- Surprising Reasons You're in Pain Slideshow
- Take the Pain Quiz
- Joint-Friendly Exercises to Reduce RA Pain Slideshow
- What is tramadol and acetaminophen, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for tramadol and acetaminophen?
- Do I need a prescription for tramadol and acetaminophen?
- What are the side effects of tramadol and acetaminophen?
- What is the dosage for tramadol and acetaminophen?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with tramadol and acetaminophen?
- Is tramadol and acetaminophen safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about tramadol and acetaminophen?
What is tramadol and acetaminophen, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Ultracet is a combination of two drugs, tramadol (Ultram) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) that is used to relieve moderate, acute pain such as pain following dental or surgical procedures. Tramadol and acetaminophen each relieve pain, but they do so by different mechanisms. Tramadol achieves pain relief in two ways. It binds to the -opioid receptor on nerves (the same mechanism that is responsible for the effectives of narcotics, such as morphine), and it also inhibits the reuptake by nerves of two neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepinephrine, that the nerves use to communicate with one another. This inhibition may lead to reduced transmission of pain signals from nerve to nerve in the spinal cord and brain. Acetaminophen achieves pain relief in the spinal cord and brain by increasing the threshold to pain, that is, by increasing the strength of the painful stimulus that is necessary in order to give rise to the sensation of pain. It does this by inhibiting an enzyme that makes prostaglandins. Ultracet was approved by the FDA in 2001.
What brand names are available for tramadol and acetaminophen?
Do I need a prescription for tramadol and acetaminophen?
What are the side effects of tramadol and acetaminophen?
Ultracet usually is well-tolerated. The most common side effects are:
Because tramadol is chemically related to the narcotic class of drugs such as morphine and hydrocodone (Vicodin ES, Anexsia, Lorcet, Lorcet Plus, Norco), it can cause psychological or physical dependence. Some patients who received tramadol have reported seizures.
Abrupt withdrawal of tramadol may result in the following side effects:
An overdose of acetaminophen can result in severe liver damage.
Quick GuideChronic Pain: Causes and Solutions
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