December 22, 2010 8:11 AM   Subscribe

[Med-filter] Experiences with Tramadol

I was just recently scripted Tramadol for my chronic pain. I've had an intermuscular shot of tramadol before and it seems to be working pretty well. With this recent script I just started getting headaches (mind you its only been 3 days). Just wondering if these headaches are going to be a regular side effect or just an adjustment in my body as it acclimates to my body. So far I've only had two headaches which is very very rare as I never get headaches normally. I know you are not my Dr and all that jazz. Just wondering about others experiences with this medication. Thanks.
posted by handbanana to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I had to double check the name. This was prescribed to my cat Poppa when he hurt his knee. Aside from the absolute hell and hijinks from getting him to actually ingests it, it seemed to make him a little hyper and anxious. His pupils were huge. I didn't like the side effects so I didn't give it to him more than twice. Grain of salt and all since uh, you're not a cat.
posted by mokeydraws at 8:21 AM on December 22, 2010

Now that you mention it, yes I had headaches when I started Tramadol. I haven't had headaches in years either. I had to go buy some naproxen which I took for about a week (one a day) and the headaches went away without me really noticing. I now believe that the two were connected. I have been on Tramadol for about 3 months FWIW. Feel free to memail me. Sounds like we may have some issues in common!
posted by futz at 8:45 AM on December 22, 2010

My doc prescribed me Tramadol for chronic pain too. I stopped taking it because of the awful head-rush feeling it gave me. Not unlike the onset of a hit of old-fashioned poppers.

Mind you, I took it in pill form, not as an injection. Don't know if that would make any difference.
posted by S'Tella Fabula at 8:51 AM on December 22, 2010

Best answer: I was on Tramadol for pain associated with Ross River virus about three years ago. I had headaches at first, but it wasn't clear whether they were a Tramadol side effect or one of the RRV symptoms. My doc had me up the dose of Tramadol and drink a lot of water. Which seemed to work.

That said, I had to be pulled off it after about four weeks because it caused Serotonin syndrome. One of the symptoms of which can be headache (but it wasn't one I had by the time I was going nuts four weeks in).

So.. I've no desire to panic you, but do have a look at the other symptoms in the wikipedia link. If any of them match, get back to your doctor pronto.
posted by Ahab at 9:02 AM on December 22, 2010

I experienced a number of side effects when I started tramadol, which took about a month to let up. But they eventually did.
posted by galadriel at 9:44 AM on December 22, 2010

I can't take much Tramadol, though I tried it once for chronic joint pain. It makes me lightheaded, a bit dizzy, and generally anxious. I feel as if I've just overdosed on coffee and pulled a 36-hour overtime at work.

Naproxen works better without the side effects for me.
posted by rokusan at 10:05 AM on December 22, 2010

Best answer: I was prescribed Tramadol after a bad accident some years ago. The doc suggested I take twice the recommended dose (can't remember the actual dosage). That day was one of the most miserable days of my life -- I was vertiginous, spacey, nauseated, and just feeling like hell for hours. I don't remember a headache, specifically, but I'm not sure it would have made a difference in my state.

Since then, I've used one other mu-opioid agonist, with rather similar effect. Lesson learned: I'll never touch one again.
posted by akprasad at 10:06 AM on December 22, 2010

Chiming in again. I have had zero other side effects from Tramadol. Of course, not everyone will react the same.
posted by futz at 10:17 AM on December 22, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses so far, keep them coming.
In terms of naproxen, I can't do anti inflamatories as they tear up my inners. I have zero problems with opiates in general, and from my understanding of how tramadol works its not a true opiate.
I am just curious as to effects and of any issues with long term use.
posted by handbanana at 10:33 AM on December 22, 2010

If the Tramadol continues not to work out, it might be worth trying an NSAID accompanied by a proton pump inhibitor such as esomeprazole. That dealt with the gastric effects of the anti-inflammatories for me. Naturally, talk to your doctor about it.
posted by Ahab at 10:56 AM on December 22, 2010

I can't do anti-inflammatories either for the same reason. It's been tough because I have arthritis and deteriorating vertebrae isses. Have been taking Tramadol for more than a year and find it is one of the only non-opioid pain relievers that works for me. There is a danger of seratonin syndrome if you are also taking certain kinds of antidepressants, but that hasn't been a problem for me and I take Zoloft.
Recently I was prescribed Gabapentin in addition. The combination has improved my mobility and ability to stay on my feet quite a bit. I think the Gabapentin acts as a sort of anti-spasmodic.
posted by lazydog at 10:57 AM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Lazydog,
Gabapentin is a life saver for me as it minimizes the nerve pain in my leg that even high doses of opiates could barely touch. Actually just had my script raised to 1800 mg a day.
posted by handbanana at 12:06 PM on December 22, 2010

I'm doing well on 600 mg. When I first started taking it, it made me sort of "stupid" for a while. I heard some people call it "Morontin" for the way it made them so foggy and forgetful. Thankfully, that's worn off. Hope the OP finds something that works as well. We all have different reactions to meds, it seems.
posted by lazydog at 1:55 PM on December 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

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