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How tramadol withdrawals compare to withdrawals from typical opiates/opioids.

Discussion in 'Opiate addiction' started by Dickon, May 10, 2009.

  1. Dickon

    Dickon Newbie

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    Recently people have been posting about the specific difficulties of tramadol withdrawals. I have no experience of tramadol, so decided to start this thread for people to provide information to the DF community. When I posted that the received wisdom is that tramadol is not particularly addictive and that withdrawals are relatively mild, I was barraged by so much personal experience to the contrary, I thought I'd start this thread to see if we could arrive at a consensus. The more technically minded might want to add relevant scientific papers on this to the file archive and link them from here [you know who you are! Electrolingus, Gradient, Jatelka et. al.!]

    I gather that the withdrawal from tramadol contains an SSRI-type withdrawal, with "head zaps", low serotonin levels etc alongside an opiate-type withdrawal. I'd be curious if a tramadol withdrawal is equivalent to a w.d. from opiates and SSRIs at the same time. If so could one start an SSRI withdraw from the tramadol and then withdraw from the SSRI, and reduce the tramadol withdrawal to a more typical opiate w.d.?

    Any withdrawal tips specific to tramadol would also be a helpful addition to the R&A forum.

    Dickon
     
  2. Spucky

    Spucky Palladium Member

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    AW: How tramadol withdrawals compare to withdrawals from typical opiates/opioids.

    Do Withdrawal only in Supervision with a Medic,
    reduce slowly like a Benzo
    and the last 200mg. change to liquid Tramadol to make it more slow and easy to reduce the Dose!

    Edit: Never ever stop abrupt from real high Dose above 400mg.
    This can be really dangerous!

    In Germany many People have big Problems with Tramal,
    swim nearly get killed by a big Seizure (20min.) in the Subway.
    This Stuff is deadly and not many People know the Danger!
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2009
  3. miggeth

    miggeth Newbie

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    Swim just stopped taking Tramadol 5 days ago after becoming very scared about what it was doing to his brain and body. He thankfully took his time and gradually cut down to nothing over three weeks. Swim felt like stopping all at once because he couldn't wait to get it out of his system, but after reading the post above he's very thankful he didn't.

    During the three weeks he was cutting down swim noticed mini-seizures that got stronger the less he took. By the time he stopped taking it altogether they were very intense and a few times he thought he might black out or lose control.

    For the last five days, since stopping taking Tramadol, they have been getting weaker and less frequent but they are still happening. Hopefully they will stop altogether, he will report further in this thread if and when he feels back to normal again.

    It's swims understanding that Tramadol has a double action, at the opioid receptors and on the serotonin system. Swim found the withdrawal from the opiate side of it less severe than with natural opiates. But, the withdrawal from (what swim believes is) the serotonin side was far more severe than any other withdrawal he has ever felt in his life. In fact he can't think of anything that has ever made him feel so bad or scared him more.

    He can't report how long the withdrawal from the opiate side of Tramadol goes on for, even though this was not that painful, he made the decision to get back on natural opiates as soon as possible, the double withdrawal effect being too much for swim. Once his brain gets back to normal he will deal with the opiate addiction, he promises. :?

    Swim is really confused as to how his doctor(s) could have been so clueless about all this, he asked them specifically if Tramadol has any major side effects or if he will have any problems coming off it and got the impression it was very safe and preferable to using natural opiates.

    The long and short of it is, never again for swim.

    Swim has a few tips though for easing the withdrawal from Tramadol. These brain zap/seizure things didn't happen as much after he eat a big steak, there must be something in the meat? Also exercise helps a lot, for any type of WD, so he's found.
     
  4. ex-junkie

    ex-junkie Newbie

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    curious to know whether the brain zaps/mini seizures are actually doing any sort of brain damage. surely by now tramadol withdrawal is being recognized and researched by doctors, and patients evaluated... if not, then now would be a great time to start.
     
