Tramadol is not evil.

Posted , 52 users are following.

Tramadol does not have any malicious intent to get you 'hooked' or 'addicted'.

Tramadol provides a reliable source of relief to many pain sufferers and patients with other medical problems. The VARIABLE in all this ... is the individual patient, everyone's body makeup is different and so will react and produce different side effects with every drug they take. The only way to find out how your body will react is to give the prescribed drug a try, preferably for a couple weeks if this will be a long-term drug and if it doesn't suit you talk to your doctor. They most likely can find an alternative that will suit you. That's one of the reasons why there are so many drugs that do the same thing. wink

As for not knowing the possibilities of what might happen - there's only two people you can blame, one - your doctor for not giving you some important facts and two - yourself for not researching your prescription online.

Personally I think doctors even on the NHS should take more time to spell out the common effects and if it can be addictive but I do understand that they don't usually have the time. This isn't going to change anytime soon though, so...

There is a plethora of information online, on any prescription drug and it will tell you everything you need to know before you take it. Some websites, like, even have an Interactions Checker which you can input all your medications into and check if they will react badly. It's very cool and I even was able to bring a bad mix up to my doctor who was able to clarify that the short amount of time I was taking the new drug would be ok with my regular prescription.


Tramadol is a synthetic (man made) opiate. It does not mix well with natural opiates such as cocodamol as one person was complaining about in this forum. Always check with your doctor if you feel uncomfortable and always take prescriptions as advised. If you start mixing things up and not understanding the chemistry behind it then what do you expect?

COMMON SIDE EFFECTS: Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; headache; increased sweating; indigestion; mild itching; nausea; trouble sleeping; vomiting; weakness. Constipation seems to be the most common and would advise a gentle laxative.

If you have any SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS (see following) then go to A&E or see the doctor the next day depending on how bad it is, stop taking the Tramadol until you can get medical advice:Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); burning, numbness, or tingling; chest pain; confusion; difficult or painful urination; disorientation; excessive sweating; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever; hallucinations; loss of coordination; mood or mental changes (eg, depression, agitation); red, blistered, swollen, or peeling skin; seizures; severe dizziness or light-headedness; severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; severe or persistent headache; slow or shallow breathing; suicidal thoughts or behaviors; tremor; vision problems; wheezing.

I DON'T WANT TO BECOME ADDICTED: Well most people don't. If your condition will be temporary then consider asking for Codeine (a natural opiate) which doesn't work as well but will help relieve some of the pain. Always take paracetamol at the same time you take any opiate, my NHS doctors have always told me this, saying that they both work better together than just the opiate alone and in my experience this is true. Also when you feel the pain is minimal to moderate, try taking just paracetamol and skipping a dose of your opiate when possible. Once you do this more often than not you can either realize that you can live with minimal pain or only take the opiate sporadically as needed.

If you have a long term condition like me, then I'll tell you what my doctor in the US told me when I told her I didn't want to become addicted. First, she said, you're only an addict if you're taking the drug to get a high, otherwise you're just dependent. Then she told me I can either take the drug to alleviate the pain and get some normal things done on a daily basis or don't take it and live with a pain that will most likely prevent me from leaving my bed and become agitated and irritated with everything and everyone because of my relentless pain. She said there is no shame in become dependent and that when the time came to stop there would be a safe period of weaning the drug and a plan for the withdrawal. I added that most NHS doctors are ambivalent towards things like this and she said, then demand it. I did and I was helped, no NHS doctor ever judged me for being dependent and it does seem like they deal with this often. They are not as organised as in the U.S. where you can get a 'kick pack' which contains valium, supplements and many useful tips but my NHS doctor did prescribe me valium for 4 days which was enough to get over the 'hump' and I researched and procured the other supplements and tips I needed online.

WHY YOU BECOME DEPENDENT: In plain speak, Tramadol does the job of making your body feel good and does it so well that it relieves the overabundant amount of pain your going through because of your medical condition. Once your body realizes it doesn't have to do this job anymore, it will stop, that's when your body has become 'dependent'. When you stop taking the Tramadol and your body hasn't yet taken it's 'job' back, you feel withdrawal symptoms because there is nothing making you feel good. The withdrawal will end once your body takes back it's normal job of releasing the chemicals which make you feel good.

