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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:50 am 
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I have two purposes for posting this:
1) It may help someone else who is prescribed Tramadol as an alternative while on Sub
2) I want to get high and need something to do to distract me.

This past March, I had foot surgery. I was given an analgesic pump that numbed the surgical site for the first couple of days. The problem was that I had TWO surgical sites (under the foot and the ankle). The pump worked on the incision under the foot but not so well on the repaired tendon site OR on the horrible nerve pain that I developed on the TOP of my foot (ended up with a pressure sore due to the dressing and the boot that I was put in).

Before the surgery, my Sub doctor had told me that I would have to take Advil and "suck it up" when it came to any pain over and above what ibruprofen would handle (compassion is not one of my doctor's strong suits). He's of the opinion that I'm going to have to get used to enduring pain without narcotics. I might as well start now.

What he didn't know was that I got Tramadol from my foot doctor (which, contrary to what my addictions doctors have said, he doesn't consider to be an opiate). Whatever. I'm not getting into that debate. All I know is that Tramadol has never done a thing for me, doesn't get me high, doesn't do a thing to control pain either. But, I was desperate. The pain was HORRIBLE!!!!

Around the clock, I took twice the prescribed dose of Tramadol along with the max dose of Advil and a max dose of Tylenol and it was just enough to take the edge off the most horrible of the pain for about an hour out of every four hours. I was shocked by the degree of pain that this surgery caused. I've had three c-sections and a hysterectomy. This foot surgery was one of the worst surgeries for how much and how long the pain lasted. Of course, it was the only surgery that I couldn't medicate for pain. I'm telling you, the nerve sensitivity was off the charts.

I had several Tramadol left after the acute pain subsided. I decided to see what quadrupling the dose would do (pain-wise for my herniated dics and probably I was also hoping for a little euphoria). What a mistake! Within 30 minutes, I was experiencing withdrawal symptoms, yawning, sweating, then cramping, chills, aches, heaving into the toilet. It resolved in about an hour.

I had read on the patient information sheet that withdrawal could occur in opiate dependent individuals taking Tramadol. I laughed it off, thinking that someone, somewhere must have tried to use Tramadol instead of their oxys or something and, because it didn't work to stave off their withdrawal, blamed the withdrawal on the Trams. Well... the pharmaceutical company got the last laugh on me. Tramadol (Ultram) CAN and just very well MAY put a Suboxone or other opiate dependent person into sudden (though mine was short-lived) withdrawal if taken in a high enough dose.

I hope that helps someone. Now, I'll have to find something else to do.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:17 pm 
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Interesting. I have taken tramadol on subs before maybe 2 or 3 and just felt pain relief. But I have noticed before I was on sub and trying to get high off of them that if I took a massive amt they made me feel bugged out and just awful.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:38 pm 
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Hi Christin, I'm glad those unpleasant effects passed after an hour. I don't know anything about tramadol, but thanks for posting your experience. Regarding distracting yourself--I was wondering if you are at a place in your life right now where you have a lot of free time or have to be self-motivated about your activities. For me, this is my second week since I stopped working at a regular job and it is a difficult adjustment. I think a certain amount of structure in my life is helpful. Otherwise, sometimes I have a lot of goals but it's hard to get started on them. Like I said, for me, this is only the second week out of my job, but ultimately, I probably need to create some structure for myself if I dont' get another regular job soon. I also know that getting enough exercise is really important for me. When I don't feel good, but I know that exercise is likely to help--that can be the HARDEST thing to get started on. Also just getting out and getting some sunlight is a good idea. But, I know, sometimes there are times when nothing seems to help. You really sound like you have such a strong commitment to your recovery, I really hope things start getting easier for you....you really deserve that. The only immediate advice I can offer though is maybe try to do some physical activity, get some kind of exercise? I know that can make a big difference to my overall feeling of well-being, though like I said, it can be really hard to get motivated to start on. Anyway I hope your day gets better today.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:33 pm 
Tramadol is a drug that is almost as misunderstood as Suboxone. There is a thread about it under My Addiction Story. This is a copy of my post from it that I think is worth re-stating:

Before coming here I was on a med help forum re: tramadol addiction. While I would have do say my DOC is oxy, I did a ton of Ultram at the end because it was so easy to get, and my Dr. gave me unlimited refills. I have to say that the worst withdrawals I ever experienced were from tramadol, and the withdrawal went on for weeks, unlike with the shorter acting opiates. It was pure hell.