  5. miggeth

    miggeth Newbie

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    Swim has felt these brain zaps before, after taking quite a lot of xtc, about 10 years ago. They were not as bad then and he hasn't felt them since until now.

    As for brain damage? He doesn't seem to be a dribbling retard after the xtc episode so he's airing on the side of optimism, but wth knows?

    He's hoping it's just a depletion of serotonin caused by the gland having to make up for what the Tramadol was doing, and that brain damage is only usually caused by lack of oxygen or trauma.
     
  6. Spucky

    Spucky Palladium Member

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    AW: Re: How tramadol withdrawals compare to withdrawals from typical opiates/opioids.

    This is the explanation from my Cat to this Topico :)
     
  7. miggeth

    miggeth Newbie

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    Okay, swim's fairly sure he got through today alright without his brain going spastic. So that's 8 days after quitting Tramadol he's hopefully recovered.

    He's now going to try and forget about the T-word forever. Thanks.

    The light does not blind through pin-point pupils
     
  8. someone111

    someone111 Newbie

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    swim has never had withdrawal from typical opiates, but has done pretty strong opiates such as hydromorphone..... the point is, swim has never been addicted to opiates, but after his first experience with tramadol, a whole new path of addiction began.... swim started taking strong opiates when he was around 11 years old, opiates like hydromorphone and fentanyl, but never found them to be anywhere near addictive as tramadol..... although strong opiates would get swim a lot more high than tramadol, tramadol just seemed to have the effect bringing swim back for more and more..... well over the past few years, swim has had 2 seizures that he knows about from tramadol, but thinks he probably has had well over 500 seizures.... the only reason swim knows about 2 of them, is because he was with someone during the 2, but during his tramadol addiction, he hardly made any contact with anyone, and would wake up all the time in a lot of pain, kind of like after having a seizure..... swim is 19 years old and has been addicted to tramadol since he was 12..... it has even lead up to the point where he cant stop taking it or he will have a seizure, but if he takes to much he has a seizure...... swim would rather die than face the pain he goes through everyday from tramadol, and he has tried many substitutes including heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, alcohol, and the list goes on..... things have finally been getting better for swim though, although he still uses at the very least 400mg a day..... im not putting tramadol down at all, because it is a very helpful drug, but it has took control of swims life and soul, and now all he can do is pray for the best everytime he tries to stop for good..... swim tried to completely stop yesterday, and had a seizure about 10 hours ago..... i dont know if swim will ever ecsape the curse of tramadol addiction
     
  9. miggeth

    miggeth Newbie

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    Taper very slowly, even if it takes a year, don't risk seizures. Swim felt like he was walking a tightrope coming off Tram, he couldn't wait to get it out of his system, but instictively knew if he stopped too fast it would be very bad, like maybe even death.

    He did it over 3 weeks, and about 2 weeks later he was 90% back to normal, it took a few months to feel 100% again, swim had only been taking it 3 months as well. It's a vicious bitch, swim doesn't know how they can justify using it, he has to assume the medical establishment is so corrupt they will use anything that can be patented in order to profiteer. Go slowly.
     
  10. Spucky

    Spucky Palladium Member

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    AW: How tramadol withdrawals compare to withdrawals from typical opiates/opioids.

    @ Someone111,

    i hope Swiny is in a medical Treatment?
    Swiny have to talk about this with People who knows his Syndrome and the Reasons why swiny have Pain.
    There are of course some Medicine that stop`s Seizures but this need knowledge about this Topic.

    I strongly recommend you to visit a Doc asap.!!!
     
  11. Highland.habit

    Highland.habit Silver Member

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    SWIM's friend went to his Dr 11 yrs ago & was prescribed Tramadol & told that they were not addictive, but this new wonder drug on the market for pain, SWIM's mate had sciatica..

    11yrs on & about 2 mnths ago SWIM's pal is now on 150mg tabs of trams, and taking aboutr 5-6 of them a day,(it could be more as that's what he's telling SWIM), his Dr decided to tell him he was now 'morphine dependent' through trams.