HOW TO OVERCOME THE WITHDRAWAL PERIOD: If you have become dependent Tramadol and you most likely have if you've been taking it for a long time, it's almost always best to consult with your doctor about a withdrawal plan. They can help give you a plan to wean the drug and also be there for when you need muscle relaxers if you need them once you stop the drug. If they are not helpful, see another doctor, rinse and repeat (especially if you're on NHS!).

Even better - What you can do is research all this on the internet but I will include this one link because I felt it was the one who helped me the most when I went through it. Not just the info but the people who commented and gave support. There are many forums that will do the same thing, find one which has active supportive members (and a plan you feel comfortable with) and I promise you will feel better about being able to get feedback from people who have felt what you are going through. Actually I'm going to link the process I used for withdrawal, it's from the same site and you can explore that further if you want or just Google 'opiate withdrawal forum' for support and plans.

Oh and I should also warn that you will come across a lot of people who don't know what they are talking about, but you should be able to spot them pretty quick,. Just ignore them, find good info and support, that's the best thing to do. smile


I hope this is more helpful than not. I'm not sure why people come here to complain about a drug. The drug has been well tested and it's not dangerous. However being ill-informed about a drug, how you take it and the possibilities ...well that certainly can be.

Best of wishes to everyone struggling with their conditions, keep looking towards the future! Ronni <3>

22 likes, 179 replies

179 Replies

  • Edited

    Thanks Ronni! Have been taking Tramadol on and off for the past five years and have found it really useful. When first prescribed my GP told me about it and I carefully read the leaflet that came with it. Yes I was a little concerned about the addiction side of things but can honestly in all the time I've been taking it that has never been a problem, even when I've had to a take a lot for a period of time.

    It's nice to have some commen sense written! Obviously I am aware that there are plenty of people about who don't get on with it and haven't been as l lucky as I have, however as pointed out above, if you don't get on with it, go back and try something else.

    Good luck everyone who needs painkillers - of whatever variety, to survive x

    • Edited

      You're so right - and as I said in another post, I'm so fed up with Tramadol getting a bad press, and this making it difficult for those of us who have no problems with it!

  • Edited

    No, tramadol is not evil, because a drug cannot be evil. But I try to warn everyone I can about it. The most I ever took was 150 mg. I thought it was a wonder drug because I have a physically demanding job and it gave me boundless energy as well as taking away most of my back pain. Or to be more accurate, it did not really take away the pain, just made me able to cope with the pain. I only becaome aware that I was addicted the day I was due to go to the specialist about my back and I decided not to take any so that I was more able to describe and pinpoint the pain. On the way to the hospital I began to feel panicky, and my body felt weak and ached all over. I wanted to scream and cry. I felt like I was cracking up. The specialist was so concerned about me that he wrote to my GP suggesting all kinds of tests be carried out. It was only a few days later that I began to put two and two together and realise that it was tramadol withdrawal that made me feel this way.

    It became so bad that one day when I had misplaced my pills I virtually tore the house apart looking for them. I became paranoid that my husband was hiding them from me. When I found them, I downed one straight away and felt 100% better an hour later. It was then that I decided that I didn't care how much they did for my pain, I was going to quit. I managed to get down to two a day (100 mg) quite easily. But stepping down to 50 mg was much harder. But the worst was coming off the last 50mg. They do not make any smaller doses and so I had to open th capsules and empty out half of the powder and then reseal it. I managed to come off the last 25 mg by taking it alternate days and then every 3 days until finally getting 'clean'.

    • Edited

      I think it depends on the person. I take tramadol daily but if I'm not in pain I can go days without it not stressing about not having it or going through withdrawal.
    • Edited

      Yes! This is SO true, I'm exactly the same - solid proof that it's not the drug, it's the person who takes it! I can't drink coca cola, as it irritates my stomach very badly, and I know others with the same problem, but I've never heard of droves of people going on about how it should be taken off the market! Let's have a little common sense!

