Tramadol – Complete and Comprehensive Overview

Tramadol is a painkiller medicine that belongs to a group of pain killer drugs known as Opioid Analgesics, commonly prescribed to treat Post-operative pain, Arthralgia, Musculoskeletal pain, Low back pain, Pain associated with other reasons. Get to know how Tramadol works, its side effects, precautions, and contraindications where Tramadol is not suggested.

Tramadol – Brief Overview

Tramadol is a generic drug and is a prescription medicine that means it has to be used only when your doctor prescribed. Tramadol works on certain parts of the brain that control the tolerance levels of the pain. Tramadol is generally prescribed in conditions of moderate to severe pain such as post-surgical pains, joint pains involved in arthritis conditions, very severe back pain issues etc.

Like any medicine tramadol also has a potentiality of showing some side effects such as nausea, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, vomiting, constipation etc. and it is advised to consult your doctor if you experience any of such side effects and extends for more time

Some may suffer severe side effects like a change in heartbeat, shortness of breath, mood swings etc. Consult your doctor immediately in such conditions.

Tramadol has to be used under medical supervision especially if you are using any other medicines, or any kind of herbal, or Ayurveda medicine for treating other health issues, and if you are suffering from any other health problems such as hepatic-related, kidney-related, or neuro related problems etc. Pregnant women must seek medical advice before using.

Alcohol abuse and any use of tranquilizers, opioids, or any other pain relieving medicine must be informed to your doctor for a proper prescription.

Refer to the detailed overview to understand the full list of precautions that have to be taken while using Tramadol.

Tramadol – Detailed Overview

Table of content

  1. About Tramadol
  2. How do Tramadol works?
  3. Tramadol Uses and Benefits
  4. Side effects of Tramadol
  5. Contraindications of Tramadol
  6. Tramadol Dosage and Directions for use
  7. Precautions while using Tramadol
  8. Tramadol – Drug Interactions
  9. Branded medicine of Tramadol in India

About Tramadol

Tramadol is a generic name of the drug and there are several brands of this medicine that are available in India manufactured by various pharmaceutical companies. Tramadol is an analgesic medicine used to treat moderate to moderately severe chronic pain in certain patients. Tramadol is a synthetic opioid analgesic that acts on brain, spinal cord and other parts of the body to change your body response to the pain

How do Tramadol works?

Tramadol acts on the opioid receptors on neurons in the brain and nervous system and changes the body’s response to pain helping the patient to feel a decreased pain.

Tramadol Uses and Benefits

Tramadol is used to treat moderate to chronic pain in adults and also used to control, prevent & improve following conditions, and symptoms:

Post-operative pain

Tramadol is used for management of postoperative pain in adults and helps in the recovery process following knee surgery, hip replacement, shoulder surgery etc.

Arthralgia

Tramadol is also used to treat joint pain that may be caused as a result of obesity. The excess weight of your body puts excess pressure on the joints.

Musculoskeletal pain

Tramadol is used to treat symptoms like joint stiffness, painful joints of the knee, hip, neck, lower back associated with Osteoarthritis and also used to treat muscles pains, spasms, and muscular strains.

Low back pain

Tramadol is also used to treat mild to severe back pain caused by arthritis, sciatica, herniated disc.

Pain associated with other reasons

Tramadol is used to treat different kinds of pains which are moderate to severe.

Side effects of Tramadol

The following is a list of possible side effects that may occur from Tramadol. These may not occur always and in everybody who uses this medicine. It is advisable to consult your doctor immediately, particularly if any of the below mentioned side effects are noticed and if they don’t subside. The Common side effects of Tramadol include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Vertigo
  • Sleepiness / Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Agitation and anxiety
  • Indigestion
  • Pain while urination

There is a possibility of a decrease in some of these side effects after using this medicine for a while. Consult your doctor immediately if any of these side effects persist or worsen.

There is a possibility of very rare but serious side effects such as mentioned below. Consult your doctor immediately under such conditions.

  • Seizures
  • Mood Swings
  • Nervousness
  • Itching or rash
  • Hallucinations
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath

Contraindications of Tramadol

The main contraindication of this drug is the hypersensitivity of this medicine by the patient. Let your doctor know if you have used this drug in the past and if you faced any hypersensitivity towards it. Also, inform if you are suffering any of the following conditions.

