What are the Side Effects of Tramadol?

What is Tramadol?

Tramadol oral tablet is a prescription-based drug found as an immediate-release and extended-release tablet. It is also available as an extended-release oral capsule. In addition to this, there is a generic version of Tramadol, too. It is under the brand-name drug Ultram. This drug is a controlled substance. Tramadol treats moderate to severe pain in the body. It can be used as a part of combination therapy. This means that it is safe to take with other medications. 

Tramadol belongs to a drug class known as opioid agonists. Tramadol functions by changing the way the brain recognises and senses pain. Tramadol is quite similar to endorphins. Endorphins bind to receptors, decreasing the pain messages your body sends to your brain. Tramadol works similarly. 

Can I use Tramadol for the long term?

No, avoiding using Tramadol for a long time is typically advised. When you use Tramadol for a long time, it may become addictive, which can cause mental or physical dependence. It is important to note that one should not avoid taking medication in general to prevent dependency. There are various ways to avoid dependency, and your doctor will help you taper the drug off safely. 

What are the side effects of Tramadol?

Just like many medications, there are various side effects associated with using Tramadol. For example, Tramadol oral tablets may cause drowsiness or sleepiness. In addition, you shouldn’t drive, operate heavy machinery, or perform dangerous activities while using the medication. Other side effects may include:

Tramadol Common Side Effects

More common side effects of Tramadol are the following:

  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Headache or migraine
  • Drowsiness or sleepiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation or an upset stomach
  • Lack of energy or fatigue
  • Excessive sweating
  • Dry mouth
  • Sudden itching

Since these are common side effects, they should subside within a few days or weeks. However, if they are persistent, it is crucial to halt drug use and consult your doctor. 

Severe Side Effects

While some side effects are expected to occur, multiple side effects are considered serious. Severe side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Heart palpitations
  • High blood pressure or hypertension
  • Abnormal body temperature (usually higher than average)
  • Abnormal reflexes (generally stronger than normal)
  • Lack of coordination and movements or vertigo 
  • Diarrhoea or an upset stomach
  • Increased agitation
  • Hallucinations (hear or see things that are not real)
  • Coma
  • Severe breathing problems or symptoms of asthma
  • Slowed breathing rate
  • Very shallow breathing (minor chest movement with breathing)
  • Fainting spells

Some may experience physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking medicine. Symptoms may include:

  • Feeling irritable, anxious, or restless
  • Trouble sleeping or insomnia
  • Spike in blood pressure
  • Dilated (large) pupils
  • Unexplained teary eyes
  • Unexplained runny nose
  • Excessive yawning
  • Nausea, vomiting, as well as a loss of appetite
  • Stomach cramps
  • Chills or goosebumps
  • Pain in the muscles 
  • Back pain or joint pain

You may experience adrenal insufficiency while taking this drug. Symptoms can include:

  • Long-lasting fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pain in your abdomen

Similarly, you may even experience androgen deficiency while you are on Tramadol. Symptoms can include:

  • Tiredness
  • Insomnia
  • Drop in energy levels
  • Seizures
  • Addiction or misuse of this drug

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the above symptoms.