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Old 04-20-2008, 10:20 AM   #1
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Anyone experiennce protracted withdrawal from Ultram (tramadol)?

I have been off Ultram (a pain killer but also the characteristics of serotonin reuptake inhibitors) for over 8 months. The withdrawal was absolutely horrendous. I wanted to know if anyone else out there has has protracted withdrawal symptoms that include difficulty sleeping due to either intense adrenaline 'surges' when just falling into a sleep or 'brain shocks'. Even after all of this time I still experience them, sometimes several times through the night - each time I try to drop off to sleep. It is extremely distressful and I can't get any sleep. I won't take anymore drugs to resolve this because it would just cover up what the problem is and wouldn't let my brain and body really heal. I took Ultram for 13 years for a back injury and was told it was non-narcotic and non-addictive which is absolutely not true.

I am healthy, active and do not have anxiety or anything that would cause the symptoms during the night. They only began after I stopped taking Ultram.

I would love to talk to others who might have some experiences similar to this, especially with longer term effects of the withdrawal.
Kristin

 
Old 04-20-2008, 04:51 PM   #2
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Re: Anyone experiennce protracted withdrawal from Ultram (tramadol)?

I just wanted to say that what you are experiencing is POST ACUTE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS OR SSRI DISCONTINUATION SYNDROME. Look up these terms online and you will see that it is rather normal to experience this sometimes up to 1 year after stopping an SSRI or anything that has antidepressant qualities. I just recently stopped tramadol and have been on off of it for 10 days now However, it was not easy by any stretch and I had to cut down very slowly(like 1/2 a pill per week). I would say that it is rather normal for you to experience this after taking it for 13 years. That is a long, long time and the doctors were very inexperienced concerning it because it was MARKETED as a non-narcotic, safe drug with no withdrawal either. My doctor said he knew that it was a narcotic drug as soon as it was introduced and he always considered it one(he is a very smart doc). Please don't give up but know that you might need to take an SSRI short term if the symptoms get very bad. If you have back pain you might want to try Cymbalta which is a SNRI(serotonin & norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) but it definitely is non-narcotic. Just a thought. Please keep coming back for support, and trust me I know where you are with the brain zaps and arm & hand "shock" sensation. I hope that it is not permanent but just realize it does take at least 1 year for the brain to "heal".

brian

 
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Old 04-20-2008, 05:29 PM   #3
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Re: Anyone experiennce protracted withdrawal from Ultram (tramadol)?

I don't know anything specifically re: Ultram withdrawal, but I think your logic of refusing to take any more meds to assist your symptoms is very good. Stay strong and try to resist taking any more meds....Your brain will heal itself....Just wanted to say that I think you're doing the right thing and to hang in there.

Ex

 
Old 04-21-2008, 07:05 PM   #4
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Re: Anyone experiennce protracted withdrawal from Ultram (tramadol)?

Thank you Brain - I so appreciate your thoughts and knowledge on this. Yes, I have read dozens of articles and researched sites for some time now to educate myself on what is happening to my body, which does help. I think the amount of time that has passed seemed to be so excessive but now, after hearing many supportive responses, I realize it is probably due to the many years my body was exposed to this drug. If it takes a couple of months for someone who has taken Ultram for a year then it is reasonable to see it will take a bit longer after 13 plus years.

I'm so glad you were able to stop the drug as well. It's a tuff one, isn't it? It is wonderful when you finally do, though. It is an important accomplishment and one to be very proud of.
Kristin

 
Old 04-21-2008, 07:27 PM   #5
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Re: Anyone experiennce protracted withdrawal from Ultram (tramadol)?

Hi,

It is sometimes difficult to stick to the commitment of not taking anything to help with the symptoms of getting off another drug and it really helped to hear your acknowledgments for keeping up with it. I was feeling so alone with my experiences but hearing other's stories, like yours, makes me know I am not alone and that there are people who are rooting for the success of others and supporting their efforts.

Kristin

 
Old 04-21-2008, 09:09 PM   #6
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Re: Anyone experiennce protracted withdrawal from Ultram (tramadol)?

Great job Kristin. I have now been off 11 days I think. I definitely do not want to go back on that drug EVER AGAIN. I tend to not do well with SSRI or SNRI and I realize that stupid drug was making my bi-polar symptoms even worse. I have been having some depression symptoms creeping up but I have not been feeling well all weekend so maybe that has something to do with it. You are always welcome to post here.

brian

 
Old 04-22-2008, 03:01 PM   #7
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Re: Anyone experiennce protracted withdrawal from Ultram (tramadol)?

very interesting post...

Over the past few months, I have read so much on this board about Ultram, that I decided to take myself off it. From what I can gather, it is much worse that the Lortab that I am on (to come off of)....so, last time I went to the PM doc, I just flat out told her that I am scared to death of it...and I told her why.

She said several of her patients are concerned for the exact same reasons. She did say that the drug was good and had positive benefits, but she was aware of many (especially on the LA formula, which is what I was on) had serious problems-other than the "normal" withdrawal symptoms and she could understand me not wanting to risk that...since I had been on it for a short period of time.

I slowly weaned from Two 100mg ER a day....it took about three weeks..and I did experience some of the symptoms you guys have mentioned. And, about week 2 totally "off" the med, I hit a depression...it was not fun. At all.

Today, I am much better and the depression and such is no more....however, in trade, I suffer in the pain dept, since the Ultram was a constant in my system. But, when I weighed the options, I decided that if the Lortabs aren't cutting it, I could always go onto another LA med...one that won't mess with my brain when I stop taking it...I mean, I KNOW there are withdrawals to any med, but there is a difference in RLS, explosive poops..(you know the rest)...and feeling like a crazy person.....in a depression so low you don't know which way to turn. Anyway, I am having back surgery this summer, so I am giving it my best shot to make it on the Lortab until surgery...then, if all goes according to my master plan...I will be pain free, therefore med free!!!

So please pray for my master plan.....

In closing my essay (LOL...sorry) I do know that Ultram is all that many have to help with their pain. So many docs are scared to write the "heavy stuff"...but this is what I think is kinda silly.....

They KNOW the "oldies but goodies" work....they know what situations they are and arent' safe in because they have been around for a long time. However, some are scared to Rx them cause of addiction...so they give us the "latest and greatest" thinking addiction won't be an issue...then BAM! They find out that not only is it an issue, but that it is a bigger issue than the "tired and true!" Or they find that these new meds cause all kinds of crazy stuff...like the whole Vioxx debaucle....so, why not just Rx the stuff that works...and if not abused..won't kill us??? I am so thankful to have a doc who sees things this way....now if we could only get a LA version of hydrocodone..we'd be doing good!

Last edited by HappyFlower; 04-22-2008 at 03:27 PM. Reason: silly me...

 
Old 04-22-2008, 03:09 PM   #8
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Re: Anyone experiennce protracted withdrawal from Ultram (tramadol)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyFlower View Post
now if we could only get a LA version of hydrocodone..we'd be doing good!
THe LA hydrocodone version is very close to actually being approved by the FDA and I am sure it will probably happen this year. The clinical trials have been done and I believe an application has been made for it so we will see but it would be nice.

brian

 
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