The reason they get away with it not being scheduled is that tramadol itself is not an opiate, but the m1 metabolite IS, so it acts on the mu receptor just like oxy, but not as strong. Some say it doesn't work that way for them, but it's my understanding that a percentage of people don't metabolize it to the m1 metabolite because they are lacking a certain liver enzyme. Anyway, I have read dozens and dozens of stories on that site, including those of people who almost died from it after having a seizure while driving (tram lowers the seizure threshold).

The reason I wanted to chime in is because my Dr. who prescribed it to this day won't admit it's addictive, even though I told him flat out I was having horrible withdrawals. And then my Sub Dr. said, "that stuff's pretty weak isn't it? Tramadol/Ultram is touted as the "safe non-narcotic alternative" to painkillers. Don't believe it! I've even seen people on THIS forum recommend it. But luckily, Sub blocks it's action on the opiate receptors just like it does with other drugs. Sub does not, however, block it's action on SSRI or SNRI pathways, so I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole.

I don't have the web address for the tramadol forum, but google tramadol withdrawal and you'll find it.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:27 pm 
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Christin,
I just wanted to add my support. Thanks for sharing your story - I hope it can help others. I'm so glad that you're feeling better.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:51 am 
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Hello I'm new here, but once I saw a topic about Tramadol I had to speak up!

Tramadol was my drug of choice for about 6-7 years until of course it overtook me. At the end I was taking 20-25 pills a day and the withdrawl from that Sh**! UGGHH! I was easily the most miserable person in rehab. No sleep, wild emotional swings and horrible stomach problems.

People really need to get educated about this stuff most doctors don't think it's addictive and you can get it pretty easily over the net still as it's not scheduled. It's easily the most evil pill out there because not only does it make you feel high but you get a big boost of seratonin (sp) as well, and since I was also taking an SSRI...

So when coming off it you're just a mess mentally and physically, similarly to traditional opiates but this is for weeks!!

Just wanted to say, beware of this stuff it's evil, if you absolutely have to stick with traditional opiates, or just Advil!

cheers


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 12:58 pm 
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In my opinion I would think that what happened was not that you experienced withdrawal but instead you experienced the symptoms from what was essentially a huge surge of serotonin. There is a reason it isn't reccomended to take more than 100mg at a single dose as tramadol as the medication first acts primairily as an SSRI/SSNRI and then after thirty minutes or so after the medication starts to metabolize the effects of tramadol's main M1 metabolite (which is a more powerful opiate agonist than tramadol) are experienced much the same way that codiene is metabolized into morphine. If someone takes larger doses of tramadol than reccomended in this case you said you were taking 4x the reccomended dose then you both increase the SSRI/SSNRI effects of the medication and you also slow down the metobolization of the tramadol leaving larger amounts of the medication in your system for longer than if a smaller dose of say 50-100mgs were taken at one setting. That's just my opinion though and I'm not trying to sound overly critical but I've come to see labeling certain drugs as being evil as overly simplistic. Tramadol along with other drugs that could be potentially described as being "evil" just because there is the potential for misuse have helped many people when used properly. I guess I just see opiate addiction as the problem and not specific drugs. Anywho I gotta get lunch going here hope everyone is having a great Saturday!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:38 pm 
Prior to coming here I was on a tramadol recovery forum. I have to say that I have heard more people call tramadol "evil" than all other drugs combined. I think it is because a) it's sold as a non-addictive alternative to narcotics, which is a lie, and b) the combination of opiate withdrawal and abrupt SNRI withdrawal is a living hell, and lasts for WEEKS. It's probably true that we shouldn't single out specific drugs, but I do know where roverny is coming from.


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