my own. Now I want to chime in on the seriousness of Tramadol withdrawal. I sustained an insufficiency fracture of my sacrum due to osteoporosis. After having terrible side effects from oxycodone my doctor prescribed Tramadol. I took four a day for two months, three a day for two weeks, two a day for an additional two weeks, and finally one a day for one week. Then I stopped.

The first side effect I noticed was a feeling of anxiety. Then came the insomnia. Also felt like I had a stomach virus times three. I am now on day four and have contacted my Doctor who dismissed my symptoms as normal. My only recourse is to go back on it, and taper off again more slowly or suck it up. I choose to later. People need to be very aware of how dependent you can become on this drug.

I was diagnosed with Reactive Arthritis in January 2014. The pain started in Nov 2013 in just the left knee and rapidly spread to the major tendons of both knees, shoulders, jaw and hips. The inflammation in my jaw has caused permanent tinnitus. I really didn’t think it could get any worse.

Come Christmas I was put on a prescribed anti-inflamatory drug that did nothing for the pain. Nothing at all. I winced to lift my leg in and out of the car. I had trouble walking and had to quickly elevate it with ice when I got home. I was suffering. When it started to spread to other joints I could hardly dress myself or lower my torso to the commode. Can you imagine this? The pain was just that unbearable.

My orthopedic doc referred me to a rheumatolgist whom I saw the first week in January. I was wheeled into her office in, get this, a wheelchair. She prescribed Sulfasalazine and Prednisone. Within 10 weeks I was finally put on Humira. But the damage was done. Although I could move better the debilitating pain was still there to such a great degree it was lowering my quality of life.

Before this diagnosis I was a happy, healthy, and active 51 year-old women who loved to partner dance 4 x a week. Over the course of treatment my final medicine protocol was Enbrel, Celebrex and Tramadol and limited Tylenol. I wish I didn’t need to take any of these meds, yet because of them I have some quality of my life back.

Tramadol works for me at 50mg-100mg per day and on non-flare days I don’t take it at all. Chronic pain suffering is cruel and ruthless. All these meds are poison in my opinion yet without them I had no life at all.

I have had doctors who scoffed each time I switched insurance coverage at the Tramadol insisting I go on a different poison that had worse side effects that at each time outweighed any pain relief they provided, like Lyrica, Cymbalta, Effexor… the list goes on. Why would they take away what is working? I literally could not stay in the correct lane of traffic while on Gabapentin. Although it did wonders for my pain I was stumbling into walls, had horrid constipation, nightmares and bladder irritation IC flares. I mean, my gosh, this absolutely was just not worth the joint pain relief so I stopped taking it. I understand it is a godsend for other sufferers. And I can respect that. I also understand the above drugs are very, very difficult to get off of. Another drawback.

For me personally, I would rather take medicine I need for that day as apposed to one I must take daily or suffer withdrawals if I don’t. Tramadol simply gives me the needed pain relief without debilitating side effects. I agree with those who suffered greatly while taking it and chose to stop it. Medicine is, after all, not an exact science. Do what works for you. And respect that what doesn’t work for you just may be the magic drug that works for others.

Biologics are great medicines that work well until they stop working. I was subsequently switched to Remicade in June 2018. I hope that it continues to work for me as long as possible. In spite of the biologic treatment I was still unable to do most things like short walks, climb 4 stairs, or squat down without tremendously increasing inflammation pain that would last the rest of the day and kept me inside on the sofa. Tramadol is what helps the untreatable pain from reaching an 8 on the pain scale and helps me indure more physical activity for which I am eternally grateful.

Many people with autoimmune conditions such as mine have posted the many trials and errors of biologics but that doesn’t mean we should not prescribe them to those they are helping. This mindset just doesn’t make sense to me. Does it make sense to you?

The day Tramadol is taken off the market in the U.S. is the day I move to a Country that provides it.

I hope my story has provided another outlook on the positive use of Tramadol and the quality of life it has given to me and many others who suffer from unrelenting life-long chronic pain.

I had a herniated discs in my lower back that caused severe left leg pain constantly. I get my healthcare through the VA and of course the have completely stopped prescribing narcotics unless you’re dying, had surgery or have amputations. I was prescribed tramadol and it worked like a charm. I took it from December of 2017 and started trying to come off the medication after my discetomy and hemilaminotomy on August 1, 2018. My dosage was two 50mg pills every 4 hours. (About 8 months).

My doctor told me that this medication isn’t a narcotic so it isn’t addictive and is safe to take. I don’t think doctors read up on anything that they prescribe, they just listen to the sales rep and on they go with it.

One time prior to this, I ran out and was feeling extremely unwell. I had constant brain shocks. It felt like my brain was under a constant supply of low voltage electricity. It would worsen if I darted my eyes or turned my head to look around. That was the most uncomfortable and confusing part. I had a horrible loss of memory and lost the ability to think quickly and sharply. I felt like I would constantly lose my train of thought and forget easy to remember things. My entire body ached. I felt like I had the worst flu I had ever had. Extreme night sweats, nightmares, swollen tonsils, horrible back and front neck pain and stiffness, headaches, pain behind my eyes, slight joint stiffness and no appetite. I went to the ER at the VA and the ER doctor said it’s not withdrawal because tramadol isn’t addictive. Well, turns out he’s not very knowledgeable. He said I was dehydrated. I spent a lot of time in Iraq in full gear in the middle of the summer where temps would reach 120 degrees. Trust me, I know what dehydration feels like, this wasnt it. They gave me an IV and the shot version of tramadol and sent me in my way. I got the tramadol refill and felt 100% once I started taking it again.

Well, I had my surgery and tried to stop taking the pills. Bad move. All the symptoms are back and I don’t know what to do. I’m trying to take one pill when I would normally take two but that doesn’t seem to be helping much.

My doctor will be reading this article (had to close my eyes and put my head down for 2 full minutes to think of the word article, happens all the time) and will get an earful from me. I told my friend yesterday, “for all the pain and suffering I’m going through now, i wish the medicine would have at least made me high when i took it, maybe then this would be worth it haha.” I hope all reading this will have an easier time coming off the medicine. Hopefully I can find an answer and a solid solution to this

I have been taking tramadol (50mg 3 x a day) for six years. I would like to get off and see if I can handle the pain any other way but am terrified of the withdrawal. I spoke to a pharmacist who instructed me to cut back one quarter of a pill every 10 days and I would not have the withdrawal symptoms. I am going to try.

I have been on Tramadol for a year and a half I’m so ready to put this phase behind me. Yes, I loved the feeling that it gave me but once I tried to go without it. That’s when my body started to feel weird. I have yet to come off but I’m cutting the dosage down and will be on my way to ending this battle.

I took my last Tramadol 10 days ago. I had been taking 4 pills a day for a year, then dropped to 3 pills for 3 years. The withdrawal has been brutal. My Rheumatologist encouraged me to do this. I live in Oregon & used cannabis to treat the withdrawal symptoms (RSO saved me) & will use it to manage my chronic pain. I ingest it & suffer no side effects. I’ve had 2 surgeries, took Vicodin for one & Vicodin/Percocet for the other. I used as prescribed & had no problems stopping when I no longer needed the meds.

I weaned off Tramadol by halfing my doses. 4 days 1/2, 4 days another half….I’m off it completely for 2weeks now….but I am dealing with the extreme fatigue of said weaning.
It’s gets a little better every day, the trick is not to rush it, and yes, I’ve had to wean off the drug 3 times now.
Good luck to all who attempt it. You learn every try.

No one wants to become addicted to any substance or for a loved one to become dependent. Having said this, I think politicians and the media have created an unnecessary hysteria. The fault lies with drug manufacturers and doctors,( a lot of corruption); gifts, bribes, free vacations from pharma to doctors. Read expose “Blood Medicine.”
But somehow, in the end, it is the patient ‘s fault , who is then stigmatized . There are many people who would not be able to work ,exercise, or make a living because of chronic unbearable pain.without a drug like Tramadol. And there are those that do perfectly well without side effects.
The problem is when draconian drug policies are implemented without much warning, the govt. is interfering witb the sanctity of the doctor-pt. confidential relationship causing distrust between them; unless a politician happens to be a pain management specialist, he/she has no right to be making healthcare decisions for broad groups of people; no one’s brain body, pain is the same. Interfering in the judgment of a physician who has had years of medical training is simply wrong. Patients are lied to, doctors accept major gifts and bribes from sales reps to prescribe certain medications. Many very harmful, non-narcotic drugs too. Who profits? The black market… Portugal has no prohibitions against any drug, and much less drug abuse than countries that do. We are living in a police state…Think about it; it’s not just about tramadol, it’s about big brother.

I have been on tams for 3yrs since i amputated my right leg,i take 200mg a day,it make me sweat alot all the time ,i experince stomach fullness all the time even when am not on it because i may take it for 3days in a week but whenever i stop for that week i still experince stomach fullness,hope that not really bad.someone help please.

I have had bad, hospitalizing migraines since I was little. So after a three day migraine and no break in it, I call my new doctor for my normal demeral shot to break my migraine. New doctor informed me they don’t use demeral and would give me tramadol. It broke my migraine, with side affects of bad dizziness, nausea & impossible to go to sleep for 6 hr. So 6hr later my migraine is back full force. And I still have all the side affects.

I took tramadol for 2 1/2 months with no side effects, until at the end my body started wanting more, and I refused to go down that road. I weaned off properly. I was only taking a 50 mg each day. A few weeks off of tramadol, and I started having panic attacks to the point I could not stay home alone from fear or leave my house. I feared every evening as darkness fell. I felt like everything was closing in on me when it was dark or rainy. I cried a lot and was so fearful from things like that. I used ice packs to keep me in touch with myself and calm me. Those helped SO much.

I also became agoraphobic which was horrible. You CANNOT get medical help from home. I read, read, and read. Made numerous worthless calls with no help except trying antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications through phone and email with my doctor which all just made me ill, so those did not work out. I tried to walk like usual around my neighborhood but would panic if I lost sight of my house. This was all a year ago, and I still cannot go more that an hour from home with my husband driving, and I still have to use aromatherapy in the car, chew gum, etc. I still get very nervous about getting stuck in traffic or construction without quick escape. Second floor buildings are also out, and I used to have no problem with that. I worry how long it will be before going back to normal or if I will ever be completely normal. It’s a scary situation. I am very hopeful for a better spring and summer. Diet and physical activity are important in recovery.

