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    Old 12-16-2004, 02:29 PM   #1
    New Mommy
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    Question Tramadol Advice

    As alot of you know, I was trying to kick the habit to Hydro 10's. I was just having mild W/D, but I hurt my back (ruptured disc) last week, and ended up in the ER. Anyways, my doctor then prescribed me Ultram 100 mg three times a day as needed. I went to some websites looking this drug. It is said to be a non-narcotic pain reliever, but some people get a better high than with Hydro's. I found it to make me kind of sluggish and foggy. Not euphoric like the Hydro's. Some addicts claim that using Ultram helped them kick the addiction to Hydrocodone. Does anybody out there have any advice or information on this. Much appreciative.
    Thanks,
    Angie

     
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    Old 12-16-2004, 04:44 PM   #2
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    Re: Tramadol Advice

    Hi, Kicking anything is not easy, there are lots of things to do. Go to meetings, church, get new freinds. The most important thing is to want to do it. Not for anyone else but for yourself. I was an addict for 18 years and finally got off been clean now 8 years. The trick for me was I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I'ts not easy but if you have the right tools you can do it.
    Jami

     
    Old 12-16-2004, 05:01 PM   #3
    Hope12
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    Re: Tramadol Advice

    OHHH New Mommy!!!I was horribly addicted to Ultram,chose it over hydro's,oxy's,etc.Lots of people are still misinformed about this med,it IS very addictive,carries a pretty nice seizure risk as a potential side effect,and even though not a true opioid,acts on the same receptors thereby damaging them just as much(actually more because of its action on the brain) as narcotics.What some people don't understand is that even though you don't get that total euphoric high like you do on narcotics,this drug causes quite a bit of brain damage with long term high dose abuse,by the way it effects the neurotransmitters and receptors in the brain.Not to say that narcotics don't do that,because they do,but tramadol's damage can be much worse.Please be careful.I actually used hydro's to help me get off of Ultram,it just goes back to a person's own body chemistry on how certain meds affect them.And by the way,the hydro's didn't end up helping me get of Ultram,just prolonged the misery,and I finally got honest with one of my doctors who prescribed me meds for withdrawal to detox at home.February 5th,2005 will be a year clean for me,but believe me it has been a brain damage nightmare for me,and I'm just NOW starting to feel somewhat human again.So please,just be careful with this med,it's a lot more dangerous than what the literature is telling you(case in point,there's a HUGE class-action suit against Ultram by the thousands and thousands of people who became addicted to it when it was originally marketed as non-addictive,now,literature states it can reinitiate a dependance if you have a substance abuse history,but bold truth is,it can definitely lead to a chemical dependance and addiction if you DON'T have a history).So tread lightly with Ultram,truly,it is no better than taking your hydro's or oxy's or whatever.

    Peace,Stacie

     
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    Old 12-16-2004, 08:08 PM   #4
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    Re: Tramadol Advice

    Hi Stacie
    Thanks for your informative post regarding Ultram and congratulations on your upcoming one year anniversary! That's a beautiful thing! I too am finding myself a "victim" (though I usually hate that word!) of misinformed doctors about the addictive nature of this med. I was originally rx'd it as an alternative to the opiates because of my opiate addiction history and my fear of readdiction. Before being discharged from the hospital after my 2nd of 4 surgeries I requested to see a PM specialist for this sole purpose and because it is a suggested "guideline" in my program of recovery. Ultram was prescibed as a non-narcotic which I felt safe about taking. Anyway, as a result of these 4 surgeries as well as arthritis pain I have used it on and off for approx. 3 years. It is currently being rx'd by my oncologist for post radiation damage and pain. It was here on this board back in Aug or Sept that I first I learned about it's addictive properties! I am currently working very hard to keep my dose at 2 per day and have been on this dose for a couple of months. I feel horrible when I have tried to lower that even by just a half pill (25mg.). Since I also suffer from severe clinical depression and am in the process of trying a new AD med, I thought I would try to hold off my attempt to taper again until this depression has lifted a bit.
    Like I said, I am also in recovery and celebrated 16 years clean and sober this past Aug. I have never abused this med and take even less than is prescribed. I would though like to try to get off it at some point (like I said, when this depression lifts!) and would love any input you or anyone else may have on the best way to go about it. I know 100-125mg daily is not a huge dose but fear some of the cognitive damage you were referring to as well as knowing that once again a drug has a hold on me, no matter how innocently it may have happened I still find myself blaming myself! Any particular taper plan, etc???? I would appreciate any thoughts or support.
    El

