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Tramadol questions

autimom4everaautimom4ever Posts: 25
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Pain Medications

I am afraid of many meds, especially those that can cause addiction/dependance.

I have been having chronic lower back (sacral) and right hip/inguinal pain for 4 months now

Many tests done and specialists seen.

As far as meds.... NSAIDs do not work, I do not want to take the narcotics (scared of addiction), muscle relaxers help a very litte and Neurotin knocks me out (so I don't know if it helps the pain.

Now here is my question... Tramadol.
My GP prescribed it but I have been hesitant in starting it because it is a "sister" drug to the SNRI's (cymbalta, etc).
But it is the only medication that really helps.

For those who have taken / still taking Tramadol, have you ever experienced withdraw? If so, what were the symptoms.

I just don't want to hurt :(


  • I was prescribed tramadol but it did not help my pain and it gave me a very severe headache. Be careful with the medication because I heard it can cause seizures and also cause many of the same problems the narcotic meds do like dependence and withdrawal. Even thought it is technically "non-narcotic" it works the same way as a narcotic.

    I am a firm believer in taking meds when in pain. As long as you are taking them as prescribed, and taking them for pain, there is no problem!
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • I have taken tramadol for years. Its also called ultram they the same, Even my mother was prescribed tramadol/ ultram for back pain and sciatica,

    She never had any issues with using it for pain and she in her 70's If its only taken for pain as allowed becoming an addict is usualy not a concern for most people,

    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Tramadol is a synthetic opioid. It can cause withdrawals if stopped suddenly, as with any medications, you should consult your doctor when you decide to go off of it, and titrate the dose down under the doc's supervision.

    There is a risk of seizures/convulsions if you are also on certain anti-depressants or some other medications, so it's very important the the prescribing doctor is aware of all meds that you are currently taking. There are other contraindications with other meds as well. If you have any questions, you can always call your pharmacist, they will know for sure if it is okay to take with all of your other meds, and can give you the possible side effects of the med itself.

    As with any other narcotic/synthetic opioid, there always is a risk of psychological addiction or physical dependence (when your body becomes used to the dose, causing a higher dose to be required to maintain effectiveness). However, unless you are pre-disposed to psychological addictions, the chances of becoming addicted are low, especially if you follow your doctor's orders and take the med safely and as prescribed.
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • on and off for the last 3 years. I gradually wean myself off the medication when I want to take a break and have minimal withdrawal. Don't be afraid to take medicine that really helps you......why suffer when you don't need to. I can't take NSAIDs because they rip my stomach up. Tramadol also helps with my anxiety and depression.
  • As a community we should acknowledge those aspects of addition and be realistic in assessing the risks all medication has, finding what works for us as individual is trial and error, the objective to do our very best in managing our chronic pain. Only you can decide where your own limit is and using others evidence as a measure of your success has questionable validity, as you have mentioned, in your opinion this is the current medication that works for you, which is positive.

    Does the potential risk outweigh the benefits, who can or should live with pain every day without appropriate medication?

    In my naivety I once decided not to take my anti inflammatory medication, that decision soon had a dramatic impact and I learned an important lesson, I have taken lots of medication on my 22 year journey and with every tablet thought about the consequences, I am able to function at a level that would not be possible otherwise, and my overall strategy a quality of life issue.

    Even after all this time I regularly review my medication in consultation with my doctor, who guides supports and provides invaluable knowledge.
    This risk v benefit equation can only be decided by you and we all have to make that based on our own evaluations, experience from others is only what worked for them and not you, have a go, set a time frame and review all the outcomes for yourself.

    Finding adequate coverage and that overall balance, is not as simple as we imagined at the start of our pain journey. How is your pain today ?

    Take care. John

  • I have been on Tramadol for almost 6 years now. I am one of the lucky ones, Tramadol works for me. There is a mild withdrawal if you stop taking it suddenly. That has happened to me if I forgot to take it for a day or two. As far as pain relief, Tramadol takes the edge off the pain leaving me with no side effects.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.

  • Hi John,

    My pain today? Well, I would call it nagging...It's right at the sacral region and goes around to my right inguinal area. It's bad enough that it takes my focus off other things.

    Being in the healthcare field myself and seeing first hand how it has become terrible (doctor's don't even do actual physical exams anymore, they try and see so many people in a day - which decreases their quality of care and it is SO easy for them to just write "another" prescription), I am weary of taking the tramadol because I don't think any of my providers will actually take the time to wean me down when it comes time.

    The sad thing is that it has gotten so bad out there (healthcare) that I am starting to wonder why I got into it. I love my job (I go to patients homes - not as their provider but to do modified history and physicals for their insurance), but when I talk to people that are so frustrated with the healthcare system that they are ready to give up, it infuriates me (and this wears me down to....I care... maybe too much).

    Thank you for caring. I suppose having this "inside" knowledge isn't helping me at all.


  • I also have been on tramadol for a long time with no real side effects. I have been told to switch to oxycodone, the med right above tramadol and in the opiate category since the ibuprofen in the tramadol may be interfering with my sleep. I have never had any issues with the tram. I do take more now than when I started on it but my pain has increased so I need more to keep it under control.

    Everyone reacts differently and sometimes you have to keep looking for the one right for you. I tried a bunch of different anti-inflammatories before I found the one that worked for me.

    Good luck.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • I've taken Tramadol and Tramadol ER (Ultram/Ultram ER) on and off for the last two years - mostly during the in-between times when I didn't require a narcotic analgesic. It helped take the edge off of my neuropathic pain at times, but I no longer need it. If you are completely unfamiliar the physical and psychological effects opiate narcotics have on you [individually], you may notice similar, though from my experience far less intense, side effects from Tramadol as you might when starting a morphine-type opiate regimen (codeine being the closest analog to Tramadol). I have NEVER had trouble with Tramadol from a physical dependance perspective, and as one might gleam from that also not a hint of addictive tendencies.

    IMO don't be worried to give Tramadol a shot; you can always stop taking it -per the guidance of your physician- if you have any annoying side effects!
  • I just tried taking oxycodone which I have always disliked instead of the tramadol which has some anti-inflammatories in it and my doc wanted me off anti-inflammatoried. The oxycodone made me sick and did not help the pain as much as the tramadol did with much fewer side effects. It works very well for me.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • Tramadol didn't do a thing for my pain that I could discern so I had no trouble just throwing it away.
  • I have been on tramadol for some time but am trying to find something else that works as it affects my sleep negatively. Oxycodone was not good for me and am now trying hydrocodone. Does anyone else have sleep problems with tramadol??

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • I have been taking Tramadol for the last 2-3 years.
    For me, it is very, very vital to have a full stomach when I take it. Otherwise, it "bites" me in the stomach. It also can dry my mouth out and give me a sense of "well being".

    The doctor advised me to not take tramadol after 4:30 in the afternoon or it will really interfere with my sleep that night.

    All in all, the pain relief benefits are worth the side effects for me. It does a great job of relieving the pain. However, it leaves me with some amount of break through sciatic pain.
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