Experience w/ Tramadol (ultram) & Tizanidine(Zanaflex)?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by orachel, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. orachel

    orachel New Member

    I'm on both of these now, but only for few weeks each. Take 4mgs of Zanaflex in morning, 4 at night. Take 50mgs of Ultram every 6 waking hours.
    My docs assure me that these are great for those with FM, but so far not having a whole lot of effect, and my pain levels are just horrific.
    I know they can take a long time to work, but if you're on them, these are my ????

    A) how long was it before they started to help
    B) and idea how to quantify how much they helped with your pain
    C) any idea what dosage was used before they became really beneficial, as I know both of them are gradually built up dosages.

    I just am in terrific pain 80-90% of the time, hard even to walk up stairs, and a GOOD day is one in which I can manage to load the diswasher and dress/wash myself and comb my hair. I'm really thinking that in order for me to begin to really improve (especially emotionally), I need to find some way to have a break in this vicious pain, even for a few hrs a day. Any ideas? Should I just trust the docs and stick it out for a few mos, or should I start really trying to explain how bad my pain is and beg for something stronger? Thanks!
  2. orachel

    orachel New Member

    other peoples experience with these meds if you're willing to share them. Basically, I need to know whether to suffer and wait for them to work, or start raising cain with docs to add something else for pain. Thanks in advance for sharing!
  3. tngirl

    tngirl New Member

    Rachel, I don't take Zanaflex but do take ultram. I can take 100 mg. every 4 hours (six times a day) if I need to.

    Is Zanaflex a muscle relaxer?

    I have daily pain also, sometimes worse than others.
    Its the pitts.

    I have a lot of neck problems which result in headaches. Once I had a terrible headache for 5 days that was unrelenting and kept getting worse. He gave me a pain shot and gave me a different muscle relaxer and a few stronger vicodin to help break the pain cycle.

    You should discuss your pain levels with your doctor.

    [This Message was Edited on 09/12/2005]
  4. therxmouse

    therxmouse New Member

    I take Ultram too. I usualy take one, but sometimes I take two. It gets things down to a dull roar most of the time. There will just be times when nothing does much good for the pain. I'm in love with my heating pad!

    I tried Zanaflex without much luck. I take Flexeril instead. It has helped so much with the twitches and spasms. Also good for sleep. Have you tried Flexeril? Some say it's not that helpful but for me it is. That's one of the worst things about FM, what works well for some, doesn't do much for others. Hang in there.....


  5. elsa

    elsa New Member

    Hi Rachel,

    Tramadol is use quite alot for CFS/FM pain. My dose is 1-2 tabs every 4-6 hours, but like Tngirl I take 2
    (100mgs) about every 4 hours. I also add ibuprophen when needed for pain unrelated.

    Tramadol is synthetic and classified as an opioid. It works on the opiate sites (as does drugs like valium). It doesn't stop the pain ... it fools the body into thinking the pain is gone.

    It starts to work in about 1 hour, with best concentrations occurring between two and three hours. With multi-doses, it relieves severe to moderately severe pain for 7 to 8 hours. In other words, you need to break the pain cycle. When I was first hurting, I took my dose every 4-5 hours without fail. Even woke up at night to take it.

    Food has no effect on tramadol and does not delay onset of pain relief. Curiously, it works just a tad better in women then men.

    It effects serotonin and norepininphrine, but it is not an AD. If taken with drugs that cause you to be drowsey, tramadol will increase those effects.

    I don't take zanaflex, so I can't give you any input there. I have flexeril in my arsenal for muscle spasms, but I don't take it often ...

    I like that tramadol gives me a little energy boost. Not enough to win marathons, but opposed to so many drugs that can knock you out. FYI Ultracet is a reduced amount of tramadol combined with acetomenophin.

