- 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 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.
What is the dosage for tramadol and acetaminophen?
The usual dose of Ultracet is two tablets every four to six hours as needed for the relief of pain. Patients should not take more than two tablets at a time nor more than 8 tablets per day.
Which drugs or supplements interact with tramadol and acetaminophen?
Carbamazepine (Tegretol) or rifampin can increase the rate of metabolic breakdown of tramadol, thus making tramadol less effective. Concomitant administration of quinidine, fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil) and amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep), ketoconazole (Nizoral, Extina, Xolegel, Kuric), or erythromycin may reduce elimination of tramadol, increasing the risk for serious side effects from tramadol.
Combining tramadol with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (for example, Parnate), selective serotonin inhibitors (SSRIs, for example, fluoxetine [Prozac]), linezolid (Zyvox), St. John's wort, triptans (for example sumatriptan [Imitrex, Alsuma]) may result in severe side effects such as seizures or a condition called serotonin syndrome. Tramadol may increase central nervous system and respiratory depression when combined with alcohol, anesthetics, narcotics, tranquilizers, or sedative hypnotics.
Latest Chronic Pain News
Daily Health News
Is tramadol and acetaminophen safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Tramadol is excreted in breast milk. Safe use in nursing mothers has not been established.
What else should I know about tramadol and acetaminophen?
What preparations of tramadol and acetaminophen are available?
Tablets: tramadol, 37.5 mg and acetaminophen, 325 mg.
How should I keep tramadol and acetaminophen stored?
Ultracet should be stored at room temperature, between 15 and 30 C (59-86 F). It should be kept out of the reach of children.
Ultracet is a combination of the drugs tramadol (Ultram) and acetaminophen. Ultracet is prescribed for the short-term relief of moderately to severe acute pain. Side effects, drug interactions, dosing, pregnancy safety, and warnings and precautions should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Back Pain Quiz: Test Your Back Pain IQ
There are numerous causes of chronic lower back pain and only one ailment gets more complaints. What is it? Quiz your knowledge...
Fibromyalgia Quiz: What Is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia could be the reason for your constant, deep bodily pain. Learn more about this painful condition with the...
Related Disease Conditions
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition characterized by symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, and tender points. Stress...
Pain management and treatment can be simple or complex, according to its cause. There are two basic types of pain, nociceptive...
Head and Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancer is cancer of the oral cavity, salivary glands, paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx, or lymph...
Chronic pain is pain (an unpleasant sense of discomfort) that persists or progresses over a long period of time. In contrast to...
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
FDA Prescribing Information