    As they are an opiod and not an opiate SWIM has told him that that is a lot of shite, however he seems to think not. SWIM thinks it is close but no cigar on the long term withdrawal front from trams v H or Methadone, however could well be wrong.

    As SWIM has came off heavier opiates several times, and still has the odd relapse, he sometimes uses Tramadol for a few days whilst helping with his H rattle.

    Tramadol seems to help & SWIM can stop them no problem, but he does know that a week of them is nothing compared to a few yrs, so cannot comment fully on how bad the actual withdrawals are after long, long term use.

    It does seem that a lot of bad advice was given out when Tramadol initially came on the market.
     
  12. missparkles

    missparkles Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    Sparkles would have agreed with Highland Habits pal not so long ago, but she's found that any drug that is opiate like can be as tough to quit as heroin and methadone, and the relatively undocumented/unknown W/D effects make it far more dangerous than either of those drugs.
    Similar to benzo's really. It wasn't until 10-15 years ago that people began realising how fuckin' truly dangerous they were, not until they tried to stop, then it was too late, they were already addicted.
    Sparkles knows addicts that have been trying to quit Trams and benzo's for years, (separately of course) most having been prescribed them to help with physical problems (pain, anxiety) when they quit heroin or methadone.
    Doctors used to see Tramadol as a low risk alternative for ex addicts, Sparkles was even prescribed it when she was in rehab (she had a broken finger). They wouldn't allow people to take pills for extreme period pain but allowed Sparkles to take trams...ironic or what?
    Take care.
    Sparkles.:vibes:

    Just wanna agree with Spucky, the poster with pain needs to see a doc soon, seizures can kill, they need to be controlled.
     
  13. Spucky

    Spucky Palladium Member

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    AW: How tramadol withdrawals compare to withdrawals from typical opiates/opioids.

    I am very surprised to read here about seizure because of a WD.,
    i mean it can be happen and have to be avoid but in the whole Database it`s very difficult to find something about "seizure in a WD."?

    I read that mirtazapine and clonidine are recommended for a slow WD.
    I guess that mirtazapine can help a lot to get back a normal Serotonin-level,
    also it`s a nice chemical supporter that prevent seizures!
     
  14. fuzelogic

    fuzelogic Silver Member

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    SWIM has used Tramadol in the past. For SWIM, it has worked pretty much the same as hydrocodone except it doesn't have the mellow feeling. Some swimmers might be expecting more from the drug and think that it's not working as well as an opiate based drug. Never had the liquid and never encountered the "head zaps". It would be interesting to see what form of the Tramadol was taken when the "head zaps" occurred.

    Tramadol to SWIM seemed to make tapering easier if one was taking hydrocodone for example and wanted to stop. But, it wasn't the best medicine to be prescribed if one had legit medical pain
     
  15. anonuser30500

    anonuser30500 Titanium Member

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    Swim was offered this as an alternative to co codamol.

    Swim thinks codeine is far more preferable and kinder if your using for pain relief.
     
  16. Finn Mac Cool

    Finn Mac Cool Titanium Member

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    SWIMS last relapse with heroin back in November started with 200mg of tramadol, lesson learned. He also had stomach pains while using it even though he took anti sickness tablets.

    His mum was on it for 20+ years and while in hospital the doctors stopped giving it to her to try and diagnose her condition, she started to really freak out about the lose of tramadol even though she was on 25 other medications including oxy and fentyal. She was dieing so SWIM brought some tramadol to the hospital and put it in her drink, she was well pleased but SWIM was shocked at the power this drug had over her and after reading the above posts warning not to stop it abruptly, he is happy he did what he did.
     
  17. missparkles

    missparkles Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    Sparkles aunt was prescribed Trams for pain, she came round yesterday to ask if they were OK to take. Sparkles told her about how addictive they were and the side effects when stopping. She went back to her doctor and was prescribed an alternative. Apparently her GP was unaware of them.