People are not aware of PAWS. Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome. This is what I am dealing with here. I am so glad I did not take tramadol for longer than I did. The initial withdrawal is one level but the PAWS is the true nightmare if you are one of the people who may be affected from it. I had to learn the hard way by reading on my own after it was already too late. I was trying to understand what was happening without much medical help.

I would NEVER want to go through this again. It is a very SLOW progression but I am so thankful that I am not where I started despite still having some depression going on from being limited. I wish everyone in withdrawal stage the very best!

I am on the regular generic it causes me the WORST BREATHING PROBLEMS FROM ATHSMA OMG

Tramadol , I spelled it wrong.
Sometimes I miss a dose or double dose
Because I forget. No problems noted.
Also agree, not all Tramadol is created equal.

I have been taking Tramsdol since Spring 1997
It was Ultram in those days
I had FM symptoms and undiagnosed thyroid condition. I learned about this drug in a FM newsletter. I had to ask the Doctor about trying it
50mg did nothing. I bumped it up to 100mg first thing in the morning, then 5-6hrs later another 100.
Within 2-3 days I knew this drug worked. My muscle pain was greatly relieved and it helped the chronic fatigue. The only side effects were dry mouth and chatting more. I never take it in the evening as it disrupted my sleep.
When generics were used I noticed they did not work as well
For me the serotonin uplift was needed
I mentally felt better
I have not increased the pills taken per day
I agree that this med may not be for everyone and may work differently for people
However for me it is so helpful
Tramsdol does nothing for my arthritis pain but helps muscle pain, stiffness in AM, fatigue and helps improve mood.
I have never felt a buzz or a need to increase the dosage.
Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.
Most drugs have side effects and this means OTC drugs. Common sense needs to prevail. For me this med works
Thank you for reading.

Some people use Tramadol and it relieves pain for the first time in years. Others just can’t take it. I believe there’s a genetic marker to indicate if you can take this kind of drug. It clearly has interactions with other meds and different risks for older people.

Doses vary tremendously also in user comments, and we don’t know what else they were taking. I will be trying at low dose 10mg. For depression of a certain kind…abandonment, betrayal and some other stuff, evidently it works in the brain well for that particular kind of trauma. There’s now research on this, they are using it in Switzerland to good effect for some people.

If it works hooray for me, if not, I’ll stop using it.

Back in 2007, I broke my back and was placed on Hydrocodone. After about 3 weeks, I was concerned that I may become addicted to the opiate. My orthopedic physician, then introduced me to Tramadol (Ultram). He told me this “synthetic opioid” was a safer alternative and should not be habit forming and only had some mild side effects.

Fast forward 10 years, building up a tolerance to Tramadol and only taking it as prescribed, I went from 100 mg to 400 mg (daily). I only stopped at the 400 mg daily dose, because it was the most my PCP could legally prescribe. So, by October 2017 I was still in severe pain and now had a serious schedule 4 drug addiction.

I suffered horrendous side-effects from the years of taking this controlled substance. I had very noticeable tremors. There were times I feared I had Parkinson’s disease. I was very fatigued and could barely find enough energy to make it to work. I always felt restless, but still could hardly get out of bed. I had bouts of constipation, and very sharp abdominal pains. I had a weak urine stream, and forget anything about obtaining an erection (almost non-existent). There were awful headaches, which became so intense I had to get a CAT scan. The scan found nothing, however, and the neurologist seemed very concerned that I had been on Tramadol so long. My anxiety was so bad, I had to be placed on Xanax. I simply always felt nervous, and at one point was even prescribed Ativan. Often I would find myself having to take a very deep breath, because my breathing had become constantly shallow and short.

I could only function when the Tramadol had leveled in my system. I would have to purposely time this out with my daily activities. The worst was when the Tramadol started to wear off, and I found an overwhelming blanket of dread and disparity come over me. There were numerous times that this lead to horrific suicidal thoughts. I would become quickly agitated and extremely aggressive (verbally). My behavior was simply toxic, and I pushed many people, including my family away.

However, when my dosage was at its peak, I became almost quite manic. Speaking very fast, euphoric and irrational (including my inner dialogue). The entire decade on this drug had my emotions so up and down, many people thought I may be bi-polar (I started to believe this myself).

The craziest part about this, was I knew the whole time that I had to discontinue taking this drug. The problem was that on the days I missed a dose, the withdrawal was so bad that I became petrified of tapering off. I was always so confused and cloudy throughout this entire 10 years from Tramadol, it became impossible to make a conscious thought, let alone the rationalization on how to quit this drug. When I lost my ex-girlfriend to a Fentanyl overdose in November 2017, I decided it was time to quit and get through the withdrawal hell.

I promise it can be done. Unfortunately, I did it alone, and without any support group. DON’T Do It this way!!! It really sucks. Especially if you have been on this drug for many years. And NEVER try to quit cold turkey, it is dangerous. You will want loved ones around who are willing to constantly keep an eye on you (trust me, you need that). You need the metaphorical and literal hand holding of a support system. But if you are alone, find professional help so you can be monitored, and get medical assistance with the withdrawal symptoms. The suicidal feelings are very strong, and it is nothing anyone should do alone or take lightly. I went through almost every withdrawal associated with ending a 10-
yearlong Tramadol addiction.

I tapered down from 400+ mg to 50 mg (daily). And this process takes some time to do. Honestly, the last 50 mg is mentally difficult. It is now the end of January 2018, and I’m still finishing the last of my mild withdrawal symptoms (yes, they last this long). I occasionally have cravings for Tramadol, but I believe it is only because when I felt the slightest discomfort I would turn to Tramadol (kind of a security blanket). After two weeks it is more psychological than physical.

I have now realized that most of the pain I felt while on the drug was due to withdrawal between doses, rather than my original injury. I’m still in pain, but nothing even close to when I was taking the drug. Now it is much more manageable, and is more of discomfort than actual pain. My energy is beginning to come back, and I have never been clearer headed. No more feelings of extreme highs and lows, and I can’t fathom the idea of ending my life. It has literally felt like I have awoken from a nightmare-like coma. And now I have to piece my life back together.

I was prescribed Tramadol 300 mg daily for sleep disorder and restless leg by a neurologist. This was before it became a controlled substance. I ended up becoming addicted to it and started ordering more from online pharmacies. At one time I was up to 2000 mg/day just to maintain. Fortunately or unfortunately my supply got cut off and I tapered from 2000 mg/daily to 0 mg daily over a period of 2 weeks.

I have been at 0 mg/daily for three weeks now and it has been absolute hell. Everything from terrible sleeplessness, to brain zaps (electrical shock feelings), sneezing fits, laryngitis, restless leg, terrible depression, suicidal thoughts, stomach issues, horrid diarrhea, chills, blurred vision, trouble focusing,… the list goes on and on.

I am feeling a little better each day, but then something new will pop up. I feel like this is a never ending punishment for the trouble I got myself into. I have to laugh at doctors that are surprised by any withdrawal symptoms or that it has side effects.

The only thing I have found that helps is Gabapentin. I take 3 to 4 300 mg pills each day, and am tapering those down as well. They eliminate a lot of the issues or at least minimize them so they are somewhat bearable.

I was hooked on both Morphine and Oxycodone before. Neither was this bad to get off of. I can only hope I have not done permanent damage with this drug from hell. For those of you who are on it now or trying to quit, this is not a safe drug. Also, be aware, if you tell your physician that you need help getting off of this, they will mark you down as having an addiction problem and it is on your record forever. Try a clinic instead.

How does a person cut down from one 50 mg. Of tramadrol a day for a few months so they won’t have withdrawal?

I was given Tramadol slow release tablets in conjunction with Celebrex for painful locked-up neck muscles. I took 1 pill a day over the course of 3 days and became violently sick. I was sick the first day, but put it down to the Celebrex and stopped taking that, as I was told the Tramadol pills were not very strong. Well, I have never felt so ill in my life! Waves of nausea, hot and cold, vomiting non-stop, head felt swollen and heavy, numb fingers and toes. I went to the doctor fearing that I had actually been poisoned, and he very casually responded ‘Oh yeah lots of people have severe reactions to Tramodol. You should stop taking it, and go to the emergency room if you have trouble breathing.’

It is now 4 days later, and I’m only just able to get up and walk around. I am still getting hot sweats, dizziness, and numbness in my face! But thankfully the nausea has stopped. It was the sickest I have ever felt. I wasn’t able to sleep, as I also had very troubled and rapid thoughts whenever I would start to drift off to sleep. I feel like this drug is over-prescribed. I can understand wanting to risk the servere reaction if you have a serious injury, but just for some neck soreness?? Also, if the doctor had told me there was a possibility of such a severe reaction I would’ve happily put up with the neck pain!

Thank you for sharing. Your story reminds me a lot of my own. I’ve been taking tramadol for 9 years! I have regular pain and very painful flare ups caused from spondylosis. I’ve kept the dosage at minimum these last few years. I’ve been very determined to be in control! But I’m not…

At this point I’m down to a half pill every day or other day. It took a lot of effort to get this far. I’ll take a half pill when the withdrawals are getting the better of me. The last few years I’ve been taking 3 pills a day. Anything less and I would feel the withdrawals. I live a very healthy life except for these stupid pills. I’m very active and I’ve found that running and hiking helps. Especially with the loss of energy, depression and mood swings. I’ve let it go on this long because I need my energy plus my mood effects my income or I would’ve stopped sooner.

Anyway with taking it for so long but taking my time tapering down do you think my withdrawals won’t be as harsh or last for months when I finally stop all together? My biggest fear is that I won’t be myself after. This whole thing sucks! When I was taking 3 pills a day I would have no pain and feel like I was living a pain free life but I would also feel like a pill popper! Stopping or cutting back I would feel my back pain in everything I did and would become depressed. Its like I’m damned if id do and damned if I don’t. Any advice you can give would be awesome. Thanks

I have been on Tramadol for over one year with 300mg every night before sleep. It’s enhanced my mood greatly, but the worst part of it is that I cant avoid it for a single day. I’ve tried several times but I failed due to weakness, agitation, insomnia, depression, nightmares, and hallucinations, etc. But since yesterday I started reducing my dose from 300 mg to 200mg every night. By next week I wll go down to 150mg. May God help me until I finally forget it and flush the remaining tram in my commode.

