Tramadol Withdrawal and Detox
Tramadol is an opioid medication available only by prescription, for the treatment of pain. Tramadol is a generic drug, sold under brand names including ConZip, Ryzold, Ultram and Ultram ER. Tramadol is for treating moderate or severe pain.
In the United States, tramadol is a Schedule IV controlled substance. Before 2014, tramadol wasn’t a controlled substance federally, however. As a Schedule IV controlled substance, tramadol does have the potential to be habit-forming, psychologically and physically. If someone is psychologically dependent on tramadol, it’s known as an addiction. Physical dependence can occur with or without psychological addiction. When someone is dependent on tramadol, they will have tramadol withdrawal symptoms if they stop using the drug suddenly or reduce their dosage.
The side effects of tramadol withdrawal occur because of the effects this opioid has on the brain and the entire central nervous system. When someone takes an opioid like tramadol, opioid receptors in the brain activate. This activation causes a change in the response the brain has to pain. It also alters the production and function of brain neurotransmitters. For example, dopamine may be impacted by the use of tramadol.
With repeated exposure to tramadol and its effects on neurotransmitters, a person can become dependent. Their brain adjusts to the presence of the tramadol. When someone stops using tramadol suddenly, their brain struggles to readjust. That readjustment is what causes the side effects of tramadol withdrawal. Dependence to tramadol can occur even when it’s used as instructed.
Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms
Tramadol withdrawal symptoms can vary depending on the person, the extent of their tramadol use, and other individual factors. Someone who abuses tramadol recreationally and has done so for an extended period is likely going to have more severe tramadol withdrawal symptoms than someone using it for a few weeks as prescribed.
Opioid withdrawal related to drugs like tramadol can occur in different phases. Overall, opioid withdrawal tends to last around seven days, although it can be shorter for some people and longer for others.
Tramadol withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Teary eyes
- Muscle aches
- Problems sleeping
- Restlessness and agitation
- Increased blood pressure
- Rapid breathing
- Racing heart
- Stomach pains
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Dilated pupils
- Foggy thinking or concentration problems
- Drug cravings
Tramadol Withdrawal Timeline
The tramadol withdrawal timeline is an estimate of how long a person will experience tramadol withdrawal symptoms. For most people, symptoms will start within hours after their latest dose of tramadol. In some cases, it may take as long as a few days for the withdrawal to begin. Peak tramadol withdrawal symptoms usually occur within three days, and within a week many people will see their symptoms subside or end.
While many people don’t have an opioid withdrawal timeline of more than a week, it’s possible it could be longer. For example, with heavy, long-term tramadol use, the withdrawal timeline could be several weeks.
Professional medical detox can help people through tramadol withdrawal in a safe, monitored environment. Opioid withdrawal can often require medical support including prescription and over-the-counter medications.
To learn more about tramadol detox and addiction treatment, reach out to a professional treatment facility. Contact The Recovery Village today to speak to a representative about the detox and treatment process and how a customized treatment plan works to address your addiction along with any co-occurring disorders. You deserve a healthier future.
National Library of Medicine. “Tramadol.” January 15, 2019. Accessed March 27, 2019.
McDiarmid, T., Mackler, L. “What is The Addiction Risk Associated with Tramadol?” MDedge, January 2005. Accessed March 27, 2019.
Mayo Clinic. “Tramadol.” March 1, 2019. Accessed March 27, 2019.