I have been on tramadol for about 4 months at 200-300mg. per day. for severe arthritis. I stopped after taking 100 mg. Sunday morning. I have insomnia, restless legs, panic attacks. I also have no colon and have a permanent ilesostomy. I am very prone to dehydration and have been unable to eat since Sunday night. How long do I have to endure this before I see relief?
How long to get through tramadol withdrawal cold turkey?
- 17 Jan 2012 by sickoftram
- 30 April 2018
- rheumatoid arthritis, insomnia, panic disorder, restless legs syndrome, tramadol, withdrawal
Added 17 Jan 2012:
I should have given more detail. I am 69 years old. I take blood pressure meds...lisinopril/hctz, and thyroid meds. I also take Allegra and Prevacid. I took Darvacet for the arthritic pain...I also have bone spurs in my back. Of course, they took it off the market and I had no problems when I stopped taking it. When my rheumatologist put me on Tramadol I was told it was not narcotic and and not addictive. Well, I've found that not to be the case. I'm quite sure she did not know the danger of the drug. I really don't know who to contact about my wd symptoms. My PCP is a jerk and I doubt the rheumatologist has any information about how to withdraw. I have not taken any other drugs of any type during this wd. I really can't see much improvement and this is 36 hours since the symptoms began!
Added 18 Jan 2012:
Just wanted to check in and let those who are interested know how I'm doing! I did take two Benadryl last night and got about 6 hours sleep. Only one bad episode of restless leg, no panic attacks. Was able to eat yesterday and drank nearly a half gallon of orange juice. Feel like a human again this morning! Still sneezing some, but not as bad! I'm 60 hours since symptoms began. Still cold turkey except for the Benadryl. I do intend to contact my prescribing physician today and let her know how treacherous this drug is. I'm quite sure she does not know and is probably prescribing it right and left since Darvacet is gone! Lots of unsuspecting patients out there for what they may face down the road if they decide to abandon this drug! I also checked my prescription bottle and no where does it say not to stop the drug abruptly! Amazing! Hope everyone is well today! I plan to be! :)
Added 18 Jan 2012:
Having a wonderful day...no panic attacks, little sneezing, no chills. I actually was hungry earlier today. Easier staying hydrated. I have a call in to my prescribing physician. I will post what her response is when I inform her of this ordeal. I could never thank all of you adequately for all your information, compassion, concern and advice. It really helped during the rough times. Will stay in touch. <><
Added 19 Jan 2012:
It is now 3 am. I was able to sleep for about 3 1/2 hours without Benadryl. NO RLS, no panic attacks. I have been having some asthma attacks and having to use my rescue inhaler. Not serious ones, however. All in all, I'm doing very well. Just having a bit of difficulty with the insomnia. I have taken 2 Benadryl and as soon as they take effect I'm going back to bed. Expecting to talk to my rheumatologist before 9 am. She is supposed to call before seeing patients.
Hope everyone is doing well. Will check in later with rhematologist response.
Added 19 Jan 2012:
I had to place a second call the the rheumatologist, but they did put her on the phone immediately. I explained what I have been through. She did tell me she has another patient, a DOCTOR, who stopped the drug and had withdrawal symptoms. Not as serious as mine, however. She said from now on if I want to stop a drug she prescribes to please call her first. She said she would have weaned me off it. Well...HOORAY...it would have been nice to have known that before I ever took it. I told her none of the information I have ever been given suggests that I should contact my physician or not to stop it abruptly. She agreed it should be explained. I'm sure she is shocked at what it has done to me. It could be related to my age???? We old folks don't handle drugs the same as young ones! She was very kind and concerned. She asked if I felt I needed additonal help with it. I told her I felt like I was onto the better side of it all and would continue as I am. She said if my arthritic pain increases to call her...no thanks...I'd rather have the pain than the drugs! I will take her the article for professionals next week. I'm just keeping up with the necessary things right now.
Again, I want to thank all of you for your supportive encouragement. It was very helpful in my darkest time with this. You let me know there were better days coming!
I am still not 100% and still dealing with asthma attacks and rapid heart beat but otherwise, I'm doing well! This will soon be a very unpleasant memory! :) I do intend to stay on here in the event some other unsuspecting old folk falls into the trap I did! :)
Added 20 Jan 2012:
Things I have become aware of through this withdrawal:
1. My sense of taste is off
2. I am very sensitive to odors. Can't use Estee Lauder Beautiful perfume or powder that I have used from the day in came on the market. Had to remove the scented garbage bags from my presence, too.
