I am 31yrs, male and I am a chronic alcoholic 6L per day wine drinker. I had a severe accident 2yrs ago and was prescribed Tramadol 200mg SR. Since taking this medication I have stopped drinking and have no desire to even touch a drink I feel happy and enjoy life. I have now realized that I was depressed all of my life and was self medicating with alcohol. I believe Tramadol has been a miracle drug for me and works as an antidepressant. The only problem is that in Australia Tramadol is prescribed for pain and not an anti depressant. So Would anyone possibly know if their are any similar antidepressants to the antidepressant qualities in tramadol. Because I would love a permanent prescription to an antidepressant. that works the same way.? Because I love sobriety and wish to have a family and I never want to drink again. Also I believe Tramadol has saved my life, my liver scores were through the roof and a surgeon said to me once that if I keep drinking I would need a liver replacement soon. Since taking Tramadol and feeling happier and having no desire to drink, my liver scores have halfed and are coming back to normal. So which anti-depressant would be similar to tramadol? or other drugs for this reason? Thank you I appreciated your tme and looking forward to hearing from you.
Similar antidepressants to the ones found in Tramadol?
Question posted by ryan_mercer on 26 May 2016
Last updated on 15 August 2022
Hi, I know this is an older post but I thought that I would weigh in. Tramadol DOES have some "anti depressant" qualities to it. The drug Cymbalta is prescribed for depression and pain. Cymbalta acts on the same part of the brain as Tramadol and this is why Cymbalta is prescribed for both depression and for pain.
I have read the above and agree Tramadol does make one feel great. But unlike codeine has terrible withdrawal symptoms even with short term use. I imagine the alternative antidepressants would have similar side effects. There also seem a risk of serotonin Syndrome
Tramadol is some magic drug. I feel like no one in the medical field is studying it to see what it’s affects really are and what other conditions it might help with. I’ve been on it for five years. I too noticed that my cravings for alcohol went away. They went away because I can no longer get drunk. Something about the tramadol keeps you from getting drunk. Who wants to drink and not feel anything??? WHY are doctors not looking into this!! It makes me MAD. Overall I now hate the drug. No one who has not been on it can say a word about what it does I promise you you DO NOT KNOW!! Also my blood sugar this past year has risen and that is a rare side effect. It also tAkes blood sugar low in some. Depending on your chemical makeup you may or may not experience its affects, so people who take it and say “I didn’t feel anything” also DO NOT KNOW. I recommend taking it until you know your off the alcohol then do try to quit because it will wreck other areas of your life and it’s near impossible to come off of.
I had a very similar experience when prescribed tramadol for pain. Beyond the pain relief it made my feel "normal" again, like I did many years ago. I researched the heck our of the "why" and found out the literally thousands of people has the same reactions and that Tramadol does in fact have some SNRI properties. Cymbalta is the one I hear many people using instead. But they need / should do some deeper research into the use of it. I totally understand the stigma of opioids as pain mess and the potential for problems, but there is something to this issue with tramadol.
Hey Ryan I tried to PM you with the info I had but you have "allow PM's" disabled. I can't post it here as it contains external links.
I checked however as promised, The Gold Coast Hospital has a Liver clinic attached to it that takes public patients.
Now all you need to do is google gold coast liver clinic, the first four results will be about the clinic or the hospital (google is localised so it will only give you Australian results first. Just call them but you will need a referral from a GP; you will have no trouble with a referral if you are honest with your doctor about your drinking and such. I have a friend who works at the hospital there and he is as judgy as hell; thankfully you will never have to meet him (a cardiologist).
Thank you to all, it is all helpful information :)
ryan; I am very happy that you do have this new life a second chance,It's to bad it took such a bad accident to find out what the problem is. But just wanted to know are you taking any Tramadol now or have you stopped, This is one reason people have a hard time stopping the tramadol is the withdrawal factors but if the doctor puts you on one of the antidepressants you may not have as much problems. And I would suggest that you get some support while your going through this change just for safety reasons that you don't go back to drinking. But with luck you may not have any problems coming off of the Tramadol because of going on one of the antidepressants that give you the same type feeling. Just be aware of it may take a bit of time to adjust but if you have not been on any alcohol for 2 years you have a better than normal chance of being able to make this switch fairly easy.so try and talk to your doctor as soon as you can.
And glad the liver is doing so much better but take one thing at a time they can do a blood test once you find the right medication and get off of the Tramadol. It really does not sound like that is going to be a big deal at this point. Just keep the faith and know you can do it and you are enjoying life the way it is now. You can do this. You sound like a very smart person to have figured this out. Just let the doctor know what is going on and they well know what to do.
all my best to you and your new life. You have a good head start. but a good doctor would know which medication to give you that would be the closest to the effects of the tramadol. ooh yes you asked somewhere what the difference in Effexor and Effexor xr were they are both the same medication the XR WORKS BEST for most because it is extended release and stays in you system longer so you only have to take one daily. where the regular Effexor is not timed release so you have to take it several times a day. best of luck to you and please feel free to come back and ask any question you might have. stick with it my friend.
