What is Tramadol?
Tramadol is an opioid analgesic prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain for which other pain medications were inadequate. It belongs to a class of drugs called synthetic opioids and is known to work as a painkiller. Tramadol is available as an extended-release form that is given to patients with ongoing pain caused due to a chronic illness that requires regular treatment for pain management. You can have Tramadol with other medications. You are advised to inform your doctor about your medical history and other medications you are currently using so they can prescribe the correct dosage for you.
How does Tramadol function?
Tramadol is an opioid that acts directly on opioid receptors in the central nervous system comprising the brain and spinal cord and functions to reduce the feelings or sensations of pain by interrupting chemical signals from one nerve cell to the other. It essentially changes how you feel pain and is often linked to endorphins due to their similar action. Tramadol is also known to work as an SNRI or a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, where serotonin and norepinephrine are responsible for the feeling of pain. Tramadol is an opioid agonist that helps decrease pain sensations in the entire body.
What are the possible side effects caused by Tramadol?
The common side effect include-
3- Nervousness and uncontrolled shaking
4- Dry mouth
The common side effects of Tramadol should reduce with time, and it is suggested that you inform your doctor if they persist or get worse.
The severe side effects of Tramadol are-
2- Agitation, hallucinations, profuse sweating
3- Shallow breathing
4- Nausea and vomiting
5- Loss of consciousness
The severe side effects of Tramadol are unlikely, and it is advised that you inform your doctor and look for medical assistance.
How long does it take for Tramadol to work?
Ideally, Tramadol starts to function within an hour. The fast-acting forms of Tramadol are drops, injections, and tablets or capsules. The slow-release form or the extended form is gradually released in the body. It takes approximately 12 to 24 hours, and the pain relief generally lasts longer. The extended-release tablets are prescribed to long-term chronic pain patients requiring continuous pain management. Tramadol is absorbed in your bloodstream, and in the case of fast-acting Tramadol, it reaches its peak concentration in your body after 2 to 3 hours of ingestion and lasts approximately 6 hours. In the case of extended-release Tramadol, it reaches its peak within 10 to 12 hours and provides pain relief for up to 24 hours. Tramadol injections and drops,along with fast-acting capsules, start working within 30 to 60 minutes, while their effects generally wear off in 4 to 6 hours.
How long does Tramadol stay in your system?
Tramadol is a short-term treatment for moderate to severe pain, but there can be various reasons for it to stay longer in your body. The half-life of a substance or a drug is the amount of time it takes half of the active drug to leave your body via the kidneys. Ideally, it takes a drug 5 to 6 half-lives to be entirely eliminated from the body. However, some drugs can still detect the presence of Tramadol in your system.
Saliva – Tramadol can be detected in your saliva for up to 48 hours after ingestion.
Blood – Blood tests can detect Tramadol for up to 48 hours
Urine – The most common test is a urine test which can trace Tramadol for 24 to 72 hours after the previous dose
Hair – Tramadol is detectable in the hair follicle for 30 to 90 days after the last dose.
Precautions to be taken while using Tramadol
- Tramadol can be addictive and habit-forming. It is advised that you use your medication in moderation to avoid addiction and overdose.
- If you have been using Tramadol for a long time, you may develop dependence or tolerance. It is suggested that you inform your doctor if you think the dosage prescribed to you isn’t enough instead of increasing it on your own.
- You should inform your doctor about your medical history, especially liver and kidney disease, breathing problems, heart condition, and substance use disorder.
- CNS depressants like alcohol and cannabis products can aggravate your side effects, and it is advised that you abstain from them.
How should you have Tramadol?
Tramadol is orally administered and can be had with or without food. It is suggested that if you have nausea, you should have Tramadol with food, it is advised that you have it with food. The dosage of Tramadol prescribed to you will be based on your medical condition, age, and response to treatment. It is available in two dosage strengths of 50mg and 100mg. The adult dosage for immediate-release tablets is 50mg, to be had four times a day initially. For maintenance, 50 to 100mg every 4 to 6 hours; the maximum dosage is 400mg daily. The extended-release tablet generally has a starting dosage of 100mg to be had once a day with a maximum dosage of 300mg a day.