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Ultram-not worth it??

mellynn36mmellynn36 Posts: 24
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Pain Medications
Brief history--had a laminectomy almost nine years ago at L4-L5. Residual pain lasted well over a year and spiralled into a deep depression. Fast forward to two years ago. Began experiencing unbearable radiating pain from my lower back to my toes and left leg numbness. Had bilevel fusion (L4/L5 and L5/S1) at the end of June. Started on Percocet, then downgraded to Vicodin, both were effective. Then I was downgraded to Darvocet without being told; three weeks ago, it was Ultram (again, no warning). Talk about a waste of a copay. Am I the only one who gets no relief from it? To top it off, my SI joints decided to fire up, with more radiating pain. Awesome. See the doc on Monday for a consult. Any advice?


  • I had great luck with ultram. 50 mg of ultram was about as effective as a vicodin for me but without any side effects. Unfortunately I was only able to go up to 100 mg/day due to my other meds, and once I needed more I had to switch- but the side effects of the meds I'm on now are so much worse!
  • I wish that Ultram worked for me. I have had it enough to know that it's just not a drug I respond well to--it is completely ineffective. I called the dr.'s nurse last week to see if I could take ibuprofen again--yay, I can!--so that is taking the edge off. Not taking the pain away by any means, but it's bearable.

    Thanks for your response!
  • I have heard that, that it is one of those that either works or doesn't. Is this a pain management doctor who is changing your meds without notifying you? You might ask them if you can try the other tramadol-like med, Nucynta.
  • Would you happen to be taking an anti-seizure medication of some sort? Certain meds like Tegretol (carbamazepine) will interfere with the Ultram, requiring a person to use almost double the amount of Ultram for the same desired effect.

  • My experience with taking tramadol started 4 months ago (when crazily enough, percocet stopped working for me)I started with 50mg 4 times per day. My doc told me the same thing, that it either works great or it does nothing.

    At first, the pain relief was UNBELIEVABLE! The side effects I experienced were sweating and nausea, but I dealt with it because of the much needed relief... After 2 months, it became less effective. My guess is that I started to become tolerant, so I took 100mg 4 times per day. 2 months after that, it stopped working. My doctor switched me to vicodin to hold me over until my surgery in a week and a half... I've spent the last 3 days writhing in terrible withdrawals that are just starting to subside!

    The first 2 months at the beginning were pure heaven (the next 2 were pretty good), what, with the relief, but considering the withdrawals, it's hard to say it was worth it for me! 4 months of reasonable pain relief for 3-5 days of torturous withdrawals? I reluctantly say it was worth it for me, but everyone's different.
  • ineffective for me too. I was taken off Norco and put on Tramadol. It took the edge off when I first started taking it, and it is working less and less each day. Norco definitely is much better for helping with my pain.

    I'm so sorry that you are in pain. I hope you get on the right meds, and soon. :D

  • Ultram never worked for me. It did make my head feel funny though. Like I was there but not paying attention. Anyway doc told me the same thing it either works or doesn't.
  • I appreciate your replies. I met with my spine doc on Monday, and the fusion appears to be going well. My physical therapist must have emphasized my SI issues, b/c he recommended I meet with the PM doc. I'm a little wary, just b/c the one SI injection I had was excruciating (I laid in bed and cried for hours that night, the pain was so bad) and it provided me no relief. But--I know they can go in at different angles and that one of those might work. In the meantime...Advil is my friend. It doesn't help the pain much, but I think it's helping the inflammation a bit.

    Thanks again!
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