I’ve been taking Tramedol for seven years for severe fibromyalgia. It helped me to be able to work and be productive at home. After a year, I needed more so went from (4) 50mg a day to 5 and then to 6 which my doc told me was the max. at one point my dr switched me from regular tramedol to time released very abruptly with no wean schedule whatsoever. Don’t EVER do that!

I had withdrawals for THREE months even though I switched back to regular after 30 days. The worst was the first few days where I had all of the severe withdrawal symptoms. I was sweating and cold with chills, felt like I had the flu, couldn’t stop crying and not to mention, the WORST fibro pain I’ve ever experienced. I had to figure it out myself that it wasn’t a bad FM attack but was actually from my doctor making an irresponsible choice to switch to time released.

After a few years I became severely hypoglycemic and one day didn’t feel like eating (not knowing I had hypo) and ended up in the ER two days in a row with symptoms of a heart attack which turned out to be a low blood sugar attack from taking 6 tramedols a day with no food two days in a row. When I figured all this out on my own (the doctors didn’t know what had happened to me but were sure to drug test me in the ER) I decided to wean off.

The way I’m weaning off is extremely gradual. I started by eliminated a half pill from only one dose once a week for four weeks. When I got down to 4 pills a day I started taking only a quarter less per day each week. When I got down to two pills a day I couldn’t go down anymore without withdrawal pain. Here’s what most people (and doctors even!) don’t know about prescription pills. You can’t cut one 50mg pill in half and assume you’re getting 25mg. Only pills that are scored in half can split the active ingredient in half. My tramedol wasn’t scored. Luckily I started up with a new doctor from moving across the country and she Rx’d a new script to be filled by a compound pharmacy. There, they can split the dose however you want! I’ve been doing it this way for 3 months. I started with them at 12.5mg per pill and then took off one pill each week, and now I am all the way down to 6.25mg/8 times per day, which is one whole of my old 50mg pills. So I’m down from 6 50mg pills a day to only ONE. this has made the whole process so much easier. She also Rx’d me Flexeril which helps me sleep on days I go down on tramedol. I don’t take it every night because I don’t want to be dependent on another drug.

I will continue to go down one pill a day until I feel I need to split the dose in half again. Yes, that will be 3mgs per dose which I’m sure sounds like I’m going overboard. But my body is SUPER sensitive and I know I need to go as gradual as possible.

Benefits so far – I’m much more clear headed and less depressed. I am also seeing an acupuncturist who helps me with the chronic headaches of weaning off. His treatments have made my life so much easier!! My doctor said I can go back on tramedol if after weaning off I still am in a lot of pain. But I don’t think I will. I don’t want to be dependent on anything anymore.

I started taking Tramadol for joint pain about a year and a half ago for severe joint pain. At first, it worked great. It was miraculous. I had my first good nights sleep in two years. Gradually it stopped working so well. I had what I now believe we’re side effects from the drug. Loss of memory and concentration. Fatigue, emotional and personality changes. Digestive issues. Feeling hot and sweaty a lot.

I noticed if I stopped taking them I would feel sick with flu like symptoms. I decided to stop taking them cold turkey. That was nine days ago. It’s been hell. The first two days I couldn’t go to work. I was bedridden. I have had severe night sweats and chills. I have had flu like symptoms and for about five days it felt like demons were trying to rip my abdomen and brains out. It was agonizing.

I’m just starting to feel okay again but I’m still far from being normal. I have depression and anxiety. I WILL say that I never lost my appetite and I never had a craving for the drug itself though, thank God.

I’m sorry that this drug has not worked out for me as the pain I took it for is sure to return. I’m a 61 year old lifetime carpenter and have a very physical job. When I’m in pain, it makes work miserable. Still, I’d rather be in pain than take this drug as I feel it turned me into a slave for it.

If you are going to stop taking it, I’d suggest doing some research first and tell your doctor first.

‘Lawmakers and the media are telling us…’ – and based upon this statement alone we should be quite skeptical about what we are being told. In reality severe pain that remains poorly managed will lead to numerous co-morbidity issues. Effective pain management is the A and O of good patient care. The vast majority of consumers on S4 and S8 pain meds use them responsibly and for the management of pain.

Those who have addiction issues with prescription medications will find other, often illegal, alternatives when a legal source has become exhausted. The irresponsible consumption of opioid pain medications in conjunction with other incompatible drugs and alcohol, to get a high, is most unfortunate, but people in need of these medications should not be deprived of them because of the irresponsible actions of the few. The unfortunate reality remains that the best and most effective pain medications have side effects and long-term use can lead to dependency and/or withdrawal symptoms once they are ceased. However, most people are responsible enough to consult with their physician on these issues. Not treating severe and chronic pain effectively has equally serious consequences for sufferers.

Unfortunately, it really is an issue of ‘damned if you do and if you don’t.’ Perhaps, instead of painting opioid pain medications as the problem, lawyers, politicians and people in the media could explore the reasons why some people feel the need to abuse these and other types of drugs (legal or not). When they have identified the problem they may even come up with an appropriate solution. Unfortunately alternative analgesics, such as paracetamol, do not provide adequate pain relief for many types of chronic and significant pain.

I completely agree. I have been taking Tramadol for years without issue and have gone days without it, also without issue. I can’t tell you how much I live in fear that addicts and the government will cause my doctor to stop prescribing it, like they’ve already stopped prescribing hydrocodone and stronger meds. I can’t imagine being forced to live with my leg pain every night. It would cause me not to sleep, which in turn will cause me to be unable to work at some point. It would also affect my husband’s ability to sleep. Don’t penalize patients without medication issues!!!

I’m into day 3 of my detox from Lyrica and trammadol. I can’t sleep, my joints ache, I have diarrhoea and feel emotional. I will stick this out though for my daughter. A bit of background, I had a microdicectomy which was going well but was unlucky as I got an infection and then had to have the same surgery. I’ve been on antibiotics for a while but it’s been 12 weeks since I had the first surgery and I just want to feel normal again for myself and my family

This medication has helped me to be able to have a life off the couch from pain, fatigue and depression. I feel normal again and am so glad I have it.

I’m sorry some have side effects, but I have them from Benadryl so should they take that off the market when u have an allergic reaction???

I have not used or prescribed Tramadol in my practice. However, I was treating a patient for another disorder, who had a question for me. Tramadol had been given to him for pain at the time of an ER visit. He had been assured that it was not a narcotic. He said to me: ” I don’t believe that for a second. I was addicted to narcotics years ago & managed to get off them. Tramadol gives me the exact same feelings I had from narcotics. Of course, I like the feeling very much, but I know better than to take it.”

Pain medication has given many people their quality of life back, and they were able to function. For me with Fibromyalgia, it was the only thing that stopped the pain. Everything is bad for you now days.

I can assure you that I would rather take a risk than grit my teeth every night and not be able to sleep due to so much pain.

If I find something safer, I will be the first to give it a try. So far, that has not happened.

I took this medicine for two days (only 6 pills), and by the second day I felt very dizzy. When I stood up I almost fell twice. Luckily, I was at the doctors office when this happened. My blood pressure plummeted to 60 over 40. They wheeled me over to the emergency room and ran all kinds of tests. Turned out it was a side effect of the tramodol. I carry a warning in my purse at all times.

I started taking Tramadol for arthritis pain 6 yrs.ago. At one time I took 8 per day with no side effects. I tapered down with no problem. Thanks to Enbrel, I now need take only 1 Tramadol per day, and that’s mainly for depression. I thank God for this drug.

Exactly. I stopped Tramadol cold turkey and absolutely no side effects whatsoever. It must have a different effect for everyone. I was taking it for pain from having my trapezium crushed in an accident, and it has been marvelous for that, but I just don’t like taking a ‘pain killer’ because I feel it cuts of my emotions somehow. I may take it again, but for now I like to know I have the control. As I said, I FIRMLY believe this drug works very, very differently on everyone. Maybe it’s the blood type? I don’t know. But I have zero side effects. Thank you everyone who contributes.


Once again, you give only the horror stories. Let me just ask you:
If you have serious pain for several reasons, your doctor should help you, not just bow to fear and not prescribe an appropriate opioid. I really don’t blame them too much.

But they can prescribe tramadol for scores of patients who are in constant pain, and cannot take NSAIDs. How about a bleeding ulcer and a shattered hip?

If you continue your constant criticism of tramadol, you may get it off the market.
Goody two shoes for you. What about us who have to work? Watch what you wish for: you just may get it.

I was prescribed Tramadol for shingles pain. One dose made me violently ill, and I threw up for thirteen hours and slept between periods of nausea. It was worse than the shingles pain. When I reported it to my doctor, she said there are some people who simply cannot take this medicine, and it now on the front of my medical records that I am one of them.

This is the only medication that’s helped my chronic back pain. I feel like my normal self when I’m not constantly hurting. No side effects for me either. However, my doctor prescribing tramadol for the past few years has recently retired. Now if I go anywhere and give the doctor my life story I’m persecuted for taking it. I’ve stopped cold turkey for the past few months, and I am miserable. Now I have a stomach ulcer from constant NSAID use, but that’s okay right?

my boyfriend has been taking tramadol for 5 plus years. he takes it for sever back pain.
i believe he takes 1 every 4-6 hours. in the past 6 months i have noticed a huge change in his personality. he literally has zero patients and just snaps….then asks like nothing just happened a few minutes later or blames it on myself. can anyone tell me if this could be from the side affects of tramadol please.

My father whos 71 started tramadol 2 weeks ago he experienced nausea dizzy and had a fall he is now in hospital and its like he has rapid dementia hoping he comes good doctors think it’s from the tramadol anyone else experience this

I’ve been tak8 my generic tramadol for 2 years I have big round red rings on both hands and one ankle, one on each wrist. This is the worst drug ever. Getting off is frightening but my pain from hernia mesh is bad. Can anyone guess what causing these rings?

