Tramadol addiction has become a major problem due to the misconception that the drug is not a narcotic. It is often sold under the name Ultram and it is an opioid drug that is highly addictive because it is a synthetic narcotic-like pain reliever. Tramadol hydrochloride is a generic name brand for Ultram. It is available in extended-release tablets and patients should only take it as directed. Since the effects are similar to those of other narcotic analgesics like morphine, it can become habit-forming and also cause physical and psychological dependence.
Is Tramadol an opiate?
Tramadol is not an opiate; however, it is an opioid. An opioid is synthetically created while an opiate is derived from the opium poppy plant. So many individuals have been lead to believe that it is not an opioid medication. In fact, it is classified as an opioid because, like morphine and hydrocodone, it binds and activates the mu opioid receptor. This mechanism provides analgesic effect and subsequently, pain relief. Regular use of the drug can lead to physical dependence. Thus, when this exogenous source of opioids suddenly discontinues, individuals often experience withdrawal symptoms. If the drug was not an opioid, then this would not occur.
What is Tramadol used for?
Tramadol is an opioid analgesic physicians prescribe to treat moderate to severe pain. It was first developed by the German pharmaceutical company Grunenthal GmbH in the late 1970s, marketed under the name Tramal.
The drug is available in capsules, tablets, extended-release tablets, suppositories, effervescent tablets and powders, and liquid for oral and sublingual administration. However, there are also tablets and caplets available with paracetamol (acetaminophen).
Some of its brand names are:
- Ultracet® (as a combination product containing Acetaminophen, Tramadol)
Furthermore, recommended dosages range from 50 mg to 300 mg daily. In addition, tramadol is indicated for veterinarian medicine. Frequently, doctors prescribe it to treat pain from surgery, illness, and injury in dogs, cats, rabbits, marsupials, and rodents including flying squirrels, rats, guinea pigs, ferrets, and raccoons.
Is Tramadol a narcotic and is it addictive?
Most importantly, it is a Schedule IV controlled narcotic which often causes drug addiction. It may become addictive, even at prescribed dosages. As a result, abuse or misuse can occur, leading to overdose and even death. After prolonged use, many individuals develop a physical tolerance to the drug. Furthermore, they have to take larger doses to feel the drug’s effect which often leads to physical dependence. However, when users attempt to stop taking the drug, they will likely experience withdrawal symptoms.