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Back to Medicines A to Z. Tramadol is a strong painkiller. It's used to treat moderate to severe pain, for example after an operation or a serious injury. Tramadol is available only on prescription. It comes as tablets, capsules and liquid drops that you swallow. It can also be given by injection but this is usually only done in hospital. Tramadol is not suitable for some people. Tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting the medicine if you have:.
Follow your doctor's instructions about how to use this medicine. This is particularly important because tramadol can be addictive. Tramadol drops, injections and some tablets and capsules are fast-acting. They start to work within 30 to 60 minutes.
They're used for pain that is expected to last for only a short time.
You may be told to take fast-acting tramadol only when you need it for pain or on a regular basis. Always follow the instructions given to you by your doctor. Some tramadol tablets and capsules are slow-release. This means the tramadol is gradually released into your body over either 12 or 24 hours. This type of tramadol takes longer to start working but Effects of taking tramadol long term longer.
It's used for long-term pain. Your doctor will decide the right dose for you, depending on how sensitive Effects of taking tramadol long term are to pain and how bad your pain is. Your dose may need to be changed several times to find what works best for you. In general, you will be prescribed the lowest dose that relieves your pain. Dosages vary from person to person. Your dose will depend on how bad your pain is, how you've responded to painkillers and if you get any side effects.
Fast-acting tramadol comes as capsules, drops and 2 different tablets — soluble and dissolve-in-the-mouth tablets:. Slow-release tramadol comes as tablets and capsules. It's important to swallow slow-release tramadol tablets and capsules whole with a drink of water.
Do not break, crush, chew or suck slow-release tablets and capsules. If you do, the slow-release system will not work and the whole dose might get into your body in one go. This could cause a potentially fatal overdose. If you're 65 and over, or you have liver or kidney problems, you may be asked by your doctor to take tramadol less often. You can take your tramadol at any time of day but try to take it at the same time every day and space your doses evenly.
For example, if you take tramadol twice a day and have your first dose at 8am, take your second dose at 8pm. If you forget to take a dose, check the information on the patient information leaflet inside the packaging or ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice on what to do. If you forget doses often, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to help you remember to take your medicine. This is not usually a problem but you could get unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it suddenly.
If you want to stop taking tramadol, talk to your doctor first.
Your dose will usually be reduced gradually so you do not get unpleasant withdrawal effects. If you have been taking tramadol for more than a few weeks do not Effects of taking tramadol long term taking it without speaking to your doctor first. It's important not to take more than your prescribed dose, even if you think it's not enough to relieve your pain. Speak to your doctor first, if you think you need a different dose.
If you've taken an accidental overdose you may feel very sleepy, sick or dizzy. You may also find it difficult to breathe. In serious cases you can become unconscious and may need emergency treatment in hospital. If you've taken 1 extra dose by mistake, check the information that comes with the medicine packaging or ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice. Generally, you are unlikely to get any symptoms and you can take your next dose as usual.
Get someone else to drive you or call for an ambulance. It's safe to Effects of taking tramadol long term tramadol with paracetamolibuprofen or aspirin aspirin is suitable for most people aged 16 years and over. Do not take tramadol with codeine-containing painkillers you can buy from a pharmacy.
You'll be more likely to get side effects. Some everyday painkillers that you can buy from pharmacies contain codeine, which is a similar medicine to tramadol. Codeine-containing painkillers that you can buy from pharmacies include co-codamolNurofen Plus and Solpadeine. Like all medicines, tramadol can cause side effects although not everyone gets them. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if the side effects listed below bother you or don't go away. In rare cases, it's possible to have a serious allergic reaction anaphylaxis to tramadol.
These are not all the side effects of tramadol. For a full list see the leaflet inside your medicines packet. In early pregnancy, it's been linked to some problems for your unborn baby. If you take tramadol at the end of pregnancy there's a risk that your newborn baby may get withdrawal symptoms.
However, it's important to treat pain in pregnancy. For some pregnant women with severe pain, tramadol might be the best option. Your doctor is the best person Effects of taking tramadol long term help you decide what's right for you and your baby. It's safe to breastfeed while taking tramadol. Tramadol passes into breast milk in small amounts but it's unlikely to harm your baby. However, if your baby is premature, had a low birthweight or has an illness, talk to your doctor before breastfeeding. Some medicines and tramadol interfere with each other and increase the chances of you having side effects.
Tell your doctor if you're taking:. Do not take medicines called monoamine oxidase inhibitors or MAOIs which are used to treat depression with tramadol. It's not known if complementary medicines and herbal teas are safe to take with tramadol. They're not tested in the same way as pharmacy and prescription medicines.
They're generally not tested for the effect they have on other medicines.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you're taking any other medicines, including herbal medicines, vitamins or supplements. It acts on pain receptors in the central nervous system and the brain to block pain als to the rest of the body. It also works in your brain to stop you feeling pain messages. You will feel less pain 30 to 60 minutes after taking fast-acting tramadol. The pain relief wears off after 4 to 6 hours. Slow-acting tramadol tablets and capsules can take a day or two to start working but the pain relief will last for longer. Depending on why you're taking tramadol, you may only need to take it for a short time.
For example, if you're in pain after an injury or operation, you may only need to take tramadol for a few days or weeks at most. Yes, tramadol is addictive.
For this reason, your dose will be reviewed to make sure you are only taking the amount you need to control your pain. If you need to take it for a long time your body can become tolerant to it. That means you need higher doses to control your pain over time. Some people can become more sensitive to pain hyperalgesia.
If this happens, your doctor will reduce your dose gradually to help these symptoms.Effects of taking tramadol long term
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