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  • Tramadol vs. Vicoden

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    Old 12-13-2006, 06:54 AM   #1
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    Tramadol vs. Vicoden

    I have had mid-upper back pain for the past 6 mo. on and off. We belive it is due to large breasts. I am considering breast reduction. Until then I am taking tramadol 400mg. per day and this does seem to help. My doctor neglected to tell me about the addictive potential - this was the whole reason I've switched from Vicoden to Tramadol. My question is what drug is better to take as far as w/d and addictive issues. I've read that people with a history of depression have a much harder time w/Tramadol. I would like to come out of this without the additional worry of having an addiction! Any help is much appreciated.

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    Old 12-13-2006, 08:30 AM   #2
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    Re: Tramadol vs. Vicoden

    Here's my 2 cents, and I do know that everyone is different, and everyone reacts differently to medications...

    If you are taking any amount of tramadol for over a couple of weeks, you most likely will become *dependant* on this drug. It's analgesic qualities are 2-fold:

    1. It's opiate-like properties attack the pain, much like narcotics. Bottom line: it might not work for everyone, but the physical w/ds are the same as if you were taking vicodin. Some say it's worse.

    2. It's anti-depressant properties raise your seratonin levels so that you really don't mind the pain you have. Some may say this is similar to narcotics, but it's really not.

    It's this second part that causes the w/ds to last way beyond the 5-7 day physical part, if you suddenly stop taking it. And it's not just the depression. The anxiety is hidieous, and it hangs on for weeks.

    Some have noted that people prone to depression have a worse time coming off, and that is probably true. I can say, though, that I do not have a history of anxiety or depression, and I have never taken any anti-depressants. I have, though, skipped a dose or two on a couple of occasions. It is at those times that I got a little taste of the nasty anxiety (plus the typical flu-like physical w/ds) that would follow. Now, I have had the typical, normal ups and downs of life, but I have *never* felt that kind of anxiousness before, ever.

    These w/ds, though, can be mitigated through a long, controlled taper when it's time to stop.

    All that being said, tramadol really is an effective drug, and the dependence issues shouldn't necessarily scare you away from taking it. You will just have to taper off at the end -- which is what I will be doing after the holidays.

    The bad news is that this drug is not controlled, because it really should be. The good news, though, is that the drug is not controlled (!), as your doctor will be more likely to let you stretch out the tapering process. I know my doctor wouldn't be so ready to stretch out a long, controlled taper (over a couple of months) for, say, percocet!

    Anyway, this has been my experience with tramadol. Let me know if you want to hear more about how long I've been taking it, etc.

    Good luck!

    Old 12-13-2006, 09:19 AM   #3
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    Re: Tramadol vs. Vicoden

    Hey there D-
    I hate to hear that yet another doctor is either unaware of the addiction ptoential with Tramadol, or plain just doesn't inform their patients about it. Both Vicodin & Tramadol can cause some seriously bad withdraw symptoms when taken for an extended period of time.

    The things I've read about stopping Tramadol say that there is a risk of seizures when stopped cold turkey depending on the amount taken daily for an extended period of time. Over on the addiction board, there are a couple of people who have fought addiction to both and say that the tramadol withdraws are much worse than the vicodin- especially the depression aspect.

    I don't want to scare you, but if you are going to be stopping the Tramadol, you might want to talk to your doctor about a taper plan sweetie. You were only trying to do the right thing out of concern for your health in switching from Vicodin to Tramadol. I know it must have been a shock to hear that Tramadol is addictive.

    I also have to add this, simply because addiction was brought up. Please remember that there is a huge difference between addiction and physical dependancy. Either way, if your body is physically dependant on any medication, it's not a good idea to just stop taking it "cold turkey". With a proper taper plan, you will be more comfortable and hopefully avoid any major withdraw discomfort.

    Please keep us posted!! Take care!

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