Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Sep 20, 2021.
Generic name: tramadol hydrochloride 50mg
Dosage form: tablet, coated
Important Dosage and Administration Instructions
- Do not use ULTRAM concomitantly with other tramadol-containing products.
- Do not administer ULTRAM at a dose exceeding 400 mg per day.
- Use the lowest effective dosage for the shortest duration consistent with individual patient treatment goals [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
- Initiate the dosing regimen for each patient individually, taking into account the patient's severity of pain, patient response, prior analgesic treatment experience, and risk factors for addiction, abuse, and misuse [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
- Monitor patients closely for respiratory depression, especially within the first 24–72 hours of initiating therapy and following dosage increases with ULTRAM and adjust the dosage accordingly [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].
Patient Access to Naloxone for the Emergency Treatment of Opioid Overdose
Discuss the availability of naloxone for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose with the patient and caregiver and assess the potential need for access to naloxone, both when initiating and renewing treatment with ULTRAM [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3), Patient Counseling Information (17)].
Inform patients and caregivers about the various ways to obtain naloxone as permitted by individual state naloxone dispensing and prescribing requirements or guidelines (e.g., by prescription, directly from a pharmacist, or as part of a community-based program).
Consider prescribing naloxone, based on the patient's risk factors for overdose, such as concomitant use of CNS depressants, a history of opioid use disorder, or prior opioid overdose. However, the presence of risk factors for overdose should not prevent the proper management of pain in any given patient [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1, 5.3, 5.7)].
Consider prescribing naloxone if the patient has household members (including children) or other close contacts at risk for accidental exposure or overdose.
Initiating Treatment with ULTRAM
For patients not requiring rapid onset of analgesic effect, the tolerability of ULTRAM can be improved by initiating therapy with the following titration regimen: Start ULTRAM at 25 mg/day and titrated in 25 mg increments as separate doses every 3 days to reach 100 mg/day (25 mg four times a day). Thereafter the total daily dose may be increased by 50 mg as tolerated every 3 days to reach 200 mg/day (50 mg four times a day). After titration, ULTRAM 50 to 100 mg can be administered as needed for pain relief every 4 to 6 hours not to exceed 400 mg/day.
For the subset of patients for whom rapid onset of analgesic effect is required and for whom the benefits outweigh the risk of discontinuation due to adverse events associated with higher initial doses, ULTRAM 50 mg to 100 mg can be administered as needed for pain relief every four to six hours, not to exceed 400 mg per day.
Conversion from ULTRAM to Extended-Release Tramadol
The relative bioavailability of ULTRAM compared to extended-release tramadol is unknown, so conversion to extended-release formulations must be accompanied by close observation for signs of excessive sedation and respiratory depression.
Dosage Modification in Patients with Hepatic Impairment
The recommended dose for adult patients with severe hepatic impairment is 50 mg every 12 hours.
Dosage Modification in Patients with Renal Impairment
In all patients with creatinine clearance less than 30 mL/min, it is recommended that the dosing interval of ULTRAM be increased to 12 hours, with a maximum daily dose of 200 mg. Since only 7% of an administered dose is removed by hemodialysis, dialysis patients can receive their regular dose on the day of dialysis.
Titration and Maintenance of Therapy
Individually titrate ULTRAM to a dose that provides adequate analgesia and minimizes adverse reactions. Continually reevaluate patients receiving ULTRAM to assess the maintenance of pain control and the relative incidence of adverse reactions, as well as to monitor for the development of addiction, abuse, or misuse [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]. Frequent communication is important among the prescriber, other members of the healthcare team, the patient, and the caregiver/family during periods of changing analgesic requirements, including initial titration.
If the level of pain increases after dosage stabilization, attempt to identify the source of increased pain before increasing the ULTRAM dosage. If unacceptable opioid-related adverse reactions are observed, consider reducing the dosage. Adjust the dosage to obtain an appropriate balance between management of pain and opioid-related adverse reactions.
Safe Reduction or Discontinuation of ULTRAM
Do not abruptly discontinue ULTRAM in patients who may be physically dependent on opioids. Rapid discontinuation of opioid analgesics in patients who are physically dependent on opioids has resulted in serious withdrawal symptoms, uncontrolled pain, and suicide. Rapid discontinuation has also been associated with attempts to find other sources of opioid analgesics, which may be confused with drug-seeking for abuse. Patients may also attempt to treat their pain or withdrawal symptoms with illicit opioids, such as heroin, and other substances.
When a decision has been made to decrease the dose or discontinue therapy in an opioid-dependent patient taking ULTRAM, there are a variety of factors that should be considered, including the dose of ULTRAM the patient has been taking, the duration of treatment, the type of pain being treated, and the physical and psychological attributes of the patient. It is important to ensure ongoing care of the patient and to agree on an appropriate tapering schedule and follow-up plan so that patient and provider goals and expectations are clear and realistic. When opioid analgesics are being discontinued due to a suspected substance use disorder, evaluate and treat the patient, or refer for evaluation and treatment of the substance use disorder. Treatment should include evidence-based approaches, such as medication assisted treatment of opioid use disorder. Complex patients with comorbid pain and substance use disorders may benefit from referral to a specialist.
There are no standard opioid tapering schedules that are suitable for all patients. Good clinical practice dictates a patient-specific plan to taper the dose of the opioid gradually. For patients on ULTRAM who are physically opioid-dependent, initiate the taper by a small enough increment, (e.g., no greater than 10% to 25% of the total daily dose) to avoid withdrawal symptoms, and proceed with dose-lowering at an interval of every 2 to 4 weeks. Patients who have been taking opioids for briefer periods of time may tolerate a more rapid taper.
It may be necessary to provide the patient with a lower dosage strength to accomplish a successful taper. Reassess the patient frequently to manage pain and withdrawal symptoms, should they emerge. Common withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, yawning, perspiration, chills, myalgia, and mydriasis. Other signs and symptoms also may develop, including irritability, anxiety, backache, joint pain, weakness, abdominal cramps, insomnia, nausea, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, or increased blood pressure, respiratory rate, or heart rate. If withdrawal symptoms arise, it may be necessary to pause the taper for a period of time or raise the dose of the opioid analgesic to the previous dose, and then proceed with a slower taper. In addition, monitor patients for any changes in mood, emergence of suicidal thoughts, or use of other substances.
When managing patients taking opioid analgesics, particularly those who have been treated for a long duration and/or with high doses for chronic pain, ensure that a multimodal approach to pain management, including mental health support (if needed), is in place prior to initiating an opioid analgesic taper. A multimodal approach to pain management may optimize the treatment of chronic pain, as well as assist with the successful tapering of the opioid analgesic [see Warnings and Precautions (5.17), Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.3)].
Frequently asked questions
- Which painkiller should you use?
- Is tramadol stronger than codeine?
- How long does withdrawal last?
- How long does it take to start working?
- Does it raise or lower blood pressure?
- How long does it stay in your system?
- Is it an anti-inflammatory drug?
- Does it make you sleepy?
- Does it cause constipation?
- What are the bad side effects of tramadol?
- Is Toradol related to tramadol?
- Is this drug a narcotic opioid / controlled substance?
- Can I take tramadol with sertraline?
- How long does it take to start working?
More about Ultram (tramadol)
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 180 Reviews
- Generic Availability
- Drug class: narcotic analgesics
Related treatment guides
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.