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About Ultram

If you have used Ultram, please help others by adding your feedback. What would you tell your best friend about using this pain medication?

Subj: Ultram
Date: 11/2/2003
Do not use ultram for anything! I have interstitial cystitis (a chronic disease of the bladder) and have been taking it for 3 years. I have tried to get off the pills, but have never been successful. I can't sleep, I cry, I am soooo depressed about it!

Subj: ultram
Date: 11/12/2003
I was prescribed Ultram for my fibromyalgia. The rhuem. Dr. thought it would be better than the Vicodan because Ultram in not a narcotic. Well! I stopped taking the Ultram because it didn't work as well as the Vicodan and I am experiencing HORRIBLE withdrawls. I have taken narcotics for a few weeks and then stopped them cold turkey and didn't experience anything. But with Ultram I feel like I have restless leg all over my body! I can sleep, can't sit still and VERY nausious. I also thought at first it was the flu. And like some of the other's I read here, if I took even just a half of one all the symptoms disappeared. I would take a narcotic pain reliever any day over Ultram. The withdrawals are much less severe with them!
Patty, age 34

Subj: Ultram feedback
Date: 11/18/2003
I have been taking Ultram/Tramadol 50mg twice daily for a year now. It works wonders for low back pain, but there are major and minor side effects.
Sometimes it feels like my head is full of worms crawling around, sometimes it feels like my brain is retracting or I'm wearing a hat that is too tight.
I have been sleeping 12 to 14 hours a day and sometimes cant sleep for two days.
I also feel like I am dragging around a dead body, sort of like when your arm goes to sleep and you have to reach over and move this heavy limb with your other arm. At times I feel the weight of my whole body as surplus dead weight.
About every two weeks I get a headache that reminds me of the one I had after my Myelogram feels like someone took a blender to my brain. The only way to get the headache to go away is to lay flat and sleep for as long as I can.
When I try to stop taking the drug I am totally useless can't even get out of bed and my ears start ringing and I hear swishing sounds and get dizzy.
I have a L5 disk herniation and pain in my right hip knee and foot, sometimes it feels like I am standing on a really strong worm or snake that is trying to wiggle out from under my foot but there is nothing there.

Subj: Getting off Ultram
Date: 12/28/2003
I took Ultram for 2 years, for low back pain. I never took more than 3 pills a day, but after taking it for a year I started to wonder why when I missed a dose I felt very lethargic and had muscle burning sensations in my back, I would take another Ultram and feel great again, it seemed to give me huge amounts of energy.
I got worried a year later and I was still on it. I started to feel like I couldn't function without it. I was doing research on the web and found a lot of people struggling with getting off this drug. I am 6 weeks off it now and very relieved.
The way I did it was simple, I have never been hooked on anything so this took me by surprise. I told my mom and I told a couple of close friends and my sister about taking the Ultram. I didn't make a big deal about it. I just felt that by admitting it to people close to me, that it made the problem real to me. I also told my sister who along with my mother was extremely supportive and non-judgmental.
My sister {who has a PhD in neuroscience} gave me the best advice, she told me to be easy on my body and go really slow with the weaning process. I cut my initial dose from 50mg twice a day to 25mg twice a day, so I cut down by 50% initially, which is quite a lot, but I think for psychological reasons it helped me.
Those first few days were not so good at night I was very restless, I couldn't sleep. I would wake up like clockwork at 2am and toss and turn, I persevered but got worried because I was getting exhausted.
Another thing I did which I felt was a very good move, I saw my Doctor and told him about the problem. He didn't seem worried at all. I guess because I was taking only 50mg a day at that point but he took me at my word and gave me some quick acting sleeping pills, which I never did take as I was reluctant to get stuck on something else. He did also suggest to take the weaning process very slowly and to not reduce the amount until I was feeling better for a day or two on the reduced level. This helped, as I knew that I would at least feel OK for a day before reducing again.
All in all it took a good 2-3 months for me, in the end I was taking tiny crumbs of the Ultram as they are difficult to cut. I probably reduced the dose about once a week from 1/2 a pill to a 1/4 and so on. I felt that this was the best and kindest way to wean for me and my body.
Because this pill prevents the reuptake of norepinephrine (a stimulant), and serotonin (a mood altering substance), your body gets used to the higher levels of these naturally occurring substances in your blood, so it stands to reason if you stop this pill abruptly you are going to not feel so good. You have to allow your own body to re-regulate your system and this takes time.
I was concerned about the restlessness, and anxiety feelings I experienced and also the muscle burning/aches, but as my sister explained, you have serotonin receptor sites all over your body. As you wean your self off, your body is trying to make new receptors and/or deal with all the excess norepinephrine and serotonin that is floating around.
Anyhow I did it and you can too. Just take it slow, it helped I had about 50 pills to wean myself with. This drug is dangerous because even the Docs think it is not addictive although the nurse at my surgery said that my Doc hasn't prescribed it since I went in, but before that he wrote a prescription for 400 pills for a years supply for me.
Anyhow I am glad I am off it and I am sleeping heavily now and not wiped out in the mornings, like I was. Oh yes, at the beginning I drank a lot of chamommile tea and started yoga to help with trying to relax. The anxiety and restlessness was probably the worst for me. Well good luck out there.

