Does Tramadol cause withdrawal symptoms?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by TeaBisqit, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    I finally broke down and tried Tramadol after six months of being afraid to take it. The inflamed nerve pain all over got so bad today, I would have done anything to stop it. The Tramadol is helping. It's only the 50mg dose. And I only took one. Does anyone know if this is really as addictive as I've heard? Like if I stay on it, am I going to end up with heroin/morphine addiction and withdrawal symptoms? I am scared of that, but I do see this has gotten me out of the screaming nerve pain. I'm still achey and stiff, but that awful all over nerve pain is pretty much gone. Anyone else on this drug?
  2. anj211

    anj211 New Member

    I read your message about tramadol and have been given it but i have not yet used it i am holding of as in your case if it got realy bad But feel i will end up going to have to take it as the pain is not getting any better infact it is getting worse .I have also heard it causes withdrawal which is putting me of taking it.
  3. Wrestlmom1

    Wrestlmom1 New Member

    Hello there, I'm new to the board but not new to Fibro. However, having said that, I have only just in the past month finally gotten a doctor to mutter the dreaded word. I have been on 300mg of Ultram ER (extended release tramadol-you only take it once a day) for a couple of years now along with 80mg Oxycontin twice daily with Percocet 10mg as needed for breakthrough pain. In the beginning I thought it would be silly to continue taking the ultram since I was already on the other medications, but when I stopped or would run out and not pick it up from the pharmacy, the next day my pain was significantly increased and no amount of the Percocet on top of the Oxycontin would even start to touch it. So, does that mean I'm dependent on it (being dependent is NOT the same as addiction, this needs to be understood) and so having withdrawals, or without the pain meds my pain is really that severe? And I mean SEVERE. It's hard to say. I've talked with my Drs. nurse about weaning off of the ultram, but she says it makes more sense to wean off of the narcotics first. Not until I get this pain under control is that even a consideration.

    I came to grips a long time ago with the fact that while I was probably becoming dependent on the narcotics, at least I wasn't miserable. I have children to raise and a job to keep as well as a husband who shouldn't be expected to carry the load by himself. There are days that even the pain medicine doesn't make all the other crap feel better, but 85% of the time I am able to get things done. I know that when I finally find a physician who will know something about Fibro and embraces the fact that you can be hypoglycemic even when the tests say otherwise, I'll be able to wean off of the other meds. It won't be pretty, but it will have been worth it. I'm not interested in being in so much pain that my life needs to be put on hold or stop altogether. It's not worth it.

    I don't mean to imply that the pain meds are the only meds I am taking, but they are the meds that go the farthest in helping me to feel normal.
  4. Pansygirl

    Pansygirl New Member

    for me has been worth it. I have been taking it since June 2008. I have
    pain everyday but I only take the tramadol on an as needed basis so I don't
    take it everyday .

    Now that said over the holidays in December I did take tramadol everyday because of the added stress and my pain level was way up! For me in addition to helping with my pain levels
    it also gives me energy which is great during the day but not always
    at night. The tramadol helps me to be able to function when otherwise I would
    be on the couch not moving.

    I am on 50 mgs and I can take it up to 3 x a day. The only thing I have
    noticed is that I have had to increase my fiber if I'm taking it daily.
    I have had a bad headache a few times the next day but this doesn't
    happen every time so I'm not 100% sure it's from the tramadol.

    But the past two weeks my pain levels have been higher again so
    I've been taking it almost everyday. yesterday I didn't take it at all
    and I felt okay and then today I was miserable and could barely move
    this morning so I had to take 2 doses of the 50mg.

    I would still like to try the extended release but after trying to just call and
    talk to the nurse (big mistake) ~ I'll have to wait till my appt in early June
    and talk to the doctor in person .

    For me I don't see it as being addictive except that it works great for helping relieve
    my pain and helping me to be able to function so yes I want to continue taking it.

    So for me the addiction would be that I'm addicted to liking that it enables me to be
    able to function and takes away most of my pain. smile

    TeaBisqit glad it's helping you .
    Gentle hugs, Susan
  5. jennah

    jennah New Member

    I take tramadol in 50mg pills.

    I take them to help keep the pain under control, but mainly because they have a short term acting SSRI in them. I can not tolerate "normal" SSRI's, and I do believe I am need of a little bit of something, so tramadol is what my DR & I found that bonus help with pain AND most importantly to me it gives me a little energy burst which is great to help battle the fatigue.

    I find I tend to take them more when I am feeling fatigued over taking them more when feeling pain. Probably not what was intended, but it is what works for me. I do think they help more with keeping the pain under control if taken before the pain is out of control to begin with.

    My dr. tells me I should take at least 3 a day to keep the SSRI in me; I have trouble doing this on a regular basis as I am bad all around with being consistent with meds.

    This is what I have found over the past couple years on this med:

    When I stay on it regularly (2 to 4 pills a day consistently) I do very well functioning wise. It does have a negative effect on my appetite though and I do lose weight and have to make myself eat.

    I have a problem when my script runs out and I don't bother to get it filled promptly. I have NEVER had a physical withdrawal issue from just up and stopping it when my script runs out; I have read of people having issues with it and I have started and stopped this med many times in 2 years and no probs with that.

    What I find I have a problem with after stopping it, is after a month or so I will start to really crash mentally and fatigue wise. I think this is from the SSRI being out of my system. This is what will prompt me to call my DR for a refill, crying about the fact that I should have never stopped taking it in the first place because now I have crashed and my life is a mess.

