Tramadol or Ultram is a one-of-a-kind pain killer that acts like an opioid. It is probably one of the most interesting medications on earth. Yet, all medications come with some side effects. In this article, we shall discuss all the possible Tramadol side effects. However, it is important to remember that all these differ from patient to patient.
Tramadol is unique in the sense that it does not have many side effects or addiction problems like opioids. It is considered one of the safest pain relievers in the world.
For an easier understanding, we have divided the side effects of Tramadol into 3 categories:
1. Short-Term Tramadol Side Effects
These are mild side effects once a patient has just started to use Tramadol. They appear only because the body is trying to adjust to the new medication. They may go away in a day or two.
Nevertheless, if the patient feels too uncomfortable, a consultation with the doctor is advised. Following are the possible mild side effects of Tramadol:
- Dry Mouth
The patient is also advised not to drive or operate heavy machinery after taking Tramadol for the very first time.
To avoid constipation, the patient may take a laxative and have a fiber-rich diet. Additionally, they should drink a lot of water for dry mouth and dehydration.
2. Mid-Term Tramadol Side Effects
These are moderate side effects when a patient has been using Tramadol for a while (10-15 days). They may never appear at all. Once the body gets used to Tramadol, these side effects rarely occur.
These are also not that strong and should not bother the patient, but the patient may still consult a doctor.
Following are the possible moderate side effects of Tramadol:
- All of the short-term side effects of Tramadol and
- Dry Skin
- Blur Vision
- Sleep Apnea
Agitation may occur as the body is getting used to the normal dosage and it may require a higher dose. It is, however, not that common. Consult your doctor if a higher dose is required.
Dry skin is the result of a higher form of dehydration. You can avoid it by drinking sufficient water and eating fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. A multivitamin tablet a day could hurt.
Light exercise every morning, some yoga and stretching can aid in preventing weakness, blur vision, and breathlessness. These go away if the blood flow can be increased.
3. Long-Term Side Effects of Tramadol
These are moderate to severe side effects of Tramadol if a patient has been using it for a long time (2-3 months or more). Consult your doctor immediately if you start having these side effects.
Although Tramadol is relatively safe, it does change the chemical balance in the body, and long-term use may cause some serious discomfort.
Following are the possible serious Tramadol side effects:
- All of the short-term and mid-term side effects of Tramadol and
- Suicidal thoughts
- Loss of coordination
- Hyper Fatigue
- Brain Malfunction
- Irregular Heartbeat
These are also not very common. They may occur if someone has been using Tramadol for a very long time. In reality, this does not happen very often. Tramadol is a pain reliever and should not be used unnecessarily after the pain is healed.
Never use Tramadol for more than 30 days in one stretch and you shall never have these severe side effects. Consult your doctor immediately if you realize that things are going out of control.
Addiction is not something Tramadol is known for but it can still happen after using it for a long time. Although not an opioid, Tramadol is metabolized in the body like an opioid.
Opioids relieve pain by changing the perception of the brain about pain. Therefore, long-term use can negatively affect the brain and limit functions.
Fainting as seizures may happen after a patient has been using Tramadol for more than 3 months and continues to increase dosages. There is a limit to how much a body can handle. Yet, the solution is always to talk to a doctor. A doctor would not prescribe it if he/she did not think it proper.
Although relatively safe, Tramadol should be administered properly and the dosage should be determined by a professional. Never self-medicate. All patients are unique and a doctor should know how to deal with the uncomfortable side effects of Tramadol.