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Generic Name: tramadol (TRAM a dol)
Brand Name: ConZip, Rybix ODT, Ultram, Ultram ER
Medically reviewed on December 12, 2017.
What is tramadol?
Tramadol is a narcotic-like pain reliever.
Tramadol is used to treat moderate to severe pain.
The extended-release form of this medicine is for around-the-clock treatment of pain. This form of tramadol is not for use on an as-needed basis for pain.
Tramadol may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about tramadol?
You should not take tramadol if you have used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or narcotic medications within the past few hours.
Tramadol can slow or stop your breathing. Never use this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Do not crush, break, or open an extended-release pill. Swallow it whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose. Tramadol may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.
MISUSE OF PAIN MEDICATION CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Tramadol may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in a newborn.
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with tramadol.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking tramadol?
You should not take tramadol if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
severe asthma or breathing problems;
a blockage in your stomach or intestines;
if you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, or narcotic medications.
Seizures have occurred in some people taking tramadol. Talk with your doctor about your seizure risk, which may be higher if you have:
a history of head injury, epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
a history of drug or alcohol addiction;
a metabolic disorder; or
if you are also using certain medicines to treat migraine headaches, muscle spasms, depression, mental illness, or nausea and vomiting.
To make sure tramadol is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
liver or kidney disease;
a stomach disorder; or
a history of drug abuse, alcohol addiction, mental illness, or suicide attempt.
Tramadol is more likely to cause breathing problems in older adults and people who are severely ill, malnourished, or otherwise debilitated.
It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. If you use tramadol while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Tramadol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking tramadol.
Do not give this medicine to anyone younger than 16 years old without the advice of a doctor. Ultram ER should not be given to anyone younger than 18 years old.
Rybix ODT may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of tramadol if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).
How should I take tramadol?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Tramadol can slow or stop your breathing, especially when you start using this medicine or whenever your dose is changed. Never take tramadol in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.
Tramadol may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. MISUSE OF PAIN MEDICATION CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Selling or giving away tramadol is against the law.
Stop taking all other around-the-clock narcotic pain medications when you start taking tramadol.
Tramadol can be taken with or without food, but take it the same way each time.
Do not crush, break, or open an extended-release tablet or capsule (ConZip, Ultram ER). Swallow it whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose.
Never crush or break a tramadol pill to inhale the powder or mix it into a liquid to inject the drug into your vein. This practice has resulted in death with the misuse of tramadol and similar prescription drugs.
To take tramadol orally disintegrating tablets (Rybix ODT):
Keep the tablet in its blister pack until you are ready to take it. Use dry hands to remove the tablet and place it in your mouth.
Do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.
If you use the tramadol extended-release tablet, the tablet shell may pass into your stools (bowel movements). This is normal and does not mean that you are not receiving enough of the medicine.
Do not stop using tramadol suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using tramadol.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Tramadol is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Since tramadol is used for pain, you are not likely to miss a dose. Skip any missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. A tramadol overdose can be fatal, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Overdose symptoms may include slow breathing and heart rate, severe drowsiness, cold and clammy skin, and fainting.
What should I avoid while taking tramadol?
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with tramadol. Check your food and medicine labels to be sure these products do not contain alcohol.
Tramadol may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how this medicine will affect you. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.
Tramadol side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Tramadol is not for use in children. Seek emergency medical attention if a child has taken this medicine and has: noisy breathing, sighing, slow breathing with long pauses between breaths; being unusually sleepy or hard to wake up; blue colored lips.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
weak or shallow breathing;
high levels of serotonin in the body--agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination, fainting; or
severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Common side effects may include:
headache, dizziness, drowsiness, tired feeling;
constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain; or
feeling nervous or anxious.
itching, sweating, flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
What other drugs will affect tramadol?
Taking this medicine with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous or life-threatening side effects. Ask your doctor before taking tramadol with a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Many drugs can interact with tramadol, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 14.07. Revision Date: 2015-09-23, 11:09:43 AM.
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- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
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- Drug class: narcotic analgesics