    I don't think that can really be considered withdrawal as it takes several weeks of not taking it to bottom out like I do....however it does show signs that I may be stuck taking the darn med for the rest of my life I guess.

    This past crash I had my script ran out at the end of December and I started to crash hard in February. It is the worse flare I have ever dealt with so far and even now that I am back on it, along with other meds to help pull me out of the flare, I am still not even close to functioning normal again.
  6. jennah

    jennah New Member

    I can't guarantee that my "crashes" are due to stopping the tramadol; however it has happened consistently at least 5 times over the past two years and after this last "crash" I really don't think it is a coincidence anymore. I think I need to stay on it consistently.
  7. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    I don't think I can stay on it. It's making me too queasy. I've got a seasick feeling and the nausea is bad, plus a headache. And it only helped for a few hours. Then it made me too tired to do anything. I guess it's good for a day like I had today where I was in so much pain I would have done anything. But on a regular basis, I can't do it. I won't be able to drive or anything. The same thing happened when I tried Percocet. Percocet was great when it worked, but then I got the headaches and the nausea and ended up puking from it. So I had to stop. I might try asking the doc about Lyrica. I haven't tried it yet. My doc didn't want to give it to me because she said her patients haven't had good results with it. I definitely need something. I can't touch NSAIDS anymore because of the acid reflux/GERD.
  8. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    You can definitely become dependant on Tramadol (again difference between addiction and dependance) if taken regularly. Some people have awful withdrawals, but some people have terrible withdrawals coming off anti-depressants. That wouldn't keep me from taking something to stop the daily pain. Any good Dr. would help you get through withdrawals should you choose to go off something.

    I used to get that horrible sick feeling from Lortabs. I could take Vicodin, percocet, no problem, but Lortab, I'd feel nauseous, throw up even. You might try something without Tylenol. They make an Oxycodone (which is what Percocet is) without Tylenol.

    Trying Lyrica is a great idea if you haven't tried it yet. Many people benefit greatly from it!
    I hope it works for you!!
  9. italiano

    italiano New Member

    I have been reading the posts for this topic and am new to boards. I too have just started ultram. Was scared to take it. I still don't get the difference between dependency and addiction. if someone can clarify that please do. I too had nasea, dizziness, palpitations with first ultram. But after taking it for a week now, one a day, I know it at leasts takes the edge off of pain for a few hours at work. My pain is in tailbone so just sitting in a chair is too much. I did not know it had SSRI in it. I am learning so much on boards. I am grateful for everyone sharing. I do not feel so alone.
  10. spacee

    spacee Member

    For a long time Ultram (brand name) gave me more energy.
    Tramalol (generic) made me sleepy.

    That went on for some years. I really liked the extra energy, but I didn't like the extra cost.

    Now, I take the tramadol and can't tell that it makes me sleepy.

    My hubby had the same feeling with Ultram. And when he stopped taking it, he did have some withdrawal reactions. (Usually I find that if I have these, I take some robitussin or benedryl to take the edge off and I withdraw pretty easily that way).

    I didn't know it had SSRI in it. I know it helps with my irritableness. My serotonin, even with Ultram, tests below normal..what would it be without it??? I take two 50mg a day.

  11. emtoa9

    emtoa9 New Member

    This situation is not unimportant, but avoiding an emotional attachment to Tramadol will help! Use it when you need it, take up to 1000 mg of plain or buffered aspirin with it (that definitely increases the effect) and lose that pain! Just like anything else, embracing it emotionally, overusing it, etc., could lead to problems. Be smart and pain-free!

    p.s. My doctor didn't realize that aspirin helps the Tramadol work. A pharmacist told me about it when I picked up my first script. The pain clinic I have been using also confirmed that aspirin definitely helps it work!
  12. jamie29812

    jamie29812 New Member

    I was diagnosed with this monster in September 2006 and have been taking Tramadol or Ultram since then. I can take 50 mg up to 3 times a day, but usually I just take it at night if I am really achy. I have found that if I take it with my prescribed ibuprofen, it works much better.

    Now, I would say no, it is not addictive, however, I really don't like to run out, just in case. This is really the only prescription, other than the motrin, that I take. I use St John's Wort, magnesium, calcium, and eat lots of protein, including Boost or Ensure, to keep from losing so much muscle.

    Good luck...
  13. cjcookie

    cjcookie New Member

    the hospitalist gave me a prescription to take at home. They say it is not a narcotic. I take this in addition to my norco and I only have a one month supply - didn't say anything about weaning off, etc.
  14. satchya

    satchya New Member

    I have been taking tramadol 50 mg for three and a half years now. It helps me a lot with my mood and energy. I started out taking it for pain from exercising when I started a weight loss program after I had my third child. In conversations with my doctor I realized that I had some kind of "pain disorder" (was not diagnosed for sure with fibromyalgia until I finally saw a rheumatologist in December of 08).

    I credit it with bringing me out of a very deep depression. It turned my whole life around. I do get withdrawal now if I miss a dose or delay a dose, but it is just like the withdrawals I have had the two times I was taking ssri's and decided to stop. It is the ssri withdrawal that makes you so miserable, not the very slight opiate effect. I really think the reason tramadol helps those of us with fibromyalgia so much is the ssri effect ALONG with the pain medicine. It boosts serotonin, and we really need that for some reason.

    I take opiates as well, and the withdrawal from those is completely different from how I feel withdrawing from Tramadol. I imagine I'll be on it my whole life. I have been able to cut back or stop completely taking Lortab when needed within a week. I have tried to wean myself off of tramadol and was so miserable I gave up within 24 to 48 hours and went right back on it.