I was prescribed Tramadol for my pain. I just took it last night for the first time. I have the itches and can’t fall asleep. Now I’m reading about the withdrawals from it. I’m starting to freak out. I’m a recovering drug addict. I know how bad withdrawals can be. I wanted to die rather than go through them, and now I’m worried about withdrawals. I was in a car accident so I am in pain. I guess I’ll have to talk to my doctor. I really miss my sleeping.

I was taking tramadol three times a day and I weaned myself off slowly by starting with working on eliminating one dose at a time. I started with the mid-day dose and began simply cutting a corner off – about a fourth of the pill. I did this for three or four days, then cut a half off, etc. until the dose was gone. I waited around a week and began to cut the morning dose, etc. This has worked pretty well. I didn’t suffer from withdrawal doing it this way, but you have to be patient. Totally worth it.

I had knee replacement surgery 2 months ago, 1 week later the knee did not hurt so I dtopped taking Tramadol and Neurontin. Landed in the hospital with severe confusion, nausea, headaches… I am depressed. Never taking that stuff again, this is serious business and could be deadly

This is my experience of Tramadol.
Prescribed for back pain after car accident, I first tried Tramadol on holiday in China. I took a second tablet an hour after the first didn’t appear to work. Box instructions indicated more than one a day could be taken. 3 -4 hours later I thought I was having a stroke or severe hypoventilation.

My breathing, brain, psyche- everything felt dangerously strange. Lost muscle tone, strength and had to hang onto husband to walk, sudden need to urinate, felt faint and flopped face to pavement, unable to stand without full assistence. Difficulty performing simple task of removing hotel card from wallet or voice my thoughts coherently. Thinking language barrier would pose difficulties with ambulance we returned to hotel where staff could ring doctor.

In taxi, felt like I momentarily died or had profound hallucination as the whole world – all sound and vision just disappeared to white leaving me seemingly conscious on another plane, crazy as that sounds. Suddenly, the world zoomed back in from all sides and after exiting taxi I twice projectile vomited. Took 2-3 hours lying on bed to start to recover.

I’ll list “severely allergic to Tramadol” with any doctor I see. I was not on any other medication except one daily Champix which is not listed as contraindicative. Two days later I tried just one Tramadol without Champix thinking it might be ok on it’s own but an hour later the same thing happened but less extreme.

I nearly collapsed constantly in a museum where I was disturbed by the darkness, had to slump on steps outside for an hour before I could walk or talk, anxious, weird-feeling and hyper-sensitive to noise for 2-3 hours. Tramadol is hideous for me. I’d rather the pain ten times over.

Can i ask how long your confusion ect went on for and any long term affects

EVERY MEDICATION can have serious potential side effects. When deciding to take a medication you weigh the benefits against the risks. I am taking tramadol for hip pain. With tramadol I have some pain relief and some mobility. Without it the pain is debilitating and I can not walk. I chose the risks and so far, so good.

I agree. I’m on it for jaw issues and yes, it makes me a little dizzy and I have chills once in a while but the pain is gone and I can sleep at night.

One of your commenters griped that this is just “another article that fills people with anxiety and makes them fearful of everything in the medical world.” RIGHT ON!!! I am one of those people. Over the years my Dr. has suggested various Rx meds for something or other. I said, “Hell No!” I have PP to thank for that, and in looking back I know I made the right choice(s).

Instead, I’ve learned everything I can about healthful lifestyle changes, especially diet, nutrition and exercise, and that’s made ALL the difference. Yes, it takes some time and work, but the rewards speak for themselves. Thank you, PP.

I just thought I’d share my experience with tramadol. All good. I had a herniated disc one morning and had to get on a plane the same day. I was in excruciating pain and spent my time in the airport on my back on the floor, trying to find some relief. It was only after taking some tramadol that I could sit in the airplane seat for the 2 and a half hour flight. It was a godsend! I didn’t take it for long, so didn’t encounter any withdrawal issues. I’d take tramadol again without reservation.

Like so many things on PP, this is just another anxiety-ridden article that makes people fearful of just about everything in the medical world. There are no drugs without side effects. Pick your poison or suffer. That’s your choice.


I have been taking Tramadol 50 mg for almost 2 decades. I don’t want anything stronger like Hydrocodone as I see the effects on Family members*. I wean myself from 4 a day to 3 a day. I have the side effects; The restless legs [and I have cramps since I was 14- I am 77], the itching, the hot flashes, the insomnia..but I have a life, I can garden, study, take care of my home].

After a lot of trying and trying, I take a tramadol at noon,5.00 Pm and 9.30PM and I can get up to 9 hours of sleep. For me a pill of Tramadol takes 4 hrs to be effective. a 800 mg pill of Ibuprofen takes 45 minutes and hours of stomach pains.

When my peripheral neuropathy was Finally diagnosed over 20 years ago (I’m 80), I was given Neurontin (gabapentin now), and Ultram (tramadol). I have been told many times that I could take much more than the 3 300 mg. of Gab.. and 2 Tramadol 50 mg. a day for the pain. I am still in pain but beCause mom died of dementia and I’m having memory problems, I won’t take more. I’m on Warfarin because of a pacemaker. What else can I take that Doesn’t have these side effects? Neurontin does not go away; it gets worse as you age. I don’t feel that I have any way out.

I’m reading all this and have difficulty believing it! I have been prescribed Tramadol in 50 mg. strength due to my chronic back pain. The only issue I’ve ever had with it was that it kept me awake instead of putting me to sleep! I solved that problem by cutting it in half with a pill splitter. So I’m only taking 25mg. when I take it and I don’t take it on a regular basis – I haven’t taken any in about a week. No withdrawal issues – I only take it when I really need it because I can’t take NSAIDs. My Nurse Practioner knows I’m only taking a half tablet and only as really needed. I ‘ve had 2 family members who battled drug addiction – 1 has recovered but the other 1 lost his battle. For that reason I’m careful with my usage so that I don’t become an addict!

I have been warning friends and family about ULtram since it first came out. I was given it after a car accident. After a week I would wake up in tears for no reason. I also could not urinate. I would only go once a day. Dr said it was not from meds. I stopped taking it and no more problems. I know of several others with same reaction.

I’ve been taking tramadol for about a year now for pain relief of rheumatoid arthritis, persistent chest pain from a pulmonary embolism and subsequent heart failure. Tramadol is an excellent pain reliever, one that does not leave me muddled and high.

I should however tell you that withdrawal symptoms are terrible. I feel that taking a tramadol pill is not always necessary now that I’m healing but when I don’t take it I will have the most awful withdrawal symptoms, complete with panic attacks, shortness of breath, flu like feeling, chills and crawling skin. It took me a moment to figure out that I had a physical addiction.

I told my doctors but they seem unconcerned. Well I’m cutting the pill in half now and have some luck still with pain management and no withdrawal symptoms. I will quarter in a few weeks. Wish me luck

I was on ultram for 5 yrs 400 mg a day 50mg at a time im in the middle of a lawsuit and bcuz the dr. hadnt got paid yet stopped my ultram one of my first symptoms was constantly feeling the urge to pee it was horrible it kept me up all night going every 20 mins and the leg jerking awful i feel like i cant live thru this
Nikki in ohio

I’m a 34 year old female who has been taking Tramedol almost every day for about 6 years for chronic hip pains. I have tearing of ligaments and bone on bone issues. Doctors do not at all try to help you to stop taking the meds nor do they describe the issues related to Tramedol. It works well to block pain but if you take it for a while, then stop the withdrawal is aweful. I have an itchy rash/bumps/ scales on my legs from what I think is from the use of the drug. I spoke to my dermatologist who is also suspicious that Tramedol caused the serious skin condition. I need to now figure out how to ween myself off it and use pain management. I do not know if there is a corolarion, but I Alston miscarried twice in a row. I stopped taking the medication as soon as I knew I was pregnant but I can’t help and wonder. I definitely feel like a guinea pig in the Tramedol experiment.

I only took Ultram 50mg for seven days after breaking my hip. I began to have serious breathing problems. I stopped taking it 3 days ago, but am still on oxygen 24/7. Anyone else have this experience. If so, how long does it last?

I’ve been taking Norco (hydrocodone) for the past couple of years for hip pain due to osteoarthritis. Had arthroscopes in both hips in 2015, and while it seemed to have helped one, I could never get off the crutch for the other. So I got a total hip replacement last year. That was in Nov. 2016. Now it’s April, and I’m still hurting. Only now it’s my whole upper leg, from hip to knee! Also, due to an unfortunate situation, I’ve had to switch doctors. This new one is refusing to give me Norco. But wants me to take Tramadol! I informed him I’d already tried it, and it gave me irregular heart rhythms, suppressed breathing (I had to remember to breathe! I was totally freaking out), and I felt like I’d drunk a whole bottle of tequila, and was like this for 6 hours. At the end of six hours I had an instant hangover that lasted for twenty-four hours! But I don’t feel any of this from the Norco. It doesn’t kill all of the pain but knocks it down to tolerable levels.

Since he is refusing to give it to me I tried not taking a couple of doses and substituted ibuprofen for the pain. Well, ibuprofen just knocks me out like a sleeping pill but doesn’t give me any relief from the pain. I didn’t feel any other symptoms from not taking the Norco except the excruciating pain in my leg! I don’t want to spend my life sleeping, and probably messing up my liver from trying to take enough to help the pain. If they’re not going to help me with the pain until they figure out what’s causing the pain, and if they’re pushing Tramadol, should I even consider going back? It’s situations like this that have soured me on drs. If I could fix it myself I would never go back to another one again!!!

My peripheral neuropathy left me so fatigued I couldn’t get out of bed. A minimal dose of tramadol allows me to function,to lift my legs which are heavy as logs. I am grateful for this drug.

I have been taking 2 x 50mcg for 7 years, 1 middle of night, one early afternoon. I want to come off it. You can’t get less than 50mcg and I can’t risk halving the dose in one go. I bought a Qty of self seal empty capsules, took the drug from 5 tramadol caps and made 10 x 25mg capsules. I bought a dosing micro spoon.

