What is Tramadol and its uses?

Tramadol is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Tramadol extended-release is used to treat moderate to severe chronic pain when treatment is needed around the clock.

Tramadol may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information about tramadol

You should not take this medication if you are allergic to tramadol, if you have ever been addicted to drugs or alcohol, or if you have ever attempted suicide. Do not take tramadol while you are intoxicated (drunk) or taking any of the following: alcohol or street drugs, narcotic pain medicine, sedatives or tranquilizers, or medicine for depression, anxiety, or mental illness.

Seizures (convulsions) have occurred in some people taking this medicine. Tramadol may be more likely to cause a seizure if you have a history of seizures or head injury, a metabolic disorder, or if you are taking certain medicines such as antidepressants, muscle relaxers, narcotic, or medicine for nausea and vomiting.

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. A tramadol overdose can be fatal.

Tramadol may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

Do not crush the tramadol tablet. This medicine is for oral (by mouth) use only. Powder from a crushed tablet should not be inhaled or diluted with liquid and injected into the body. Using this medicine by inhalation or injection can cause life-threatening side effects, overdose, or death.

Before taking tramadol

You should not take this medication if you are allergic to tramadol, if you have ever been addicted to drugs or alcohol, or if you have ever attempted suicide.

Do not take tramadol while you are intoxicated (drunk) or taking any of the following:

* alcohol or street drugs;
* narcotic pain medicine;
* sedatives or tranquilizers (such as Valium);
* medicine for depression or anxiety; or
* medicine for mental illness (such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia).

Seizures have occurred in some people taking tramadol. Talk with your doctor about your seizure risk, which may be higher if you have:

* a history of drug or alcohol addiction;
* a history of epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
* a history of head injury;
* a metabolic disorder; or
* if you are also taking an antidepressant, muscle relaxer, narcotic, antipsychotic, or medicine for nausea and vomiting.

To make sure you can safely take tramadol, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

* kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);
* cirrhosis or other liver disease;
* a stomach disorder; or
* a history of depression, mental illness, or thoughts of suicide.

Tramadol may be habit forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Never share tramadol with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether tramadol will harm an unborn baby. Tramadol may cause serious or fatal side effects in a newborn if the mother uses this medication during pregnancy or labor. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. Tramadol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are taking tramadol. Do not give this medication to anyone younger than 16 years old without the advice of a doctor.

Rybix ODT may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of tramadol if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

How should I take tramadol?

Take tramadol exactly as prescribed. Never take tramadol in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.

Tramadol can be taken with or without food, but take it the same way each time.

Do not crush, chew, or break a tramadol tablet. Swallow it whole. Breaking the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time. This medicine is for oral (by mouth) use only. Powder from a crushed tablet should not be inhaled or diluted with liquid and injected into the body. Using this medicine by inhalation or injection can cause life-threatening side effects, overdose, or death.

To take tramadol orally disintegrating tablets (Rybix ODT):

* Keep the tablet in its blister pack until you are ready to take it.
* Using dry hands, remove the tablet and place it in your mouth. It will begin to dissolve right away.
* Do not swallow the tablet whole. Allow it to dissolve in your mouth without chewing.
* Swallow several times as the tablet dissolves. If desired, you may drink liquid to help swallow the dissolved tablet.

If you use the tramadol extended-release tablet, the tablet shell may pass into your stools (bowel movements). This is normal and does not mean that you are not receiving enough of the medicine.

Do not stop using tramadol suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication.

Store tramadol at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Tramadol is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention. A tramadol overdose can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, shallow breathing, muscle weakness, slow heartbeat, cold or clammy skin, fainting, or seizure.

What should I avoid while taking tramadol?

Do not drink alcohol. It may cause a dangerous decrease in your breathing when used together with this medicine. Tramadol may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Source: http://www.drugs.com/tramadol.html

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