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History of Tramadol

history of Tramadol

Tramadol or Ultram is an opioid-like pain reliever. Doctors prescribe it for moderate to severe pains including dental pains, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, joint pain, and surgical pains. This article will contain the history of Tramadol.

Unlike some other opioids such as Morphine or Oxycodone, which are derived from opium (poppy) flower, Tramadol is fully synthetic. This is an advantage of Tramadol. It is not that addictive.

Where Was Tramadol First Invented?

Tramadol was first invented in Germany in 1962. The scientists were looking to create a synthetic opioid that can relieve severe pains without the addiction issues, and they succeeded.

The medication was then tested for about 15 years before it was approved to be marketed internationally in 1977. At that time, it was known as Tramal. Tramal became a very popular pain medication all over the world.

When Did USA Approve Tramadol?

Tramadol was first introduced in the USA in 1995. Since it had almost no addiction problems, it was an OTC (Over the Counter) Medication. However, it became very popular among US citizens and some are reported to abuse it.

In 2014, FDA decided to classify it as a controlled substance. It is still a Schedule IV substance, which means the potential for abuse and addiction is very low.

The Rate of Tramadol Use in the USA

In the period between 2008-2012, Tramadol was one of the highest used pain relievers in the USA, with about 14 million prescriptions filled. In 2013, the total prescriptions became 44 million. The increase suddenly caught the attention of the FDA.

FDA began a new addiction trial in 2013 and in 2014, they classified Tramadol as a Schedule IV controlled substance.

The History of Tramadol Abuse

According to the Harvard Health Publication, Tramadol is a misunderstood medication. It barely has any severe side effects or addiction problems. However, the second FDA trial that concluded that Tramadol should be a controlled substance had an issue that the pharmacologists call ‘Confounding’.

A ‘Confounding’ problem is not necessarily with the medication, but with the test subjects. In this case, the people who participated in the Tramadol trial had a history of substance abuse and some heart problems. That affected the result of the Tramadol trial.

How does it Feel After Using Tramadol?

We’ll discuss the details of Tramadol Side Effects in the next article, but for this one, we can only mention the initial effects. Tramadol is not a real opioid, but just an opioid-like medication. Therefore, there may be some opioid-like feelings associated with it. Keep in mind that without these effects, it would be useless as a pain reliever.

  • Feeling of Euphoria

  • Feeling Relaxed and Calm

  • Feeling Heavy and Restful

  • Feeling Sleepy

World Health Organization Tramadol Survey

WHO also conducted its own survey on Tramadol abuse and history, and it has found an interesting fact. On average, there were only 1-3 cases of abuse among 100,000 patients.

In the period 199-2000, there was only 1 abuse case out of 100,000, and in 2004, the case of abuse was almost non-existent.

95% of those who abuse Tramadol had a history of substance abuse even before they got on Tramadol.

Therefore, there are still ongoing debates on whether Tramadol should be back on the OTC medication status. However, according to a DEA survey, 10% of those who seek pain relievers for recreational drug use search for Tramadol. It is more like a trend than an addiction.

On the other hand, Oxycodone is a real headache.

Tramadol Search History on the Internet

While the abuse and addiction are at an all-time low, the interest in Tramadol online has increased significantly. There has been a steady increase in online searches on Tramadol since 2005.

While people look for general information on the medication, many in Florida, Indiana, and Texas show interest in buying Tramadol online. Following are some keyword searches for Tramadol:

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