4 days ago, I replaced the nightly 50 with my home made 25. I do feel symptoms but they are bearable right now. If I adjust ok, I’ll halve the daytime 50 to 25. If that goes OK I’ll remove the night one etc.

I’ve been on Tramadol for years for my chronic pain syndrome. I’ve had NO side effects at all with it. I also take other medications for my various chronic illnesses and have had no interaction issues either. Since I can’t take any narcotic medications due to the inability to keep them down, Tramadol was the only solution for treating my constant pain.

I have been taking tramadol 50mg. for about 5-6 years now and I take 2 a day & sometimes can get by only taking only 1 per day and I do this because I have really got used to depending on them to get thru each day since i broke my right hip from a fall off a roof and still have the screws inside me from repairing the hip bone and along with other lower back problems & shoulder surgery from some years back.

Before starting taking tramadol, I talked to my doctor as I felt I was starting to drink more than I ever had before because I was only a 6 pack every other week if that at all type of guy but was now because of the pain drinking every or other day 6-12 beers and not knowing why I felt the need to drink. anyway once i started taking tramadol 1 a day that seemed to take away any want for alcohol & in 5 years may have only drank 2-3 times and don’t miss it at all.

The drug really works for me and I never abuse it or take more than 2 a day but I still wish I could get off of it because of some side effects I have as not being able to sleep very well & have found that you might not want to take this drug less than 3-4 hours before going to bed.

It seems to be a double edged sword for me as if i take it at bedtime i’m pain free for 4 or 5 hours but will not be able to sleep & wide awake & if i don’t take it at bedtime i’m tired but in pain and don’t sleep very well. the drug does help with depression for me. the side effects i don’t like as it seems to take away ones will to do some things that you did before but that could just be that i’m getting older & my health is not as good as it was.

So, I guess one would have to weigh out the good and bad as to if one feels that they would be better off without it and being in pain or taking only 1-2 a day & feeling able to manage there pain. i know from reading other peoples side effects the they seem to differ from one to the other. I myself have low blood pressure & have not had any problems with heart rate increasing while taking this medication but that could depend on what other meds. someone might be taking along with it.

Alieve is about the only other drug I take with tramadol & have not had any problems so far. i have read of some people taking 5-10 pills a day and i guess i could understand why they feel bad if that’s the way they over take there meds. as that’s what happens when you abuse anything as drugs or alcohol and need more & more and it will do more damage to one’s body than help manage pain the way it should be used.

Thank you for posting positive statements about Tramadol. I too have taken 50mg 3 times a day for 7 years. I have had no side effect issues and actually have been able to maintain some quality of life and am still able to work at age 73. I still enjoy working.

I do have sympathy for those who abuse it but hope those who take Tramadol responsibly are not punished by the over- intrusive government because of those who are not responsible medication prescribes.

I was on Tramadol for 6 years for herniated disks and disk degenerative disease. My back fused normally after a few years of PT and diet control but I stayed on the substance due to its amazing energy and its anti-depressive/anti-anxiety properties. I have recently decided to get off the drug and went down in 1/3 dosages per week (taking 150 mg/day) at my own discretion.

You should not go off this medication cold turkey though. It can cause extreme anxiety issues. I winded up once though when a doctor lost my prescription twice in the same week. Over all, I have had the will power to stay on 3 pills a day during this time and not abused this (although being on it can be viewed as such).

YES, side effects can be different to everyone on it. YES, it is still a drug that needs to be respected for what it can do to relieve pain as well as potential abuse in using it.

I got off once by taking St. John’s wort but then the pain came back from fibro and I went back to it. It helps my depression too. But it is the hardest pain meds I’ve ever came off of and I’ve never abused drugs!

I assume because of the antidepressant help it gives. But that’s not a bad thing because it’s the only thing I’ve taken that helps but doesn’t make u feel numb or loopy to help depression.

But just as hard to get off unfortunately. But I need it and am not going to feel guilty for it. I take less than prescribed.

I experienced very serious itching last night after i took tramadol.

I have pretty bad sciatica, so I was referred to a pain management doctor. We discussed several options to help with the pain. I had 2 steroid injections that only lasted about 3 months and were very expensive. I did not want things like Lyrica or Gabapentin that he suggested. In the past I’ve had some issues with hydrocodone, like nausea and dizziness, so I didn’t want to take that either. I’ve taken Tramadol before and knew it was effective on pain. (I’ve had several surgeries). So we decided to do Tramadol, the 37.5 dose, because the 50 really knocks me out ( prescribed from my surgery).

I had been taking them, working up to 3 a day over 6 months time. During that time I had a foot surgery and took 50’s again for 2 weeks then back to the 37.5. I was feeling worse and worse. Anxiety, general overall aches and pains, blurred vision, brain fog, high blood pressure, that nervous feeling, depression, just in a general funk mood! I wasn’t quite sure what was the culprit due to the fact I take thyroid meds and estrogen from a complete hysterectomy 6 months prior. So I had my thyroid checked. It was Ok. I went to my obgyn, and he said this did not seem to be related to the hysterectomy, but offered to prescribe me Lexapro. I filled it, but needed to change my Tramadol to hydrocodone because tramadol and Lexapro have negative interactions. After much reading about Lexapro, the side effects and withdrawal afterward, I opted not to take it.

But meanwhile, I have been taking the hydrocodone. Ironically, I felt immediately better, aside from my sciatica. All those symptoms went away. I dug around online about symptoms of Tramadol, and BINGO. I’m so sure all these issues I was having were caused by Tramadol.

I think short-term Tramadol is OK for pain, but since I’d been on it for several months it was actually causing way more severe symptoms. The hydrocodone I’m currently taking is half of a 5/325 2 times a day. So we shall see how this does with time. I also use a compounded pain cream to help, it works well but is pretty pricey and not covered by insurance. It’s expensive to be in pain management! Appointments every 2-3 months, mandatory drug tests, etc. so I hope to get away from the pills, if the cream works by itself. I don’t think I have to go as often or mess with the drug tests. I will discuss this with my pain management doctor on my next visit in 2 months.

In a nutshell, I for me Tramadol is OK for short courses, but long term it’s going to cause symptoms! I suppose they all do. But I am not sure all doctors are aware of the symptoms I was describing and connecting it to Tramadol. My pain doctor might have, but I didn’t see him, and of course my obgyn probably wouldn’t. He was a bit hesitant to prescribe the Lexapro but I suppose he was trying to offer up something that could help with the depression and anxiety. But he did not explain the drug to me. I researched that on my own. Thank god for the web!

My brother has these weird thoughts. He thinks someone is following him and there is a conspiracy going on behind his back. He can’t differentiate between reality and imagination. He told me that he had 6 Tramadol tabs in two days consecutively. And now I don’t know what to do with him, I took him to a doctor a few days ago and we had his brain CT scanned, and the doctor said there is no problem with him, and he still thinks something is wrong and people are following him. Please if you have experience in this regard or to what doctor I should take him share it with me. Thanks

I have a major problem with my legs jumping at night this runs in my family no doctor can figure out what to do for me now I was tested for restless leg syndrome it was negative tried everything out for rls nothing worked so one doctor tried me on tramodol oh my goodness it worked so I didn’t have to loose any more sleep or fall on my face from my legs jumping from underneath of me now they are saying it has a narcotic in it so I can’t get it so here I go again living with my legs jumping again so I only get 1 maybe 2 hours of sleep at night can’t stand to do my dishes without holding myself hoping not to fall again I’m almost 56 years old I’ve been taking tramodol for 18 years with NO SIDE effects what so ever no shortness of breath no high or low blood pressure nothing and without this medication I Fallon Dall off my bed from my legs jumping very bad so I ask what kind of proof is there of these side effects my Grandmother GOD rest her soul fell down her stairs broke her hip twice from her legs jumping while walking downstairs and falling back then they had no treamodol so I pray I don’t fall with a sharp knife or something so how can I get my tramodol back I only take 1 during the day and 1 or 2 at night so please give me my tramodol back before I fall and break my hip or worse

FDA protocols for testing of many drugs’ efficacy & safety continue to be increasingly watered-down by illicit influences of Big Pharma (both via congressional lobbyists and via revolving–door industry personnel inside FDA.)
This longtime, faux-free-market trend of illicit corporate influence over legit government oversight, one that’s easily documented over the past decades, is now very likely to drastically worsen with the the anti-Enlightenment principles of the incoming Trump administration.
Caveat Emptor….!

Gabapentin saved my life – from tramadol withdrawals. Just make sure to stop taking the Gabapentin once the withdrawals have gone away.

I stopped taking tramadol and gabapentin 3 days ago, wow how uncomfortable. I never miss work but today I absolutely must…. I’m having zaps of electricity like going through my arms legs and my brain I’m trying to rest and hopefully be ready for work again in 2 days… Drinking lots of water and walking every morning…ugh, never again Drs. Don’t tell this part of the quick fix(back pain) alieve will have to do

HI, doing well, apart from, headache, sweats, diarrhoea, lack of sleep, down to 100 mg slow release a day, not had to use extra 50mg to keep going, apart from the headache I am coping really well, I did drop suddenly by 100mg each time so above was expected, but think (fingers crossed) I am coming through the worst, I am dreading going down to 50mg a day, in a couple of weeks but determined to. I am in constant pain, but liveable with at moment, when totally free of Tramadol I will look into other stuff.

I have been taking generic Tramadol for over three years, along with muscle relaxer Tizanadine, for pain resulting fron spinal arthritis, degenerative spine, spondylitus, and numerous food allergies that cause muscle/joint pain.

I would like to share some info that can drastically reduce pain. Stop eating all starchy foods! Starch causes inflammation which causes pain. It is difficult, but after 2 months, starch free, you will have decreased your pain to very a manageable level.

Doing this has allowed me to keep my tramadol intake to 2 tablets daily, 50mgs, occassionally three. Just one serving of beans, potatoes or other starch and BAM, back to bed for 2 days or more. Try it, it takes about a month of abstinence to see a real difference.

When I went off tramadol years ago; just kept cutting it in two every 5 days. Took a long time, though.
Am taking it again, due to limited ability to tolerate most other drugs.
I don’t think I could get off easily; now, 10 years later., as just cutting down bothers me!

