Tramadol : Uses, Side Effects, Dosage, Warnings

Generic Name: tramadol (TRAM a dol)
Brand Names: ConZip, Ultram, Ultram ER

Medically reviewed by Kaci Durbin, MD Last updated on Mar 1, 2020.

What is tramadol?

Tramadol is a narcotic-like pain reliever.

Tramadol is used to treat moderate to severe pain in adults.

The extended-release form of tramadol is for around-the-clock treatment of pain. The extended-release form of tramadol is not for use on an as-needed basis for pain.

Important Information

Seizures have been reported in patients taking tramadol. Your risk of seizures is higher if you are taking higher doses of tramadol over what is recommended. Seizure risk is also higher in those with a seizure disorder or those taking certain antidepressants or opioid medications.

Tramadol should not be used if you are suicidal or prone to addiction.

You should not take tramadol if you have severe breathing problems, a blockage in your stomach or intestines, or if you have recently used alcohol, sedatives, tranquilizers, narcotic medication, or an MAO inhibitor (isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others).

Tramadol can slow or stop your breathing, and may be habit-forming. MISUSE OF THIS MEDICINE CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.

Tramadol should not be given to a child younger than 12 years old. Ultram ER should not be given to anyone younger than 18 years old.

Taking tramadol during pregnancy may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.

Fatal side effects can occur if you use this medicine with alcohol, or with other drugs that cause drowsiness or slow your breathing.

Before taking this medicine

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; or

  • if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days (such as isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, or tranylcypromine).

Tramadol should not be given to a child younger than 12 years old. Ultram ER should not be given to anyone younger than 18 years old.

Do not give this medicine to anyone younger than 18 years old who recently had surgery to remove the tonsils or adenoids.

Avoid giving this medicine to children between 12 to 18 years of age who have conditions that may cause breathing problems.

Seizures have occurred in some people taking tramadol. Talk with your doctor about your seizure risk, which may be higher if you have ever had:

  • a head injury, epilepsy or other seizure disorder;

  • f you also use certain antidepressants, muscle relaxants, opioids, or other medications.

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

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