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Can I become addicted to tramadol?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on Nov 2, 2023.

Official answer


Yes, tramadol has been found to be linked with drug abuse, addiction, and overdose. Even if you take your dose correctly as prescribed you are at risk for opioid addiction, abuse, and misuse that can lead to death.

Tramadol is a strong prescription pain medicine. It contains an opioid (narcotic) that is used for the management of pain when other pain treatments such as non-opioid pain medicines do not treat your pain well enough or you cannot tolerate them.

To address these concerns, the DEA placed all forms of tramadol into Schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), meaning it does have potential for abuse. This limits the number of prescription refills you can have over a certain period of time.

  • Ultram [tramadol] prescribing information. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Revosed Oct. 2019. Accessed Nov. 12, 2020 at
  • Tramadol product monograph. Updated March 1, 2020. Accessed Nov 11, 2020 at

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