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Ultram ER vs Ultram (Tramadol)

paradiddlepparadiddle Posts: 48
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Pain Medications
Ultram ER vs Ultram (Tramadol)

I have used Ultram ER 100mg off and on for past 2 years. I have neck pain - post op from MVA. I had a 3 level ACDF. My primary doc got me on Ultram ER 200mg at first after my complaints of pain. 200mg made me feel groggy and doped up like Oxy's so we went with 100mg.

Initially when I used 100mg it was a beautiful. Euphoric at first 1-2 days and then good pain management. But after 7 days I felt like I had the flu. So I stopped. Then I would only use it as needed but it takes so long to get going.
I tried going back on daily and got flu-like again. I'm unsure if it's the drug or coincidence. I really want to make this work because it really does the job at first. I was thinking that I would like to try regular Tramadol. Is it faster acting and can I just use as needed. Not all days are horrible for me. I'm in a quandary?

Has anyone else had that flu like symptom with Tramaol or Ultram ER?

Does regular Tramadol work faster and can I use it as needed?


  • I did some research ( I finally read the whole data form with Ultram ER.) There is a graph showing the comparison. Regular has faster action within 1-2 hrs and ER takes 6-8 hours to get going. I have read that some people who take ER take it before bed so that the 6-8 hour window coordinates.

    Now .....can you take tramadol as needed?

    I may also try to wean my self down on the lyrica. I also hardly ever take the Skelaxin as I never see much of an effect.
  • With Tramadol being the generic name and the ER on the Ultram just standing for Extended Release. I have taken as needed for several years without any problems.

    I personally don't make any changes to my meds until I talk to my Doctor about it.
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  • You need to discuss this with your pain Dr. They need to get you on the right things. If it gives you flu like symptoms, it might be something the subsides in time.
    Whatever is happening, should be discussed with your Dr. They have helped me get the right mix several times. Good Luck
  • I'm in a similar situation. When Darvacet when off the market my PM wanted me to try Ultram again. Unfortunately, I had the same reaction I had last time (headache lasting several days).

    I'm going back to the PM tomorrow, so hopefully I can get something that works and doesn't make me sick (add along to backache for a wonderful day!).

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • like the Tramadol much better. There was just something about the Ultram I didn't feel myself when taking it. I've been on Tramadol since 08 with no side effects to speak of.

    I am also using Magnesium oil for aches and pains in my cervical area and getting magnificent pain relief....it's the bomb. (Thank you Peter B.) :-)
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  • Yes, the instant-release would enter your bloodstream quicker. On the other hand, it also leaves quicker, only lasting 4-5 hours.

    I had great luck with Tramadol in the early days. I never got much relief with the ER version, though. There is also a newer medication in the same class, called Nucynta. If the flu-like symptoms persist, you could ask your doctor about that one.
  • I've been on this for several years with no apparent problems. Either 50mg 4 hourly or 100mg 8 hourly.
    My usage has increased lately due to extra back pain, so I've been on the maximum dose.
    Watched a TV show on pills this week and it prompted me to rethink the opiate like effect that tramadol produces, and if I really needed it.
    They said that the amount of codeine in otc tablets is not enough to relieve pain.
    That made me think that it must be the paracetamol that does the trick.
    So I reverted to a stronger paracetamol tablet a few days ago, and the pain control is good.
    But....I developed restless legs. Found out today that this can be a symptom of Tramadol withdrawal.
    So I'm glad I saw that show and took some action, as it would seem that I was getting addicted.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,562
    People may think that weaning themselves down, stopping cold turkey, etc is a noble thing to do.

    NEVER change your medication dosages without FIRST talking to your doctor. There are sound valid reasons why your doctor wrote the prescription as stated.

    Circumventing your doctors orders may create a problem you dont want to deal with.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Fair enough.
    And that's really why I posted-I've cut down many times before, with no ill effects at all, so didn't expect this reaction.
    What I'd overlooked is that I'd been on the maximum dose for over a week or two.
    My doctor doesn't like Tramadol.
    Whenever he asks me how many I take, and I say 6 or 7 a day, he cringes and says that's too much;if I say only 3, he says that's much better.
    So he is always encouraging me to cut down on the dosage.
    He also offered me the paracetamol, seen as a lesser drug, as an option to the Tramadol.
    So I'd say he'd be very happy.
    I'll just take one small dose at night for a while.
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