Tramadol, also known by the brand name Ultram, is a prescription medication used to treat severe pain. There is an extended release version of this medication, which is used to treat patients who are constantly in a significant amount of pain. Extended release Tramadol is not used as-needed, but rather it is taken a few times throughout each day.

There are certain things that people who take Tramadol need to know, such as to not take it if you have consumed alcohol, narcotic medications, or sedatives. This medication can result in slowed breathing, particularly in those who have just begun taking it or had their dosage altered by a doctor. Tramadol should never be taken in large quantities, and should always be taken whole as a pill instead of being broken or crushed up.

Tramadol is a habit-forming medication that some people can develop a dependency on. Also, it should not be taken by any women who are pregnant, as it could negatively affect the newborn.

There are certain other people who should not take Tramadol, including people with severe asthma or respiratory problems, a history of head injury, history of drug or alcohol addiction, a metabolic disorder, or those who are currently taking medications for HIV.

Some of the common side-effects of Tramadol include:

  • Seizure
  • Slowed or stopped breathing
  • Infertility
  • Impotence
  • Low cortisol levels
  • Severe skin irritation

The pain relieving effects of Tramadol take approximately one hour to go into effect, and they peak around 2-4 hours after being administered orally. This medication is about 1/10 as potent as morphine, and it is typically only prescribed to those who are in a great deal of pain, whether chronic or acute.

The dosage amount for this medication depends on the age of the patient as well as the severity of the pain. Those who experience mild to severe chronic pain typically take 25 mg each morning and then in the afternoon and evening. Those who are suffering from mild chronic pain typically take this medication as-needed, as opposed to those with severe pain who take it on a daily basis at regular intervals.

Those who are taking Tramadol should stop taking it immediately and contact a doctor if they experience any hallucinations, seizures, shallow breathing, fast heart rate, nausea, fever, or fainting. These are severe negative reactions that can be fatal if ignored.

While it is true that Tramadol has the potential to cause breathing problems, it is most common with adults as well as those who are very ill or malnourished. Despite the potentially serious negative side-effects of this medication, it can be incredibly beneficial for those with severe chronic pain.

A doctor will determine if a patient needs Tramadol based on the nature and severity of their pain. This medication is not prescribed to all people in severe pain, as it depends what kind and just how bad it is. It is important that anyone who takes this medication understand the risks involved.