Tramadol- Everything You Need to Know
by Leo Vegner
Tramadol is a non steroidal anti inflammatory drug or pain reliever. One of the brand names for tramadol is Ultram and it is available in 50, 100, 200 and 300mg tablets. Tramadol is used for the management of moderate to moderately severe pain. The higher dosages are for those who require extended or chronic pain management. The recommended dosage is at 50-100 mgs a day to be taken every 4-6 hours for pain management. The initial dose is given at 25mgs four times a day until the recommended dose of 100mgs is reached. The tablets have to be swallowed whole with fluids and not chewed or crushed. It can also be taken even on an empty stomach. It is important not to break the tablet because of its time release feature and may cause adverse reactions such as seizures when chewed or dissolved.
Before taking tramadol your physician should know about the other prescriptive and non prescriptive drugs that you are taking. Drugs such as carbamazepine, narcotic pain relievers (e.g., codeine), sleeping pills, antidepressants (e.g., SSRI-types such as Prozac), MAO inhibitors (e.g., furazolidone, linezolid, phenelzine, procarbazine, selegiline, tranylcypromine), psychiatric medicine (e.g., nefazodone), “triptan”-type drugs, anti-anxiety drugs (e.g., diazepam), sibutramine should be reported to your physician before taking in tramadol. Also report if you are taking in antihistamines that contain diphenhydramine which are present in most cough and cold medicines. Your doctor will check of any possible adverse reactions to the medications when taken together with tramadol.
As with any drug, there have been reported side effects with the use of tramadol though it is generally well tolerated. These side effects include drowsiness, nausea and vomiting, headaches and constipation. Itching, sweating, dry mouth, diarrhea, rash, visual disturbances, and vertigo has also been reported as side effects but these are less common.
If you forget taking your scheduled dosage, do not catch up or take double doses. Skip the dose and just take the normal dosing schedule in order to avoid over dosage. Over dosage symptoms include cold and clammy skin, low body temperature, slowed breathing, slowed heartbeat, drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, deep sleep, loss of consciousness, seizures. If you suspect a patient of over dosage, rush them to the nearest emergency room or contact your local poison control center.
Tramadol is not recommended for pregnant women. They need to consult a doctor before using tramadol so that the doctor can gauge if they can use it without affecting their unborn child. Tramadol can be secreted in breast milk though the dosage is low and doctors say that it is acceptable for lactating mothers to use it.
Discontinuing the use of tramadol may result to withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, sweating, insomnia, rigors, pain, nausea, diarrhea, tremors, and hallucinations. It is recommended that the withdrawal of the drug should be done in the same manner as when initially taking it, by gradual lowering the dose before withdrawing totally from its use, in order to avoid such symptoms.
Article Source: Tramadol- Everything You Need to Know