    Good luck,


  6. tandy

    tandy New Member

    I think you'll find 1 ultram not enough.
    My doc started me out on just 1 also,..they did'nt do nothing~ So,..after 6 weeks(why'd I wait??)
    I told him exactly that, they did'nt do a darn thing.
    So he upped me to taking 2 ultrams,...3 times a day.
    That was much better but still I have alot of pain.
    I know we need something stronger but my doc. won't prescribe anything else at this time.
    I don't know what he's waiting for?
    My pain is way up there too.
    At my PT evaluation I told them that on a GOOD day my pain is 6-7. Others times its mostly 9-10.
    Its horrible on your mind to have constant pain!!
    Its wrecking me~
    I hope your doc. will give you something stronger if needed. Thats half the battle is just getting some pain relief!!
  7. elizajane40

    elizajane40 New Member

    I have had good experience with Tramadol. I take 100 mg's every 6 waking hours. I did not build up to 100, that was my starting dosage. It takes the edge off the pain and gives me an energy boost that really helps my mood as well as helping me physically. Hope this helps !
  8. jana15

    jana15 New Member

    I was prescribed Tramadol last winter and found them really good. However I took one this winter and although it reduced the pain, I felt terribly ill shortly afterwards, nausea, giddy, headache etc....I was on holdiay at the time but asked a pharmacist if he could give me something and he said it was a common side effect of Tramadol. I haven't been game enough to try one since so I stick to my 'over the counter - max strength and max amount per day which at best, will only take the tip off the pain but it seems to be enough for me to be able to manage (I'm mostly beg ridden during the cold months anyway)

    I think you're really lucky if you can get the pain relief they give without the dreadful side effects I experienced.

    Cheers Jana
  9. Unfortunately ultram gives me a horrible headache. It felt like the top of my head would blow off.
    By the way your last paragraph sounds like myself, I find it hard to do things too, walking upstairs is a killer for me, fortunately we don't have stairs but alot of places I go do. PAIN PAIN PAIN! do you go to a MD or a rheumie?[This Message was Edited on 09/12/2005]
  10. JLH

    JLH New Member


    When I took Ultram, it did not do a thing for me. It was about like taking a Tylenol for terrible pain!!

    I do take Zanaflex daily, though. I went through quite a few meds to help me sleep and I like it the best.

    I don't know how in the world you could take Zanaflex in the morning and be able to function the rest of the day!!!!! It is very sedating!! That's why most docs give it to you to take at bedtime to help sleep.

    I take 6 mg a couple hours before bedtime and it really helps me relax enough to sleep. I also sleep with a CPAP machine and oxygen due to me having obstructive sleep apnea.

    Regarding your fibro pain ..... have you ever tried Neurotin? I take 300 mg 3 x day and it has made a noticable difference in my pain level.

    I also take Cymbalta, an anti-depressant that helps with nerve pain. A lot of people with fibro are now on it.

    Take care,
  11. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    You have said something that I believe led to my long term improvement - that you need something to break the pain cycle.

    I experienced just that when I took MS Contin. It is hard to find a doctor to let you try it but I guess I was lucky. It definitely does stop the pain, however it is a long acting morphine with side effects that go along with that.

    My pain specialist feels MS Contin is a very good drug for fibro pain. As it turned out, for me after taking it for 9 nmonths, I had to get off due to the side effects. I had terrible constipation and digestive problems.

    I stopped it in May and have been on a drug called Subutex and Tylenol only since then. I still have very good control over my fibro. and stay on top of it.

    I hope and pray I never go back to how sick I was before. I had over 10 years of bad pain and was practically bedridden. (Weeks would go by when I did not leave the house). Even though my physical condition is much improved, I still have the psychological to deal with from being sick for so long.

    My husband and brother are giving me alot of support and each day I am stronger. I also see my doctor every two weeks and he takes all the time to talk to me. I have been through alot but feel I am definitely on the track to a better life.

    I don't want to be criticized for suggesting you try MS Contin but I am sure if would stop the pain.

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