Ultracet is not an Opiate. Opiates by definition are medications that either are or have been created from the opium poppy plant (chemically altered). This would include morphine, codeine, and even hydrocodone, a chemically modified variation of codeine (if I'm not mistaken).
Now, Opioids on the other hand are medications that hit on the opioid receptors. This means that no matter what they are made from, if they have that particular action, they then are an Opioid. Medications such as Methadone is one such example. Ultracet / Tramadol is a very strange medication in that it is both a SNRI type drug (many antidepressants fall under this category such as Pristiq and Cymbalta) as well as an Opioid type drug. The chemical utilized has the action of two and is the only SNRI type medication that I'm personally aware of that has the action of activating the Opioid receptors as well as it's counterpart Antidepressant actions (it is not however generally not utilized as an Antidepressant).
Any drug that hits on the Opioid receptors is habit forming (excluding a very few people who oddly can simply stop taking certain medications and not experience any adverse reactions). Tramadol / Ultracet was initially marketed as a non-habit forming drug. This is however far from the truth. The extensive research done on that chemical only lasted for a few weeks. Unlike most Opioid type drugs, dependency does not start for most people until it has been taken for a few months. Once dependent, it is important to taper very slowly as it (according to my doctor) may cause seizures, no matter how easy or difficult the discontinuation may be.
Due to the drugs duality, when stopping the medication becomes much like stopping two medications at once, both an SNRI as well as an Opioid. For many this results in a very difficult task to undertake.
I hope that this information is of some help, and I am of course not a doctor, just some guy who has taken Tramadol for a few years, stopped the medication under a doctors care, and eventually went back on it. I had been off of it for several months, however, the original reason as to why I took it provided more positive results than negative. By taking tramadol I did not need to increase my intake of Methadone (for chronic pain). Once again best of luck to you!
- Ultracet Information for Consumers
- Ultracet Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Ultracet (detailed)
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