Tramadol, also known as tramadol hydrochloride or Ultram, is a prescription pain medication. Because the drug has the potential to be abused, it is classified as a controlled substance in some states, though it is not officially recognized as a controlled substance or as a narcotic by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) .

Common Side Effects of Tramadol

As with most medications, there is a risk of side effects when taking Tramadol. Clinical studies and research regarding patients have identified the following as common side effects of Tramadol, affecting between 14 and 46 percent of people taking the drug:

*Constipation
*Nausea
*Dizziness or spinning sensations (also known as vertigo)
*Headaches
*Drowsiness
*Vomiting
*Nervousness, shaking, or agitation

Between 1 and 13 percent of patients experienced other side effects, including:

*Itching
*Weakness
*Sweating
*Heartburn
*Indigestion
*Dry mouth
*Diarrhea
*Hot flashes
*Confusion
*Problems with coordination
*Euphoria
*Pupil constriction
*Difficulty sleeping
*Abdominal pain
*Loss of appetite
*Vision problems
*Frequent urination
*Difficulty empyting the bladder
*Symptoms of menopause

Rare Side Effects of Tramadol

A rare side effect is considered one which is experienced by only 1 percent of patients taking the drug. Because it is very uncommon to experience any of these problems, it is difficult to determine whether the side effect is genuinely caused by taking the medication or by something entirely unrelated. Rare side effects of Tramadol usage include:

*Accidental injury
*Weight loss
*Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
*Abnormal walking pattern
*Difficulty concentrating
*Changes in taste
*Painful urination
*Menstrual problems
*Migraines
*Depression
*Liver Failure
*Low blood pressure (hypotension)
*High blood pressure (hypertension)
*Heart palpitations
*Cataracts
*Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

Tramadol usage may also increase the risk of heart attack in some patients.

Doctors have no guaranteed way of predicting whether or not a patient will develop one of the above side effects. Every case must be assessed on an individualized basis. A physician will take into account the patient’s health history and lifestyle before deciding whether or not to prescribe the drug. They will weigh the benefits of treatment of the primary condition against the risk of side effects from taking the medication. Follow-up care is essential; the physician must ensure that the medication is effectively treating the patient’s medical condition. If a patient begins to experience side effects of the medication, he or she must address these concerns with the doctor, so they may decide if Tramadol should be discontinued.

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