On tramadol for nearly a year for headaches..built up a tolerance drs very slow to pick up…new dr came to practice and immediately set up a withdrawl taper..all the usual withdrawls hit…rls,insomnia,cramps,nausea but eased after about 3weeks…then the anxiety and severe depression..what a hateful tablet..get whatever help you need peeps..time and keep strong.xx

l took tramadol for costocorhinits for over a year then l fell pregnant and l had to quit cold turkey l was in so much pain and discomfort l vowed never to take it again until a few months back when l had issues with my back it took away the pain but suddenly l started getting naseaus all the time and l even threw up in a super market that’s when l knew it was time to stop l wld rather deal with the pain than this and once again queue withdrawal symptoms the worst is body aches n pains ,the chills ,itching ,restless legs and insomnia lm on day 8 soldiering on some of the symptoms are better still feverish but getting there and hopefully this time l stay off it for good .

I agree the thought of withdrawl is horrible, but you have to try, I am determined to get down to as low as possible if not off completely. I take,them for, arthritis in spine, and also a Chiari type 1 malfunction, so as long as I can cope with pain, keep mobile and the headaches are controllable I will persevere, keep us updated and so will I, it does help me to know that someone else is trying to stop this medication, I don’t feel totally alone, as my family do not understand what I go through when I am,late taking my dose, so trying to cut down is very daunting, waiting for the withdrawal symptoms to hit and being able to cope with them. Good luck and stay positive

Hi, went to docs on Saturday and she agreed to reduce my 159mg SR down to 100mg SR, not sure if I was supposed to swap one 150mg for a 100mg, but I stopped both 150mg for the 100mg, it is now Tuesday and I am full of cold, but had this before changing, so I am hoping that it is the cold that is the problem, I am down 100mg a day and I feel ok so far, unless it is not the cold, then I am having hot sweats, headache, not sleeping, but not had the dizziness and nausea I usually get when I,miss a dose. Back at docs in 3 weeks, for blood test and decide whether to stay at same level for a while of reduce again, I can cope with how i am feeling so if continues like this happy to go down, I have still been able to work, although I feel slower and lethargic, but that could be the cold. Pressing on regardless, will update again in a few weeks unless something happens.

I’ve been on tramadol for almost two years and thought it was a wonder drug! No problems while on it. I could actually function. But now my dr gave me choice of tramadol or Valium. I chose to stay on Valium as I have muscle issues in back and neck. I’m on day three of taking 1/2 tab of tramadol and to taper a half tablet every week. I am already depressed and have on lexapro for 7 yrs or so. Dr also started me on Wellbutrin a few weeks ago. I have experience many losses this past year……. my dad, young doodle dog, last of children moving out and no job (which I lost while caring for my dad). I am a nurse but feel a mess. Asthma has been bad last three months too. Bottom line is now I’m having itching and my BP is higher than normal so taking lots of antihistamines. Maybe this isn’t the right time to start to taper off the tramadol?

I feel serious indigestion whenever I eat …I’m so scared my Tommy gets full times I eat expecially whenever I eat bread or flour generally ..all this happened after I stopped taking tramadol abruptly I feel less comfortable and I am always scared to eat now but I feel hungry time to time..someone help pls

I have taken ultram/tramadol for ? can’t remember, probly 10 years. I was on darvocet and it was taken off market. At that time, my pain Dr switched me to ultram. I’ve had spinal fusion surgery and really needed pain medication to live until the last couple years.

Now, I truly believe 800 mg Motrin would control pain, but when I’ve tried to ease off ultram, I experience terrible depression, anxiety, sleep issues, etc. Reading this forum is so frightening. When I talk to my doctor, she seems to think I need the pain meds, and talks down the withdrawal problems.

I don’t think I can do it. I have gone down a pill a day. I was taking five 50 mg pills, daily. Now, for the past month, four. I have had a headache almost continually. I feel I mostly need the drug for psychological reasons and that upsets me. Plan to continue down one 50 mg per month for another month, then cut scone in half and so on. It will take six months probably. I’m so scared of the withdrawals. If I even a bit past time to take a pill, I get sweaty and anxious, it’s horrible!

I have been on Tramadol for 20 years, and once attempted to wean off in late 00`s, but the headache was sooo bad as I have a Chiari malformation had to start up again, I am now suffering with profuse sweating, and as I work outdoors, I am worrying that I could end up with pneumonia, as within 5 minutes of any activity my shirt and trousers will be soaked through. I am on 150 mg SR twice a day and have 50 mg available if extra pain, I try not to take the extras, but I want to come off the large dose, I am back at docs in 3 weeks to discuss further, but have decided I have to wean myself off this drug. Incidently, if I miss a dose, by time next one comes around, I am struggle with dizziness, nausea, diarrhoea, lethargy, I don’t want to stop work to stop the drug but I do want to stop the drug and I won`t be able to function at work if I do, tapering is the best way I think for me, if it works will post here how I did it and how I am. Fingers crossed. Good luck to all trying cold turkey, I am not that brave.

I had a severe headache and the doctor prescribed Tramadol to relieve me of the pain. After 2 days, I started developing skin rashes, although I have stop taking the drugs it has taken 2 weeks and there is no sign of the rash responding to treatment despite numerous efforts. The skin rashes have now turned into blisters filled with fluids. It’s very disturbing and life threatening.

I’m 76 years old and have been on 400 mg Tramadol for at least 5years for lower back caused by a failed fusion and arthritis. I went to a pain management doctor a week ago. She had me stop taking the Tramadol and prescribed 5mg Norco three times a day. I was not warned about withdrawal symptoms. This week has been Hell. After reading about Tramadol withdrawal symptoms on the internet I can’t imagine why a doctor would have me stop cold turkey. I’ve considered going to ER but I’m afraid they will admit me and I need to be home to care for husband.

I was given tramadol for thoracic back pain caused by arthritis. Barely worked, then added Celebrex the two together work well. Gives me energy too.

Then my back pain finally was improving. Not a huge deal getting off the 100mg. Biggest withdrawal symptoms are tiredness, dull headache, sound sensitivity, agitation.

As long as you need it for pain, and there’s no intolerable side effects, take it. The point is to be out of pain. Pain can also be a nightmare. Doctors aren’t magicians, they can only try to help with drugs. If you’re having issues it is your fault for not researching the drug and having blind faith in a person.

I am totally dependent on Tramadol. Have been taking these horrible tablets for 8 years now and my tolerance to them is sky high. I am now taking 500 mg 4 times a day !!!

I have trouble sleeping, so I am awake through the night. I continue to take tramadol round the clock. I also take 150 mg pregabalin and 60 mg codeine, all at the same time. I have taken that much it’s causing seizures and I am terrified that one of these times I am going to overdose on these horrible tablets. I was also told by my GP that they were not addictive and the best thing out there for pain relief, which is half-way true.

They are good for pain relief. Since I started taking Tramadol 8 years ago, I have been free from pain but at the same time I noticed that they made me feel good, too, and I liked it! But, I was having to take more and more for the same effect, so I am now taking 10 x 50mg tramadol all at once, 2 x 75mg pregabalin, and 2 x30 mgs of codeine, and paracetamol. I do this 4 times a day !

I really don’t think I have a hope in hell of getting off these pills. Believe me, I have tried. My withdrawals are horrendous. I feel hopeless. It’s a strange battle. I want to quit, but I also like how it makes me feel. It makes me feel like I am at the happy stage of drinking, as if I have had a few glasses of wine. It puts me in a good mood. If I run out, it’s terrible and I am all over the place trying to think if I know anyone else who takes Tramadol and maybe I can borrow some from them until I get my next prescription.

I am always thinking about where I can get more from, as I am truly addicted to these I can’t function without them at all. I have run out a few times and had a few days without them. It was the worst experience of my life!! I sometimes think back to that day 8 years ago when I walked into the doctors’ office and wish I had never walked out with a prescription for these life wrecking pills!

So, if you don’t take them, keep it that way unless you wish to be a mess in a few months time. The GP who prescribed these to me has now retired. I really wish I could have punched him. PLEASE DO NOT START TAKING THESE PILLS. IT’S NOT WORTH IT!

Please get help. Your situation is serious and you need someone who will really see you through it.

I was prescribed both Oxycodone and Tramadol two weeks ago after knee replacement surgery. I took a Tramadol the first night home, but it didn’t help enough, so I also took an oxy ( as per discharge instructions). The Oxy made the pain go away, but it gave me a headache that was worse than the knee pain. So I took only Tramadol after that. The Tramadol (50 mg tablets every 4 to 6 hours) took the edge off the pain. After two weeks, I began to think the Tramadol wasn’t doing anything, so I stopped it. I was fine for about ten hours and then developed some of the side effects mentioned here: flu like body aches and a feeling that there was electricity flowing through both legs and feet. The side effects lasted about 18 hours. I stumbled on this discussion after searching online to see if these symptoms might be Tramadol withdrawal. Really glad I didn’t take it any longer.

You know, I just wanna be my normal self again!!! BLANK Tramadol, stay away from it unless you are only gonna be on it a few days!

With the withdrawal symptoms being as difficult as they are with the sweating, anxiety, and depression, etc, would I be better off just continuing to take Tramadol or? I always took eight 50 mg per day. What is the downside to continuing it and what is out there for pain in lieu of it?

I took Tramadol for two years after hernia surgery and I am now trying to quit cold turkey. The sweating and depression are the toughest parts and it has been about a week so far.

I need help I am so addicted to tramadol I have to take it every day some times four times a day the reason is I have a tear in my hips which is very painful what should I do

I stopped taking tramadol 5days ago. the experience has been horrible, although I have regain my strength now… I still have problem with sleeping and depression. my childhood memories keep flowing into my head. sometimes, I felt like crying bcoz I miss home. guess all this is caused by tramadol. I will never take it again.
give thanks to jah

I can’t find help while detoxing because the doctors don’t think there’s ANY difficulty with Tramadol withdrawal. They’ve been told so by pharma reps. And of course pharma reps would never ever lie.

About 5-6 years ago I was prescribed Tramadol for back pain following injury and have stayed on it nearly constantly because it was supposed to not be a narcotic. Now, of course, it has been re-classified as a controlled substance.

