Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tramadol and Addiction

Synthetic pain reliever, Tramadol, is today advertised under the brand name Ultram. The mechanism of this medication has not yet been completely discovered but scientists believe it to be very similar to narcotic opiods, such as morphine. Interacting with the central nervous system, Tramadol connects with neurotransmitters in the brain and they modify the way pain is transmitted to the body. Used on a wide scale for the treatment of pain, Tramadol presents an opportunity for substance abuse and unfortunately many people are diagnosed with overdose. Still, Tramadol seems to hold an advantage over non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, having a reduced risk for internal bleeding.

Available on prescription, Tramadol is Available in tablets but also as vials. The tablets are of two kinds: immediate release with a dose of 50 mg and extended release which can contain 100, 200 or 300 mgs. The recommendation is for long-lasting and recurrent pain, caused by various medical conditions and without other known solutions. The extended-released tablets are preferred in the situations in patients who need treatment around the clock for prolonged periods of time and it seems that they have a very high efficiency rate.

One of the most important issues related to Tramadol is the one regarding dosage. Usually, doctors prescribe a dose between 50 and 100 mg at every 4-6 hours, with a maximum dose of 400-600 mg/day. A treatment plan with Tramadol usually starts with a dose of 25 mg/day, being increased over the following couple of days until it reaches 100 mg/day. According to the condition of the patient and the intensity of pain experienced, the dose might be increased or even reduced. The extended release tablets are recommended to be taken just one/day if they are of 100 mg, with a maximum dose of 300 mg. Neither of these pills must be crushed or the content diluted with water, as a high dose of Tramadol taken at once is similar to an overdose and could lead to severe symptoms.

What are the drug interactions for Tramadol? It is a known fact that carbamazepine (powerful anti-seizure medication) decreases the effect of Tramadol, deactivating the dynamic compounds of the drug in the body. Quinidine (drug used for correcting abnormal heart rhythms) is also said to influence the general effects of Tramadol, using the same mechanism as the first drug presented. Doctors warn against using Tramadol with MAO inhibitors or SSRI (serotonin inhibitors), as they can increase the severity of potential side effects, particularly those related to seizures (go online and find out more about the serotonin syndrome, rare but deadly serious).

Tramadol should never be taken in combination with alcohol, narcotic drugs or sedatives. The effects on the central nervous system are devastating and there is an increased risk for respiratory shock or cardiopulmonary arrest. The drug is forbidden to be taken during pregnancy as the effects in such situations have not been completely elucidated and the current findings are not optimistic at all. The same thing goes for nursing, Tramadol being easily transmitted to the baby through the mother’s milk.

When taken as recommended, Tramadol does not cause side effects and scientists have discovered that patients tolerate the medicine quite well. Some of the most common side effects are nausea, vertigo, somnolence and vomiting. As the array of symptoms described is varied, patients have express complaints regarding powerful headaches, excessive sweating, skin allergies and blurred vision. Abrupt interruption of the treatment has led in most cases to what is known as drug withdrawal syndrome, a very serious condition characterized by shock, tremors, hallucinations and extreme anxiety.

Tramadol is a powerful analgesic but at the same time it is addictive. Patients might be suffering from chronic pain and need such medication; when they become obsessed with taking the medication, seeking all abuse opportunities and taking unnecessary risks, then it becomes a problem. Taken in high doses, Tramadol causes serious changes in the addict’s brain and the consequences are extremely grave. If the initial stages are commonly manifested by a euphoric mood, the patient will end up feeling hyper alert, agitated and losing all contacts with reality. The only thing that matters is increasing the dosage but this is a vicious cycle as the body continues to develop tolerance.

Being dependent on Tramadol is very difficult to stop and even harder to keep under control. Patients experiencing withdrawal might become aggressive and incoherent. It is important that such situations are not transported into actual reality and people realize the serious consequences of their actions. This is not just a special warning; it is something anyone should pay attention to. Addiction is no way of life!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tramadol: Instant Cure for Chronic Pain

Tramadol is a pain killer used to treat moderate to severe stages of pain. It is a synthetic agent as 4-phenyl-piperidine analogue of codeine. It is believed to function like morphine. Additionally, its actual actions are not known till date. Therefore, it is suggested to take this medicine only after a consultation with a doctor or physician. Tramadol is the generic form of Ultram.

Tramadol functions in the brain. It thwarts the receptors in the brain which convey the message of pain in the entire body. It is safe to take the medicine, if taken for short durations of time and under the doctor’s observation. The medicine should be taken during emergency situations. The medicine is available in variations differing in milligrams. For the immediate release normally 50 mg is given and in extended time release 100 mg, 200 mg and 300 mg could be prescribed after studying the condition of the patient.

It is recommended to take the medicine in the same form as prescribed by physician. One should not crush it, chew or split it during use. Tramadol should be taken as a whole. The consumer will not get addictive to the medicine if taken for short durations of time. If the medicine is taken for longer period of time then it is commonly found that the medicine acquires a resistance. In this condition you may feel that Tramadol is not working at all in your pain management. The medicine will lose its effectiveness.

The long term users of the medicines are recommended not to start or stop Taking the Medicine by themselves. The patient should not increase or decrease the dosage also without consulting the doctor. The dosage of the medicine or any change in the prescription should only be made after the check up and consulting the doctor or the physician. If you feel any unpleasant side effects of the medicine on the body, you need to visit the doctor soon.

It is better to be honest with the doctor about your current medications and adverse reactions of any particular medicine on the body. Then only he will be able to suggest the better medications. Tramadol can be taken in combination with Carbamazepine; it is normally prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy and bi polar disorder. Carbamazepine also reduces the effect of Tramadol.

Tramadol has some side effects if not taken with proper care. The only issue lies in the addictive properties of the medicine. Therefore, the medicine should be taken under the guidance of an expert physician.

All You Need to Know About Tramadol

Tramadol is a narcotic-like drug used to soothe from moderate to severe body pains. It works in similar ways as morphine and can be addictive. Thus, there is a tendency of the drug being abused. It is available in both original and generic forms and is administered as tablets, capsules or in liquid forms.

The recommended dose for extended release tablets is 100mg per day which can be increased by 100mg every five days but not to exceed 300mg per day. These tablets should be swallowed whole and should NEVER be crushed or chewed.

The immediate release tablets should be taken every 4 to 6 hours with the maximum dosage of 400mg per day. The patient is advised to start of by taking 25mg daily which is then increased to 50mg every three days. It can be taken with a glass full of water or with food.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, DO NOT take a double dose. In case of an overdose, seek medical help immediately. Never stop medication suddenly as it causes unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Points to Note Before Taking Tramadol
  • You should not take this drug if you are an addict, was an addict or have recently used any of the following: alcohol, stress and depression relievers, medication for mental illnesses, sedatives or tranquilizers and any narcotic Pain Medicine.
  • Inform your physician if you are suffering from kidney, liver or stomach diseases and if you have a history of depression, suicidal attempts or mental illness.
  • The drug can produce an allergic effect hence the need to let the doctor know if you are allergic to any medicine.
  • It's not recommended for pregnant and lactating mothers not unless directed by a doctor.
Side Effects

The more serious adverse effects are: convulsions, difficulty in breathing accompanied by weak pulses and red blistering and peeling of the skin. The less serious effects are: nausea, blurred vision, insomnia, dizziness and drowsiness as well as loss of appetite.