    Sib.
    The way health professionals treat patients with terminal illness really fucks Sparkles off, she's sorry Sibs mum suffered like that, but it's not rare, apparently. Sparkles is determined she'll never get to that stage, she's gonna keep control of her pain relief, when it gets too painful she'll deal with it herself. She'll never let her kids see her ravaged by unbearable pain.
    Take care.
    Sparkles. :vibes:
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2009
  18. kasbeq

    kasbeq Palladium Member

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    Swim’s glad he read this thread as swim took tramadol for the last 10 days – a considerably small dose 50 mg a day but will be stopping them tomorrow . Any swimmers out there that can advise – should swim taper from his dose or stop them immediately – I had no idea that trams can cause such bad withdrawal effects as the high is not particularly that good either.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2017
  19. jholdaw2

    jholdaw2 Silver Member

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    Swim didn't read any of the posts in this thread because its late and he is tired, but he stumbled upon this thread and would like to comment on his recent experience with tramadol withdrawals.

    Swim has experienced moderate withdrawals from oxycontin and methadone on multiple occasions (though it is hard for swim to imagine what severe opiate withdrawal would be like because swim litterally felt like he wanted to die when withdrawing from oxycontin, fentanyl and methadone (seperate occasions), the most recent episode having been quitting methadone cold turkey after taking 70mg daily for almost a year). This was the worst withdrawal Swim has ever experience mainly because he spent over a month feeling extreme dysphoria and fatigue day in and day out. Then one day swim discovered a bottle of tramadol in the medicine cabinet and took an approx. 300mg a day for several days. Swim was amazed at how tramadol made his withdrawal symptoms vanish into thin air. Unfortunately, Swim did not know that tramadol could also cause w/d. Upon stopping use abruptly after 7 days he felt pretty bad again, and this was about 7 weeks after quitting methadone so swim could chalk it up mostly to tramadol w/d.

    If swim were to compare the withdrawal he felt from tramadol with the withdrawal he experienced from methadone, the tramadol withdrawals were like going to disneyland compared to the 7 week methadone withdrawal marathon. Swim knows that his length of dependence on methadone is one factor that contributed to the severity of the withdrawals (along with quitting cold turkey, and the long half life of the drug). Swim also thinks that tramadol withdrawals could be pretty painful to someone who had never felt the bite of strong opiate w/d's and been more dependent on tramadol than swim was, but he feels the 3 days of gray from tramadol cessation were a big joke after seeing the dark side of stronger opiates/opioids.
     
  20. JunkyardAngel

    JunkyardAngel Newbie

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    I have been dealing with chronic nerve pain on the right side of my head for two years. Post herpetic neuralgia from shingles. Pain comes from my trigeminal nerve. I've tried several non narcotic drugs along the way as we try and treat this very Haredim to treat pain. I have resorted to hydrocone off and on in the last 2 years. Several years ago I had neck surgery and was on high doses of hydro. I quit cold turkey and suffered withdrawls. Once I got past 3 days of agony, it was two weeks before back to normal and I felt better each day. In August of this year my head pain got out of control and I got on hydro. I took it for 2 months. On Oct 10 I began a 3 week taper. I went thru unholy he'll and on the 3rd week, down to the last taper, I broke. I went mad and asked for help. My pain specialist suggested a Tramadol taper. Did that for 3 days along with Ativan to help me sleep. I slept for 3 days and was done with the hydro! But.....I stayed on Tramadol for 2-1/2 weeks as I tried to managed the residual hydro wd's. I tapered from Tramadol pretty quick and 12 hrs after my last dose, the Tramadol wd's set in. At first it was similar to opiate wd but I felt much more body ache and much more restlessness and insomnia. It's been about 33 days from that last dose and I have not gotten better each day, I have gotten better each WEEK. For me this has been a much slower recovery than from that of opiates. I'm having more good days now but still getting random hard hits of post acute wd's .

    IMHO Tramadol should be banned from the universe and if there are multiple universes, it should be banned from them too!!!

    Never again