Subj: The best way to use Ultram
Date: 2/21/2004
I have been taking Ultram for back pain, arthritis, and chronic foot pain (I have muscular dystrophy) off and on for about a year now. I have found that it doesn't eliminate pain, it just makes it easier to deal with. It does work, though. I have also found that although it may not be (or may be) physically addictive, it seems to be very mentally addictive. I can either sleep well or not at all when under the care of this medicine. It has given me flu-like symptoms and a strong cough. When not taking it, it can make me feel very tired, nausious, and depressed. The best way to use Ultram is on a once in a while basis, maybe once or twice a week, though that is very hard to do.

Subj: feedback on Ultram
Date: 2/24/2004
I cannot tell you how reading these comments has both comforted me and terrified me. I ran out of my Ultram and it's only 24 hours...and me the person who loves to sleep? has spent the worst night of my life...feels like I have the flu...and depression? I have been crying and, the person everyone says is always smiling! Is it the withdrawal? It must be...and I'm at fault for stopping cold turkey. I need to drive to pick up my RX and I am uncertain that I can do it...and walking my dog? Just dressing is exhausting but reading these comments has told me one thing: As much as this drug has managed my pain symptoms, I need to get off it...slowly...but totally.

Subj: Slightly sick and terrible headaches
Date: 3/5/2004
I have nerve damage pain in my upper abdomen from having gallbladder surgery on Nov. 19th, 2002.
I have tried oxycontin but that made me really, really sick so I stopped taking it. I went through heavy withdrawal from stopping. Then last may 2003 my doctor gave me ultram to take for my 24/7 pain (she told me that it wasn't a narcotic and that I wouldn't get addicted to it and go through withdrawals) boy was she wrong!
I have tried to stop taking ultram (because it makes me slightly sick and it gives me terrible headaches) why I stayed on it so long was because of my nerve pain, the pain was so bad that I couldn't even get out of bed so I was desperate so when my doctor suggested to take ultram, I took it. Now I wished that I wouldn't of even started to take it. People tell me to cut the pills in half and into even smaller sizes as the days go by, well I have tried that but I still go through heavy withdrawal (before trying to stop I took only 2 pills at the most every day for my nerve pain). Well the past 2 weeks I have noticed that my nerve pain has finally been diminishing (after 16 months of severe pain hell) that's why I want to stop taking it. So I advise anyone who reads this to not start on ultram, you will go through withdrawals. I have an appointment with my doctor next week. I am going to see if he can help me with the withdrawals.

Subj: Scared
Date: 4/2/2004
I have been taking ultram for the past two months for a shoulder rotator cuff tear, and now it is time to get off. I was addicted severely to vicodin about 4 years ago(addicted for over 4years). I went to rehab and kicked that cold turkey. My doctor knew of my addiction and prescribed ultram anyway. I am so scared of taking the plunge, and these boards have gotton me so depressed that I am prolonging the nightmare that is probably facing me. I just want to stop and if I get sick I get sick. Can anyone out there offer any encouragement to me?

Subj: Life saver
Date: 4/13/2004
I take Ultram for a herniated disc at L5-S1. It has been a life saver. I could not live my day to day life with then pain prior to taking them . I have even tried Narcotic pain releivers with only limited pain relief.

