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Tramadol and Restless Arm Syndrome
Tramadol and Restless Arm Syndrome
First of all, thanks to all of you who have posted about this drug and its addictive nature. You have scared the hell out of me and made me go flush my entire bottle down the toilet. I was right, I am becoming addicted.
I've been on Ultracet for a long time but only took it about once/week because I was always a bit worried about it becoming a habit but the doc said it was not a narcotic and basically harmless. My Ankylosing Spondolitis (AS) became more painful this winter so he precribed Tramadol 50mg and I started taking it daily for the past 3 months. I noticed that if I went 24 hours without it I was unable to sleep and my mood was terrible. I would go back on it the next day and all was fine again and I was sleeping once again.
I have noticed that the main thing that kept me from sleeping was a sensation in my left arm. I guess I would compare it to what I hear about Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). I kept telling myself that I must have some kind of nerve problem but I'm not so sure. I think it's Tramadol withdrawl. Has anyone else experienced this? I am going to be without the drug for the next several days and see if this sensation goes away and I can start sleeping again. I am experiencing a lot of the WD symptoms that everyone has written about here but the uncomfortable left arm problem has not been mentioned by anyone. It's odd that 9 times out of 10 it's always my left arm.
From what I'm reading, I'm lucky to have stumbled onto this forum before going down this road only 3 months. I've not taken more than 3 pills/day but if it's affecting me this way then I've got to stop now before I really get in trouble. Thank you all!
You've just done a really wise thing! If you think you're addicted, you probably are. Some people are more sensitive to meds than others, and nobody has any business telling you that you're at too low a dose to be addicted or experiencing withdrawal. If you are, you are...and you're doing the right thing by getting off that tramadol.
I think the arm sensations you're describing are definitely due to the withdrawal. I experienced something similar. I just felt sort of explosively twitchy. Sometimes my legs, sometimes my arms, sometimes it felt like my whole body and I just wanted to scream! I don't know what the actual physical cause in the body is. It usually happened more on my right side than my left. Who knows why?
But rest assured (sorry, maybe bad choice of words!) that it will get better. I had several bad nights of it. It started improving, and I started sleeping better, and it went away.
Hang in there. You're doing great! Please keep us posted!
Thank you so much for your reply. Two nights now without Tramadol and it's been hell. No sleep and I'm about to come out of my skin because of the left arm sensation. It begins right after I lie down for the night. I think at night the brain has no distractions of the busy day and can therefore take it out on the body causing physical sensations, discomfort and pain after being abused by this poison.
I have come up with something to help me through the night. I have a MP3 player and download audiobooks to it and just lie there listening to a book, podcast or music and find that I will doze eventually.
My last Tramodol dose was 100mg the morning of 02/09 and I slept soundly that night but 24 hours after that last dose is when the WD symptoms began. Hopefully tonight will be better and will continue to do so. I wonder if I should go get some OTC sleeping pills to help out some. What does everyone think of this and what would you recommend?
In my opinion sleep is really important at this time. Not for any physical reason, particularly, but because insomnia can drive you so crazy and can increase the temptation to relapse. So if you can find something to help you sleep, I'd say that's a good idea. I even called my doctor and asked him for 5 Ambiens. I told him that I had gotten myself into a very late sleep cycle and was trying to get back on an early one, and I thought the Ambiens might help. He sent them with no problem. It's just a small number of pills, and I was able to get to sleep by taking half a pill per night.
As far as OTC meds go, the only thing I've tried for sleep is Benadryl, and that helped a lot.
Hang in there! This is the worst time, which means the best is coming!
Well, it's been seven miserable sleepless nights without this medication. I'm beginning to think my left arm problems are not all in my head but an actual physical ailment. I have an arthritic condition called Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) which is a degenerative disease of the spine. I was prescribed Tramadol for this condition anyway and have been taking only 2/day at the most or 100mg. I'm beginning to think it has been taking care of my pains as it is prescribed to do and when I would stop taking them for a couple days the left arm tingling would arrive at night as I tried to go to sleep.
I'm thinking that my condition was worsening all this time but never realized it since the Tramadol was doing its job. I think I have developed Cervical radiculopathy or something of a pinched nerve from this condition.