3. I still have very little appetite...not completely new to me, but worse.
4. I am somewhat emotional. Cry easily but not really depressed. In fact, I am rather happy and at peace.
5. The loss of fluid through the ileostomy is huge! Having a difficult time staying hydrated.
6. My thought processes are diminished to a small degree. (My husband would say that is not new, however!)
7. Asthma attacks are more frequent.
I slept 8 hours, with two Benadryl, last night. No restless leg syndrome. Got up and fixed breakfast for my hubby and me. I didn't eat all of mine, but most of it.
Has anyone else experienced any of these symptoms? Well, I know you haven't dealt with the ileo, but otherwise, I mean! :)
It is difficult to predict how long a person might experience tramadol withdrawal.
Withdrawal symptoms likely will last longer (but will be less severe) for people who do not clear tramadol from the body as quickly as normal, such as people with liver or kidney disease or the elderly. Some symptoms probably have a shorter duration (but are more intense) for healthy, young people.
Maybe taking help of your doc would be a good idea, he/she would be to help you get through the tramadol withdrawal.
Best wishes, take care!
Rajive is right, it just depends upon many factors.
The best way to get off of tramadol is a slow withdrawal. Are you able to do that? If you dehydrate easily, please keep your liquid intake up. Gatorade, if you can stand the taste, is a good choice, and water of course.
At that many miligrams you may be at a higher risk for a siezure while withdrawing from tramadol. Cold turkey off of trams can cause seizures as can high doses of this medication.
The worst of physical withdrawals should be over within a week or so, because you weren't taking it very long, although you were on a high dose.
You may want to google The Thomas Recipe for a list of otc and rx meds you may need while in withdrawal. Ativan may quell panic attacks, a pillow between your legs may help with restless legs when you sleep as well. Try hot baths too, helps with the achiness of withdrawal from this type of medication.
You need to taper of this drug,you could have a seizure,please call your dr. For help with this.if you want you can google the Thomas recipe for detox.I do not want to scare you you may be fine going off this med.a lot of people have posted on this site about it,and it ain't pretty.I decided to cut my dose in half and along with other meds it was a very long 2 weeks,very sick and weak.since you are only at 100 now it may be easier and you can do it,just please speak to your dr.I worry about those possible seizure reports.also I don't see your age or if you are on other meds... please post that and we will help you some more.it can be done!!c
i would really recomend you do this with your drs guidance, especially if you dehydrate easily. does your dr know that you are trying to get off tramadol? and i would not recommend coldturkey for anyone unless your in a detox center under the most great care of providers, at a detox they can give you everything you will need to get thru the wds. or why not ask your dr to help you taper off of tram? im on a very slow taper off of percocet 10/325, im down to 130 mgs from 162., i get stuck at the 130 mgs and my body starts to fight me and go crazy, insomnia, restless leg and arm syndrome, horrible body aches, head aches, anxiety /panic. its not easy but we can do it, keep a medication journal if you taper that way you can see your progression, hang in there and please keep comming back here so you can get the support you need, ask alot of questions. your not gonna have to do this alone. keep us posted cause we all care
Sickoftram, bless your heart!! I understand completely what you are going through. I too was given a prescription for tramadol to take for migraine pain. I was also told "it's not a narcotic, it's not addicting, they lied!!". Doctors do not know everything, they are making an educated guess with each patient they see. It makes me so angry every time I hear another horror story about withdrawing from tramadol!! On top of all your other medical problems , now your having to deal with withdrawal too!! I'm so sorry. First of all, you are on a high dose of this medication. Some people say that this drug not only relieves some pain, but also gives you a euphoria (feel good feeling) while taking it. That was not the case with me, it barely managed the pain but it certainly hits hard when trying to get of it! I quit cold turkey also because my doctor told me I could since it wasn't a narcotic.