  • Hepatic impairment
  • Hypersensitivity to Tramadol Hydrochloride
  • Alcoholism
  • Head injuries
  • Consumption of antidepressants
  • Blockage of the stomach or intestines
  • Children under the age of 16 years
  • Sedatives

Tramadol Dosage and Directions for use

The dosage of Tramadol should be adjusted as per the intensity of pain and the individual’s response to the analgesic action of the medicine. Your doctor would decide about the proper dosage depending on your condition. Dosage and duration of usage must be strictly followed as per your doctor’s advice. Do not break, chew, or crush the tablet. You need to swallow whole tablet. It is advised to use this medicine at fixed timings. It should not be used for the treatment of acute pain.

Precautions while using Tramadol

If you use other over the counter products or other drugs at the same time, the effects of Tramadol may change. This may increase your risk for side-effects or the medicine may not work properly. Inform your doctor about any prescription and non-prescription drugs, nutritional supplements, vitamins, and herbal products you might be using or planning to use so that your doctor can help you prevent or manage the drug interactions. Some health conditions may make you more susceptible to the side-effects of this drug. Use this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor or follow the direction printed on the product insert. The amount of dose is based on your condition. It is advised to consult the doctor immediately if the conditions persist or worsen. Some of the key counseling points are listed below:

  • Avoid using Tramadol if you are allergic to it
  • Advised to use only after proper consultation, if you are suffering any health issues related to liver or kidney or stomach
  • Avoid alcohol consumption
  • Those planning a surgery even if that is related to dental conditions must take extra care if they are about to use this medicine
  • Extra precautions must be taken while driving or operating heavy machinery when you are under this medication
  • Pregnant women or those planning to get pregnant or breastfeeding women must take advice from their doctor before using this medicine

Tramadol – Drug Interactions

Inform your doctor about the medication if you are already using for other health issues even if they are over the counter medications, herbal medications, Ayurveda medicine, health supplements etc.

Drug interaction is mostly possible if Tramadol medicine is used along with the below-mentioned medications. So it is advised to share the details about the medicine that you are already using with your doctor. Below mentioned are some examples.

If you are using any of the medicine such as –

  • Blood thinner medications like warfarin
  • Antifungal medicine such as Nizoral
  • Antibiotic medicine such as erythromycin
  • Medicine that is used to treat neurological conditions like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia
  • Any antidepressant medication
  • Any cardio related medicine, or blood thinners
  • Medicine to treat anxiety
  • Any other medicine to treat pain
  • Medicine to treat migraine headaches
  • Medicine to treat seizures
  • Any muscle relaxant medicine

Some examples of medicine that Tramadol has the possibility of drug interactions are –

  • Warfarin
  • SSRI (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCA) – Some of the examples of this type of medicine are – amoxapine, protriptyline, imipramine, clomipramine
  • Antidepressant medicine like Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) – Tramadol is recommended to use after 2 weeks of stopping the course of these MAOIs
  • Tranquilizer or sedative medicine that is used in neuropsychiatric conditions
  • Anesthetic medicine and opioids

Tramadol Contraindications

Health Conditions where Tramadol is contraindicated and proper medical advice to be taken while using Tramadol are listed below. It is always advisable to consult the doctor before using Tramadol in such health conditions.

  • Kidney related health issues
  • Liver-related health issues
  • Stomach related issues
  • History of Seizures or Epilepsy
  • Health issues related to neuropsychiatry or mental illness
  • Health issues related to lungs or respiratory issues like COPD, asthma
  • Any hormonal irregularity issues
  • If the patient has any sort of head injury or brain tumor
  • If the patient has any issues of alcohol abuse
  • Patients with a condition like prostatic hyperplasia
  • Pregnant women must seek advice from their doctor

Branded medicine of Tramadol in India

Below mentioned are some branded medicine available in India with Tramadol as a key ingredient.

  • Domadol 50mg Capsule – manufactured by Unichem Pharma
  • Trambax 50mg Tablet – manufactured by Ranbaxy Pharma
  • Transdol 50 mg Tablet – manufactured by Lupin Pharma

If for some reason an experienced doctor is not available around you, then you can contact us here.

Dr. Alekhya is an experienced dental surgeon with over five years of clinical experience in prestigious dental clinics in Hyderabad, India. She graduated as a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) from MNR Dental College in 2012.

Dr. Alekhya has also been involved with notable campaigns and health awareness programs. She is presently employed with Immertive where she supervises the development of virtual reality and augmented reality based applications for training healthcare professionals. In addition to following her career, Dr. Alekhya is very passionate about sharing her knowledge as a guest contributor on various health-related publications including HealthClues.

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