I've not had anyone else state that the only WD symptoms they had was one arm that tingled only at night after going to bed. I have no desire for this drug at all actually other than wanting it to take care of this physical problem so perhaps I overreacted after reading all these horror stories about Tramadol. I have an appointment with a Neurologist Friday so hopefully I'll get to bottom of all this.
Yikes, jt, that sounds awful! I think it's a great thing that you're going to the doctor. If that twitching is a symptom of your medical condition, it needs to be evaluated. In your initial post you said that you were experiencing a lot of withdrawal symptoms, but if it's just the arm twitching that would be an unusual withdrawal; there must be something else going on.
Please take care, and let us know how you're doing.
I'm back. I went to a neurologist and they sent me for a C-scan which is a MRI of the neck to see if I have a nerve that is being squeezed. Cost me >$500! Results are not back but I'm back to thinking it's the Tramadol and wished I would have given myself much more time than 7 days to find out. I'm now starting all over again as my last dosage was on 02/28.
No sleep and miserable for the two previous nights without anything. My left arm sensations keeps me from sleeping but this time I'm also feeling general restlessness so I'm really thinking it's the dope. This time I'm riding it out the entire way. I'm going to go ahead and follow up with the Neurologist to the end. I asked him if he thought it could be wd from Tramadol and he didn't think so, especially since it affected just the one arm. Well, I'm now noticing it can affect my right arm sometimes and I had some small leg sensations the past two nights as well.
I noticed a lot of folks are jumping over to >>>>>>>.org forums and found the following from one poster called tramhater:
SO THE DOC THAT I AM SEEING TO HELP ME DETOX IS AMAZING... 1ST OFF HE HAS CALLED ME HIMSELF EVERYDAY TO LISTEN TO MY SYMPTOMS. (I WILL TALK ABOUT THE **** SYMPTOMS LATER) SO THE DOCTOR SAYS THREE THINGS THAT EVERYONE OF US NEED TO KNOW!!!!!!
#1... TRAMADOL.. IS NOT AN OPIATE... HAHA.. NOT... IT IS NOT AN OPIATE UNTIL IT HITS THE LIVER AND THE LIVER TRANSLATE IT BACK TO BEING ONE!! INTERESTING HUH?
#2... THE SIDE EFFECTS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WANT TO CUT YOUR ARMS AND LEGS OFF IS YOUR BODY FIGHTING THE SERITONIN (Sp) WITHDRAWAL. THAT THE POS DRUG TRAMADOL HIDES IN IT! SO IF YOU TAKE A DRUG SUCH AS PROZAC.. LEXAPRO.... XANAX.. IT WILL HELP THAT SIDE EFFECT GO AWAY BY 80% (THAT IS AN EXACT STATISTIC) FROM TRAM WITHDRAWALERS... PROB FROM MY DETOX CENTER... WELL IT IS WORKING... HE JUST PUT ME ON PROZAC FOR THREE DAYS.. 20 MG... I AM SMALL SO THE DOSE MAY BE DIFF EVERYONE. BUT GETTING A DOC ENVOLVED HAS SEEMED TO HELP. "HELP IS THE KEY WORD.. BECAUSE IT DOESN'T MAKE IT ALL JUST GO AWAY.
#3... MY PHARMACY KNOWS THAT I AM TRYING TO GET OFF TRAMADOL.. I TOLD THEM... THE PHARMACIST. SAID THAT THEY ARE STARTING TO TREAT TRAMADOL LIKE AN OPIATE... SHE SAID IT IS HIGHLY ADDICTIVE AND MANY DOCS/PEOPLE DON'T NEED THAT. SHE IS LEARNING FROM MY EXPERIENCE TO TELL OTHERS... AND ALSO IS PRAISING MY DOC. FOR THE ROAD HE IS TAKING ME DOWN.
Note #2 above! I have finally found others complaining about this effect. Still, I was a very moderate user and followed the directions on the bottle and it's still terrible. I can't imagine those of you who have taken it in the massive amounts that I'm reading here.
I will post back in a few days for anyone who might be inerested in my continuing drama.
Well, it's good to hear from you, but I'm really sorry to hear you're still having problems.
