Tramadol Side Effects

All prescription drugs are prone to the effects of addiction. However, tramadol is one pain reliever whose level of tolerance is lower than that of morphine or other narcotic drugs but it should still be closely monitored when being prescribed. There are many side effects of this drug that one should be aware of.

Being an opioid, tramadol shouldn’t be mixed with other depressants because of increasing respiratory depression. Also because it causes respiratory depression, tramadol should not be used recreationally by those suffering from asthma or other conditions which impair respiration.

Nervous System Side Effects of Tramadol

Nervous system side effects occur frequently. These include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Somnolence (been reported in more than 25 percent of treated patients during the first three months of therapy)
  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Tremor
  • Agitation
  • Euphoria
  • Emotional lability
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Sleep disorders
  • Coordination disturbances (been reported in less than 5 percent of patients)
  • Delirium

Seizures from tramadol abuse occur at least once in about 0.87 percent of persons prescribed to Tramadol. Risk factors included a history of drug abuse (which might involve high-dose use) and combining tramadol with other drugs. Seizures are likely to be caused by tramadol itself even at the normal recommended dosage. The risk of seizure increases with dosage (that is why the daily limit is 400 mg). Most reported seizures have been caused by exceeding this limit.

It can be concluded that seizures from tramadol are a real possibility, especially if it is used by the wrong persons, combined with wrong substances or used in high amounts. Seizures have been reported in over 200 cases.

Tramadol Side Effects by Body System

Gastrointestinal side effects are common. Nausea and constipation occur within the first 90 days of therapy in 40 percent of treated patients, respectively. Other effects noted have been:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dyspepsia
  • Anorexia
  • Flatulence
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dry mouth

Pruritus (an itch or a sensation that makes a person want to scratch) has been reported in 11 percent of tramadol cases with rare occurrences of a rash and urticaria (a kind of skin rash) also. Urinary retention and urinary frequency have been reported in less than 5 percent of treated patients.

Other side effects including withdrawal symptoms through tramadol detox and, rarely, auditory hallucinations have been reported. A case of vocal cord closure has also been reported.

Common and Severe Side Effects of Tramadol

Above all else, all medicines may cause side effects, but many people experience minor, or no side effects at all. Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome when using Tramadol:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur when using tramadol:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Swelling of the mouth, face, lips or tongue
  • Agitation
  • Chest pain
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Disorientation
  • Fainting
  • Hallucinations
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Loss of coordination
  • Mood or mental changes (eg, depression)
  • Red, blistered, swollen or peeling skin
  • Seizures
  • Severe dizziness
  • Lightheadedness

The severity of many of these symptoms could be indicators of a rare, yet very serious condition called serotonin syndrome. The risk increases when this medication is used with certain other drugs and may cause the need for Tramadol abuse help. It’s vital to seek immediate medical attention if someone develops some of the particular following symptoms: mental/mood changes (such as agitation, hallucinations), unusual restlessness, loss of coordination, fast heartbeat, severe dizziness, unexplained fever, severe nausea/vomiting/diarrhea and twitchy muscles.


To prevent constipation, maintain a diet adequate in fiber, drink plenty of water, and exercise. If you are taking tramadol regularly, it may be useful to start using a laxative right away instead of waiting until you become constipated. Consult your pharmacist for details regarding the correct use of laxatives (e.g., stimulant-type with stool softener).

Get Help for Tramadol Abuse

If you or someone you know is struggling with a tramadol addiction, we can help. Please call our toll free number at 888-371-5704. We are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions on tramadol treatment.

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