Tramadol Hydrochloride is a well-known centrally acting opioid pain killer. This drug is used as a pharmacologic treatment for moderate to moderately severe pain. It is often used for a huge array of applications which include treatment for acid reflux, fibromyalgia, restless leg syndrome, post-op pain, cancer pain, arthritic pain, injury-related pain, and many more.
It was before the end of the 1970s when the German pharmaceutical company based in Stolberg by the name of Grünenthal GmbH developed the drug. Grünenthal holds the patency rights to Ultram, one of the most widely used brand name for Tramadol HCl. Aside from this drug, the company also holds the patent for its stronger derivative called Nucynta (Tapentadol). Unlike its weaker form, Tapentadol HCl is Schedule II (C-II) according to U.S. pharmaceutical standards. This means that it is a very potent agonist that is subject to abuse, as in the likes of oxycodone and levorphanol.
Tramadol holds weak agonistic actions at the μ-opioid receptor that is why it is not a Scheduled drug. It releases serotonin, a chemical substance and neurotransmitter found in the brain that has a direct effect on the intensity of pain that a person can withstand. This naturally occurring chemical reduces the amount of pain signals sent to the mother organ. By releasing enough serotonin in the blood levels, the pain gates are kept closed, making you feel less pain.
The painkilling effects also work by inhibiting norepinephrine reuptake. By inhibiting the transfer of norepinephrine into the cells, the extracellular (meaning outside the cells) levels of the chemical is concentrated, thereby increasing neurotransmission. This is known to cause elation in the mood and can be useful in treating neuropathic pain. Separate drug classifications use the very same action to treat depression, only in more concentrated forms and others in duet with another drug.
Since its pain relieving properties resemble much like a narcotic, experts say that Tramadol HCl should never be taken if you have ever been addicted to any controlled substance, including drugs and alcohol. A patient taking the drug should never share it with another person, especially someone with a history of drug and alcohol abuse. You are advised to keep the drug in a safe and dry place where others cannot have access to it.
It is known to impair thinking, judgment, or reactions to some patients. Medical practitioners advise against driving, flying a plane, operating heavy equipments, or doing anything that requires alertness if you are in the drug, especially if you feel the side-effects set in. Withdrawal symptoms have also been seen in patients who have been taking the drug for a long period of time. Gradually weaning yourself from the drug is recommended to avoid withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, nausea, anxiety, tremors, chills, diarrhea, breathing problems, insomnia, and hallucinations.
For these reasons, Tramadol should not be taken without a doctor’s prescription and instructions about the drug should be followed religiously. You should, in no event, take beyond the recommended dose if you think the drug is not working. If this should be the case, talk to your doctor about increasing the dosage or shifting to another drug.