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Surgery Pointless - Questions about Ultram

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Old 12-24-2005, 12:32 PM   #1
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Surgery Pointless - Questions about Ultram

I decided to come back to these boards, since I don't really have anywhere else to go. I hope all of you realize that people come to this board for support and advice, not to be called a drug-addict based on a mistake that I'm sure many people in chronic pain have made. If I thought I had a problem with addiction, I would have posted on that board.

Enough on that.

I had my second Laparoscopy last week, and they found only a little endometriosis (as opposed to it being severe stage IV the previous time) and lots of scar tissue. My OBGYN doesn't believe that this is causing my pain. My dr. and family are acting like it is all in my head. That just breaks my heart. But what upsets me more is the fact that they have NO IDEA why I am in so much pain, and my dr. didn't care to look into any other reasons. She wrote me a prescription for Zelnorm for IBS, but I can't imagine IBS causing me SO much pain. Not only do I have abdominal cramps, but lower back pain and upper thigh pain as well - pain which you think would be caused by some sort of female problem.

I asked my dr if it was possible I had an immune disorder like fibromylgia, since I thought for sure that immune disorders such as that were linked to endometriosis. She just told me that it was rare, and dismissed it at that.

She prescribed me *Ultram*. I've never heard of this drug, and she didn't tell me anything about it. She won't prescribe me anything stronger since she can't see that there is anything wrong with me! But that doesn't mean that I don't still hurt, and hurt horribly. I haven't been this depressed in a long time. I just want to know what is causing my pain.

If anyone could share their experiences with Ultram, that would be greatly appreciated. I know I take 1, 2x a day and I also know that the kind I have does NOT have acet. in it, so luckily I can take that along with the Ultram. I just know that I'm going to have to take this medicine everyday, and I don't know if that is alright.

Thanks in advance for any advice or support. Happy Christmas to all.

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Old 12-24-2005, 01:00 PM   #2
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jules1 HB User
Re: Surgery Pointless - Questions about Ultram

I called the pharmacist and the great news for me is that it is going to interact with most of the medications I am on. Nothing serious. I take Seroquel, Prozac, Lamictal, Xanax, and now Zelnorm. The only interaction is that taking the Ultram with it will make me drowsy.

I read up on the drug on Intellihealth and ***** (is it okay to post that?) but I'm still confused. They treat it like its a narcotic, but it doesn't say that it is.

I decided to go to my GP when I get back to school and find out whats causing my pain. I've had to take the past year and 1/2 off of school b/c of these problems, and I REALLY want to graduate next semester. I'll do anything it takes.

Old 12-24-2005, 03:25 PM   #3
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IngyW68 HB User
Smile Re: Surgery Pointless - Questions about Ultram

Hi Jules,

I am sorry you are having so much pain. I have had two laprascopic surgeries as well for ruptured ovarian cysts and tons of adhesions (scar tissue that gets attached to your organs). The second surgery they went ahead and removed my appendics since they thought it could rupture from my cysts rupturing. They also said I had IBS which to me is very uncomfortable but shouldn't be causing such extreme pain for you so it is probably something else that you should keep pursuing. It could be the adhesions because if they are stuck to your other organs, than any movement can cause such terrible pain and now they have done another procedure on you, that will cause more adhesions. It is a vicious cycle that way.

Anyway, I was also put on Ultram for many years for pain and really needed to take 4-8 daily to get even a little relief but I also have cervical disc problems and shoulder issues where I just had a second fusion sugery on Dec. 12th and am sitting with a hard neck brace for Christmas and not allowed to leave the house until the 29th. Bummer

So, the Ultram did not make me sleepy at all but you are taking other medicine that I am not so don't know for you. It didn't upset my tummy at all either but I always take medicine with some sort of food or crackers just to be sure. I hope you have good luck with the Ultram and get some pain relief.

What I would double check with another dr. is that it specifically says to NOT take Zelnorm if you have history of adhesions. Adhesions are scar tissue inside your abdomen so please look into this quickly so you don't do any further damage to yourself. That is why I couldn't take that medicine.

Hope some of this helps you and I'll be praying for low pain for you.

Merry Christmas,


Old 12-24-2005, 09:42 PM   #4
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wolfmarket HB User
Re: Surgery Pointless - Questions about Ultram

Ultram was supposed to be a non-narcotic wonder drug that was supposed to give great relief with no chance of addiction. Uh...well...I guess they blew it.

While Ultram and Ultracet are non-narcotic, they do have many pf the same properties that narcotics have. And because they also have some anti-depression qualities, Ultram is very hard to get off of and many have reported severe withdrawal symptoms.

Good Luck!

