Tramadol is a prescription medication used to treat moderate to moderately severe chronic pain. It comes in immediate release 50mg and 100mg tablets that are taken by mouth. When used appropriately under medical supervision, Tramadol can help manage ongoing pain related to conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, and nerve damage. Here is important information on taking Tramadol 50mg or 100mg formulations correctly and safely for chronic pain:
Tramadol is an opioid analgesic that works in the central nervous system to block pain signals traveling to the brain. It also inhibits the reuptake of certain neurotransmitters involved in pain pathways. The combination provides pain relief with a lower addiction risk profile compared to other opioid medications.
Tramadol comes in 50mg and 100mg pill strengths, with some branding names like Ultram. The extended release version, Ultram ER, is available in higher strengths. For chronic pain, immediate release Tramadol is often taken on a regular daily schedule.
Proper Dosage and Administration
Always take Tramadol exactly as prescribed by your doctor. The dosage depends on factors like your age, medical history, severity of pain, and response to treatment. Follow these administration tips:
- Start at the lowest dose, often 50mg every 4-6 hours as needed
- Maximum safe dose is 400mg per day
- Space the doses evenly throughout the day
- Take with or without food but be consistent
- Swallow pills whole – do not break, crush, chew or dissolve them
- Drink a full glass of water with each dose
- Taper off slowly under medical supervision; do not stop suddenly
If pain is not adequately controlled on 50mg, your doctor may cautiously increase the per-dose or total daily amount. Carefully follow any dosage changes. Discuss options if Tramadol remains ineffective for your pain.
Duration of Treatment
For chronic pain, Tramadol is intended for long-term daily use when benefits continue to outweigh potential risks. Your prescribing doctor should evaluate your treatment regularly to ensure appropriate pain management and assess for any side effects. Do not take Tramadol for longer than advised.
Storage and Safety Tips
- Keep Tramadol in a secure, locked location out of reach of children or pets. It can be fatal if accidentally ingested.
- Do not take with alcohol, sedatives, or other medications that depress the central nervous system.
- Take care when engaging in tasks requiring alertness like driving until you know how Tramadol affects you.
- To prevent constipation, stay well hydrated and eat a fiber-rich diet.
- Never share your Tramadol or give it to others – it is for your use only.
- Properly dispose of any unused Tramadol per drug disposal guidelines.
Potential Side Effects
Tramadol can cause certain side effects, although most people do not experience significant problems. Potential side effects may include:
- Nausea, vomiting, constipation
- Drowsiness, dizziness
- Dry mouth
- Flushing or redness in the face/neck
- Lack of energy
Rare but serious side effects warrant medical care, including:
- Breathing problems
- Suicidal thoughts
- Liver issues
- Unusual bleeding or bruising
Signs of Overdose
Seek emergency help immediately if you or a loved one taking Tramadol exhibits:
- Extreme drowsiness
- Slow, shallow breathing
- Cold, clammy skin
- Very small pupils
- Slow heartbeat
- Loss of consciousness
Proper usage, close monitoring by a doctor, and dosage adjustments as needed will allow Tramadol to be used safely long-term for chronic pain management. But caution is essential – take Tramadol only as directed.