Tramadol (Ultram) Side Effects

  • Medical Reviewer: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

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What is tramadol (Ultram)?

Brand Name: Ultram

Tramadol (Ultram) is a centrally acting opioid painkiller used to manage moderate to moderately severe pain in adults. Examples of other drugs in the same drug class include codeine, hydrocodone, methadone, and oxycodone. In addition to pain relief, tramadol may produce a variety of symptoms similar to other narcotics, for example, dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, constipation, sweating, and itching. Tramadol may cause serious side effects and adverse events like low blood pressure or seizures. It should be used with caution in some patients due to suicidal thoughts, addiction, and overdose. Withdrawal symptoms may occur if tramadol is discontinued abruptly. 

Tramadol is available as 50 mg tablets, and dosage is prescribed by your doctor or other health care professional based on your medical condition. Tramadol may interact with a variety of drugs, for example, some antidepressants and St. John's wort. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about any herbal supplements you are currently taking, pregnancy and breastfeeding safety, or any other questions you have about tramadol.

Tramadol side effects

Tramadol is generally well tolerated, and side effects are usually transient.

Commonly reported side effects include:

Less commonly reported side effects include:

Some patients who received tramadol have reported seizures. It may cause serotonin syndrome when combined with other drugs that also increase serotonin (see drug interactions section).

Read the entire tramadol drug consumer monograph >>

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Other consumer side effects and adverse effects of tramadol

SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea, vomiting, constipation, lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness, or headache may occur.

Some of these side effects may decrease after you have been using this medication for a while. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

To prevent constipation, eat a diet adequate in fiber, drink plenty of water, and exercise. Ask your pharmacist for help in selecting a laxative (such as a stimulant type with stool softener).

To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position. Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur:

Get medical help right away if any of these rare but serious side effects occur:

This medication may increase serotonin and rarely cause a very serious condition called serotonin syndrome/toxicity. The risk increases if you are also taking other drugs that increase serotonin, so tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the drugs you take (see Drug Interactions section).
Get medical help right away if you develop some of the following symptoms:

  • fast heartbeat,
  • hallucinations,
  • loss of coordination,
  • severe dizziness,
  • severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea,
  • twitching muscles,
  • unexplained fever,
  • unusual agitation/restlessness.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • rash,
  • itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat),
  • severe dizziness,
  • trouble breathing.

Read the entire consumer XYZ drug information >>

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

REFERENCE:

FDA Prescribing Information for tramadol.
<https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2009/020281s032s033lbl.pdf>

FDB. "tramadol-oral."

Summary

Tramadol (Ultram, Ultram ER, Conzip) is a drug prescribed for the management of moderate to severe pain, and severe chronic pain.

Side effects include:


You shouldn't take tramadol if you are taking other opioid drugs. Acute intoxication occurs when you take with alcohol, hypnotics, centrally acting opioids, or psychotropic drugs.

You may become addicted to tramadol due to its opioid properties, even if you take it as your doctor has prescribed. Symptoms of withdrawal include:
There is a risk of overdose with this drug.

Some patients had seizures while taking tramadol. Your risk of a seizure while taking tramadol increases if you also are taking these drugs. REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information for tramadol.

Treatment & Diagnosis

Medications & Supplements

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Chronic Pain: Causes and Solutions

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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.

Reviewed on 8/3/2017
References
REFERENCE:

FDA Prescribing Information for tramadol.
<https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2009/020281s032s033lbl.pdf>

FDB. "tramadol-oral."

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