  • Edited

    The above is a horror story you're posting all over the forum - and whilst your story is valid for you, mine is valid for me & if i'd read the above before ever taking tramadol, i'd probably still be incapable of full time work at 23 years old for several months of a year due to my pain levels ... it would have scared me into thinking this happens to everyone & it doesn't!

    I think everyone has to decide completely for themselves about meds.

    Every person is different, physically & mentally - there are no one size fits all rules with this.

    Tramadol has never had any ill effects for me. It does cause constipation which you have to adapt your lifestyle to function with, it can cause dry mouth, decreased appetite and some slight euphoria/anxiety - but for me its about the benefits outweighing the negative side effects.

    I prefer coping with those effects than being in too much pain to work at 23 years old...

    I work in the medical field so am hyper-aware of all the negatives/addictive potential etc and when I queried it with my own GP they told me 'nobody gets addicted to painkillers unless they are using them when they do not need to' - basically if you're taking them when you could be taking simple paracetamol to manage the pain - yes you'll probably become addicted.

    Or if you have a history of addiction then - yes its risky... but a GP should be supervising you & discussing all this with you. Tramadol is not an OTC med therefore noone should take it without being 'risk assessed'.

    I do not find myself addicted, my pain comes & goes ... I have good days & bad, good months & bad even - when the pain is minimal I take nothing, when it get worse i add paracetamol/ibuprofen, then if that doesn't help at all I go onto tramadol too...

    This stuff is not as simple as people make out in these forums, everything we are taking which is a prescription medication should be discussed thoroughly with a qualified medical professional and monitored - we should not take anyone elses word for it about how a drug may affect us - we are all completely different and what works for one, won't for another...

    I find it quite worrying seeing people encouraging or discouraging use of medications online - only your doctor or consultant should be telling you what to try and what to avoud - fair enough share our experiences but nothing should be taken as statement of fact in that respect, just personal experiences!

    If you are in enough pain to warrant a drug such as tramadol, and are very careful with your usage of it then the risk of addiction should be minimal, if you take it when the pain is not that bad then the risk becomes higher... speak to a pharmacist or a GP if you have concerns though as they don't prescribe things to us for no good reason and stopping taking a drug due to horror stories online may in fact make someone's quality of life worse!

    • Posted

      Oh, kitty16, how I wish I had a GP like yours! Mine has become totally ridiculous about Tramadol, despite the fact that I have been on it for nearly 10 years, and keeps making me jump through hoops to get a new prescription. I've never had any trouble with it and never used it inappropriately. I'm so fed up with all the negative stuff about Tramadol!

    • Posted

      Wise words, Kitty16. I have safely taken Tramadol for over 6 years due to on again/off again chronic back/neck pain (degenerative disc disease). I'm very VERY fortunate to not have a history of addiction, so I can only speak for my own, personal experience with this drug. It's been a life-saver for me. I'd not be able to function on certain days without it. However, with my disciplined workout routine 3-4 days a week I only need to take it 5-6 per month. Again, this is my story and I completely understand that it's not a drug for everyone! Take care, all.

    • Edited

      I've been taking it now for getting on for 10 years. Two 50mg caps per evening along with 10mg amitryptoline . I wouldn't describe my problem so much as a pain, more like the one note samba being played on a nerve in my back. It makes sitting still and relaxing impossible, it's the sort of thing that gets you down.Anyway my evening dosing helps a great deal, during the day I can go for a walk or do something to take my mind off it but I have to rest sometime and good old Tramadol certainly allows that.

  • Posted

    I hear what you are saying, but I am not the only person I know in real life (not just on a forum) who has had a terrible experience with this drug. One person I know has been trying to come off it (unsuccessfully) for four years.

    If anyone is in doubt as to the addictive nature of this drug they only need to google tramadol addiction. Sadly it is rife, and very few UK GPs are aware of just how addictive it is. I spoke to 3 GPs at my practice. Two were surprised, but the third, and the one that I held most respect for because she seemed to be much more clued up in all areas said that it was a terrible drug that she would never prescribe except in very severe cases and only for periods of five days or less.

    Indeed, when my son was prescibed it for his chest operation, he was warned only to take it when absolutely necessary.

    It does sound as though that is how you yourself are using it, and when someone varies, the dose and does not take it every day, then addiction does not occur. When someone takes it every day, at set times and at set doses for mor than a short period of time, this is when addiction occurs. I am warning people about this because I wish someone had warned me.