I think you're in a particularly unlucky situation in that it's hard to tell what might be the effects of the tramadol vs. what might be the result of your medical condition. I suppose it is also possible that your medical condition might be influencing the withdrawal in some way. I think you need to be careful and patient and get as much information from your doctor as possible before you make a firm decision about what's going on. It must be very hard to be in your situation, and I feel for you.
Tramadol is an opioid, not an opiate. The distinction doesn't make any difference for those of us who have taken it. I have no flaming idea why it is not a controlled substance; that pharma company must have some marketing department! I'm very glad to hear from the poster on >>>>>>> that medical and pharmaceutical professionals are getting hip to the real nature of this drug. It's dangerous.
Regarding the use of SSRIs to deal with RLS, I'd like to learn more. On first blush, it sounds like using an elephant gun to kill a mosquito. But that could be my own prejudice. I have a very healthy respect for SSRIs and believe they are over-prescribed. I really don't like the way doctors sling them around. But the poster's point about involving a supportive doctor for detox and withdrawal is a very good one.
So back to you. Your last dose was Saturday? And what dosage are you coming off of? Do you have anything that can help you sleep (benadryl, etc.)? And when will you get your test results?
Hang in there. I hope you'll be feeling better soon!
I've experienced similar WD symtoms only not just in the arm or the legs but all over... it is a joint withdraw that makes it impossible to get comfortable enough to sleep... after a few days it should subside especially if you were only taking 3 a day... I used to be addicted to lortabs and started on the ultracets thinking they were harmless but it ends up in the same spiral... higher tolerance... more severe withdraw... especially irritability. I feel your pain.. hang in there
does anyone know if ultracet will test positive in a urine screen for opiates since it is only an opoid?
It won't. At least it didn't when I was using it.
Originally Posted by ashunter81
There is another member around here who is a pharmacy student who could confirm. I can't remember his name, but perhaps he will look in here.
I found him. His name is "pharmstud(ent)" Maybe you could ping him?
I think you're right, and the arm pain is actual pain from your medical condition or a new one that the Tramadol was covering.
I think you gave your body enough time to figure out whether or not your pain was from the withdrawals or from your actual condition. You have a painful medical condition, and I know that if it's affecting your spine, it can cause pain in your arm, or in both. Mine went down one arm for the longest time before it affected both.
its the tramadol
I googled restless arm and saw this thread I stopped taking tramadol 2 days age and could not sleep because I wanted to cut my arm off. I hope this goes away the rest of my pills are going down toilet today. I have some Clonipin and I take an antidepressant so I am hoping taking the Clonipin tonight will help.
I have been trying to bring attention to my boss that the tramadol should be treated like a controlled drug. I heard the DEA may put it on the list. We'll see. It is introduced as an alternative to the traditional opiate/narcotics as being less additive...I think that is bull.
My left arm too...
Hi I don't actually take prescription meds but I've noticed when I take OTC sleeping pills w/ other pills..(none narrowed down quite yet) but my LEFT arm also does this and it drives me crazy. So, I think it's something to do with sleeping pills but has only occurred recently. Anyone have any ideas of maybe a chemical reaction with the sleeping pill when another pill is still in your system?
My arms have gave me problems for going on 16 yrs now. It started when I was 12 and would just do it from time to time. My lower back would start hurting and then when I would lay down at night, my arms would start tingling and it almost felt like something was crawling in my arms. When this happened I could not get comfortable for nothing, it made me want to chop my arms off. But for the last 8 months it has gotten out of control and doing it almost every night and now in the mornings and through out the day also. I do not have health insurance, but have been to about 4 different doctors and know one can figure out what is causing it. I just went to my family doctor a month ago and found out that I have scoliosis, which is sad, because the other 3 doctors never found that, but they do not think that has anything to do with my arms. She thought the problems with my arms were associated with me being anemic, but my levels were normal when they did a CBC on me, so that is ruled out now. But as for the tramadol, I have taken that on numerous occasions and it has never helped me, nor make my arms any worse. I have to take a muscle relaxer and a lortab, just to get relief from it and if I don't take them, then I can not get any sleep ( and I have tried taking very strong sleeping pills and still can not sleep). Because the sensations in my arms are so bad. I will lay in bed and toss and turn all night, which makes it hard to care for my 1 year old the next day because I am so tired and my arms are so weak and my back is killing me.
