What is Tramadol?
Tramadol is an opioid pain medication that is largely used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain both of an acute and chronic nature. An oral administration which is the most common way of taking it takes about 1 hour to start showing pain-relieving effects and effects last about 6 hours. There are many different forms in which tramadol is available as per the requirement. This includes – syrups, drops, water-soluble powders, effervescent tablets, extended-release capsules, immediate release pills, injections, and suppositories to name a few.
There isn’t much understood about how exactly tramadol works because it works differently from other narcotic painkillers like morphine. The general understanding is that it attaches itself to the pain receptors in your brain to change the way your body perceives pain altogether. The pills also enhance serotonin transmission in the body. This can create a pleasurable feeling to replace the pain.
Pain is a tricky thing, it’s one of those things that you can’t truly measure, and the threshold for pain is very subjective. There are many painkillers on the market that help address various pain problems. The most common ones that can be found over the counter are probably Paracetamol and Ibuprofen. The painkiller, sometimes known as 377 pills, is one such painkiller. However, it is a prescription medicine. The profile will aim to take a closer look at Tramadol and give you all the information you need.
What is Tramadol Used for?
Tramadol is used for a whole host of problems that need pain relief. It takes effect about an hour after you take it and the effect last for 4 to 6 hours depending on the way your body metabolizes the drug. The tablets need to be taken every 4 to 6 hours for continuous pain relief. Many people use it in combination with paracetamol. It is important to take tramadol as directed and other medication you might be taking needs to be disclosed to the doctor as there are some medicines with which tramadol doesn’t mix very well.
The product is very commonly used to treat chronic pain. The extended-release formulation allows individuals to be pain-free throughout the day. The following are some conditions for which tramadol is usually prescribed:
- Muscle pain
- Chronic pain
- Mild anti-depressant
There are other uses of course, but the list is long, and these are the more common conditions it is used to treat.
The use of tramadol to help treat muscular pain is interesting because it is perhaps more commonly used on the down by many body builders to help with muscular pain without having to take too long to recover. It helps to keep them going. This is dangerous for a few reasons that we will get into below.
Using Tramadol for Muscle Pain
Some bodybuilders use pain pills to help manage muscle pain. They work out hard and have a lot of muscle mass, which means to keep growing and developing those muscles they have to keep creating wear and tear in the muscle that causes it to repair, build and grow. The pain, in this case, is good, while a mild anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen or paracetamol will probably help any major discomfort. It’s important to avoid taking any painkiller for the sake of pushing yourself and your work out to the limit. In the long term, this can only cause damage, letting your body recover is one of the best things you can do for it.
Tramadol for muscular pain should only be taken in extreme cases of injury to the muscle. There are several reasons for this, but the key reasons are that the painkiller is controlled and an addictive substance.
What names is Tramadol Sold Under?
Most popularly sold under the original brand name that came out with tramadol in 1995 called Ultram. It is also available in the market with a 377 imprint; this pill is most commonly a 5mg white oblong pill meant for immediate release into the body. It is found under many brand names that differ from country to country.
Things to watch out for
As with any drug, especially a prescription drug that is an opioid in nature, is going to come along with a host of side effects. Listed below are the most common side effects –
- Nausea (Although, this can be curbed or helped by avoiding taking the product while on an empty stomach)
- Dry mouth
- Stomach pains
- Lowered libido
- Irregular menstruation
- A headache
There are of course other side effects that are not listed here. However, those are rare side effects that are by and large unlikely to affect users as much as the above side effects. Side effects are most likely in older adults and overweight or malnourished individuals.
Seizures, which are perhaps the more common of rare and serious side effects are entirely possible, and people who suffer from certain health issues or have certain medication are at higher risk for this side effect. These particular health issues or medications are listed below.
- Previous head injury
- History of epilepsy
- Previous or current substance abuse problem
- Metabolic disorder
- Certain antibiotics, heart or blood pressure medication, and some other medicines
It is also not a good idea for women who are pregnant or nursing should also avoid it as the baby could suffer from life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.
It is highly recommended that people conduct regular tests to ensure that the liver can process the medication without any damage as long-term or improper use can also cause liver damage.
Withdrawal is another problem many users of the product face when they have been on the medication for a while and have a high dosage.
Since this medication increases serotonin in the body, users become susceptible to something called serotonin syndrome which is a reaction to the toxicity of too much serotonin in the body. Symptoms include heart palpitations, hallucinations, coordination loss, severe dizziness, fever.
Legalities and the Dangers tr
Apart from the side effects, there are other things about tramadol that are important to know. When it first came into the market, it was released with high expectations at the time it was thought that it offered all the benefits of a powerful, addictive drug with fewer chances of dependency. It turns out the trials that this information was only correct when applied to injections. Taken orally, it is a whole other story.
Taken orally, tramadol is in fact highly addictive and prone to abuse. In 2014, it went from an unscheduled drug to a controlled substance. In many ways, the supplement is unique and different from other opioids, but when it comes to dependency and withdrawal, tramadol is just as bad as any opioid out there. Very commonly considered a “safe opioid” many people are ignorant of the possible dependency it might cause.
Pain is horrible, and there are many ways to deal with it, for some people, opioids are their only way. Tramadol should be treated with some amount of careful consideration. For many people, tramadol is the only way there is any relief, but anyone taking any medication should definitely be aware of the downsides and possible dependency of any drug. Tramadol may be a wonderful solution to many pain related problems, but it may end up causing more problems than pain if one isn’t careful.
Thomas Matthys a former world-class track & field athlete and the founder of Swol Headquarters. He graduated from the University of Fordham with a Master’s degree in Science. Matthys is a certified sports nutritionist and personal coach of several professional athletes. Matthys has been involved in various clinical studies within Track & Field including one on the factors associated with muscle recovery and HIIT.