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How does Tramadol affect older people with dementia?

Responses (5)

kaismama 9 Jan 2015

I don't think I ever used it with a patient with dementia, but like any other drug that effects the brain, it could go either way with dementia, it could help or it could really mess up their head. Dementia is such a terrible thing to deal with and drugs act on dementia patients differently then on anyone else, including other dementia patients.

Delila 10 Jan 2015

Hi, i found the following information that you may find helpful:
"As with many medications, Tramadol side effects may be magnified when the medicine is used in elderly patients. Of these tramadol side effects, mental confusion is often the most apparent. Elderly patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may exhibit increased symptoms of confusion or agitation while taking tramadol.
The incidence of serious Tramadol side effects increases with the patient’s age; physicians and caregivers are encouraged to closely monitor elderly patients for these. Seizures are a very real concern for elderly patients taking tramadol for pain relief and the medication should be discontinued in this age group if this or any of the other tramadol side effects become a concern".

Shima3 21 May 2017

My mom who is 92 and has dementia for about 2 years was taking the tramadol for her back pain. The tramadol was prescribed by the doctor 4 days ago and to be taken twice a day. I gave it to her as prescribed for 2 days, but noticed it was making her jittery, so I went to once a day. The next two days she became more agitated and nervous and sleeping all day only to be up all night.
Finally at 5am this morning she was extremely confused not knowing where she was, turning all the lights on in the house and in the state of panic and tears. I removed this pain med from her meds this morning. We are done with Tramadol!!!

Votes: +1
tessi010 21 Dec 2017

Although Your Post Is 2 Years old It Has Described My 91 Year Old Mom And The Side Effects Encountered. I know not cases are the same but the post really helped.

Momoftwo7 15 Jan 2018

Did you notice a difference after taking her off of it?

TatyanaB 1 Jul 2018

Tramadol was prescribed to my father, due to pain in the legs. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer 3 years ago. He got Tramadol for home care, and we gave him drops for two days.
First day reaction was his body shaking in time intervals. Next day, he got Tramadol after lunch and soon after he got hissing in lungs, then fever while seeming very "torpid", a little bit of temperature has rise, and he got pain, like convulsion in the tummy. All of these are side effects of Tramadol. We called emergency and he ended up in hospital. He was diagnosed with light pneumonia. The doctor who took care of him was very nice, she took time to learn about his illness and took care to talk with us. I have told her we gave Tramadol to our father for 2 days, and we have seen suspicious reactions, which are also mentioned in the Tramadol instructions and warnings. He stayed in hospital due to pneumonia , which started to heal few days after, no temperature on the rise and good apetite.

Shallimar 15 Nov 2018

Tramadol/tramadol
I personally know of 6 cases where the tramadol was CAUSING the dementia.. it began 2 to 3 weeks after they began getting it on a regular basis and the symptoms were bad.. My mother suddenly did not recognize her own grandchildren... I did some research and found documentation saying tramadol can cause dementia in elderly patients when given on a regular basis which of course hospitals and care centers do... Within 3 or 4 days of being taken off the tramadol mo. Was fine... A year later a similar thing happened to my mother in law... She fell and from the hospital was sent for rehabilitation.. She was fine.. After being there several weeks we got a call... We were told she had severe dementia and we should consider putting her in a long term placement... When we got there she was very confused.. I checked and sure enough they had her on tramadol..

Votes: +2
Nitro061 15 Nov 2018

I agree Tramadol is pretty potent. I found either people don’t have any effect and ones who are having a full blown manic episode.
Talk with your pharmacist and he will definitely be able to give you an idea for a low dose trial and also cross reference other medications

Jennn333 15 Dec 2018

Very helpful post, thank you ~ my 83 year old grandmother who has dementia was just given Tramadol yesterday by the hospital after a fall & she changed sooo much, we are hoping that one dose will wear off so she could remember us again. Very upset at the doctor who ordered this for her, especially after reading these posts.

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