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Long term users of Tramadol out there?

adam3iversonaadam3iverson Posts: 13
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Pain Medications
Hey team,
My name is Adam and I am 23 years old. I have broken my neck in four places (C3, C4, C5, &C6). I did this in 2004. Since then I have been taking Tramadol 3 times a day, so all up roughly 5 to 6 tablets a day (50mg per tablet). I suffer chronic pain and I am not too sure what the future holds for me as I thought the pain would have gotten better by now, and it has only seemed to get worse. I was just wondering if there is any one else out there that has been taking Tramadol for long periods of time? I am a little concerned about the long term affects that Tramadol may have on my over well-being and body in general. I have taken bloods for liver damage and there were no signs of any damage. if there is anyone out there who can share there experience of long term use of Tramadol with me I would gladly appreciate it, as I need to get into a good frame of mind about my future with taking medication.
Thanks very much for your time.



  • I have taken Tramadol for the last 2 years. I briefly weaned off last summer, but started back up around Christmas. For me, it has been a good pain medicine, plus the added benefit of depression/anxiety relief. As of right now, I only take 1-2 50 mg. tabs a day along with Celebrex and Zanaflex. I haven't had any problems. Oh yes, and it helps me sleep too.

    You should talk to your doctor and let him/her know it's not taking care of your pain like you had hoped and hopefully he/she can give you something else to try. Good luck with pain relief.
  • Have been taking Tramadol as needed for three years (50 MG), usually every day or every few days with no problems or side affects. My Doctor advises it is a pretty safe drug considering the danger Celebrex has. I am finally off Celebrex and did notice a change in liver function readings during doctor physicals when I was on it.
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  • I was just put on Tramadol today! Thank you Adam for asking this question!

    I was taken off of Norco a little over 3 weeks ago, so my doctor could see my "real" pain. He said Norco masked my pain. So today at the appointment, you can imagine my surprise when he said he wasn't going to give me Norco again. He is doing another epidural, from the side, to try and get around the scar tissue that is pressing into my spinal cord and nerve roots. I started to cry, because I really rely on that med to give me some ability to function. He told me he understood, and asked me if I have ever tried Tramadol. I told him no, and if it worked, great, as long as I have something to help with pain. The only side effect so far is feeling sleepy, and thats about it.

    I know my post doesn't really pertain to your question, and I'm sorry. It's just ironic that I have never even heard of Tramadol, and you posted this question today. :)

    Good luck to you!!!!!


  • I've been on tramadol for around a year and a half. My main pain med is Temgesic (buprenorphine), but the tramadol seems to work quite well with it. I was prescribed four 50mg capsules a day until very recently, when my doctor changed to one 200mg controlled release tablet per day. I find this to be more effective (and convenient) than the 50mg capsules.

    When I first started taking it, I did notice some side effects - a tightening sensation around the mouth, a little light-headedness and stimulation (it has an SNRI anti-depressant type effect, so that's not surprising, really), but before long those effects subsided. I don't know of any long-term problems with taking tramadol, but I expect it would make sense to taper off it gradually if you decide to stop taking it.
  • I've been taking it about a year. No long term side effects that I am aware of, but then I haven't had blood work taken for about that long. From reading what others are saying, maybe I should be getting a liver function test. :O

    I recently went off of it to see if there is a difference. I feel like it doesn't do anything because I am still in severe pain even when taking it. I figured if I take it I am in pain, if I don't take it I am in pain. Stopping it did teach me something. I now know that yes, it does help, and hopefully will be starting it up again after my appointment tomorrow. Or maybe after this little experiment the doctor will give me something different. It is important to me to be able to drive and there aren't many narcotics that allow you to do that, so not sure where to turn from here. Just want you to know that after a year there doesn't seem to be any ill effects from in my situation. Hopefully that helps.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
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  • I've been on Tramadol for 4 years now, 50 mg, 3 or 4 times a day. I've had no side effects and do have blood work done twice a year. Tramadol works for me unless I have breakthrough pain. I have read countless times how it has no effect on pain for some people.
    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.
  • Two months ago, I started the extended release tramadol (it's called Ralivia here in Canada, not sure about other countries). I started at 100 mg, went to 200 mg, and then reached my doctor's desired therapeutic dose of 300 mg. (I'd previously taken tramacet but it stopped working, and I'm trying to avoid narcotics).

    I can't help you with long term issues, but just thought I'd say that I experience dry mouth with it. I have sleep apnea and use a CPAP device with a built-in humidifier but I still have to drink water during the night.

    It also only helps me for about five hours and then it's pretty ineffective. My husband and I have a joke about whether I'm in my "good hours" or not. If I want to do something that takes some effort ~ like vacuuming or a sinkful of dishes ~ I do it within the first five hours of the tramadol. After that, the pain comes back. Before that, it still only comes down a notch or two. My 6 or 7 temporarily becomes around 5.

    Just my experience, of course. I know others love tramadol. I will be talking about better options when I see the orthopedic surgeon next month. If you have been taking them since 2004 and they are no longer providing adequate pain control, I would bring that up at your next doctor's visit. Good luck, Adam. That's some big pain for you to be dealing with.
  • Yep, I've been on it around 2 years now. No long term effects, and it's still effective. I take 2x 50 mg/day though. Good luck!
  • I have been a regular user of this pain killer fot the last 8 years. I take 6 x 50mg capsules per day along with 30mg of an anti-inflamatory drug called piroxicam. Although I have had back pain, on and off, all of my life, my main reason for the painkiller is psoriatic arthritis. I have had this since I was 21 years old and I am now 51. With regards to any side effects, I have now got kidney stones and a stomache ulcer. However, without these drugs, I cannot walk very well. I am also still working full time as an installer / servicer of fire alarm systems.
  • I've been taking tramadol slow release for ten years, I have osteoarthritis in my back and knee so when I'm in a lot of pain I take two but most of the time I just take one, I have tried to come of them but ithe side affects are awful so I would rather keep on them, they still work for my pain and help me get through the day to day tasks for work and home.
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