What is Tramadol?
Tramadol is a potent painkiller commonly used to treat moderate to severe pain. It falls under the category of opioids or narcotics and is considered a low-risk opioid. Structurally related to codeine and morphine, tramadol is also prescribed for post-surgical pain. However, prolonged use of tramadol can lead to physical or mental dependence.
Forms of Tramadol Dosage
Tramadol is available in various forms, including solution, tablet, extended-release tablet, extended-release capsule, and suspension.
Precautions and Usage
Before taking tramadol, it is essential to inform your doctor about any allergies you may have to medications, foods, dyes, animals, or preservatives. Tramadol should not be administered to children under 12 years old for pain relief. Additionally, individuals under 18 years old who have recently undergone tonsil or adenoid removal surgery should avoid tramadol.
Follow your doctor’s instructions precisely when taking tramadol. It can be taken with or without food, but it is important to maintain consistency in administration. Swallow the tablet or capsule whole to avoid the risk of a potentially fatal overdose. Do not crush, chew, break, open, or dissolve the medication.
People with the following conditions should not take tramadol:
– Stomach or bowel obstruction
– Recent use of alcohol, sedatives, narcotic medications, or tranquilizers
– Use of MAO inhibitors within the past 14 days
– Asthma or breathing problems
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Tramadol should not be used during pregnancy or while breastfeeding as it can have harmful effects on the unborn baby. Take tramadol only as prescribed by your doctor and avoid exceeding the recommended dosage. Never share this medication with others, as misuse or unauthorized use can lead to overdose, addiction, and even death.
Administration and Side Effects
Tramadol can be taken with or without food, but consistency is key. Swallow capsules or tablets whole and avoid opening, breaking, crushing, or dissolving them. Inhaling the powder or injecting the drug into veins can be fatal.
Abruptly stopping tramadol usage may result in withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, consult your doctor before discontinuing the medication.
Common side effects of tramadol include itching, headache, constipation, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, tiredness, drowsiness, and dizziness. Tramadol does not eliminate pain entirely but helps reduce its intensity. It is important to inform your doctor about all other medications you are taking, as tramadol can interact with various drugs.
Dangerous drug interactions may occur with the following:
– Opioid medications
– Muscle relaxers, sleep aids, or sedatives
– Benzodiazepine sedatives like Valium, Klonopin, or Xanax
Dosage and Addiction Risk
Tramadol should be taken orally as directed by your doctor. The dosage will depend on your medical condition and response to the medication. The maximum recommended daily dosage is 400 milligrams for most individuals and 300 milligrams for those above 75 years old.
Taking tramadol as prescribed reduces the risk of addiction. Prolonged use beyond the prescribed duration may lead to addiction. When using the liquid form of tramadol, use a measuring spoon for accurate dosage measurement and avoid using a household spoon, as it may provide incorrect measurements.