Tramadol is a pain reliever used to treat chronic pain by oral administration. It comes in instant-release as well as extended-release tablets. The latter is better suited for around the clock treatment instead of an immediate or as-needed basis. It is a narcotic analgesic, similar to drugs such as oxycodone, morphine, and others. It was first approved by the FDA in 1995, after which several altered formulations have also received FDA approval. It is a ‘prescription only’ drug which means it can be bought only if a valid prescription is produced. Additionally, it is a controlled substance under Schedule IV of the Controlled Substance Act in the USA.
How Does It Work?Tramadol works by inhibiting serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake. This means that it stops the brain cells from absorbing these chemicals thereby increasing their concentrations. Tramadol also acts as a serotonin releasing agent. These methods help in manipulating the way the brain reacts to pain.
Side Effects of Tramadol TabletsKnowing the side effects before taking the drug is important. The common side effects of tramadol include:
- headache, and
Serious Side Effects of Tramadol TabletsThese include:
- Noisy or Shallow breathing,
- Stopping of breath during sleep,
- Weak pulse,
- Impotence, loss of libido, as well as
- Missing of menstrual periods.
Counter Interactions of TramadolTramadol interacts with several drugs that include:
- Mixed opioid agonist-antagonist drugs,
- Inhibitors drugs for increasing serotonin,
OverdoseTaking extra doses of tramadol does not result in better or faster pain relief. It may, however, cause an overdose. The symptoms of tramadol overdose are:
- Slow heart rate or weak pulse,
- Severe drowsiness,
- Clammy and cold skin,
- Very slow breathing, or
- Even coma.