What is Tramadol and how is it used?
Tramadol is an oral medication which is a narcotic-like pain reliever. The purpose of this medicine is to cure moderate to severe pain in adults. The mechanism of tramadol is similar to morphine. Just like morphine, tramadol binds to the receptors, be it narcotic or opioid receptors, that are significant for transmitting the sensation of pain from throughout the body to the brain. Tramadol works by helping your brain to change the way how your body feels and, ultimately, responds to pain. The levels of neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin may be increased due to this.
In 1995, Tramadol was approved by “The Food and Drug Administration” (FDA) for the drug company Janssen Pharmaceuticals under the brand name Ultram. Later in 2002, the FDA accepted a generic version of tramadol, which is now manufactured by many companies.
Even though tramadol is considered harmless and is also approved by the FDA, still many cases of abuse have been reported. Like other narcotics, people who use tramadol therapeutically can become addicted due to the drug’s opioid component. However, the chance of addiction can be reduced if the intake of dosage is restricted. Tramadol is a controlled substance. It implies that the medication must be used with close supervision of the doctor.
Side Effects of Tramadol
Consult your doctor as soon as possible if you have signs of an allergic reaction to tramadol. These allergic signs may include difficulty breathing and swelling in your throat. Tramadol, being a narcotic, can slow down breathing. Seek emergency medical attention if you have signs of severe skin reaction. Skin problems include sore throat, fever, skin pain, and burning in your eyes.
Most common side effects of tramadol include:
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Slow pulse rate
- Difficulty in breathing
Some serious side effects include:
- Symptoms of Serotonin syndrome; agitation, muscle stiffness, loss of consciousness, lack of coordination
- Rapid heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Suicidal thoughts
- Depression, including feelings of sadness and discouragement
Dosage of Tramadol
Tramadol should be taken only as prescribed by the doctor. Dosage of tramadol for a longer period of time can be harmful. Follow all the directions on your prescription label.
The dosage of medication highly depends on the following factors;
- Your age
- The severity of your condition
- Your reaction to the first dose.
The recommended dose of tramadol is 50mg to 100mg. It depends on the intensity of pain. Normal dose of an adult should not go above 400 mg per day. The daily dose should not exceed 200 mg, for a person older than 75.
Tramadol pills should not be chewed, broken or crushed. Swallow the tablet, as a whole, with a glass of water.
Following are some of the warnings of tramadol;
- Tramadol can increase the risk of seizures.
- The drug can lead to addiction and misuse.
- Tramadol is not for children below 12 years.
- If a dose of this drug is taken by a child, even accidentally, it can cause death.
- Interaction of tramadol with certain other drugs (amiodarone, quinidine, ritonavir, etc.) can cause serious effects.