Ha!Ha! What do they know? First thing to bother me was the cramping and diarrhea . It was just like someone turned on the faucet and I would have uncontrollable diarrhea. And by that I mean "No Warning!!". So I couldn't even leave my house. As gross as this will sound, sorry, I would be having the uncontrollable diarrhea while also vomiting into the trash basket at the same time. Dehydration was only hours away, I couldn't keep anything down. I couldn't sit still because my legs were always jerking, so I couldn't sleep either. Everybody is different but because you have a legitimate reason for taking pain meds, if you continue to take any narcotic pain meds the side effects of withdrawal will end after taking them. This drug is not classified as a narcotic, however, many of us have found out the hard way that it should be. I personally have found that withdrawing from tramadol was worst than wd from any other narcotic. Cold turkey is always a bad idea. Weaning down slowly, very slowly, is the only humane way to go. I really don't know your situation, only you do. If you know for sure that you will always need to be taking pain meds for whatever reason, then I would suggest Ativan 1mg. Twice a day for the anxiety, leg trimmers, and basically to calm you down to a functioning level. There is no shame in needing pain meds to prevent your suffering. I believe you need a plan though. Do you want to get off of all pain medications? If so, I suggest you seek out a Suoxone doctor for help. Your gp doesn't understand the dynamics of addiction or how to treat it. There is a very real risk of seizures when stopping cold turkey from any drug, but I know of a lot of people who have had serious seizures when stopping the tramadol. Everyone has a different opinion about detox. There are some really helpful people on this site who would be more than happy to get you through this. If you are an addict, I would only recommend taking any Ativan for a short period of time, so you wouldn't just be getting addicted to another drug. I would really like to tell you that after a week or two you will feel better because the worst of the withdrawal is over. I would be lying if I said that. Weeks after I stopped taking tramadol I still felt bad. I didn't have any energy, I didn't have any interest in the ADL ( activities of daily living) . It was a real effort to just get through each day. If I was able to take a shower one day I felt like I had really accomplished something. It wasn't until I had been detoxed off of all the narcotic medications and I had started the Suboxone that I felt relief. But like I said before, everyone is different. Please be careful with whatever plan you decide to work with. I believe you need to be under the care of an addiction specialist. They can monitor your v/s, what out for seizures, and help you through this. I know that some people think that Suboxone is just a substitute for other narcotics. I am not one of them. There isn't a cure for this problem, only a way to maintain. It took me over ten years to get off of all the medications that my doctor had me on for migraines. And guess what. When I was off of them and taking only the Suboxone, I no longer had the migraines every other day. For the past two years I've only had three headaches that I would classify as migraine. I have my life back, I'm able to work as a nurse, and I still have my family. Someday I might think about getting off of the Suboxone too, but I am really not concerned about it right now. Best of luck to you!! Sorry for such a long speech!! NIK
sickoftram, welcome to the site. I hear your plea, but be mighty careful my friend as the addictive qualities of tramadol. The way you are going off of it can cause seizures. With your age & medical history you have given you need to do a slow withdral not just cold turkey. I hope you get this message. I am going to give you a site to read. Please print this & take it to the prescribing doctor immediately. It's for professionals. I wish you the best...
Hi everyone..I had a question I hope someone can help me with.
I was put on Tramadol after an emergency hernia operation ( I had recently lost 300 lbs on my own, and the weight loss spurred on the surgery). Anyway, I used the med for pain relief which lasted about 3 months... my dosage increased as the three months went on, as I needed more and more tramadol to ease my pain. Anyway..my high dose was 200-250 mg taken all at once daily.. I did that for about 2 months before realizing that this drug was becoming addictive. I was of course much lighter as time went on and when I began weaning off tramadol I was at my goal weight of 110 lbs and presently am the same weight..so, obviously, I develped a tolerance for the drug, but my body was still adjusting to my weight loss as well. ANyway, about 7 weeks ago, I began to wean off slowly by 25 mg a day...
withdrawal has been difficult, and I have experienced many of the symptoms discussed so beautifully in this form... I have had one symptom though that I have only seen mentioned by one person, but was SO relieved to see it mentioned because I thought I was alone. As I began my taper, I noticed my taste seemed to be off... and as I continued, it got worse and worse. My sense of smell is fine, but now, I;ve been totally off of the tramadol for the past 10 days, and I really have almost no sense of taste at all... can only distinguish between bitter and sweet..if that. The creepy crawly feeling under my skin, the hot flashes and almost every other symptom discussed here are still present on and off ( some days more than others), but I'm able to manage just knowing I am off of the evil stuff. The loss of taste, however, is worse tha ever... AND, of course being that I just lost all of that weight and am finally healthy ( I eat VERY healthy foods), I am looking so forward to TASTING them... now that I can finally eat normally..and yes, even not so healthy at times (lol) I cant taste a thing... VERY depressing!!! Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this and how long it takes to return. Thanks so much, everyone here seems SOOO kind and helpful!
