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blueoceans 06-18-2012 11:39 AM

tramadol/sciatica
 
Hello to all,
I hope this is the correct place to post my issue. I suffer from chronic sciatica and have been prescribed tramadol back in nov2011. Had my surgery and i would say so far maybe a 40% reduction in pain. The residual pain still annoys the heck out of me. Will i ever be pain free? I'm starting to wonder. Anyway to get to the point i am going off of tramadol because i am tired of being on it. I have been on it for 9months@50 mg 2xday. It worked so so probably dulled the pain if anything. Before i surcame to this devil (sciatica), the most medication i ever took was an advil as needed. Should i taper or go cold turkey? Also, has anybody found anything to help with nerve pain that isn't a narcotic? I've been told it depends where you live if this medicine is classified a narcotic. Thanks.

lake county 06-18-2012 11:49 AM

Re: tramadol/sciatica
 
I take lyrica for my nerve pain and boy it helps. I've read tramadol is hard coming off cold turkey, as many will tell you, a slow taper off any narcotic/anti depressant/benzo is the best rout. Good luck.

blueoceans 06-18-2012 12:02 PM

Re: tramadol/sciatica
 
Thanks, if i were to go on lyrica is it considered a non-narcotic?

lake county 06-18-2012 12:18 PM

Re: tramadol/sciatica
 
Yes sir. Non narcotic. I take mine with a mild narcotic and it helps. Lyrica affects ppl. Diff. Ways of course but my case, it made me a bit hazy for a day or two but it went away fast. I'm on 50mg 2x a day and will be asking to go up in dose because my body is responding well to it. It is only name brand so it may be expensive but neurotin is in the same class and way cheaper. People also swear on neurotin so you may ask about that as well. Depending on your financial situation.

lake county 06-18-2012 12:19 PM

Re: tramadol/sciatica
 
I meant ma'm. Damn autocorrect

Recombinant 06-18-2012 12:37 PM

Re: tramadol/sciatica
 
I take Neurontin and have previously taken Lyrica for my nerve pain (neuralgia), along with several other medications which are narcotic. Neither Lyrica or Neurontin are considered narcotic, although Lyrica is a schedule V (CV) controlled substance in the US (this is the least restricted level of controlled substances). Both Lyrica (pregabalin) and Neurontin (gabapentin) are voltage dependent calcium channel ion blockers, which is a fancy way of saying they inhibit the conduction of pain signals along nerve fibers.

As a side note, I used to take Tramadol 50 mg up to 8 times daily, and would not recommend quitting cold turkey. That said, I was on a much higher dose, so it shouldn't be quite so bad for you. One thing to consider is the fact Tramadol is also a serotonergic, increasing serotonin levels in the brain through reuptake inhibition. As such, the drop in serotonin when stopping Tramadol can cause depression type symptoms akin to those seen in post-SSRI discontinuation syndrome. My PCP offered to put me on fluoxetine (Prozac) - an SSRI with a markedly long half-life - when I stopped Tramadol as a preemptive measure against any serotonin drops.

A note on classifying Tramadol as a narcotic... This is a tricky subject because of the ambiguity surrounding the use of the term "narcotic" - however, in that Tramadol can produce narcosis (a decrease in mental acuity or performance), technically it is considered a narcotic by strict definition. That said, it is almost never treated in common and practical terms as a narcotic, and is not controlled by the DEA. Classifying Tramadol as an opioid is also debated, though technically due to the activity (albeit very weak) it has on the mu opioid receptor, it is, by strict definition, an opioid. The active metabolic compound of Tramadol (O-desmethyltramadol, also O-DT and M1) is much more active at the mu opioid receptor, and as such Tramadol is also considered to be an opioid and narcotic pro-drug (meaning some of the metabolites created by it's breakdown in the body are opioids).

Best of luck!

blueoceans 06-18-2012 01:25 PM

Re: tramadol/sciatica
 
[QUOTE=lake county;5001498]I meant ma'm. Damn autocorrect[/QUOTE]
Lol :)

blueoceans 06-18-2012 01:35 PM

Re: tramadol/sciatica
 
[QUOTE=Recombinant;5001514]I take Neurontin and have previously taken Lyrica for my nerve pain (neuralgia), along with several other medications which are narcotic. Neither Lyrica or Neurontin are considered narcotic, although Lyrica is a schedule V (CV) controlled substance in the US (this is the least restricted level of controlled substances). Both Lyrica (pregabalin) and Neurontin (gabapentin) are voltage dependent calcium channel ion blockers, which is a fancy way of saying they inhibit the conduction of pain signals along nerve fibers.

As a side note, I used to take Tramadol 50 mg up to 8 times daily, and would not recommend quitting cold turkey. That said, I was on a much higher dose, so it shouldn't be quite so bad for you. One thing to consider is the fact Tramadol is also a serotonergic, increasing serotonin levels in the brain through reuptake inhibition. As such, the drop in serotonin when stopping Tramadol can cause depression type symptoms akin to those seen in post-SSRI discontinuation syndrome. My PCP offered to put me on fluoxetine (Prozac) - an SSRI with a markedly long half-life - when I stopped Tramadol as a preemptive measure against any serotonin drops.

A note on classifying Tramadol as a narcotic... This is a tricky subject because of the ambiguity surrounding the use of the term "narcotic" - however, in that Tramadol can produce narcosis (a decrease in mental acuity or performance), technically it is considered a narcotic by strict definition. That said, it is almost never treated in common and practical terms as a narcotic, and is not controlled by the DEA. Classifying Tramadol as an opioid is also debated, though technically due to the activity (albeit very weak) it has on the mu opioid receptor, it is, by strict definition, an opioid. The active metabolic compound of Tramadol (O-desmethyltramadol, also O-DT and M1) is much more active at the mu opioid receptor, and as such Tramadol is also considered to be an opioid and narcotic pro-drug (meaning some of the metabolites created by it's breakdown in the body are opioids).