Old 12-24-2005, 10:31 PM   #5
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StMishl HB User
Re: Surgery Pointless - Questions about Ultram


I had a hysterectomy 7 years ago (at the age of 26) because after 3 laperoscopies they STILL couldn't figure out what was causing my SEVERE pain and I had given up. Luckily I found a sypathetic obgyn who agreed to a hyst. They found TONS of endo, scar tissue, cysts etc... and afterwards all agreed I had plenty to cause pain, It was not "just in my head" and it is not just in yours. (I am NOT advocating you have a HYSTERECTOMY!!!) Endo can come back even after a hysterectomy! But I want you to know that Laperoscopies do NOT show everything... Doctors can be wrong. A few years ago they also learned I have Rheumatoid Arthritis (also causing severe pain & fatigue) which could have been contributing to the pain I felt as well. Please don't let 1 doctor or evern 2 or 3 BAD doctors convince you you are weak or "faking". Search on the web for endometriosis support groups... there are GREAT ones out ther, and new treatments and LOTS of lists of GOOD doctors. Please take care of yourself, because not all doctors are good doctors, know the latest info, or care about YOU.

There is help and hope, never let them convince you that it is "in your head"...get some real help!

Merry Christmas

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Old 12-25-2005, 03:16 AM   #6
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Re: Surgery Pointless - Questions about Ultram

Adhesions do cause pain and they also can cause several other horrible health isssues. The pain you are experiencing is very real and is not in your head, I promise..You would think the medical community would have changed its thinking regarding women's health issues, but, sadly some things never change. I realize they are doctors and have tons of education, however, how can a doctor in all seriousness look at a patient riddled with adhesions and claim adhesions do not cause pain? For goodness sake some with adhesions have their bowels adhered to their female organs and many times adhesions are involved with the stomach/bowel area. If someone's bowels are literally glued together with adhesions, how then could this NOT be painful? Adhesions can and do cause nerve damage as well.

Someone diagnosed with adhesions is always referred to a GI doctor and the diagnosis is always the same - IBS. GI doctors are aware of adhesions but will do nothing to help you with them. Sadly, many doctors will just pass you off to another doctor because they do not want (or know) how to deal with adhesions. This can be so frustrating and depressing and all the while your family gives you the 'stares.' I really feel for you and understand completely your situation. What is equally disturbing is adhesions do not show up on any type of tests, mri, ctscans, x-rays. I have found what doctors can not see - does not exsist..

Its so important to find a doctor who at least is knowledgable regarding adhesions to treat your pain. Like another poster said repeat surgeries tend to cause yet more adhesions. There is a new product which will go into clinical trials sometime this summer which is very promising for us adhesion sufferers. Doctors already use it in other countries with awesome success. Many woman who have the means travel to Germany to have surgery using the new confluent spray gel and leave adhesion free!!

I suffer from Interstitial Cystitis and received wonderful support for this disease, however, with adhesions there is no support available, especially from doctors. I feel doctors relate adhesions to 'female issues' not realizing the severity and debilitation which often comes with adhesions. Adhesions can be very serious and I pray for the day the medical community starts treating patients and this painful condition as such..

My adivce is to search for a good obgyn who is familiar with adhesions and also uses a barrier during his lapro's. If you have endo, your chances are much better at locating a doctor who deals with adhesions. Most importantly, please know your pain is not 'imagined' and is very, very, real. As far as your family is concerned, research adhesions via the Internet and print out some information to give to them. It took me awhile to convince my family of the severity of adhesions and the pain adhesions can cause. Unfortunately, regardless of how much information you offer, it is so very hard for someone else to truly understand what you are going through without them personally experiencing it for themself.

I wish you the best and hope you can find a doctor who is familiar with adhesions and who will also be compasionate toward your pain. There are good doctors out there, you just have to look very hard sometimes to find one who really cares..

Old 12-25-2005, 04:27 PM   #7
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Taimse HB User
Re: Surgery Pointless - Questions about Ultram

Jules. have you had lower lumbar xrays of spine?
Just wondering. My chiropractor had a patient that had gone through a world renowned medical facility. She was doing Pt over course of a few years for pelvic pain and back pain. Head orthopedic doc was her doc. ...but she ended up being diagnosed with osteitis pubis( inflamed pubic bone?)
After explaining symptoms to chiro, he checked her over and suggested she get lower lumbar xrays as he thought she had something called spondylolisthesis which is essentially a broken back. She had the x rays taken and sure enough, that is what it was.

