How to use Tramadol Pills
Tramadol comes as a tablet, a solution (liquid), an extended-release (long-acting) tablet, and an extended-release (long-acting) capsule to take by mouth. The regular tablet and solution are taken usually with or without food every 4 to 6 hours as needed.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually every 4 to 6 hours as needed for pain relief. You may take this drug with or without food. If you have nausea, it may help to take this drug with food. Classified as a Schedule IV drug, tramadol is considered useful as a pain reliever with a low potential for abuse. Despite these concerns, tramadol is one of many common treatments recommended for osteoarthritis and other painful conditions.
It is used for back pain, sciatica, and for postoperative pain following spine surgery. For most adults, the maximum safe dose is 400 mg per day of the immediate-release tablets.
Usual Adult Dose for Pain:
Adults (17 years or older): 50 to 100 mg orally every 4 to 6 hours as needed for pain
-For patients not requiring rapid onset of analgesic effect: Initial dose: 25 mg orally once a day; titrate in 25 mg increments every 3 days to reach a dose of 25 mg four times a day; thereafter increase by 50 mg as tolerated every 3 days
Maximum dose: 400 mg per day.
Usual Geriatric Dose for Chronic Pain:
Dose selection should be cautious generally starting at the low end of the dose range
Over 75 years:
Maximum dose of Immediate-release: 300 mg per day.
Usual Pediatric Dose for Pain:
Tramadol is not recommendedfor use in pediatric patients
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose can be fatal, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Overdose symptoms may include severe drowsiness, pinpoint pupils, slow breathing, or no breathing.
Your doctor may recommend you get naloxone (a medicine to reverse an opioid overdose) and keep it with you at all times. A person caring for you can give the naloxone if you stop breathing or don’t wake up. Your caregiver must still get emergency medical help and may need to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on you while waiting for help to arrive.
Anyone can buy naloxone from a pharmacy or local health department. Make sure any person caring for you knows where you keep naloxone and how to use it.
Tramadol side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to tramadol (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).
Tramadol can slow or stop your breathing, and death may occur. A person caring for you should give naloxone and/or seek emergency medical attention if you have slow breathing with long pauses, blue colored lips, or if you are hard to wake up.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- Noisy breathing, sighing, shallow breathing, breathing that stops during sleep;
- A slow heart rate or weak pulse;
- A light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
- Seizure (convulsions); or
- Low cortisol levels – nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness or weakness.
Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Serious breathing problems may be more likely in older adults and people who are debilitated or have wasting syndrome or chronic breathing disorders.
Common tramadol side effects may include:
- Constipation, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain;
- Dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness;
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