Re: Tramadol and SSRI's
It really depends on the exact anti-depressant and the dosage. The higher the dosage of the ant-depressant and the higher the dose of tramadol, then the chance of developing SEROTONIN SYNDROME goes up. This is not to be taken likely because it is a very serious reaction and can be deadly. However, I was once on an anti-depressant (Cymbalta 60mg) and taking tramadol (400mg/day) along with other medications. Then I was switched over to Vicodin, still taking a lower dose of tramadol, and was on a different anti-depressant. My PM doctor was not too concerned about the interaction. However when I was switched to Prozac, I believe that I experienced the serotonin syndrome which was very scary. I had to start on an anti-depressant to get off the tramadol and that's when it happened so it really depends on the certain dosage etc.
Also, please be aware that tramadol has anti-d properties (affecting serotonin & norepinepherine) so if you are taking it every day, which most people do, then NEVER STOP TAKING IT SUDDENDLY. You will experience sertonin withdrawal syndrome. If you have never experienced this before, it is not fun. Plus tramadol is a mild opiod so if a person is going through withdrawal (which I have done before), it is like going through withdrawal from an opiod/opiate & an anti-depressant at the same time which is why it must be titrated down VERY SLOWLY. It was one of the most difficult medications for me to stop taking and it took me a good 2 months to get off of it. Plus I have seen this happen to many people before. Most doctors are unaware or uneducated to this fact. Plus, it can be abused and you can become addicted just like any other pain medication which I have seen/heard from people who became addicted to it. So just make sure you take it as prescribed, never take more than prescribed, don't get it from multiple doctors, and your chance of addiction is less than 5% and probably closer to 1% unless addiction/alcoholism runs in your family and it may be slighly higher.
If you become disoriented, very dizzy, lightheaded, fever, shakes, vomiting, diahreah soon after starting the tramadol then you might be experiencing serotonin syndrome so just be aware of that. Ask your pharmacist about the other symptoms of serotonin syndrome. Most people are able to take tramadol along with an SSRI but check with your doctor and pharmacist first and try to fill all of your prescriptions at the same pharmacy so they will be able to tell you if there are any medication interactions to watch for.
p.s. tramadol is about 30% as strong as Vicodin but it tends to treat nerve pain better.
Last edited by brianpain33; 10-22-2009 at 04:05 PM.