Tramadol, which comes under the brand name of Ultram, is a pain relief medication used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. Also, this pain relief medication comes in handy for people suffering from chronic pain as well.
Tramadol comes in the form of immediate-release tablets or in the form of extended-release tablets. Both have their individual goal or purpose. The immediate release tablets can treat breakthrough pains, whereas the extended-release tablets are helpful in treating chronic pain.
It is important to note that Tramadol is a pain reliever which aids in the overall recovery process that also includes rest and therapy. Depending entirely on a pain medication is not advisable for any patient.
Let us understand the working mechanism of this effective pain medication, Tramadol, through an example.
Say, you were working out in the gym and suddenly met an accident. You accidentally dropped the dumbbells on your right foot and your reflexes were poor. There is an instant reaction. The nerves in the affected area send immediate signals to the brain, where the pain sensations are registered. The information is then processed and perceived by the brain as pain.
When you consult a doctor, he will check your condition and might prescribe you with a pain relief medication for immediate relief, while you might have to undergo a surgery or other treatments at the same time. This is where pain medications like Tramadol come into play. What it does is basically simple. There are certain receptors in our brain which work as relay stations for the neurotransmitters while sending signals. Tramadol binds to these receptors and simply blocks out the painful sensations between the nerves and the brain. You are not able to feel the pain anymore and hence, relieved from the discomfort.
At the same time, you will have to undergo proper bed rest and therapy in order to recover completely.
The dosage instructions are to be followed strictly as per a qualified healthcare provider’s prescription only. Given below are a few guidelines for taking Tramadol-
- One can take 50 to 100 mg orally every 4 to 6 hours for normal pain.
- You are allowed to take 100 mg once a day for chronic pain.
- You should not increase or decrease the dose without prior approval from the doctor.
- Please do not take Tramadol 100 mg longer than the recommended period.
- Do not overdose on Tramadol. It is a strong medication which might have severe consequences if misused. These consequences include- difficulty breathing, abnormal chills, vomiting, nausea, confusion, coma and even death in extreme cases.
Precautions for effective pain relief:
- First of all, make sure to inform your doctor about your medical history (if any) relating to metabolic disorders, breathing problems, cardiac problems, renal or liver-related disorders. The medication may worsen the conditions further if not taken with caution.
- Secondly, do not use Tramadol in combination with alcohol, sedatives or any other illegal narcotic medications as it might lead to severe consequences like difficulty breathing, vomiting, stomach ulcers or internal bleeding
- Also, do not use Tramadol if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. The medication may not work properly and might lead to miscarriage or birth defects in the newborn baby. Lactating mothers should not use this medication as it might pass into the breast milk and harm the baby or the mother herself.
- Moreover, children and young adults under the age of 16 years must not use Tramadol as there are no established results of using these medications in children.
- Most importantly, your doctor has the right to know about any current medication you are taking such as antifungal medicines containing ketoconazole, antibiotics like erythromycin and linezolid, antidepressants, muscle relaxants and medicines for nausea or vomiting.
- Tramadol may show withdrawal symptoms if overdosed or used for a longer period. Do not stop the medication abruptly. Your doctor may ask you to gradually stop the intake of pain relief medications.
Side Effects of Tramadol:
The most common and less severe side-effects include-
- Dry mouth
And the less-common but severe side-effects include-
- Sudden rise or drop blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty urinating
- Stomach pain
- Seizures in extreme cases.