     
    Old 12-16-2004, 08:43 PM   #5
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    Re: Tramadol Advice

    Hi There, My experiences i have had with Tramadol and Hydro is this, Hydro would give me that euphoric feeling with a boost of energy. Tramadol did not give me a euphoric feeling nor a major quick boost of energy, it did make me wide awake and alert and basically a more steady type stream of energy. I find that i become dependant quicker on the hydros but the wd's are worse coming off of long term use of the Tramadol. I like so many others felt comfortable taking the Tramadol because the Doc said that it was non-narcotic and non-addicting, what a lie that was. I still use it from time to time but not long term. I learned my lesson. Good Luck, ValleyGurl

     
    Old 12-16-2004, 09:26 PM   #6
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    Arrow Re: Tramadol Advice

    : hello,
    My name is Tammy,and I am new here.. Let me tell you a little about me.
    I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer back in 2000. It spread to my lung, and my left arm. They had to take the bone out of my arm from my shoulder to my elbow. I now have a rod there. I am in pain management.
    I have had experience with the medications you are talking about.
    And you are right. Tramadol can help you fight the addiction that you may have for the hydros. It does work, but at first like me, I took 5 or more pills because I missed that high. I could getup and clean and be so nice and talkative. and I was never like that. But taking the tramadol puts something in your body so you don't have withdraws, and if you take it as directed, and not like I did, you will be ok. I am taking Oxycontin 40 mg 2 times a day. Percoset 7.5's 2 of them every 12 hours. I find myself running out of meds a week or more before my next apt. And my husband takes Percosets too, he has crohns and I take his , and just put back when I get mine.
    What ever you do, don't ever start taking ATICQ thats a very strong morphine lollypop. And I got very addicted to that. I ended up in the hospital from my pancreas contracting because I took too much. It's very dangerous.
    I have taken Loraset which is the hydro's. Right now in my bathroom, I have oxycontin, percoset 7.5, 5/325. Tylenol 3, tramadol, ultraset, hydro 5. I sound like a regular pharmacy. I have a friend that is preg. And she has a friend that works in the pharmacy, and when the drugs get what they call outdated, and they have to throw them out, my preg. friend gets them, and she gives them to me.
    I just found out from my orthopedic, that my rod in my arm can't come out for another year, because my bone that needed to grow back, is growing very nicely, but it's not strong enough to stand alone with out that rod. And that rod really hurts bad. I hope in a year, I can get off these meds. But I know if I did as I was told, and took the dosage only, and the ultraset, or ultram (tramadol) then I would be ok.

    Don't just quit cold turkey, your pancreas can contract and that won't be good. That's why you step down... So listen to what your dr, says about stepping down.... I just quit cold turkey once, and ended up in the hospital for christmas.

    Nice to meet all of you, I hope to hear from someone soon.
    Have a great night.

    Tammy from Southern Maryland

    Last edited by bigyt; 12-16-2004 at 09:27 PM.

     
    Old 12-17-2004, 08:47 AM   #7
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    Re: Tramadol Advice