For a couple of years I took 50 – 100 mg/d. But in the last year I have gone to as much as 300 mg/d because it’s supposed to be such a “safe” medication. During about the same time period I have developed a skin disease know as GA, Granuloma Annulare, which is uncommon but not rare. As my dosage of Tramadol has increased, my GA has increased.

My dermatologist is confused that my GA started after I was 60. He said it would be self limiting and disappear in less than a year. Or that in rare cases, it could become Generalized GA. Mine is now generalized and over much of my arm and leg areas and sometimes itches and then hurts if I scratch it, which he says IS very rare. Elbows and knees are worst looking areas. Today the dermatologist asked me to really think back to what changed about 5 or so years ago: what medicine did I start taking, or what lifestyle change did I make.

Suddenly I realized that Tramadol is the only medication change during those years. My best friend pointed out that my GA got much worse as my Tramadol intake increased. GA is similar to rheumatoid psoriasis. Has anyone else experienced a link between GA and taking Tramadol? I am a W F 69 years of age in otherwise perfect health except for high cholesterol. My weight is perfect, and I can physically outwork many people in their 40s because I stay extremely active and seldom ever sit still. GA is truly unsightly but not known to cause any additional problems, so little research is ever devoted to it. I am hoping to help others by sharing my info. here and hope to hear back from others with similar experiences.

Has anyone experienced skin problems with Tramadol? I have been on 3-5 50mg per day for a couple of years. Lately, I have a flushed, blotchy neck and cheeks whenever I am nervous or emotional. I get hot, too. I want to quit also, but I’m not sure what to do. I had a back problem and was on heavy narcotic meds for 3 days and no tramadol but the day I quit the narcotic meds, by midnight I was losing my mind with anxiety and restless nerves. I wanted to run 5 miles in the dark, so I took a tramadol and within 20 minutes I was fine. I hate the idea of being addicted to anything. I have severe stomach pain from hypersensitive nerve endings and the drs have no answers for me except medication. I have tried at least 20 other dietary things myself with no luck. I’ve also had numerous tests and other meds. I was told tramadol was non-narcotic and non-addictive so I switched from narcotic pain meds to that and now I want off because of my skin. I’m in menopause and thougth that might have an effect so I’m looking for feedback on the red, hot, blotchy skin. Anybody experience that?

I also was given Tramadol for pain by my dr. 2 yrs. ago. and have been on a dose of 50mg. 3x a day, 2 in the morning, 1 in late afternoon. I became depressed, functioned minimally at best, had twitching eyes, nausea, confusion, lost interest in EVERYTHING; I don’t even think I looked my husband or children in the eyes once in all that time. I have wanted to get off of them for awhile but I knew from all the testimonials I have read that it was going to take time and patience and I doubted that I would ever get my life back because I couldn’t afford the time off from work.

Well, 3 weeks ago I ended up extremely sick with a nasty bug; went 3 days without the Ultram and ended up at the ER from inability to breathe. My blood oxygen was 89 (which is not something I ever had problems with before), I was having severe bronchial spasms(I declined a cat scan for it), with a fever of 100°-102°. I was given 2 nebulizer treatments back to back, with rx’s for Zithromax, prednisone, and tussionex cough medicine, then released.

I didnt realize my problems were being caused by Ultram withdrawal until I finished the course of medications for a bacterial infection. I decided to keep going and stay off of them. I am still gasping for air and my whole esophagus and stomach feel very inflamed which makes eating difficult.I also have been extremely weak physically,BUT I am so GRATEFUL to be off the tramadol; with all the Hell I am going through, I know it has to end eventually. I have reconnected with my children (17and 20y.o.) and their father(they have been so supportive) and I feel more myself since this nightmare started 2 years ago.

My dr. always disregarded my desire to get off Tramadol and basically told me to suck it up so as soon as I am strong enough, I will definitely be changing doctors. I am with you all in Spirit, truly. This medicine is Horrible and should not be on the market. Remember, do not feel ashamed for where Tramadol has brought you. Demand to be treated with care and respect and get any help you need to get off of Tramadol, whether it became an addiction or not.
God Be With You

4 weeks off and still feel fluish, irritable and dizzy. Is this normal?
Been suicidal, too. This drug is the devil.

I am so afraid of getting off the Tramadol. How will I deal with my pain? But I would almost rather face the pain and try otc meds and massages than continue on this. Really need to pick a time and, I guess, taper?? Anyone know? I take 2 50mg 2-3 times daily.

I have been taking Ultram for 4 months. 200mg/daily.
I started to reduce dose 50mg each two days. Then stop.
First day without Ultram: Medium Anxiety and Diarrhea.
Snd: Some muscle pain and hard morning.
Thrd: Brain zaps
4th: Almost nothing.

Conclusion: Ultram withdrawal is not so hard for everybody. Each body reaction is different. Dont panic, maybe yours is easy too.

Hi, I was on a similar dose just a little more a day. I’m also diabetic so I had a few more issues. To get off tramadol I cut my dose to six 50mg tabs a day for a week. Then four 50mg tabs a day for two weeks. Followed by two 50mg tabs a day for a week.

At this point I started taking two 50mg tabs a day for two more weeks, but at night before bed. This got me through the night without hot and cold flashes so I could at least sleep. I continued with one 50mg tab a night before bed for two weeks. Then to a half 50mg tab a night before bed for two weeks. Then 1/3, 50mg tab a night before bed for two weeks. Then nothing. For me I was severely depressed with hot and cold flashes and flu like symptoms for about the first month. Then the depression gradually got better.

As for my diabetes, my blood sugar was uncontrollable for the first two-three weeks. Then I was able to slowly stabilize it, but my insulin requirements about doubled without tramadol’s blood sugar lowering effects.

Am on Tramadol regularly, at least 100-200 mg a day for about three years.

Now trying to get off it, but even about four months post total discontinuation am still having what may be “post acute” withdrawal symptoms, including feeling pretty depressed, runny nose, and chronic intermittent dry cough.

Wonder if anyone else on this thread has had similar problems months after stopping Tramadol, and if so, how long can I expect these symptoms to last?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

I went off tramadol last Wed. Feb24. because I ran out of it and can’t get it for a week. Taking 300mg er. For fibromyalgia. I have never felt worse .not only can’t sleep can’t even lay still because legs and feet hurt. And I am exhausted. I want so bad not to even pick the script next week but fibro pain is bad.Dilema!

I was prescribed Tramadol 50 mg 4X a day 5 years ago because my doctor said it wasn’t addictive. I have a neck fusion from a bad car accident and, due to my job in the painting business, I now have 2 bad disks that are pushing on my spinal chord now and some stomach issues from cancer that I beat, thank God.

I was told to go to a pain-management clinic that wanted to inject me with a few different chemicals and was prescribed 30 Ultrams without knowing it was the samething as Tramadol. So my doctor told me that I had to get all my meds from the pain management people. Well, I didn’t want to have injections so I never went back to pain management or my doctor. I had HORRIBLE withdrawals. It was worse than any hard-core drug withdraws I ever had, and believe me, I have had them after being in the music business all my life.

The first few days were the worst: flu-like symptoms, shakes, fatigue, diarrhea, etc. I felt like crap. Now it’s been 3 1/2 months, and I have not been able to sleep off and on for days. I get 1 or 2 hrs of sleep every few days. My legs feel like there is eletricty flowing through them every night. I have tried over-the-counter sleep aids and some prescriptions from other doctors, which make it 10X worse. I also have no energy. All I want to do is sleep. I feel like I have the flu 24 hrs a day. I’m also very forgetful and can’t concentrate.

It’s affecting my job, marriage, and my life. I wish I had never started Tramadol. It’s the worst drug I’ve ever taken. I have no idea what to do now. I also have tried all the vitamins and supplement. It didn’t work. So after beating cancer and many, many life- changing events, I’m at a loss as to what to do.

If you think Tramadol is going to help you, please don’t take this drug. It’s the Devil in a pill, so I just hope I can overcome this and move on with my life now at 53. Good luck all, and stay away from TRAMADOL .

My mother in law is having osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and spondylosis.
Her rheumatologist docter started tramadol tab 50mg Twice a day.
She was taking this medicine for nearly a year.
Whenever more pain the doctor advice to increase the dose to three times 50 mg tablet a day.
Dr changed the medicine one day to exact and my mother in law started experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Extreme pain, seizure, electric shock like pain, no sleep because of the symptoms.
She also started abdomen fulness and constipation also. Lo s of other anti anxiety drugs given by doctor but not stoped the tramadol with tapping dose. Now my mother in law is facing problems with aide effect of tramadol and withdrawal symptoms.
What to do further so that she can get relief from tramadol and it’s bad withdrawl symptom.

Please help me and guide me for what to do further…

Hi, Bill. I am also 53 and Tramadol has affected all aspects of my relationships, work, physical health,etc….I think you will make it. You have come so far. Hang in there. I am in the throes of withdrawal from Tramadol also. #nevergoingback

My Dr. prescribed Tramadol to me 6 months ago for chronic kidney pain and stones due to a kidney disease. The first time I took it I took 50 mg. I couldn’t tell it did anything at all so the next which was in the morning I took two 50 mg. as prescribed. It had no effect until about 3 hours later and I was very ill. I couldn’t stay awake and my breathing was scary slow.

I was not able to function. I went into a store and can barley remember it. At the time I didn’t know what was going on, I thought I had gotten extremely ill from something I had eaten because the next thing I knew I was throwing up and shaking like a leaf. Now I know in hindsight what it was. The meds seemed to take forever to take effect and that was hard because I was in pain frequently. It seemed about 2 – 3 hours later they would be in full effect. It was strange. I have kept taking them because I was told I couldn’t take NSAIDS or tylenol. But I have to take something pretty regularly. I was told to use it like I did my NSAIDS. So that is what I did and it was one of the biggest mistakes EVER.

