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manaleriemmanalerie Posts: 547
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Pain Medications
So I called the doctor today, and left a message about my concerns with ultram. Racing heart, can't sleep etc. Along with some new symptoms. I noticed the other day, while watching an episode of CSI, that I am not comprehending anything. I had to rewind the same 5 minutes over and over, I would watch and realize I had no idea what is going on.

Later in the afternoon, I had put my son down for a nap, and kicked back on the couch for some quiet time. My son was calling for me, so I got up went in to his room, blacked out and hit the floor. It took about a minute before I could get up. I didn't lose consciousness, but couldn't see, and had severe pressure in my head.

I called the neuro back, and they asked me to come in to check my vitals.

I go to his office, tell him whats happening. He says that he doesn't think that its because of the ultram. He thinks I am having panic attacks. Yes, I do suffer from panic attacks, but not everyday, not like this. He says 'you've been taking this for 2 months, why would this start now?'
I tell him that I have not been taking it for two months, and that I have been having these symptoms since I started it. First we thought it was the skelaxin, so we switched to norflex, still having problems stopped the norflex, still having problems, the only thing left is the ultram. He says, 'you started this July 31st thats two months" UM no thats one month... but I no longer wish to argue.

Ok, so Im having panic attacks every day. I will go to my psychologist. But what about the fainting? He says that this is an isolated incident, and if it happens again he will order a work up. I ask him to take my blood pressure (after all that is why I was there right? to check my vitals?) BP 90 over 60 Normal??? Not so much. He tells me to "drink LOTS OF FLUIDS."

So later in the evening, I'm shopping with my mother in law. I was squatting down, looking at a lower rack, and as I stood up, I fainted right there in the store. That was fun. And what is this pressure in my head when it happens? I've fainted before, but I don't remember having this kind of pressure in my head.

I'm telling you guys, I give up. I just can't deal with this crap anymore. I'm gonna wean myself off of the ultram and suck it up. At this point I just really don't ever want to see another doctor as long as I live. I will always be wrong, and they will always be right, and thats just how its gonna be.


  • Can it be that the ultram is taking your panic attacks to a new level in which your b/p drops and you faint? I would say to ask your psychologist about it. Also instead of having your NS handle your pain meds, why not go to a pain management doctor? If not that what about talking to your primary about this situation, maybe he (she) can write you something else that you won’t have problems with. To be on nothing and be in pain all the time will only make you very unhappy!! :''( Best of luck.
  • discouraged. I know that there are docs out there that are very arrogant especially if they are a specialist. But there really are good docs out there that will listen and try to help. I agree, why not try a PM? They are usually the best at managing meds and pain.
  • You should take yourself to an ER while this is all recent and fresh(go now!); they should check for a seizure or seizures (ultram), do a full lab workup, and find the cause or a very likely one. (a seizure is usually tied to blacking out or passing out) A neurosurgeon should be able to help too. Tramadol worked fine for a friend of mine, for a month or so, and then he ended up having 3 seizures behind the wheel of his very, very nice car. The very nice car is no longer with us, but luckily, he is. I'm not saying you had a seizure, maybe you were dehydrated, are developing diabetes and had low blood sugar, maybe just coincidence, but if you describe it with seriousness and emphasis, you should at least have a CT scan and the blood work, which is usually more than your pm will do in this case. Your primary doc will probably order the labs, but no scans. If you don't go, and it happens again, take yourself STRAIGHT to the ER (with someone else driving). These things need to be checked *immediately* if possible. There are countless reasons for fainting so I hope I didn't paint a bad picture, but those are the things you need to eliminate you know? It's usually a fixable thing at your age.