    Hi El!
    Congratulations to you,too on your SIXTEEN years of sobriety!!I don't think you have too much to worry about with the Ultram,you really do have a demonstrated need for pain relief meds,and you ARE at a pretty low dose.The only problem with being on it for so long is the chemical dependancy your body develops,because your obviously not abusing this med.But,as with a lot of other substances,anytime you take something for a long period of time, your body develops that dependancy that we don't have any control over.But here's a real concern.You mentioned that your trying a new antidepressant drug,and clinically, you are NOT supposed to take Ultram with antidepressants!!Little known fact,and I even had a pharmacist tell me it was okay to take the two together until I had her physically look up the interactions on her computer,and she found that taking AD's with Ultram greatly increases the risk of seizures.You really need to check into this information.Part of the action of Ultram is that it DOES slightly increase levels of seretonin and even a little of norepinephrine,so the effects of taking AD's with Ultram can be additive,and you run the risk of developing the "seretonin syndrome" and seizures.Part of the attraction for ME to Ultram is that it actually relieved a great amount of my depression,not that it made me feel real high.It just made me happy.I don't want to give you this information to scare you or make you stop taking your AD, but I think it's important that you be informed and monitored very well by your doctor if your going to take the two together.But the one thing that you have going for you is that you really aren't on a high dose of Ultram daily,and since you suffer from severe clinical depression,your blood could probably use that extra boost of seretonin!!(hehe)I know mine could!!I just think it's something you should be aware of,so you can keep an eye on any suspicious symptoms you might develop-basically,just be informed!!In fact, there are quite a FEW meds that your not supposed to take with Ultram,and that's part of the danger of this drug.They really don't even KNOW how Ultram produces it's analgesic effect,if you read the literature,which I find kind of scary.It kind of leads me to ask,then how did you make it to begin with???As far as cognitive damage,my damage is pretty severe because I was up to a 50 pill a day habit.I look back and can't even imagine how I survived or never had a full blown grand mal seizure.In fact, when I detoxed,the doctors were completely floored that I had never suffered a seizure,because at the time they had had SEVERAL patients come in with seizures after taking 8-10 Ultrams in a day.I think some people are just more at risk than others.As far as tapering, I found it IMPOSSIBLE to do with Ultram.I know someone who had gotten themselves down to a HALF an Ultram a day-25mg.-and could NOT get off of it.25MG's a day!!! That is how GRIPPING this drug can be!!My suggeston is,when it's time for you to get off of this, is to tell your doctor you need the meds to help with withdrawal.i.e. the clonidine,Valium,etc.etc..It's not that your an addict,this is a natural thing for your body to do-develop a physical dependancy-and doctors should understand that and be more than willing to help you withdraw from the drug(okay,in a perfect world maybe).When I came clean with my doctor,I didn't tell her I was a full blown addict,drug-seeking,doctor shopping,emergency room hopping-I just told her since I've been taking Ultram for so long,I was having a hard time getting off of it and experiencing nasty withdrawal symptoms.That way,the way I explained it,she didn't feel "guilty" for prescribing it to me,and wrote prescriptions for everything I needed to detox.And she had me come in weekly to keep me monitored and supervised,and it worked out really well.
    I'm sorry,I know I've read some of your posts before,but because my memory is not that great anymore,do you mind if I ask what kind of cancer you're being treated for??My mother developed breast cancer and rectal cancer,went thru the chemo and radiation,is on the 5-year tamoxifen now,but I know how awful it can be to have to go thru something like that.I'm going for my FIRST ever mammogram in the morning for my screening.I know how the residual pain from radiation,etc. can be pretty rough,but it sounds like your handling it very well,sounds like you're a real trooper.My blessings go out to you.I hope I've given you a little bit of decent advice about Ultram,but in your case,I don't think I'd worry about it too much.It appears that you're pretty much in control,but when it's time to come off, don't be afraid to ask for help.I hope you make progress in battling the depression,and start to feel better.It can be so incapacitating,and I think you deserve true peace and happiness,it sounds like you are a definite true survivor-of a lot of things.Happy Holidays,hope to hear from you soon!!

    Peace and Joy,Stacie

     
    Old 12-17-2004, 11:44 AM   #8
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    Re: Tramadol Advice

