PrescriptionGiant is a FREE prescription savings program that can save you up to 75% on your prescriptions with or without insurance!


Actual product appearance may differ slightly.

Click the CARD below to print or take a screenshot on your mobile phone or tablet. There is no need to download another app!

If you would like to personalize your card enter your full name in the member name field below the card at this link and click the Update button.


Tramadol, a commonly prescribed pain medication, comes with several risks, including:

  • Addiction and Dependence: Tramadol is an opioid analgesic, which means it has the potential for addiction and dependence, especially when used improperly or for extended periods.
  • Respiratory Depression: Like other opioids, tramadol can slow down breathing, leading to respiratory depression, particularly in high doses or when combined with other depressants like alcohol or benzodiazepines.
  • Central Nervous System Effects: Tramadol can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and impaired cognitive function, affecting a person’s ability to perform tasks requiring mental alertness, such as driving or operating machinery.
  • Serotonin Syndrome: Tramadol can increase serotonin levels in the brain, leading to a potentially life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome when taken in combination with other medications that also affect serotonin levels.
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Abruptly stopping tramadol after long-term use can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, agitation, nausea, sweating, tremors, and insomnia.
  • Seizures: Tramadol lowers the seizure threshold, increasing the risk of seizures, particularly at higher doses or in individuals with a history of seizures or epilepsy.
  • Interactions with Other Medications: Tramadol can interact with a variety of other medications, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, and certain antibiotics, potentially leading to adverse effects or reduced efficacy.

It’s crucial for individuals prescribed tramadol to use it exactly as directed by their healthcare provider and to be aware of these potential risks. Additionally, discussing any concerns or questions with a healthcare professional is essential to ensure safe and effective use of this medication.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Tramadol is commonly prescribed as a pain reliever. It belongs to a class of medications known as opioid analgesics, which work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, blocking the sensation of pain. Tramadol is often used to manage moderate to moderately severe pain, such as that caused by injuries, surgeries, or chronic conditions like arthritis. Additionally, tramadol may be prescribed for other purposes, such as treating fibromyalgia or neuropathic pain. It’s important to use tramadol exactly as prescribed by a healthcare professional, as misuse or overuse can lead to dependence, addiction, and other serious health risks.

How should this medicine be used?

The dosage and administration of tramadol vary depending on the severity of pain, the individual’s response to the medication, and other factors such as age and medical condition. However, general guidelines for tramadol use include:

  • Dosage: Tramadol is typically available in immediate-release tablets, extended-release tablets, and oral capsules. The usual starting dose for adults is 50 to 100 mg every 4 to 6 hours as needed for pain relief. The maximum daily dose is usually not more than 400 mg.
  • Titration: Depending on the individual’s response and tolerance, the healthcare provider may adjust the dosage gradually to achieve adequate pain control while minimizing side effects.
  • Extended-Release Formulation: Extended-release tramadol formulations are designed to provide around-the-clock pain relief. These formulations should be swallowed whole and not crushed, chewed, or split.
  • Avoid Alcohol and Other Depressants: Tramadol can cause drowsiness and respiratory depression, so it’s important to avoid alcohol and other central nervous system depressants while taking this medication.
  • Monitor for Adverse Effects: Patients should be monitored for potential side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, constipation, and respiratory depression. If any adverse effects occur, they should be reported to a healthcare provider.
  • Avoid Abrupt Discontinuation: Tramadol should not be abruptly discontinued after long-term use, as this can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Instead, the dosage should be tapered gradually under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
  • Individualized Treatment: Tramadol should be used with caution in elderly patients, those with kidney or liver impairment, and individuals with a history of substance abuse or psychiatric disorders.

It’s essential to follow the prescribed dosage and instructions provided by the healthcare provider to ensure safe and effective use of tramadol for pain management. Additionally, patients should consult their healthcare provider if they have any questions or concerns about tramadol use.

Other uses for this medicine

In addition to its primary use for pain management, tramadol has been explored for several off-label uses, including:

  • Off-Label Pain Conditions: Tramadol may be prescribed off-label for pain conditions not specifically approved by regulatory agencies, such as neuropathic pain, chronic pelvic pain, and migraine headaches.
  • Depression: Some studies have suggested that tramadol may have antidepressant properties, and it has been used off-label to treat depression, particularly in individuals who also experience chronic pain.
  • Opioid Withdrawal: Tramadol has been investigated as a potential treatment for opioid withdrawal symptoms due to its opioid agonist activity, although its use for this purpose is controversial and not widely recommended.
  • Premature Ejaculation: Tramadol has been studied as a treatment for premature ejaculation, with some evidence suggesting it may help delay ejaculation in certain individuals.

What special precautions should I follow?