Best of luck![/QUOTE]


Thanks for the information. This was very helpful. I will talk to my doc when i go back for my six week check up. Take care.

Daffydolphin 06-18-2012 04:08 PM

Tramadol, 2 50's is insignificant
 
But I'd still taper off over 4 to 5 days just to be extra safe. The pain relief you are getting from 2 is maybe as much as one Advil. I took 8 50's a day for quite awhile because I had to quit all NSAIDs. I'd say the 8 equaled two Aleve. I went off over 10 days no problem.

In my opinion Tramadol is a combination synthetic opiate/SSRI. It is probably more dangerous and more dependency forming than most narcotics, and with more side effects. It is only widely Rx'd because it is not DEA regulated only because it has zero recreational value as potential abuses quickly find out.

blueoceans 06-18-2012 05:17 PM

Re: Tramadol, 2 50's is insignificant
 
[QUOTE=Daffydolphin;5001634]But I'd still taper off over 4 to 5 days just to be extra safe. The pain relief you are getting from 2 is maybe as much as one Advil. I took 8 50's a day for quite awhile because I had to quit all NSAIDs. I'd say the 8 equaled two Aleve. I went off over 10 days no problem.

In my opinion Tramadol is a combination synthetic opiate/SSRI. It is probably more dangerous and more dependency forming than most narcotics, and with more side effects. It is only widely Rx'd because it is not DEA regulated only because it has zero recreational value as potential abuses quickly find out.[/QUOTE]

Thanks. This is good to know. I think the prescribed amount is so low because i am 5'2 and 105lbs. I will go ahead and taper to error on the side of caution.

katlin09 06-19-2012 09:29 AM

Re: Tramadol, 2 50's is insignificant
 
Tramadol (Ultram) is a highly addictive and dangerous medication. It also has a anti-depressant med built in that most Dr.'s fail to mention. Withdrawals from Tramadol detox can be very, very harsh and it can take a very long time to get off of this medication. Your Dr. will no doubt tell you that you can taper off the drug with no problems and you should have little problems stopping the med, he's wrong.


The withdrawals from Ultram are very severe, there is also a severe side effect of Grand Mal Seizures with Ultram. And if you happen to be on any other anti-depressants or psych meds you can run into trouble with Serotonin issues.

I don't tell you these things to scare you, nor are they heresay from others, I am simply recounting my own nightmare story of Ultram Dr. prescribed overdose, detox and withdrawal, Serotonin Storm, and Grand Mal Seizures which have now left me with a lifetime Seizure Disorder.

So, please be very careful when detoxing from Ultram. Most Dr.'s know very little about this drug besides what Drug Reps tell them. You're on a pretty low dose so you should be able to do a slow taper and be done with it in a couple of months safely.

Good luck.

Kat

blueoceans 06-19-2012 10:29 AM

Re: Tramadol, 2 50's is insignificant
 
[QUOTE=katlin09;5002105]Tramadol (Ultram) is a highly addictive and dangerous medication. It also has a anti-depressant med built in that most Dr.'s fail to mention. Withdrawals from Tramadol detox can be very, very harsh and it can take a very long time to get off of this medication. Your Dr. will no doubt tell you that you can taper off the drug with no problems and you should have little problems stopping the med, he's wrong.


The withdrawals from Ultram are very severe, there is also a severe side effect of Grand Mal Seizures with Ultram. And if you happen to be on any other anti-depressants or psych meds you can run into trouble with Serotonin issues.

I don't tell you these things to scare you, nor are they heresay from others, I am simply recounting my own nightmare story of Ultram Dr. prescribed overdose, detox and withdrawal, Serotonin Storm, and Grand Mal Seizures which have now left me with a lifetime Seizure Disorder.

So, please be very careful when detoxing from Ultram. Most Dr.'s know very little about this drug besides what Drug Reps tell them. You're on a pretty low dose so you should be able to do a slow taper and be done with it in a couple of months safely.

Good luck.

Kat[/QUOTE]
-

Katlin-thanks so much for this information. I have never been one to like taking meds. Maybe at the most advil, until this stupid sciatica developed. I had high hopes of having this surgery and being able to be off of tramadol. The problem with nerve pain is one day you feel better and then the next day you could feel horrible. That's the frustrating part of this. I still am planning on tapering down the tramadol slowly and as others have suggested ask dr.about lyrica or neurontin (sp?). What are your opinions about these two meds? I would prefer to take nothing, but on the flip side i don't like the nerve pain either. I am trying to find the balance of the least medication needed for pain. I really do appreciate your information. As this board has been very helpful. Take care.

katlin09 06-20-2012 01:07 AM

Re: Tramadol, 2 50's is insignificant
 
Neurontin is pretty good for nerve pain, it's the leading med for that type of pain right now. You do also have to be careful when stopping it, it cannot just be stopped cold turkey it has to be tapered.

There are also Lyrica, Neuroveen and Cymbalta as leading nerve pain meds.

The thing with these types of meds are they are generally anti-seizure, anti-convulsant or anti-epileptic, and anti-depressant medications. They aren't the kind of meds that can just be stopped after having been taken for a while, that can be very dangerous. So you have to taper off of them when and if you do decide to quit taking them.

Please understand, I'm not telling you this to scare you, but there is a protocol to be followed when taking this class of drugs.

Take care and I hope that you do find relief from your nerve pain.

Kat


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