The Dr.’s office didn’t get me the meds over the weekend and I went through 5 days straight of horrid withdrawals. Tremors, shivers shakes RLS, sweating so bad my bed would be drenched and I couldn’t sleep at all. My body hurt worse then any flu and I was so sick I couldn’t eat for days. I fill like I have a pretty high tolerance of pain because I pass kidney stones very regularly sometimes daily. So this was rediculause to fill this way from withdrawals. Talked to my Dr about it and he said the meds wouldn’t cause me to fill like that. There was no way it must have been kidney stones. So we decided to keep trying them and see how it goes. I am now going through withdrawals again on my own accord because this medicine is of the devil for sure. I started getting tingling shocks in my face and half my face would go numb and tingle my legs would do it too.

I was getting very depressed and I thought you couldn’t on this med because of the components in it. I am usually a very stable person and couldn’t get my mind together. Depression anxiety, sometimes more pain from body aches and things then before I ever took it.

I am so frustrated with my Dr. He acted like this drug is NO BIG THING and it was like taking my NSAID’S. what ever and what a joke. Even when going through withdrawals I called to let him know I was going through them and wanting to know what to do. He has never called back and the last time it took over 5 days for him to get back to me when I was going through withdrawals. Even if he can’t do anything it would be nice for them to let you know what to look for incase you need to go into the ER.

Today is day 7 and I still can’t shake the lonely filling and being very exhausted. I finally slept the whole night just last night. It took 6 days to sleep through the night but I still have body aches and I still have hot flashes and still fill like I am freezing I can keep food and water down. If there was any advice to give it would be…….
TRY to keep drinking as much as you can.
Keep eating even if it is a little bit.
Try and find natural supplements to help. And pray a lot!

I’ve been in that exact situation before! Since I was 12 years old I’ve had kidney stones. Back in the day they would prescribe Percocet or lortab to treat the pain but when I was around 23 my doctor told me to try Ultram because it was safer and had no withdrawal effect. I was ecstatic at the thought because I’ve had my share of opiod withdrawal! But NEVER again will I take tramadol. It barely helped the stone pain and the depression I felt coming off it are horrible!

I will take a dilaudid withdrawal any day rather than this stuff. Now every time I see a new doctor it seems like they want to give me this first. I just tell them it gives me severe depression (I’ve thought of killing myself coming off this medicine). Some doctors (like my urologist) understand and just switch the script to Norco. Other doctors (hospital doctors) seem to think I’m full of crap because in their words “I’ve never heard of that”. Good luck in the future and I hope nobody tries to give you this horrible stuff again.

I’m in the same place bro all I can say is just be tough and hang in there it’s been 4 months now and I still feel like crap ,I’ll say a prayer for you and we will get threw this together ,it’s got to get better and I do see light at the end of this journey .

Tramadol has helped me mentally. It allowed me to get out more and function better. I have tried to stop taking tramadol a couple times but that is impossible. When I think about how my life was prior to taking the drug I wonder why I want to stop taking it. It has help relieve my mental struggles and yes has horrible horrible withdrawal symptoms.

My mental problems start with childhood. I always thought I was stronger than those problems. I joined the military and served in Iraq. I then worked as a contractor in Aviation for a few more years in Iraq. I returned and went though a divorce. I was drinking a lot. I have always drank a lot. Drinking and me went hand and hand. I tried several anti depressants and everything else the doctors wanted to put me on for mental problems. A friend gave me a tramadol for a headache. I liked it. I asked my doctor for it and got it. After a few month I completely quit drinking. I have the power over the alcohol. Most of my other mental problems are also gone. I say most. Not all. Anyways….

I have been taking Tramadol for chronic back pain since August 2015. It would sometimes make me itchy but was never an issue. About a week ago, I broke out in anew itchy rash on both arms, my upper chest, shoulders and upper back. I couldn’t imagine what was causing it. No new soaps, detergents, meds or foods. It would kind of subside by morning but then would flare up again in the evening, which is when I usually take the Tramadol more often, especially when I’m at work and my back hurts so bad from standing. On Saturday, I was off so decided to try not taking any Tramadol and the rash didn’t flare up, but now today when I was back at work, I took it twice during my shift and now here is am, rashy and itching like crazy!

It’s been two weeks, and two days since my last dose. I only took it for about 6 weeks, about 4-5 50mg tablets at once at night. I stopped cold turkey the 5th of jan and today the 22nd I’m still having substantial stomach cramps. Is this a normal symptom of a lengthy withdrawal? Just a side note I’ve never taken this devil drug before this.

In the same boat as you. Took it for 6 weeks, 4 x per day within 24 hours at 50MG per dose. Stopped cold turkey and I’m on my fourth day of withdrawal symptoms.

Blurred vision, severe abdominal cramps, it hurts to breathe, disoriented, body aches, electric shocks in my hands and feet, swelling of my feet, back pain, chills, depression and flu like symptoms.

Query, did you have those also and if so is the only thing left is the abdominal cramps?

This drug tramadol has destroyed my social life withdrawals are torture. I wish I had never taken this. Your tolerance becomes higher. I need help desperately…

I have been taking Tramadol for years for rheumatoid arthritis and joint replacement. After my hip replacement I thought it was time to come off the Tramadol. I cut down the afternoon dose from 2 to 1 and then took the usual 2 at bedtime. I had the most awful night with shakes “live feelings”all over. I eventually got some sleep after 3am
Do I continue with the reduction and hope things get better or keep on taking full dose with no effects.

I am trying to wean myself off this horrible drug. I’m very depressed and my anxiety is through the roof. I am scared. I have an appointment with a rehab facility today. I hate this drug.

You can try acupuncture and Chinese herbs. They have helped me incredibly when I had horrible side effects from a heart medication. It takes a little while sometimes, but really works. I now go straight to the acupuncturist whenever certain symptoms of my health issues return. These symptoms include shortness of breath and heart palpitations, and Chinese herbs can also treat a host of other symptoms. I suggest looking into it- you can research it online, and most likely find an acupuncturist in your area who is also into herbs. Good luck! I know how awful it can be to be withdrawing from a drug- I did that too, before I knew that acupuncture and herbs could help so much.

Vivian I am in the same boat. I am actually considering going to rehab over this! It has destroyed my social life as well and I am looking for hope somewhere. Just want you to know you are not alone and we will figure this out!

Hi…I had been taking tramadol for 2 years and stopped taking them on Dec 17th 2015 post L4/5 right side decompression surgery. I took 2x50mgs x 3 times a day… and if I was going out at night I took 2x50mgs extra to get through the social function. I quit cold turkey as my surgery went really well and I am anti tablets. I have very few side effects. I’m a little short tempered but have a strange feeling beneath both my knees. It’s been 15 days so fingers crossed things go well and I can say I’m tramadol free!!

My mother-in-law is 87 and broke her pelvis. The doctor prescribed tramadol and it has resulted in paranoia and confusion, pronounced anxiety, and forgetfulness. We have asked repeatedly, since the treatment started 10 days ago, for a different dosage or better yet, different medication. The doctor has indicated this is the medication with the least side effects. I find that hard to believe.

I went off Ultram after 40 years. No real problems except lack of sleep and headaches, can anyone tell me if this could be due to going off drug?
Many thanks

I have been taking Ultram for approximately 6-8 months now. I can’t remember exactly. I take 100mg of the morning and 50mg in the afternoon, but not always 50mg in the afternoon. Some days I do not even take the 50mg in the afternoon. Recently, like the past two weeks, I have been waking up with my legs feeling very weak and I feel funny. I know poor description, but I have no other description I feel almost like I am dehydrated after a drunk in my legs. After taking the 100mg of Ultram in the morning, I feel better and I will feel better for several hours. Then approximately 6-7 hours after taking the 100mg of Ultram, I get very shaky, pretty much all over, but a lot in both shoulders and I feel my heart pounding. I can check my heart rate and it is not elevated, but Ican just feel it pounding. I hands will even feel tingly at times. It is the strangest feeling in the world. I feel so nervous and jittery. Is this a reaction to me coming down off the Ultram from the morning dose? It never did this before int he past 6 months, so I don’t understand why it would start now all of a sudden. Anyone have any ideas if this sounds like it’s the Ultram doing this? My plan is to take an Ultram every time I feel this way and if it fixes it,I guess I can attribute the Ultram to the cause. Anyone had anything similar? It is very strange.

Ultram hasn’t been out for 40 years. maybe 18-20 years, but not 40. Maybe you are thinking of another drug.

Thank you for this post. I know its older but this medicine is terrible. Prescibed tramadol for chronic pain in 2005, it worked welll until 2010 when I began college. Prescibed 300 mg x a day w adderall didnt mix and i have been weaning off (foctor supervised) for 18 months. After taking a psychopharmacology course did it click. The sweating, trembling, muscle tightening, ankle swelling, and more. I have been on celexa, trazodone, and klonopin for 19 years. In the beginning, before the adderall i was warned by rx that cekexa + tramdol carries a risk for seizures. I at the time, uneducated coorelated “seizures” w epilepsy. Over the years the sweating, and muscular tightening to something medical. It was my idea to cut the dose. I thought my mood was okay enough not to be on so much medication. The initial cut was 300 mg 18 months ago. I have been miserable, agitated, panicked, socially dysfunctional, its very hard. Down to 50 mg, these miserable symtoms are helped with the klonopin, but the dose needs doubled to fet through it. I see my doc on Monday and I am praying she will increase the klonopin temporarily. Diarehha, severe stomach pains, trouble breathing are all apart of this misery. Feel so much better until klonopin wears off. If anyone is prescribed this medicine, it will help the mood. However, it does not mix with imitrex, 800 mg ibuprofen, cekexa, trazodone, and adderall as it pertains to me. Im lucky im alive, to be honest. But to progress in academics it has to go. Good luck to anyone trying to wean of these. Never should be prescribed at 600 mg er with my medications.

I have been off tramadol since the previous Friday, 5 full days now. I had a terrible withdrawl time Saturday night. I decided to take a small dose of Tylenol 3 to help take edge off. I am now out of those since Monday. I can’t eat, my heart is racing, legs jello, no energy, chills, fever… No sleep at night! I try to take some Tylenol pm to help me sleep or Benadryl but it doesn’t help. Then I got to thinking I’m on meridian which may not be helping. I now have diarrhea as well…. How much longer????

I took my first dose of tramadol Halloween day and boy was it a trick far from a treat. It barely took away my back pain and the weakness and diahrrea were relentless. I guess it’s just not a good drug for me
Brian C

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