Last edited by Taimse; 12-25-2005 at 04:29 PM. Reason: correct spelling errors

Old 12-25-2005, 06:50 PM   #8
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Re: Surgery Pointless - Questions about Ultram

I really liked Ultram and have thought about asking for it to take additionally w/my BT meds. I take MSContin and Morphine ir now. I took two Ultram 4X a day w/Aleve (I really don't like Tylenol). It was really helpful. The funny thing was a GP I went to see gave me like 5 of them, as if he was handing out liquid morphine. My PM guy gave me scripts for the above dosage with multiple refills like it was nothing. As to YOUR PAIN, I HAVE had similar pain when I've had uterine issues--the pain actually did extend down my thighs and everything. You might want to apply some heat to your abdomen and see if that makes and difference to the OTHER symptoms. You know how when women are in labor they get intestinal woe, backaches, etc? That little uterus can really upset the balance! On the other hand--I had people tell me there was nothing wrong with me, and it turned out I had diverticulitis, colitis and a rare bacterial infection in my intestine (yum, huh?). I love how docs blow us off. I have several seriously debillitating illnesses and spent 7 years being told I was somaticizing (it was all in my head). Not fun when you're REALLY SICK. GET A DIFFERENT DOC!!!

Old 12-26-2005, 09:16 AM   #9
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merrillin HB User
Re: Surgery Pointless - Questions about Ultram

I took Ultram for about 4 months for my severe tmj. Once I got into the dentist I am in with now and he decided to put me on permanent pain control....................he said to get off the Ultram and put me on Norco. Not that Norco isn't addictive but he said that there have been alot of problems like seizures and such with Ultram after long term use. It is great for pain and a short term use but I would suggest something else for long term

Good luck and sorry about your pain,

Old 12-26-2005, 10:26 PM   #10
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FairyMagick HB User
Re: Surgery Pointless - Questions about Ultram

Just want to say I'm sorry to hear about your pain I have severe Endo with adhesions and cysts. Even mild Endo can cause 10+ pain. It took me 2 years to get help, had two surgeries this year with no luck getting pain relief. My obgyn didn't seem to think I should still have pain and had no interest in helping me with pain management. So I complained to my GP and he referred me to a PM doctor last month. I'm on a muscle relaxant and Ultram. I would recommended trying to get in to see an PM doctor. Also mucsle relaxants help a lot! The two meds I'm on have greatly helped me. I still get some bad days, but not like before. It has only been just under a month so I'm hoping the Ultram keeps working for me. I did and still have some concerns about Ultram, but Dave and Fabby along with others on this board really helped me get educated about the meds I'm taking.
I wanted to add that you should NOT believe any doctor that doesn't think Endo and adhesions can cause pain. I had to see tons of doctors to get someone who even understood Endo. Most doctors blame Endo pain on IBS. Endo is life changing. There is tons of info out there about Endo as well as support groups. I hope you get some help soon. Best of luck to you. Let us all know how things go.

Last edited by FairyMagick; 12-26-2005 at 10:29 PM.

Old 12-27-2005, 07:02 AM   #11
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Re: Surgery Pointless - Questions about Ultram

Hi Jules - I have chronic endometriosis, and it was my understanding that the amount of endo does not determine the level of your pain. I have been told this by two different doctors and have also done research on the subject. Some people have a ton of it growing and never have any symptoms... and some have only a minute amount and are in agonizing pain. Also, did your doctor mention that scar tissue caused by endo growth (previous or current) can also cause pain? You can also have internal endo growing inside your uterus (adenomyosis) that can cause excruciating pain that your doctor would not necessarily be able to see without doing a hysterectomy. It's common to have that if you also have regular endo. I had two surgeries to laser off endo in the past. Currently I do not have "a lot" growing but I am in worse pain than ever... my doctor believes that it is being caused by scar tissue and possibly adenomyosis. If you haven't already, talk to your gyno about these possibilities or even get a second opinion.

I was taking vicodin or oxycodone for my pain over the past 5 years. Recently I was put on methadone at 30mg (a very low dose) a day. It has been amazing. It is the first time in 5 years that my endo pain has been low enough for me to actually function and feel "normal".

Old 12-27-2005, 02:13 PM   #12
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Re: Surgery Pointless - Questions about Ultram

