What is Tramadol? Uses, Benefits, Side Effects
Tramadol HCL: All the Details You Need to Know
The FDA first approved tramadol HCL in 1995. Even though it acted similar to oxycodone and morphine, tramadol wasn’t considered an opiate. However, after numerous reported tramadol abuse and addiction cases, tramadol warnings had changed. The FDA had finally designated tramadol HCL as a controlled substance in 2014.
Tramadol belongs to an opioid agonist class of drugs. It works by changing how your brain experiences pain. Tramadol is very similar to endorphins. Endorphins bind to cell receptors making them decrease the pain messages that your body sends to the brain. Tramadol works in a very similar way by decreasing the amount of pain your brain believes you're experiencing.
What is Tramadol?
People who take this drug for the first time may have numerous questions like what is tramadol, how to use it, and how it will help them.
Tramadol is a prescription-only drug. It is available in both immediate and extended-release oral tablet variants. Additionally, tramadol hydrochloride comes as an extended-release capsule as well. The difference between immediate and extended-release variant drugs means the drug will be released into the body immediately or slowly over time.
Tramadol oral tablets are available as generic drugs, while the immediate-release tablets are available by the brand Ultram. The main difference between generic and brand-name drugs is their cost. Generic drugs cost less than their brand-name counterparts. However, generic drugs may not be available in all forms or strengths as the premium ones.
Tramadol drug helps relieve mild and moderately severe pain. It’s very similar to other opioid analgesics, and it works by sending information to your brain about how your body should feel and respond to pain.
This drug is meant for oral use, following your doctor’s instructions. They usually advise taking tramadol every four to six hours, depending on the severity of the pain the patient is experiencing.
It is relatively safe to take tramadol with or without food. However, to avoid nausea, it's safer to take the pill after or during a meal. If the nausea remains persistent, you should ask your pharmacist or doctor about how to decrease the unpleasant experience caused by tramadol.
Benefits of Tramadol
Taking a tramadol pill will help your brain send signals to your body on how to respond to the pain you’re experiencing. People often wonder what is tramadol used for, and if it's used for purposes other than relieving the pain.
The main use of tramadol is pain relief, but since there are many cases of tramadol abuse where people use it as an opiate, this drug has ended up on a controlled substances list.
Tramadol acts as a serotonin releasing agent. It affects the opioid receptors through active metabolite desmetramadol, which makes desmetramadol exclusively responsible for the opioid effects that tramadol has. Tramadol doesn’t induce dopamine release, but it gives a similar effect to a person's brain.
The exact tramadol dosage, drug form, and intake frequency depend on several factors, including:
- your age
- the condition you’re treating
- the severity of your condition
- any other medical conditions you suffer from
- your initial first-dose reaction
Both Tramadol (generic) and Ultram (brand-name) drugs offer immediate-release oral tablets with different strengths. The generic variant offers Tramadol 50mg, 100mg, and 200mg variations, while Ultram offers only 50mg tablets.
Depending on various vital factors, the dosage varies for children 17 years of age and above, adults, and older adults. It’s still unknown if these tramadol forms are effective and safe for younger children. When it comes to senior patients, their liver and kidneys won’t process the drug effectively because of their age. This means that the drug will stay longer in their system, which can further cause side effects.
Side Effects of Tramadol
Avoid using heavy machinery, and performing potentially dangerous activities like driving until you know for sure how tramadol affects your system. Tramadol side effects can be both mild and severe. Mild side effects will usually go away in several days, and they include:
- dry mouth
- vomiting and nausea
More severe side effects can last longer, and if not addressed immediately, they can cause further health complications. Call emergency medical service at once if you notice you’re having any of these side effects:
- fast heart rate or high blood pressure
- higher body temperature followed by vomiting and nausea
- stronger reflexes
- diarrhea or stomach cramps
- slowed breathing rate or very shallow breathing
- fainting, confusion, or dizziness
- trouble sleeping
- dilated pupils
- teary eyes and runny nose
- sweating or chills
- joint or back pain and muscle aches
It’s of utmost importance to consult your doctor before you start using tramadol to avoid any potential unwanted side effects, and to make sure you’re properly using the drug. At Countrywide Testing, we offer our clients with government-certified drug tests and other products. Our lab drug testing is highly effective and advanced, which is why our clients rely on us. Contact us now, and our staff will clean any doubts and answer all questions you have.