    Good luck to you, eat food drink water and take vitamins! ~JWM
  • this is just my understanding,and maybe a suggestion to what might be going on, i take ultram and have for over 10 years,(I have always read and kept up on ultram and its side effects-good and bad)when i first started taking ultram the books said one thing now they say something else. ultram by itself does not have to many side effects but when you take ultram (which has a anti depressant in it)(i have found docs, don't tell us that)(And Have Found For Some Reason Some Docs Dont Know Or Something)A person has to be very careful taking ultram with other certain meds Especially with a anti depressant because it very well can cause a seizure. some doc, will prescribe ultram left and right. some would not scribe it for nothing. this is not just what i think it is a fact, when i first started ultram i didnt know, couldnt find another person taking it, now many take it ultram is a pain reliever and a antidep in one,most docs leave out the antidep fact. over the years taking ultram of couse its affects have changed the first week made me itch so bad i quit it, doc said just give it time, i did and now that doesn't happen it used to relieve more of my pain but then again i think my pain has gotten alot stronger, i used to work 3rd shift which was great because it also keeps me up going full of energy, the 3rd shift thing stopped about 5 years ago so now i cant take the ulram after 12 noon , but first thing in the morning and even if it doesnt help lots with the pain the boost of energy makes the pain a tad bit different not better but different, it takes i think about 1 or 2 months for the energy part of ultram to kick in.
    ultram has some kind of serotonin booster in it, which i think alot of chronic pain suffers are low in and chronic fatigue,and fibro people TOO and i think these people have a high substance P level. from my research i love to read books,new books the old editions are no good things change and what used to be a new drug at one time is a old one now, and the info is very out dated, as sad that some of our doc,s sometimes dont keep up on things.
    sometimes ultram all by itself is to much serotonin all by itself not usually but if your all ready high in serotonin or have enough in your brain then ultram can cause a syndrome, this would more likely happen if ultram is taken with a anti depressant, a serotonin syndrome can be VERY serious. sorry for the deep going into this ultram thing but your doc should not sorta blow you off.
    i never wanna be quoted for my words because i do get things confused at times because i read so much. but if i remember right what you explained in your post sounds like it could of been a seizure type serotonin syndrome. maybe this can help you that's all im trying to do im not telling you nothing just throwing out things i know and maybe a few ideas. please let me know i would be interested into what you find out patsy
  • I was on Tramadol/Ultam starting in Aug 06 prior to my surgery and then after until april 08.....it seem to work fine, I did have the itching that stopped but when I was switched from the Tramadol 50mg 2 x day to the UltramER 200mg I started feeling like I had the flu 24/7....this was not pain this was just plain old flu like symptoms. I did reasearch and found that to be a serious side effect...I stopped it cold turkey which was not pleasant but I survived. I will never take this drug again. I do believe the doctors are fooled by the "non narcotic" label it has. It does have the SSRI in it so you have to be careful about anti depression drugs, not a good mix.

  • i myself would never take the ultramER-NEVER just my opinion but i do take my 50mg-2@ 5 or 6am and then 2@ 11 or 12 in afternoon if i didnt my fatigue would keep me in bed all day being depressed not to mention the pain, i take my pain meds usually half hour after my ultrams, patsy
  • Amanda , I have the same thing happen to me and so does my daughter....the only difference is that she has seizures when she faints.....we found out that it is because of a mixture of low blood pressure and low blood sugar. Any time we stand up from a sitting position or a squatting position , etc....we have to do it slowly and if my daughter feels a faint coming on then she knows to lay down completely flat because of the risk of her seizures. The pressure in the head and the seeing black is all a part of it too.....almost feels like blood is rushing through your head at a fast rate after having been cut off(you can almost hear it)...atleast that is how it feels to us. There really isn't a way to combat this for the two of us , we have to just live with it..it doesn't happen a whole lot so it is tolerable. I wish you the best in finding answers to what is going on.Please keep us posted.....take care....Miki
  • I have heard of this plenty of times. Ultram causes people the pass out and/or have seizures along with the passing out. And lots of them didnt realize they had seizures until they noticed either they bit their tongues or had marks on their heads from banging them. I took ultram and tramadol and with both I ended up in the ER with migraines that were uncontrollable. I would be vomiting and could not even open my eyes or walk. Even when I went to the PM he said it wasnt the Ultram...so then they have me the tramadol and bam - I was back in the ER with the vomiting and migraine. While it was happening to me I did some research and found the information re: seizures and passing out from this medication. Please be careful with your little one.
    Keep us updated.

    Take care.

  • I am now thinking my neuro is a quack. I was just reading about low blood pressure, and I think that most certainly this fainting is being caused or exacerbated by ultram. I called my Primary, and am waiting for a call back. Took my heart rate... 114 beats per minute. The nurse seemed very concerned.

    Thanks for all your input... I am looking further into this.

    Some of you posted above about seeking advice from PM's and such. I have done all of that, and you can read all about it in my previous post. I believe its under pain management, and titled "my frustrating PM appointment"

    That post lists my experiences with all doctors thus far...

    Thanks a bunch
  • Primary doctor called back, and said that I needed to go to the ER immediately. I had to talk them out of sending an ambulance.

    I get to the ER at around 5... its a very busy day, so I settle in for the long evening ahead.

