The Dangers of Using Tramadol or Ultram for Pain

Dangers of Tramadol or Ultram for Pain

Ultram is also called Tramadol.  It is often used for people with pain.  Many doctors give out Ultram or Tramadol like it is nothing, preferring it over Vicodin or other opiate pain medications.  It is thought to be a less dangerous and less addictive medication than traditional opiates. This can be a go-to medication by many doctors because they are afraid of prescribing the “real” opiates.  Ultram is supposed to be safe, but this is not true.

Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical came out in the late 90s and said that oops, indeed it is actually addictive.  Tramadol/Ultram works on the same area of the brain as the opiates do.  What people often noticed is that it didn’t make them feel high like a Vicodin might, so they assumed it was less dangerous.  Then one day they try to stop taking it, run out of it on accident, or just think they do not need it anymore.  Enter horrible withdrawal symptoms.  For some people, especially those who have had a history with opiate addiction, Ultram can cause withdrawals that are just as bad, if not worse, than heroin.  The part that is a little more devastating is that the doctors are telling people that it is a safer drug.

Now, after all this time and thousands of people who have taken it, the FDA is once against putting out a warning about the dangers of using Tramadol or Ultram for pain.  They have revised the labels and are warning prescribing this dangerous medication.

The following is from the FDA warning:

The revised labels instruct clinicians not to prescribe Tramadol to patients who are suicidal or addiction-prone, and to exercise caution in prescribing the medications to patients who use alcohol excessively, suffer from emotional disturbance or depression, or take tranquilizers or antidepressants.

If you are taking Ultram, Tramadol, or Ultracet for pain you should talk to your doctor.  You should also understand that just because doctors may downplay the dangers of using Tramadol or Ultram for pain that certainly does not mean it isn’t a harmful drug.  People are getting addicted to Tramadol or Ultram.  Some of these people do not notice they are addicted to Tramadol until they decide to stop taking it, skip a dose, or otherwise go without for more hours than normal.  Just because a doctor indicated that Tramadol/Ultram is less harmful than taking another pain pill does not at all mean it is safe.  You should exercise much caution if you are mixing it with other medications because it can slow your respiratory system to shallow breathing then death, for some.

Oftentimes, chronic pain patients also struggle with depression and are on multiple medications, so talking to your doctor about everything you are on is very important.  There are other medications for pain that do not have suicide warnings.  Remember that many chronic pain patients do not always get full relief from their pain medicine, so the frustrations and depression may still be present even if they are using Tramadol or Ultram for pain.

If you are using Suboxone for pain there are mixed answers as to whether or not you can take Suboxone and Ultram.  No matter what you do, weigh the pros and cons of taking Ultram.  When you are deciding this remember the dangers of using Tramadol or Ultram for pain, and also think about whether or not you would take something like Percocet so easily as you might think about taking the Ultram.  Although chemically different there is danger of addiction and of side effects from using Tramadol or Ultram for pain.  Talk to your doctor at length.


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