Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms & Duration
Tramadol is an opioid that works on the central nervous system to relieve moderate to moderately severe pain from osteoarthritis, post-surgical pain, chronic pain, and other medical issues.1,2,3 Though Tramadol has a low potential for abuse or addiction, some people may still become dependent on Tramadol and experience symptoms of withdrawal.
New brands and generic formulas of Tramadol have been developed in the United States, but rates of Tramadol abuse nationally were found to be consistent at 1 to 3 cases per 100,000 patients until 2004. The majority (95%) of cases of Tramadol abuse were people with a previous history of substance abuse.1
Tramadol is prescribed to almost 50% of people in the United States (46.7 per 100 people in 2019). In Nevada, the state prescription rate for 2019 (49.4 prescriptions per 100 people) exceeded the national prescription rate.4,5 There have been some fatalities linked to Tramadol use as well. In 2018, Tramadol-related deaths in Nevada (22.7 per 100,000) exceeded the national average state death rate (20.6 per 100,000).6
Tramadol is sold under the following brand names: ConZip, FusePaq, Synapryn, Rybix, ODT, Ryzolt, Ultram, and Ultram ER.3Tramadol is available in multiple forms, including a tablet, an extended-release tablet, an extended-release capsule, an extended-release 24-hour capsule, a solution, and a suspension.3
The purpose of this page is to inform users about the causes and dangers of Tramadol withdrawal and the many options available for detox, withdrawal symptom management, and substance abuse recovery in Nevada and nationwide.
Side Effects of Tramadol Withdrawal
Tramadol dependence occurs when the brain no longer functions the same way without Tramadol. Tramadol dependence occurs more frequently and more quickly when someone takes more than prescribed or has a history of substance abuse, but can also occur in people who take the medication as prescribed.7 Prolonged use of a drug like Tramadol may lead to physical and mental dependence. Withdrawal is the result of Tramadol dependence after taking the drug for an extended period of time. If you become physically dependent on Tramadol, withdrawal symptoms may occur if you suddenly stop taking it.3
Early signs of physical withdrawal include flu-like symptoms, restlessness, and Tramadol cravings.9 More severe physical withdrawal symptoms include Hyperkinesia, tremor, Paresthesias, gastrointestinal problems, restlessness, and sweating.1 High doses of Tramadol, often combined with other medications such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors or serotonin-selective reuptake inhibitors, have been associated with physical symptoms such as convulsions, hyperthermia, and muscle rigidity.1
Withdrawal from Tramadol may also lead to mental health symptoms such as anxiety and panic attacks, paranoia, and confusion.8 Withdrawal symptoms depend on the specific Tramadol dose and how it is administered.1
Abuse of opiates like Tramadol has also been linked to severe mental health outcomes, such as an increased risk of suicidal ideation and death by suicide. One study found that, when taken for other physical and mental health conditions, prescription opioid abuse was associated with a 40% to 60% increase in the risk of suicidal ideation. Another study found that opioid abuse was associated with a 2-fold increase in suicide death among men and an 8-fold increase in suicide death among women. Those reporting opioid abuse at least weekly were 75 percent more likely to make a suicide plan and were significantly more likely to attempt suicide. 9
Because both physical and mental symptoms of Tramadol withdrawal can be severe or may put someone at risk of making dangerous decisions, withdrawal from Tramadol should always be medically supervised.7
Tramadol Withdrawal Length
The severity of physical symptoms associated with Tramadol dependence and withdrawal is affected by the length of time someone is addicted, along with the dose taken. Typically, the first signs of withdrawal from opiates like Tramadol occur within a few hours after the last use of Tramadol, and more severe symptoms present within the first few days. After about a week, symptoms begin to subside.10 It is important to note that, due to the severe nature of physical and mental health symptoms associated with Tramadol withdrawal, this process should be undertaken with the guidance of a physician or medical professional.
Taking prescription or nonprescription medications, using street drugs, and/or drinking alcohol while using Tramadol increases the risk that you will experience these serious, life-threatening side effects.11The use of other medications that act on the central nervous system may also exacerbate the side effects of Tramadol. Such medications include those that help with allergies, cold relief, sleeping, depression, anxiety, ADHD, seizures, and muscle relaxation.3
Tramadol Detox Process
The process of detox from Tramadol can take up to a week or more depending on the amount and duration of Tramadol use, and can involve some potentially severe physical symptoms. Within a few hours after the last dose of Tramadol, early withdrawal symptoms such as sleep problems, runny nose, muscle aches, sweating, and anxiety may occur. Within 1 to 3 days, users may begin to experience more severe symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Within 5 to 7 days, symptoms of Tramadol withdrawal may begin to subside, but it is important to note that symptom duration and severity depends on the length of time and amount of Tramadol use. 10
For those who have taken opioids like Tramadol for a shorter period of time, the CDC recommends decreasing the medication at a rate of 10% of the dose per week, and only under the supervision of a medical professional. For those who have taken opioid medication for more than a year, a slower tapering schedule is recommended, decreasing opioid consumption at a rate of 10% per month.12
Tramadol withdrawal symptoms have been treated with different types of medications. Buprenorphine has been used to treat symptoms of Tramadol withdrawal, and may shorten the length of detox. Buprenorphine is sometimes combined with Naloxone to prevent medication misuse. Buprenorphine may also be used as a long-term treatment for opioid dependence. Similar to buprenorphine, methadone has been used as a long-term medication treatment for opioid dependence and can reduce withdrawal symptoms to help with detox from opiates like Tramadol. Naltrexone can help prevent relapse but may bring sudden onset of withdrawal symptoms if taken before complete detox from opiates. Clonidine is used to treat some symptoms of Tramadol withdrawal such as muscle aches or cramping, sweating, anxiety or agitation, but does not reduce Tramadol cravings.13
Quitting Tramadol Cold Turkey
If you realize that you are experiencing symptoms of Tramadol dependence or withdrawal, you are not alone. Before trying to stop taking Tramadol, you should discuss your situation with your doctor or a psychiatrist to determine the appropriate level of detox or rehabilitative care to keep you safe, comfortable, and to meet your recovery needs. As previously noted, you may experience several severe symptoms during withdrawal, and therefore, you should not detox alone.
How to Quit Tramadol
If you would like more information about quitting Tramadol or have decided you are interested in treatment, there are many options available that may meet your needs. American Addiction Centers is a leading provider in Tramadol addiction treatment in the state of Nevada and across the U.S. American Addiction Centers offers detox treatment, a 90-day inpatient treatment program, and rehabilitation and recovery services encompassing all levels of addiction treatment to promote your long-term success in recovery. We are focused on a holistic health model, addressing physical illness, mental illness, and social issues in addition to Tramadol addiction and withdrawal. Treatment professionals and our compassionate staff develop and implement personalized treatment plans to maximize your sustained recovery. American Addiction Centers is committed to providing the most up-to-date and accurate information about addiction and treatment options to you and your loved one. We offer a confidential addiction hotline available 24/7 to help you on your path to recovery and a confidential chat is available via our website to provide guidance and answer questions.
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