I was on Tramadol for years, prescribed by my neurologist for my deteriorating spine. It worked very well for my pain for years. I never felt any euphoric side effects,but that could just be the way my body reacted. Then after a few years it just wasn't enough, and I ended up with cervical spine surgery. It was a super painful recovery, but it was a successful surgery and completely corrected my problem.
I guess my point is going to be, you need to talk to your doctor. You didn't really say why you were prescribed Tramadol in the first place. Was it for pain? We, here on this site can only give you anecdotal experiences we have had, and that was mine. Unless there is a doctor who has answered you and given you professional advice.
My advice is to go back to your doctor, and if he okays it, remain on the Tramadol that helps you. If not, he can prescribe you something else. It should all be done with the approval of your doctor.
Hi, i can totally relate to your story. I am also an alcoholic. In 2009 i suffered a back injury and was prescribed Tramadol. I too noticed the pleasurable effects of the SSRI properties. Unfortunately, as i got used to the effects i increased my dose and this was a ongoing process. During my time taking Tramadol i cut out alcohol almost entirely. When i decided enough was enough, i tapered very slowly with the help of a friend, but still suffered debilitating depression after finally quitting the Tramadol completely. My doctor prescribed Citalopram, also an SSRI, and after a few weeks i felt significantly better. I have taken it ever since, at varying dosages (as prescribed). An option for you maybe?
I will probably get laughed at by some here for this response, but I'll say it anyway. : Wellbutrin SR has been great for me. I was known to self medicate with alcohol in the past. I just didn't realize that that was what I was doing. I have not had a drink, or a desire for one since I started taking Wellbutrin SR (Bupropion SR, actually).
The couple of times that I tried to drink a beer or a glass of alcohol, it didn't taste good at all, and it didn't set well with me. It's like, ick, I don't want to feel like that again.
That's not all: Years ago, I drank regularly, AND took Wellbutrin, and wondered why I couldn't get rid of my depression, lol. With alcohol, I was counteracting any of the good that my AD was doing for me. DUH me!
Well, I'm older now, and very satisfied with the results I am getting with my AD, and I have no desire anymore to drink AT ALL, and I attribute this wonderful improvement in my life to the positive effects of my AD working. I guess that's why I am one of those lucky ones: Wellbutrin is treating my anxiety also, it has really conquered it. "Anxiety" was my middle name!
Sure, I still deal with anxiety, but no where near the level I used to have: anxiety attacks and panic attacks - now under control.
Hi Stephen, thank you kindly for taking the time to help me and reply. I live in gold coast/ Queensland. I am not on any liver program and was unaware of any such program to be honest. It sounds like I should be on a Liver program though and will definetly be keen to do so. My Liver scores are improving dramatically since ceasing wine drinking, though are still very high. How would I go about enrolling in a liver program? Thank you for informing me of this , as I am constantly worried about the future health of my liver from years of chronic alcoholism. Thank you very much, I look forward to hearing from you. :)
While I agree with most of what Wildcat said, I must respectfully disagree with Tramadol not having antidepressant effects. That is not entirely true. Tramadol works like an opioid in that it binds to mu opioid receptors but it also has a weak inhibition of re-uptake of norepinephrine and serotonin like SNRI's (a type of antidepressant) Read the FDA professional's description of Ultram (a brand of tramadol) and it will tell you this. SNRI drugs may help you if you feel you responded to Tramadol although what Wildcat says makes sense too-it may well be the euphoria part of binding to the mu receptor that made you feel better. It is what opioids do. Most of them cause euphoric effects. It wouldnt hurt you to try an SNRI antidepressant though. You may get good results. Drugs that fall under the SNRI category are drugs like venlafaxine (Effexor), duloxetine (Cymbalta), hope this helps and best of luck to you in your quest to stay sober and beat depression.
Hi, ryan! Since Tramadol is not and does not act like an antidepressant my guess would be that it's narcotic like qualities are satisfying the self-medicating cravings that you felt for alcohol.
I, too, was a very heavy drinker ~ hospitalized several times and in rehab twice with no success. When I received a psychiatric discharge (after 30 years of deep depression) I was started on standard antidepressants ~ first Lexapro and then later Effexor ~ and my alcohol cravings disappeared. I've now been completely sober for just over six years without even a trace of a craving.
I think you were self-medicating too and will respond well to treating the underlying cause of your depression/cravings.
I wish you all the best. It's a great life out from under the burden of booze!
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