So, if you find out anything about what is causing your troubles, please let me know, so maybe I can try to figure out which way to go when talking to my doctor, because my medical bills are getting so high. But, I don't know what to do.
Originally Posted by mdp67
I came across your post as I am sitting here at 4am with pain in my left arm that will not let me sleep. After going through several years of seeing doctor after doctor and researching on my own, I found that I have RLS in my arm. My mother has it in her legs and is going on 20 years of dealing with it. I had CT's, blood planels, x-rays, etc. and they showed nothing. My current Dr. who is also a good friend of mine gave me a sample of Mirapex to try to see if it helped. After one time using it, the pain was gone. Now you are probably asking if it worked, then why are you up in pain. Well my script ran out and I could not get to the pharmacy in time today to pick up my refill. The thing that is just about as bad as dealing with the pain was that I knew there was something wrong and no one could give me any answers. I began casting doubt on myself which made things worse. Restless Arm Syndrome is not something anyone has heard of so it made it even harder to find an answer. I hope this might help in some way. BTW, I found out through a chiropractor that I have scoliosis as well. It is actually a very common thing
Last edited by smedlyp; 02-22-2010 at 03:13 AM.
Tramadol and RAS
I can not believe what I am reading. I have been taking Tramadol for 3 yrs now and am up to 4 tabs every night for back pain. I recently have had episodes of restless arm syndrome and in only my left arm! The last couple of days it has been almost consistent. I find that it starts when I think about it....so i was thinking it was a mental thing but reading this has changed everything!!!! Thank you for writing about this soooo much!
Originally Posted by jt50
I've been dealing with the same thing. Mine is more like a dull ache that moves down my arm.
tramadol & ras
i started taking tramadol when i was 24 and took it for a long time and didn't feel any sort of effects i simply stopped it to get something stronger cause it was just not doing it for me i ended up getting soma now i believe i did get some kind of withdrawal signs from that but as always i try to pay no attention to them...but what i got on here to talk about i do get those weird feelings on my arms that don't let me sleep its a weird feeling like a have to move my arm. Like i have to keep moving them kinda like a twitch but it doesn't twitch i have to make it move it keeps me up to i can no longer stay awake my doctor said it was restless arm syndrome and prescribed gabapentin which is essentially neurontin either i need a stronger dosage or something else cause i don't feel it working ...btw I'm 29
I have been having this exact same sensation in my left arm, and I've been on Tramadol for chronic pain for about 6 years or so. I take 50mg three times per day, but whenever I try to start coming off the medicine, I can't get lower than 2 pills per day. I end up with this awful achy/tense feeling in my left arm at night, and I can't sleep. I have to constantly move my arm, roll around in bed to get comfortable, and it keeps me awake all night. It's probably the worst feeling I have ever felt in my life, because along with it comes anxiety and depression. Now I think I'm scared to try to come off the Tramadol, because I know the horrible withdrawal that comes along with that. I started on Zoloft a few months ago, but that only seemed to make the restless arm thing worse.
How strange that it always seems to be the LEFT arm, right? I wonder why that is?
Last edited by bsbdreaming; 03-09-2012 at 01:30 PM.
I was looking for some info about RAS an found this thread. I'd had RLS and occasionally RAS pretty frequently, back in my twenties, then it went away. For the past year,I've been dealing with hip and knee pain (turns out I need bi-lateral hip replacement, and that's happening in a few weeks) but recently have started having the RAS problems again. I've been reading of those who get it as a widthdrawl symptom from Tramadol, but I'm a current user and I'm getting it now. I'm curious if people think it's a side effect of the drug or just the widthdrawl? It makes it more confusing because when I had it as a younger man, there were no drugs involved. Back then, most people had'nt heard of it and no one knew what to do about it.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to mitigate the RAS now? Tks.