    Hi Stacie!
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience about Ultram with me. I can definitely understand why it has taken so long for you to feel well again, it took me over a year to begin to feel normal after my detox with xanax 16 years ago! I need to remember the horror of that time so I will never repeat it! It really does take that long for some pills to completely come out of your system and those natural endorphins to kick back in. You should be very proud of yourself for being clean for close to a year. ((((Stacie))))
    Oh yes, I was aware of the interactions with AD's from the beginning. I was on Paxil at the time (now Lexapro and Wellbutrin), and the prescribing PM doc at the hospital informed me. I was told I could only take 1 tab every 6 hours, instead of 1-2 tabs every 4-6 hours. I remember it not working for 6 hours and had to fight with him to get him to OK every 5 hours! (this was in the hospital no less). So I've pretty much stuck to that. When I have needed more pain relief (as in post surgically) I am prescribed something stronger, but only for short term. That is why Ultram was a God send, or so I thought at the time! It actually does work pretty good on relieving pain.
    I was diagnosed last year (03) with Breast cancer. I was so lucky it was discovered early and I had a lumpectomy followed by 6 weeks of radiation and will be taking Arimidex (a newer version of Tamaxofin) for a total of 5 years. I'm so glad you are getting checked, it's especially important if you have a family history, as I did as well. Please let us know how that goes. I'll say a little prayer~ Mine being found so early (by self exam!), I was spared the chemo, at least for now. The breast area pain (called radiation induced fibrosis) that I have is now considered permenant as it is over 1 year since I finished tx. The 3rd degree burns that I experienced were I'm told extremely rare! I also have abdominal adhehions from 3 abd. surgeries the year before. Thus the need for some pain medication. I just wish I didn't "HAVE" to take it everday just to ward of w/d. I guess that is the worst part of dependency even though it is medically necessary and hasn't been abused. It just doesn't feel right once you are in recovery. Believe me, if I wasn't I wouldn't even be having this conversation! Btw, do you attend meetings, or get some type of help/support staying clean? I know I could never have faced these past few rocky years doing any of it alone!
    Wow! thank you so much for providing this safe space for me to open up so completely about this and for offering me such wonderful advise! I don't often feel that comfortable talking about it at my meetings for fear that it will misunderstood and/or judged. I don't need that ...and it doesn't help a bit!
    And I must apologize to New mommy for taking over her thread in this way,
    I hope some insight in regards to Ultram's addictive properties have been shed
    for anyone seeking advise about this medication.
    Take care, hope to talk soon!
    El

     
    Old 12-19-2004, 05:03 AM   #9
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    Re: Tramadol Advice

    Tramadol IS VERY addictive to some people, not to everybody, but i still dont know why, i think every person reacts very different to the very same drugs

    id like to share my story with u, cause ive been readin this board a lot and i really liked it

    Havin a very heavy tramadol addiction, every doctor ive met would only say tramadol could not be as addictive as other regular narcotics, and so i should stop takin it cold turkey, but i know from my own experience that tramadol cold turkeys like livin in hell, and they may not be aware of this so far.

    So once ive read everything i could find about this substance (and im also in medical school) i finally decided to try my own recovery program and see what would happen.

    I started like many others: cause it gave me the perfect energy and mood to do a "normal" life just like people who dont need it, but not to get a buzz out of it, eventhough when i first started usin it i would get a nice buzz

    And then the same old story u all know: take them just for some special days (like a long study night cause my concentration gets so much better when im on tramadol), then regular use, then tolerance gettin higher, then needin it even to get off the bed and finally finding myself doin around 1500mg/day for more than a year just to feel normal (still cant belive ive never had a zeizure in such a long time). Finally i had to admit i was very addicted to it and i needed to stop as fast as possible cause it was gettin very dangerous to my health.

    Ive noticied that nobody mentioned the short but actual real ssri properties tramadol has. thats very important when dealin with WD cause its not only an abstinence from its opioid properties, its also similar to a ssri abstinence and thats maybe why it feels worse and lasts loger than many other similar meds and so, it should be treated different than just some "regular" and weak narcotic.
    And this may also be the reason why some many people use it as an antidepresant without even knowin.

    Like i said, most doctors dont know much about tramadol and addiction, so this is what i did:

    First than anythin i needed to stay out that guge risk of havin zeizures i was in, so from one day to another i passed from takin 1500mg/day to only 500mg/day. And WD started right away VERY intense. i was unable to get off my bed for almost 2 weeks being as sick as never before, but after 2 weeks of pure sufferin my body got used to the 500mg/day, enough to keep goin farther.
    Second step was tapperin off (i think thats the best way to go for me), so i took 400mg for some days, then 300mg for some days, 200mg for some more days, and eventhough i was sufferin a lot the WD synthoms, it wasnt as bad as the first step. So i sticked to the plan till i found myself doin only 50mg/day. But i knew that at this point it comes the hardest part: from 50mg to 0mg. Like many others i tried a few times but the synthoms were too intense for me.
    Until i found somethin that worked perfect for me: usin small doses of GBL (not more than 3 times a day and for no longer than a week so i woulndt get addicted to something new and maybe worse. i dont think replacin one drug for another is always the way to go, but sometimes some unregular drugs might help more than u'd ever imagined)..then the WD synthoms from 0mg tramadol/day were almost gone for me.

