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Tramadol, which is also prescribed as Ultram, is commonly used to treat pain from injury, musculoskeletal pain, and joint pain. Tramadol is used for moderate to severe pain. While it is not technically a narcotic pain reliever, it does carry many of the same physical responses as narcotic pain relievers.

Tramadol is not appropriate for everyone. A thorough medical history should be assessed prior to prescribing this medication. Patients with a medical history which includes drug addiction, alcoholism, seizure disorders, epilepsy, head injury, or metabolic disorder may be at a high risk of seizure when taking tramadol. Patients with a history of kidney disease, liver disease, stomach disorder, mental illness, depression, or suicidal ideation may not be able to take tramadol or may require careful monitoring while undergoing drug therapy with this medication, depending on the condition and the severity of the condition. This medication is not appropriate for children under 16 years of age.

The American Food and Drug Administration rated tramadol as a pregnancy risk category C. This medication can cause harm or birth defects in unborn babies. Tramadol does pass through the mother’s breast milk and can affect a nursing baby. The prescribing physician should not prescribe this medication to women who are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are nursing. There is a risk of side effects associated with tramadol, some of which are severe. A patient who is experiencing a serious side effect or an allergic reaction should seek immediate emergency medical intervention. An allergic reaction will present with symptoms which include facial swelling, including swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, or throat, hives, and difficulty breathing. Other serious side effects which require emergency medical attention include a red and blistering or peeling skin rash, seizure, shallow breathing, and a weak pulse.

Less serious side effects typically do not require emergency medical attention but should be reported to the prescribing physician. Patients should be encouraged to report all side effects. Less serious side effects include symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, flushing, insomnia, or blurry vision. Less serious side effects can often be reduced to a tolerable level by reducing the dosage of tramadol.

Tramadol should be taken exactly as it has been prescribed by the physician. If the patient misses a dose, the dose should be taken as soon as it is remembered. However, if it is almost time for the next scheduled dose, the missed dose should be skipped to avoid the potential for an overdose. The patient should never take a double dose of this medication. If an overdose is suspected, the patient should seek immediate emergency medical attention. An overdose will present with symptoms which include lightheadedness, fainting, drowsiness, shallow breathing, slow heart rate, extreme weakness, cold and clammy skin, coma, or death.

There is a risk of negative drug interactions associated with tramadol. A thorough medical history should be understood prior to prescribing this medication. Patients should be urged to inquire with the prescribing physician before taking any new medications, including over the counter medications and herbal remedies. Medications that have known interactions with tramadol include MAO inhibitors, antidepressants, Tegretol, blood thinners, digoxin, ketoconazole, rifampin, erythromycin, St, John’s Wort, quinidine, and medications that cause drowsiness. Tramadol can not be taken if alcohol, street drugs, sedatives, narcotic pain relievers, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, or medication for mental illness has bee recently taken.

This medication may be habit forming, even if there is not prior chemical dependency in the patient’s medical history.

Tramadol has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of tramadol

• Molecular formula of tramadol is C16H25NO2
• Chemical IUPAC Name is 2-(dimethylaminomethyl)-1-(3-methoxyphenyl)-cyclohexan-1-ol
• Molecular weight is 263.375 g/mol
Tramadol available : 50mg tablets

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