    6pm, get called in for triage, EKG, then registration

    8pm, get called into the room

    9pm, Nurse #1 comes in to take my blood. I asked him how long its going to be, since my husband has to go to work at 2am, and needs to go to sleep... he says that the blood work will take at least an hour, so hubby heads home.

    10pm, doctor #1 comes in, does exam

    10:30 doctor #2 does exam says bloodwork is fine, but he requires a pregnancy test for all women in this situation.

    11pm nurse #2 comes in, takes my urine sample

    11:10pm nurse #3 comes in asking for my urine... told her it was already taken by nurse #2

    11:15pm nurse #2 comes back and tells me not pregnant, but urine was cloudy, had protein and blood in it, so she sent it to the lab (probably normal but should check to be safe)

    11:30pm I ask the nurse #2 how long this is going to take, because I need to get home for my son, so hubby can go to work. She said still waiting on urine results, catch her at midnight, and she will check.

    12am Nurse#2 comes in and informs me that now I need IV fluids

    12:30am 1st doctor comes in and tells me that she needs to give me a rectal exam to check for internal bleeding. Unhooks IV fluids and has me sign my discharge papers. Has no idea why the nurse sent urine to the lab, or why I am waiting

    12:45am Nurse #4 comes in, removes IV from arm

    1am Nurse #2 comes in and says urine test was fine, and I'm all set to go home <:P

    Can you believe it? I went to the ER today, and I actually made it home by 1:30am. After all it is Friday night in the big city. All to tell me that I am fine, they don't know what caused me to faint, and discuss ultram again with neuro next week. Oh how I love ER's 8>
  • oh how frustrating, but you TOTALLY did the right thing going straight to the ER. Your resting heart rate was waaay to high at 114; what they need to do is a full liver and tyroid/etc panel on your bloodwork, not mess with your urine. It sounds like they were looking for an easy out of 'you are sick, take antiXXXXX'. Sorry! Be vigilant, this is your life we are talking about though. And if either the ER doctor or your Neuro won't write up the bloodwork on the spot, you need a new ER and a new Neuro. Be careful with ultram!
  • you may have already said in a post but i will ask anyway..
    do you take ultramER or ultram? do you take 1 or 2 at a time?
    how long have you been taking it? i worked with a women that was prescribed ultram for a pulled muscle in back(we worked in hospital at that time) she took her first dose of ultram while at work and we were working together so i seen everything, same thing happened to her we had to put her in a wheelchair and wheel her to the ER. her pulse was so fast my readings couldnt keep up, they told her no more ultram at the time all she was taking was a water pill to help her blood pressure,
    i think ultram works for some and not for other no in between if it causes problems its not worth it there is so many meds out there and like i have said before if the serotonin in the brain, which changes every day is on the higher side of normal, ultram can be trouble, i have actually had a test i think to check my substance p and serotonin levels substance p is high and serenton is low
    that's why if you take a anti dep it can raise your serotonin and lower your substance p levels (substance p has something to do with the way are brain handles pain) that's why antidepressant can help with mood and pain, for me antidepressant drive me nuts and dont agree with me, i get my help from ultram it kinda cheers me up gives me the boost i need in the morning and takes a pinch of the pain away i hope i made some kinda since im just trying to help that's all hope you get this figured out i would be interested to hear what they figure out but im telling you some of the docs out there think ultram is just a safe drug with not any bad side affects and that's just not the case at all. i know of one doctor that will absolutely not give a script of ultram for no reason what so ever, patsy
  • Yes, the ER did do blood work. They did urine to check for pregnancy, and was concerned because it was cloudy, so they sent that to the lab also...
  • Regular ultram two 50mg twice a day... so four a day. I'm weaning off, so today I'm only taking 3
  • Three times this morning, I have had this blackout. Not as sever as the other day, I just walked through them and they went away. But after sitting at the PC for a while, reading posts, my husband asked me If I could stand up and grab something for him off the shelf. I stood up, blacked out, didn't feel faint really. I grabbed onto the corner of the dresser and got that pressure in my head again.

    WTF I don't get it.

    gonna take my pulse, and call the doctor again I guess.