Subj: Addicted
Date: 4/22/2004
Hi I have been taking ultram for about four years and can't seem to come off of it. At first it was great the pain in my back went away and I also felt great a feeling of euphoria came upon me. I have tried to stop because I find myself taking lots of pills that I can't remember how many. I can go through a jar of 90 pills in about three to four days. I am spending close to 500.00 a month sometimes more. I would like to stop but the withdrawal symptoms are horrible, I feel like I want to die. I don't know what to do and would like anyone out there that can help me to please email me with any suggestions of remedies to ease the withdrawal symptoms so I could get off of it for sure. I do not recommend any one to start like I said its great at first but soon you will find taking more and more to get the same results of just one pill. Help

AskDocWeb: Sorry to hear that Arch. Unfortunately, if we posted your email address, you would be flooded with offers from people trying to sell it to you. That would not be very helpful.

If you can't remember how many pills you take, then tapering off by gradually reducing the number of pills each day, probably won't work for you. We hope you will consider getting serious professional medical help with this problem.

Subj: Ultram while pregnant?
Date: 5/3/2004
I have been taking ultram for 4 yrs for a neck injury - I want to have a baby - I already have 2 kids ages 16 and 12 - but, want another - can I take this medicine while pregnant???? Or at least cut down?

AskDocWeb: Please talk to your doctor about the risks of using Ultram while pregnant. The manufacturer says to avoid breast-feeding while taking Ultram.

Subj: Degenerative disk disease
Date: 5/12/2004
I have been taking ultram for 6 years now. I started on 2 a day. I have degenerative disk disease in my neck. It was wonderful! I have been trying to get off of it for a year now with no luck. When I stop, I have absolutely no energy. All I want to do is lay on the sofa all day long. I decided to try herbs. I put myself on glucosamine chondroitin MSM. This is for rebuilding cartilage and for joints. Well, that has been very good for my neck. You have to stay on it for awhile before you see results but you will. Good luck to everyone out there. I would highly advice people to find a good herbalist and do alot of research on the power of vitamins and minerals.

AskDocWeb: We have first hand experience with the positive benefits of glucosamine chondroitin, good stuff. However, be sure to check the ingredient list in any herbal remedy that you try. Some herbs interact with medication.

Subj: Ultram insomnia and twitching
Date: 5/14/2004
Hello, I have been taking ultram for 3yrs everyday, it is now 2am guest what I am having one hell of a day. I can't sleep because I up my dosage and ended up running out of meds. so I don't have any to take. (can't SLEEP, ARMS MOVING, CAN'T BE STIIL. Twitching, DO NOT START!

Subj: Urgent message
Date: 5/16/2004
I have decided to add my comments after reading the others to help in stressing the urgency of the message that NO ONE SHOULD START ON ULTRAM! I have been on it for 3 years. Each time that I see my Dr to renew my meds, I swear that before I go in there I won't ask for Ultram again, but I do. Usually it goes like this, "so you need more Ambien?" "Yes," I reply. Then "and Ultram too?" And I always nod my head and say yes. The reason is because I have tried and tried and tried again and again to get off Ultram and I can not stand the way I feel without it! I have so much pain, and depression and also a really weird feeling in my brain. It's as if I can actually "feel" the spaces between the cells! It even effects my sight. Sometimes, when I turn my head too quickly, I actually feel like I am feeling the upset of each individual cell in my head. I can't stand it! It is ludicrous to stay ON a medication because its too hard to get off it. Someone (like the drug manufacturer)needs to help those who really need it when they need it. Because this is hell.

Subj: Cause of severe nausea
Date: 5/22/2004
I finally figured out what has been causing my severe nausea for the last ten months. It had been getting much worse for about two weeks. I couldn't keep anything down - on some days even water - despite several strong anti-nausea prescriptions. My doctors, pharmacist, and health insurance people were well aware of my situation, but no one tried to find out the cause.

I finally realized it might be the Ultram I have been taking for pinched cervical nerves, so five days ago I stopped taking it. The vomiting stopped immediately.

I thought my troubles were over. Unfortunately, I quit cold turkey, not knowing that Ultram can cause withdrawal symptoms. So this week I've dealt with drug withdrawal, as well as additional weakness from being so sick.

The first nights were absolute hell, with insomnia, extreme restlessness and crawling sensations. I'm unable to sleep through the night even now.

Subj: Fibromyalgia
Date: 5/22/2004
Thank you all for what you have written here. I have Fibromyalgia and am quickly building up a tolerance to Vicodan to cover my pain. I was considering asking my doctor to try Ultram but your experiences have certainly changed my mind. I am sorry all of you have to go through all of this. Good luck and may the good Lord bless you all. Love,

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2002-2007 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on Ultram and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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