Special Precautions for Tramadol:

  • Risk of Addiction and Dependence: Tramadol, like other opioids, carries a risk of addiction and dependence, especially with prolonged use or misuse. Patients with a history of substance abuse should use tramadol with caution.
  • Respiratory Depression: Tramadol can cause respiratory depression, particularly in high doses or when combined with other central nervous system depressants such as alcohol or benzodiazepines. Patients should be monitored closely, especially those with respiratory conditions.
  • Serotonin Syndrome: Tramadol can increase serotonin levels in the brain, leading to a potentially life-threatening condition known as serotonin syndrome, particularly when combined with other medications that affect serotonin levels. Caution should be exercised when prescribing tramadol alongside selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), or monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
  • Seizure Risk: Tramadol lowers the seizure threshold, meaning it may increase the risk of seizures, especially in patients with a history of seizures or epilepsy. Dosage adjustments may be necessary in these cases.
  • Interactions with Other Medications: Tramadol can interact with numerous other medications, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, and certain antibiotics. Patients should inform their healthcare provider about all medications they are taking to avoid potential interactions.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Tramadol use during pregnancy may increase the risk of neonatal withdrawal syndrome or other adverse effects in the newborn. It should be used with caution in pregnant or breastfeeding women, and only if the potential benefits outweigh the risks.

As with any medication, it’s essential to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and report any concerning side effects or issues promptly.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

There are no specific dietary restrictions associated with Tramadol. However, it’s essential to maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated while taking this medication.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dose of Tramadol, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose. In that case, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Tramadol, like any medication, can cause side effects, though not everyone experiences them. Common side effects of Tramadol may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting: These are among the most common side effects of Tramadol, particularly when starting treatment or with higher doses.
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness: Tramadol can cause feelings of dizziness or faintness, especially when standing up quickly from a sitting or lying position.
  • Constipation: Tramadol can slow down bowel movements, leading to constipation for some individuals.
  • Headache: Some people may experience headaches while taking Tramadol.
  • Drowsiness: Tramadol can cause drowsiness or sleepiness, which may impair your ability to perform certain tasks safely, such as driving or operating machinery.
  • Dry mouth: Tramadol may cause a dry sensation in the mouth for some individuals.
  • Sweating: Excessive sweating or sweating without exertion can occur in some people taking Tramadol.
  • Itching: Some individuals may experience itching or a skin rash while taking Tramadol.
  • Loss of appetite: Tramadol may cause a decrease in appetite for some individuals.
  • Serotonin syndrome: In rare cases, Tramadol can increase serotonin levels to dangerous levels, leading to symptoms such as confusion, hallucinations, fast heartbeat, fever, sweating, shivering, trembling, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
  • Seizures: Tramadol may lower the seizure threshold, particularly at higher doses or in individuals with a history of seizures.
  • Respiratory depression: Tramadol can slow down breathing, especially when combined with other central nervous system depressants like alcohol or other opioids.

It’s essential to report any side effects you experience while taking Tramadol to your healthcare provider. Additionally, if you experience any severe or concerning side effects, seek medical attention promptly.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and Disposal of Tramadol:

  • Storage: Tramadol should be stored at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep it in its original packaging and away from children and pets.
  • Disposal: Dispose of unused or expired Tramadol properly to prevent misuse or accidental ingestion. You can check with your local pharmacy or government guidelines for proper disposal methods. Avoid flushing it down the toilet unless instructed to do so by specific guidelines.

In case of emergency/overdose

Emergency/Overdose of Tramadol:

  • Recognize the Signs: Symptoms of Tramadol overdose may include difficulty breathing, slowed or shallow breathing, extreme drowsiness, cold/clammy skin, slowed heart rate, or loss of consciousness.
  • Seek Medical Help: If you suspect an overdose, call emergency services immediately. Provide them with as much information as possible, including the dosage and when it was taken.
  • Naloxone: In some cases, naloxone, an opioid antagonist, may be administered to reverse the effects of Tramadol overdose. However, naloxone may not always be effective for Tramadol overdose and should be administered by trained medical personnel.

What other information should I know?

  • Avoid Alcohol: Tramadol can enhance the effects of alcohol, leading to dangerous side effects such as respiratory depression and sedation. Avoid alcohol consumption while taking Tramadol.
  • Avoid Driving or Operating Machinery: Tramadol may cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. Avoid activities that require mental alertness until you know how Tramadol affects you.
  • Avoid Abrupt Discontinuation: Suddenly stopping Tramadol may cause withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, sweating, nausea, diarrhea, tremors, and insomnia. Consult your healthcare provider for a gradual tapering schedule if you need to discontinue Tramadol.
  • Inform Healthcare Providers: Make sure to inform any healthcare providers, including dentists and surgeons, that you are taking Tramadol, as it may interact with other medications or anesthesia.
  • Medical History: Inform your doctor if you have a history of seizures, kidney or liver disease, mental/mood disorders, or substance use disorder before taking Tramadol.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions regarding the use and disposal of Tramadol, and never share it with others, especially those with a history of substance abuse. If you have any concerns or questions about Tramadol, consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

Copyright © 2023