    • Posted

      I totally agree with you evergreen. My personal opinion is this drug is Evil and I'm free to say this, I have been trying to get off this nasty drug for years...I've spoken to FRANK and they are very understanding. This drug is just as bad of trying to get off as street drugs are! They even suggested To go to NA as there are people addicted to street and prescription drugs there! I didn't plan to get dependent/addictive, my body did! Doctors are there to prescribe drugs to you as the Big Phama make millions on us getting addictive to meds. They are not going to tell you to go down the holistic root after all, are they! I'm on day 10 from withdrawal and am writing a daily diary of my journey of the painful withdrawals Iam experiencing :-( 

      love and peace xx

    • Posted

      I disagree with the premiss that Tramadol is evil, it is addictive yes and it may well be an addiction that is hard to break but used properly it can be the difference between a painful life and a relatively comfortable one.

      A lot of the alternatives are classed as NSAIDS so, if like me one has to take steroids to control inflamation (PMR) they are strictly no no.

      Bear in mind also that some of these are also addictive and highly so (Mel Smith was on 50 Neurofen(?) a day prior to his death) and without that knowlege being common a trap awaits many unsuspecting people.

      So many things available to us these days can form a dependence or habit, some physical, some mental, we have to weigh up what we are doing individually and do what suits us best. In my case the pain of PHN for which I take Tramadol seems by far less desirable than running the risk of a habit I may well find difficult to break if and/or when either the PHN ceases or a viable alternative non addictive drug becomes available.

    • Posted

      I respect your opinion and thoughts of Trams Steve. But if you could feel what my body is going through, right now, you would understand why I called this drug Evil! I've been on them for 4 yrs continually and prior to that high strenght co codamol for 10yrs. We have an epidemic of the west on opiates/antidepressant and I only see people getting worst. They don't want to promote holistic/herbs/ alternative therapies, because Pharmacutical company's make so much money on our sickness! Good luck if you ever want to stop Trams and try alternative therapies. We are all wired differently and you may well not have a problem stopping them? 

      Im on her for the people who are having horrendous withdrawals as I can relate to the physical/mental pain. 

      Love and peace xxx

    • Posted

      Personally speaking Tramadol would not work for Severe pain unless taken in higher doses. I've lived with chronic pain since 1999. I was introduced to Tramadol in an article i was reading about chronic pain. It was many years before it was declared a schedule 1 drug. I asked my doctor if I could try it. I took it for a year or so, 100 mg. 3x a day. One day I just stopped taking it and the withdrawal was horrendous. My Dr. Was in Washington, D.C. and i had just moved to Pennsylvania. Every Reumatologist I met in Gettysburg, Pa., prior to quittinGettysburg, believed I didn't need the drug and I was just using it to get High or something. At the time they thought Fibromyalgia was all in our heads and an excuse to get prescription pain meds. So I stopped seeking a new Dr. And then went cold turkey off Tramadol. I was miserable with withdrawal for which seemed to be around 6 months and then i was back to square 1. I didn't get a doctor for another 6 months because I was so discourged. I started doing low impact exercises and joined a chronic pain group, took vitamins and 600 mg. Ibuprofen. It helped some but not enough. It was so hard to work fulltime, so I went to part-time and then I went to not working at all. So I started seeing a pain specialist. I told him I wanted to go back on Tramadol and he suggested to taking Neurontin as well. I take 50 mg. 3x a day of tramadol and 600 mg. of Neurontin 3x a day and I feel so much better. I have my life back. No Regrets!



    • Posted

      Just because it doesn't suit you, stop having a go! I'm sorry about your problems but your GP should have seen that you were in difficulties an sorted it out! It's not down to the Tramadol, it's down to the way your treatment has been managed. As I said in a previous post, caffeine gives me stomach ulcers, but I'm not ranting about colas or coffee! Tramadol is the only thing I can take for my severe arthritis and I've never had a problem with it - I can go for days without taking it if I'm not in too much pain, so it's not addictive for everyone and I do so wish that those who can't take it would stop assuming that because they can't, nobody can!

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