Tramadol HCL

Tramadol is a medication that is prescribed for those managing moderate to severe pain as well as pain that is caused by chronic conditions and surgery. Tramadol lowers the brain’s ability to distinguish pain which in turn decreases the reaction to this discomfort. Once the nervous system’s pain signals are reduced, managing the pain becomes easier. This article will share with you the most important information about Tramadol HCL, such as proper dosage, precautions for taking and possible side effects.

Tramadol HCL

Tramadol is only available via prescription, often sold under the names Zydol, Ultram, Ultram ER, Tramal, Ultracet, Contramal among others. Tramadol is an apseudo-opioid that is derived from a synthetic analog of codeine, and is considered to be as effective as codeine in managing pain. Results from using this drug may vary with some considering it to be very effective and others developing a noticeable analgesia. Tramadol has been known to treat refractory depression in those that have not responded to other drugs.

1. How to Take

Tramadol HCL is prescribed in oral tablets. In most cases patients will take one dose every 5 hours, but it is vital to follow any instructions on the prescription label if they vary from this guideline. Tramadol can be addictive for users, so patients should not shorten the time between doses or increase doses without their doctor’s instruction. Please DO NOT drink alcohol while taking this medicine.

2. Proper Dosage

  • Those over the age of 12 using Tramadol HCL for acute pain may take two capsules 3-4 times daily as prescribed by their doctor.
  • Those managing chronic pain can take 1-2 capsules and increase this as prescribed. Doses may be taken every 4-6 hours depending on the severity of your condition.
  • Patients with liver or kidney trouble should only take 1-2 capsules every 12 hours.
  • Elderly patients should not take more than 1-2 capsules every nine hours.
  • Those under the age of 12 should not use Tramadol HCL.

Do not take Tramadol longer than prescribed. Your doctor will check your treatment in short intervals to ensure that the medication is having the right effect without causing unnecessary side effects.

3. Missed Dose and Overdose

Those that miss a dose should take their regular dose as soon as they remember. Do not take another dose if it is very close to your next dose, but simply wait and continue with your regular schedule. Do not double doses to make up for those that you have missed as this can lead to an overdose. If you believe you have overdosed on Tramadol, contact emergency medical services. Signs of an overdose include trouble breathing, weak breathing or seizures.

4. Precautions and Warnings

Before using Tramadol HCL, talk to your doctor about any medical conditions you have or other medications you are taking. Make special note of any drug or alcohol use, kidney and liver problems or uncontrolled seizures. Those over 75 may need to take a lower dose than other patients, but your doctor will determine if this is necessary.

  • Do Not take Tramadol Capsules and Tell Your Doctor if You:

Are hypersensitive to tramadol hydrochloride or any ingredients in tramadol

Have recently taken other strong pain killers, sleeping tablets or medications to treat mental illness

Suffer from epilepsy that is not controlled by your doctor

Have used a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) antidepressant in the last two weeks

Are undergoing treatment to withdraw from narcotic use

  • Pregnancy and Breast-feeding

Those that are pregnant, breastfeeding or might be pregnant should not use Tramadol capsules. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about taking this medication before starting your dose.

  • Driving and Using Machines

Tramadol can cause dizziness, drowsiness or blurred vision which can be worsened when you use other strong painkillers or drink alcohol. You will need to determine how these side effects will affect you before driving or operating heavy machinery.

5. Possible Side Effects

Common side effects of Tramadol include sweating, drowsiness, sleepiness, stomachache, tiredness, dry mouth, headache, being sick or constipation. In less common cases fast heartbeat, itching, rash, palpitations, dizziness, diarrhea, bloating and retching may occur. Some may experience an allergic reaction to ingredients in Tramadol HCL. This may cause rash, itching, swelling of the tongue, throat, lips or face, difficulty swallowing or breathing, worsening of asthma symptoms, shock, collapse or narrowing of the airways. Tramadol may also slow the breathing, particularly when taken with other medications that are known to cause this reaction.

6. More Information

  • Storage. Keep Tramadol capsules in areas below 30 degrees C and out of the reach of children. Do not use capsules past the expiration date listed on the packaging. Ask your pharmacist about how to properly dispose of leftover medication as placing these capsules in household water or waste could damage the environment.
  • Ingredients. Tramadol contains the active substance tramadol hydrochloride as well as microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinised starch and magnesium sterate. The capsule is made from titanium dioxide, gelatin, iron oxide, indigo carmine and ink made from propylene glycol and iron oxide black with a shellac glaze.
  • Package. Packages of Tramadol HCL usually contain 30 or 100 capsules. These capsules are opaque, hard gelatin colored green and yellow.
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