    Today is my fourth day without using tramadol and im feeling almost normal , being able to do most of the things i used to when i was doin it daily.

    I know ive not finished full recovery yet, and theres still a long hard way to go. But i made it from 1500/day to 0/day plus very little GBL in no more than 4 weeks and i think thats something. My next step would be to gradually reduce the GBL and see what happens with the WD i was sufferin before.

    I hope my story would help to many others who are tryin to get off tramadol and havin no success only because a lot of profesionals dont know about tramadol and its high abuse potencial.

    I just want u to know that i could do this cause i REALLY wanted to stop it, i had all the support i could ever need from my friends and i needed to be VERY STRONG and have a lot of SELF DISCIPLINE (even when goin through the worst sick synthomes), otherwise, i dont think this would've work at all.

    Ill let u know how things r goin from now on if anyone is interested.

    So please, do your best, because u can get off tramadol by yourself if u really really want to, i belive u can.
    u got to be strong, belive that u can really do it and have a plan u will respect and know is the best for yourself (cause im not sayin what i did its the only or the best way to go, its just what i found its workin ok for me so far...).

     
    Old 12-20-2004, 04:36 PM   #10
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    Re: Tramadol Advice

    Hi Tnt2~(or anyone who knows...)
    What is GBL? Is this a prescription, natural remedy? OTC?
    Thanks!

     
    Old 12-24-2004, 08:33 AM   #11
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    Re: Tramadol Advice

    GBL = gamma-Butyrolactone

    When taken orally is converted to GHB wich is scheduled I in the US (anyway do some reasearch for "Xyrem" and ull be surprised).
    GBL is still unsheduled substance in most countries though.

    GHB is a naturally occurring component of human cells. It is more commonly used as a sleep-aid, or as a supplement by body-builders.

    At lower doses effects include relaxation, reduction of social inhibitions, decreased motor skills, mood lift and other effects similar to mild alcohol intoxication.

    Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is both a therapeutic agent and a recreative drug. It has sedative, anxiolytic and euphoric effects. These effects are believed to be due to GHB-induced potentiation of cerebral GABAergic and dopaminergic activities, but the serotonergic system might also be involved.

     
    Old 12-24-2004, 10:22 AM   #12
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    Re: Tramadol Advice

    Thanks for the info. I would be too scared to try it. I'm glad that it helped you though. Whatever works!

     
    Old 12-24-2004, 11:17 AM   #13
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    Re: Tramadol Advice

    yep, not something to fool around with...but i guess is better than any zombie-like antidepressant, if u take it seriusly.

    its been a week without any tramadol now and its time to sober up enterly.

    ill let u know if i got any problems with this unusual substance, but i dont think i will, i know it very well for years now.

    please read and learn as much as u can before doin things u dont understand

     
    Old 12-24-2004, 11:51 AM   #14
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    Re: Tramadol Advice

    Good luck Tnt2 in taking the next step and getting off everything! Wow, you are half way there! A day at a time, we can do anything. If there is any remaining discomfort, please remember that it WILL pass! I wish you a smooth transition. Let us know how you're doin.
    El

     
    Old 12-24-2004, 12:10 PM   #15
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    Re: Tramadol Advice

    Thank u Ellnyc, its really amazin how the brain reacts to different things

    Just readin those words of hope and support from someone i dont actually know, made me feel full of energy and faith, a much powerful thing than any other med wouldve given me.

    i think thats why this board stands for, we need to learn from others experiences before anything.

    So please fell free to ask or share any comments about usin tramadol and its dangers. Theres a lot of ppl here able to help from their own experience with this extremly and potent unknown med.

     
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