This post has given me the bit of hope I so desperately need. It's been 60 hours since my last dose & I'd never been on high doses prior but have been on tramadol for several years. I can't sleep. Literally, I've not slept at all. None. I have moments of feeling a little better. The RLS and all over restkessness is present but not like the hell of day 1. But without any sleep I cannot see anything clearly at all. I'm just hoping and praying there is an end in site.
Hi I just thought I would add my story of tramadol to this page, I was taking tramadol for 3 years at 400mg a day and at one stage I was taking 700mg for about 8 months, my doctor would just give me what ever I asked for, I tried about 5 times to taper it down and come off them slowly but it just never worked, the pain and the bad moods and all the other things that go with it just go on for far to long and got so fed up with it I just started taking them again, 4 weeks ago to the day I told my dr not to give me anymore even if I begged, I have been suffering now for the whole 4 weeks but it is getting better, I've run my own business now for 20 years but just can't be bothered to do anything I just want to sit on the sofa and do nothing ive got no energy, I've had about 3 hours sleep every night since the day I stopped and never suffered from sleep problems, my nose has run ever since, my legs are killing me all the time,
I do feel like I've only got another week or so of this and I will be ok but found this was the only way I could do it, hope this helps.
Hello everyone, i wanna share my experience with you regarding this devil pill ! I'm currently on day 11 since my first seizure and ry important to pass this nightmare, a damn long one...
i had this seziure at work exactly 12 days ago and I stopped taking since then, withdrawals started 12 hours after my last dose and it was hell ! The worst was depression and anxiety! Anyway I went to a doc neurologist regarding my seizure he still asked for EEG test and MRI, EEG showed hyper activity which trams did, anyway after 3 days of the worst symptoms he started giving me a med called trileptal 600 twice a day, and since then all the symptoms were gone and I cud sleep 8 hours straight every day till today , I even wake up early and fresh, happy too, and sexually active with no preejaculation, that's one of trams withdrawal ! Anyway, the doc gave me this med for a month and i can't be happier, I might get mood swings but gets better everyday, plz. Whoever is getting off this devil pill try not to use antidepressant to get out, it's another door to hell, will power hope and faith is the answer, obviously trilpetal as well ;) anyone who knows about it let me know plz, need someone with this experience... and those forums helped me a lot in the first days, to hell with trams !
Im nearly on day. Been on tramadol for just over a year. Was on codeine for over 8 years before.this is hell.
I can cope with the pain the sweats the sickness just not the restlessness!
The doc has uptef my dose of sertraline to 100mg because of my mood.
Only had to stop taking them as doc is truing me on an epileptic drug for my migraines. I just want to sleep and never wake up!
Hi, it is very difficult to respond without knowing what medications you are taking, but i would consider discussing with your doctor about taking an anti-anxiety medication, such as Lyrica, to calm you down. Or if your doctor thinks a short course of treatment would be more appropriate, maybe a prescription benzodiazepines? I do want to congratulate you however for quitting Tramadol, i know how very had it ism you have done really well! Does your doctor prescribe electrolyte sachets for the dehydration?
I was on tramadol for 1 wk for ankle surgery 300 mg a day.my doctor told me than to stop it and only take if u have any pain..I took 100 mg for two days and then stopped.I had no pain but I am having restlessness flu insomnia feeling depressed.I searched on net and I knw I am having withdrawal.what should I do.take drug and taper it or combat with withdrawal .plz help
I am 40 years old have been taking tramidol for 3-4 years after 3 years on dalodin and my Drs. Office failed to notify me of his leaving and when i called for a refill wasnt given and called them they made appointment for 2 weeks to get refill and i have been without for 2 and half days and my symtoms are the same wondering if i can??? Go without till then why go back on? Emotional all the time. Thank you for posting helped give me some hope that it does get better.
- Tramadol Information for Consumers
- Tramadol Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Tramadol (detailed)
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