The word Narcotic has changed through the years. Originally it was defined as a sedative type drug such as Barbiturates and Morphine, but now has a different meaning. The new definition came around due to the FDA's improper use of the word to imply a class of potent mind altering drugs such as LSD, Crystal Meth, and Heroin. I know that you are not referring to any of these drugs, but felt that I should first clarify.
When a drug hits on the Opioid sensors, it is then called an Opioid (and if it is derived from the Opium Poppy plant, it's then called an Opiate). Tramadol really is a strange drug in that it is a SNRI as well as an Opioid. I know that you had asked for non traditional Opioid type drugs, but I do have to say that Codeine works in almost the same way as does Tramadol. They both have roughly the same potency, and are also processed by the body in the same way, metabolized in an identical way into a substance that causes pain relief. Some people are actually unable to metabolize either Tramadol or Codeine and therefore don't get any sort of pain relief from those two. This of course isn't true of most people, but these drugs do range much more so than most medications in potency from individual to individual due to this factor.
A very untraditional medication that hits on the Opioid sensors would be Kratom. It is the leaf of a tree that grows in Thailand. The leaves of the tree are constantly being naturally shed and re-grown, making it an ideal item to harvest. It has a potency according to some around Hydrocodone. It is currently completely legal in the USA however is classified in many southeast asian countries as being parallel to other Narcotics such as cocaine. Kratom is something that can only be taken so much of as it has a ceiling to it, unlike many Opioids. It does cause dependency, although the withdrawals are extremely mild in comparison to anything from the poppy plant. This is something that is not used very often in a medical setting, although it is commonly used for detoxing Opioid dependent patients, and works very well with Methadone detoxing. After doing some research on this, if you do decide that this is a route worth exploring, you will first want to talk to your doctor. There very well may be something about this plant that I am not aware of. I personally take methadone for chronic pain, so my interest with this plant has to do with getting off of methadone, if I ever decide to as the withdrawals last a very long time, and is not a pleasant time to be had.
The last item that I would like to bring up would be the entire notion of other Tramadol like Opioids. Tramadol is completely synthetic and also hits on the Opioid sensors. The same is true with Methadone, Fentanyl, Demerol, and more. All of these are considered by most to be very powerful Opioids, and in many cases are more potent than most Opiates, the meds that actually come from the poppy.
I hope that this is of some help to you, and whatever you decide on, make sure to research the med. Your doctor may have some other better ideas for you as well. Best of luck!
- Tramadol Information for Consumers
- Tramadol Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Tramadol (detailed)
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