    120 beats per minute? that would be resting heart rate right? sitting at the PC for like 45 mins?
  • do you have a b.p. machine? try sitting for a few minutes, take your blood pressure, then stand up leaning on a chair or against something wait a few min. take your BP again, make sure and use your left arm both times,
  • normal bp is 120 over 80 your pulse should be 80 beats a min.
    pulse can vary if your at rest it could be less than 80 thats okay as long as it isnt way lower if your up working or running pulse would be higher and thats okay too as long as its high because you are up moving around alot im scratching head cause im not sure if i made any since to you let me know
  • 120 beats a minute at rest is high.
  • Yah, you made perfect sense. I don't have any way of taking my bp after I took my pulse, I sat down for a few minutes and took it again, it was like 97. I wonder if maybe nearly fainting caused my heart to speed up, like adrenaline? I have to call the doctor at 9am tomorrow, to set an appointment up with the urgent care clinic. hopefully when I get there, I will be having these symptoms, and they can actually witness it happening. When I was at the ER last night, It had been like 5+ hours since having taking my meds, and I was feeling fine by the time they got to me.

    She said she would really like me to be examined by the ER again, but after last night she didn't want to make me go through all that again. She said to get plenty of rest, don't do a lot of walking. Drink plenty of fluids, and make sure there is an adult around at all times to keep an eye on me.

    My husband has tomorrow off, which is good because I worry that something might happen when I am home alone with my son. My father in law came pounding on my door this morning, because I didn't answer the phone when he called. I'm glad to have them close by to check on me! lol
  • I was having problems with standing up and feeling faint or even passing out. I was tested extensively like you have described with blood work, EEG, etc. My heart rate was extremely elevated as well, and has gone as high as 180 bpm. I was finally diagnosed with PVT (postural ventricular tachycardia). It is something that happens when the blood vessels in your legs fails to constrict enough when you stand to push the blood back up to your heart/brain, which then means you have a lack of blood/oxygen to those very critical areas, which in turn causes you to pass out (and also have that very hard pressure in your head when you do fall because it's all the lower blood suddenly rushing into your brain again - not a pleasant feeling I know!) There is medication that you can take for this which really helps. You should really consider visiting a cardiologist, who can take an echocardiogram of your heart and heart rhythm and help diagnose this. If this is something you have you need to be very careful after sitting for longer periods of time, or especially in the shower, as standing in the warm water causes blood to pool in your legs anyway. (Really heightens your risk for a fall in the tub/bathroom - which is the LAST place you want to pass out...way too many sharp edges and hard corners!)
    Not sure if this is what's going on with you, but it did sound a lot like my experience. Many doctors are unfamiliar with PVT as it is less common, but do some research and see if the symptoms match your experience. Bring it up to your doctors if so, because it took me a while to find a doctor who even thought to look down that path.
    Good luck!
  • went to urgent care today. The doctor said that the ultram is definitely the culprit. Since my blood pressure typically runs low, the ultram is making it lower causing these spells. So until I can get in to see my PCP I will have to stick to the ultram, or suffer with severe pain.

    Levels are at an 8 right now. I am hoping that my PCP will be more willing to treat me now, since the NS says that I can't have surgery.
  • thats all to confusing for me,i cant believe urgent care would have you still taking the ultram,so they think ultram is causing low blood pressure,? never heard that before,just pain all by itself can cause blood pressure to raise not lower it, im stomped.. patsy
  • What she said was that ultram can cause a racing heart, and dizziness, or feeling faint. Where as my blood pressure typically runs low, the ultram is increasing my faint spells. Does that make sense? She said that while its uncomfortable, its not dangerous. They did another EKG, and a blood pressure test (one lying down, one sitting, and one standing) She told me what to look out for (heart rate over 140) And to follow up with my primary.

    I'm still taking the ultram, as I need to wean off of it. She did verify that all of my symptoms are listed as side affects of ultram. My neuro said none of them were. While these side affects are bothersome, they are not dangerous.

    My plan is to call my dreaded PCP, and have a long talk with him. Go over everything, and hopefully get him to takeover pain management for me. Since the NS sent him a letter stating that I am not a candidate for surgery, maybe he will be more helpful now. I would also like to discuss my use of NSAID's with him, and see what he has to say about using them everyday for the last year (and then some) I am also hoping that he will see that his refusal to treat my pain, and sending me to the neuro, is causing more harm than good. (I still don't think he'll see it that way)

    I'm planning on bringing some reports in with me, to back up my concerns about NSAID's I just don't want him to feel like I am going on a personal attack. I would still like to find a new PCP, but for now, I think I will give him one last shot. Maybe he can take over just long enough for me to find a new one. And if he wont help me... well, I'll be no worse off than I am now.
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