We have all been in scenarios where muscular pain has disturbed or hindered our work. For such situations Tramadol is a very effective pain medication. Ultram, the well known pain medication is a brand version of this Tramadol pain med. Even though there are various medications that are available in the market for the various categories of pain, Tramadol is very useful in treating moderate to severe pain. In 1995 the Food and Drug Administration, USA had approved the pain med for sale and use in many countries including USA and UK. However post 1995; the status has been changed to that of a controlled substance as opposed to its original classification as a non-controlled substance.
Even though Tramadol is known to treat moderate to severe pain, it is best known to treat severe pain. Before we go into how Tramadol helps us get relief from muscular pain, let us see a little on chronic pain.
Chronic pain is the type of pain that is ongoing and usually lasts longer than six months. This type of pain can continue even after the injury or illness that caused it has healed or gone away. Pain signals remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months, or years. Some people suffer chronic pain even when there is no past injury or apparent body damage. This is a key difference that is found in acute pain, where the pain or discomfort goes away when the root cause of the pain is taken care of.
People who have chronic pain can have physical effects that are stressful on the body. These include tense muscles, limited ability to move around, a lack of energy, and appetite changes. Emotional effects of chronic pain include depression, anger, anxiety, and fear of re-injury.
The painkiller to the rescue: Tramadol
As mentioned Tramadol is a highly effective medication for chronic pain. Tramadol has been known to have an uncommon, dual benefit. First off, it acts as an opiate in the expected way which we will later see. Again the medication also allows the increased availability of two other neurotransmitters, Norepinephrine and Serotonin in the brain.
These actions can also bring a state of ‘high’ or ‘euphoria’ that is one of the main causes of Tramadol abuse. People often take the medication in the form of the pills that enter the system and start acting on the neurological centers of the body. Usually the Tramadol abuse in a person is accompanied by Tramadol overdose that can make a person have seizures, respiratory distress, confusion or hallucinations and even coma in some cases.
Ingredients in a Tramadol pill
A single pill of Tramadol is composed of:
- Tramadol Hydrochloride (active)
- Anhydrous Lactose (inactive)
- Colloidal Silicon Dioxide (inactive)
- Hypromellose (inactive)
- Magnesium Sterate (inactive)
- Microcrystalline Cellulose (inactive)
- Polyethylene Glycol (inactive)
- Polysorbate 80 (inactive)
- Sodium Starch Glycolate (inactive)
- Titanium Dioxide (inactive)
How much Tramadol is safe for the body?
As Tramadol is a highly abused yet useful pain medication, we should be careful in terms of the dosages taken. According to studies it is seen that a 100 mg pill of Tramadol takes around 2 hours to peak in the system. As such it is recommended by the medical professional not to take more than 400 mg in a day. The dosage can be 50-100 mg of Tramadol as per the doctor’s instructions. However if the doctor feels that the dosage needs to be increased or decreased, it is done so by having a good look at the user’s past reaction to the medication and how well the medication helped the person with the current dosage.
Mechanism of action
Tramadol is a pain med that changes the way we perceive pain. This is done by the medication acting on the pain receptors that convert the electrical pain signals to that of pain sensations. Tramadol blocks the pain sensations from reaching the brain and thus the person comes under the impression that pain has reduced.
Side Effects of Tramadol
As a powerful medication, Tramadol is a risky drug in many ways. The medication has side effects that can be easily controlled when and if the side effects are taken seriously early on, so that the medication does not do more harm than good. Following are some of the side effects of the medication:
- Constipation, etc.
- Some people have reported to have troubled breathing as one of the side effects,
- In some cases, allergic reactions can be seen. In such cases, medical professional should be consulted immediately so that the condition can be taken care of very quickly.
What should one keep in mind before taking Tramadol?
- Always inform your doctor about your allergies and medications.
- Never overdose. Tramadol is a strong pain med and has the tendency to become addictive.
- Never mix Tramadol with other pain meds
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid this pain med.
- Cardiac, renal and hepatic patients should also avoid this drug.
- In case of side effects, it is highly recommended to consult the doctor immediately.