Left Arm Also started in Feb 2013
New Member Here. Started back in Feb 2013. Had a third stroke in March 2013. Many meds taken, also on insulin. Novalog, Novalin, Lantus and Humalog. Just my left arm. Stroke took my feeling of hot or cold on the left side. Arm feels like it going to fsall asleep but doesn't. Feels like in the bicup and tricup. I'm awake here in Utah at 3:04am
Originally Posted by carpentom
I am in a right mess because of this horrible drug! I have been a user for 2 years now from the uk over hear its called maxitram, well thats the one I have been useing. I feel so low, depressed, ill, I feel like my life is falling apart.
I have been takeing 5/600M a day on the 100m prolong relese ones and now I have stoped after hearing the horrors of the drug. im 28 and i feel 78 now i have come off them its 3.15 in the morning i havent slept in 4 nights and believe me being a roofer thats not good one bit.
I have all the symptoms restless arm cant sleep the lot I really need some help.its so nice tonhear that people are going hhrough the same and im not on my own on this. Well dont mean im glad your suffering also. This is such a dangerouse drug so so addictive im doing well I just need some sleepmthatsnwhy I want to just go in the cubbard now and have 2 I no I will feel ok then but I have promised myself and my daughter that thats the last step NO MORE can anyone anywere help me with something for my restless arms please any info or help would be so much appreciated plz let me no asap
I don't know anything about maxitram but looked it up and it seems to be extended release Tramadol. I am addicted to Percocet and have been clean for 29 days now. As I said and I can't emphasize this enough each of these medications are different some you can quit cold turkey like Percocet like I did, but some are dangerous to quit that way and you need to taper. Some one should come along that knows more than I about Maxitram but I suffered from restless legs when I was in full withdrawal from the Percocet and Oxymorphone I was taking.
First I would seriously suggest you contact a doctor and ask them the best way to quit Maxitrim, a lot of people on the forum suggested that I contact my doctor about the restless legs and that he would prescribe a medication called Clonidine (its a BP med but from what I understand it helps a great deal with RL) I did not have access to my doctor during the first 9 days of withdrawal as he was out of town, in actuality that is what save my life cause I ran out of pills and couldn't get anymore and once I started to go through w/d I realized I how bad I was abusing the pills and I was an addict. That being said it was also suggested that I go out and buy Highland's sleepy time tea which is suppose to help as well, I found hot, hot showers as hot as I could stand helped the best. All the best to you in your recovery.
I will repeat I would call a doctor and ask about the specifics about Maxitram, but you can also try the tea and as long as the Clonidine doesn't contradict the pills your on your doctor can prescribe it and it should help as well.
I am not a doctor or a medical professional and what I have learned about this stuff I learned mostly from the board. Search out Tramadol threads and check them out they might help as well, I know Tramadol works different than the opiates I was on but the showers, tea and clonidine could help with your restless arms.
Hi im 27 i have suffered with restless legs since i was a child i just thort it was growing pains they would come every couple of month the past 3 years when i try go to sleep i also get it in my arms now and both legs it is horrible the worst was 5 night no sleep just a few hours during the day.
As i am a security guard and sometimes start at 5 am this becomes a nightmare i went to the doctors last year they had ent a clue they said it was circulation in my legs i new it was not that and i had rls.i took the medication they give me for circulation bloody hell 5 days i was up so i threw the tablets in the bin.
Last year i broke my hand and started to take tramadol 50mg 5 a day a took them the past 4 days 4 a day as my haand hurts every now and then this is the second night no sleep i am layed in the baath mow as i find it takes irrutation away
I bave auffered with rls for years anyone no a cure and also taking tramadol 50mg 4-5 a day for 4 days cud i be withdrawn to them even of 4 days plwase help?
Aug. 2014.... Have been on tramadol for several months, started to abuse it, have stopped that, but can only get down to 2 pills at night, and still have the arm/body restlessness and insomnia. Anyone have any advice on how to get off it for good? I have R/A.
My best advice is to see your doctor. I would taper down to 1.75 over 4 or 5 days, then to 1.5 over 4 or 5 days, then to 1 for a week then to .5 of a pill and then start skipping days.
How many and quickly did you go from before you went to only 2 at night?
For the RLS try gatorade and hyland's restful leg, hot baths in epsom salts before bed.
Try to get as much exercise as you can.
Ask your doc or pharmacist about any other sleep aids or supplements.
It's good that you are tapering as tramadol can cause seizures.
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