Hello Jules! I'd like to join the chorus of folks who are telling you NOT to give up! I, like Tina and many others in this thread,
I suffered for years (age 14 - 23) with severe pain every month. I couldn't explain the degree of agony that I was in to my parents or to doctors. They had no idea that a very young girl could experience such pain. After years of laparoscopies the docs finally found that I had endometriosis. And like many women, I wasn't "full of endo"....but what I had was enough to cause me to spend a good 4 or 5 days out of my 9 day menstrual period every month in bed, with a heating pad and various kinds of narcotics. I had no luck keeping it at bay and it must have been through some sort of miracle that I became pregnant at age 20 with my daughter. (I'm now a grandmother of 3 months). Anyway, after my daughter was born the endo came back with a vengeance. Between age 20 and 23 I had 5 surgeries to remove endo, tubes, an ovary, adhesions, etc. By the time I was 23 I had to have a complete and total hysterectomy! That's when they discovered the adenomyosis, or endometriosis inside the lining of my uterus. That's the same disease that Tina experienced and something that no doctor can see with a scope. I'm pretty sure it can only be seen when the uterus is removed and dissected. Along with that, they found that adhesions had pasted my uterus to my intestines...and found endometrial tissue in my abdomen. I had all the symptoms that you are describing Jules. When I would be about 3 days away from getting my period (and I never, never missed one!!!) I would start getting aching pains in my upper thighs. Then I'd get cramping in my lower intestines with loose stools, almost like diarrhea. Once my period would start I would be in agony. My period would last at least 9 days every single month and I would lose a tremendous amount of blood with huge clots the size of a small lemon. When they did my hysterectomy they had to resect a good length of my intestine and remove as much of the adhesions as possible. Of course, as others have already stated, each surgery leaves more. But, I have to tell you that the quality of my life improved 300% after the hysterectomy. I AM NOT telling you to consider a hysterectomy, I'm just trying to let you know that your pain is real and what you need right now is a good support system that can help you find the right doctor with the right treatment for you. There is a foundation for endometriosis sufferers and I know you can search for it on the internet. Please don't give up Jules. There is hope for you. All the best - KathyMac

Old 12-27-2005, 10:03 PM   #13
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Re: Surgery Pointless - Questions about Ultram

Hi Jules! Please don't give up, There are some areas of medicine where it seems the old sexist 'hysterical woman' diagnoses are still popular, unfortunatly. When MS first cropped up years ago it was first called 'hysterical female paralysis'. I was told by a doctor once that there was no such thing as TMJ pain, which should come as quite a surprise to the millions suffering from it! I have taken Ultram (Tramadol) for over 10 years, and have posted my experiences with it a few times :::waving at my pal fairymagic::: It was as the other posters said billed as the great new non-narcotic pain reliever, but it does have many syntho-opiate properties, as well as being a seretonian reuptake inhibitor like prozac, which makes it difficult and even dangerous to start or stop abrubtly. I have very good pain relief with it, and I have been on the same dosage (100 mg 4x daily which is max) for at least 10 years. If you exceed the dosage or drop it suddenly, the side effects are icky as hell, you can have seizures, and it has to be started and tapered off of under a doctors close supervision. But IMHO, every effective pain medication has serious possible side effects, and as this medication has worked so well for so long for me, I will stick with it. I also take lexipro, which is a similar AD and causes one of the 'drug interaction' flags with tramadol. I take baclofen for muscle relaxers and lortab 7.5 for breakthrough pain. Please don't give up, there is a reason for your pain and eventually they will find it. In the meantime, we are always here to listen and help out if possible. Your Friend, Fabby

Old 02-05-2006, 03:10 PM   #14
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jules1 HB User
Re: Surgery Pointless - Questions about Ultram

Hi everyone! Its me again. Thank you so much for the kind words on this thread. I am in the process of finding a new Dr. I got fed up after calling to see if they could give me something stronger than the Ultram (or at least increase my dose) since I'm having days where I'm in so much pain I miss class - and as I stated previously, I REALLY want to graduate this semester and be done with college! And I don't want pain to be the reason why I don't! Well, I called and they told me that I needed to see an internalist, and that they'd call me in something stronger in the meantime (Tyl 3, which helps slightly more, enough to get me through the day though) but that they won't do anything else for me until I see another Dr.
The nurse kept asking WHAT type of pain I was in. That was insulting. They insist that I see a GI Dr, but I know when I go they are just going to tell me its IBS, because I have all the classic symptoms.
I don't want to be drugged up all of the time, but if I don't get some sort of relief I am going to miss so much class that I'll fail out. And its so disheartening to be told that you don't know what kind of pain you are in - they basically told me the pain couldn't be from the endo, because I didn't have much. But they DID tell me that I had LOTS of scar tissue.

Anyways, I just needed to vent I'll let everyone know how it goes with the new dr. I have a feeling the next month with be filled with various dr appts. I'm keeping my fingers crossed I find an understanding Dr.

Thanks again!

Old 02-06-2006, 02:44 AM   #15
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Re: Surgery Pointless - Questions about Ultram

I find Ultram very helpful when mixed with Codeine and Morphine varients. I'm current taking Oxycontin 20mg x 3 and when 4grams of Ultram a day was added it did help somewhat, even though it's apparently a lot weaker than Oxycontin! My doctor believes that Ultram is really the only narcotic drug that actually has evidence of working on Nerve pain, although he said the makers of Oxycontin claim the same, he's just not as convinced on that.

So based Ultram on it's own for me wasn't any good, neither was Codeine/morphine etc, but when mixed together I get great pain relief.

Last edited by Blasterboy; 02-06-2006 at 02:45 AM.

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