Tramadol Withdrawal: Dependence Symptoms, Timeline & Treatment
Last Updated: November 6, 2023
Tramadol is a medication often prescribed for pain relief, but like many medications, it carries the risk of withdrawal when usage is stopped. When taking tramadol, it is important to understand this medication, its withdrawal symptoms and how to manage them.
Article at a Glance
- Tramadol is a prescription medication used for moderate to severe pain relief. It belongs to the class of drugs known as opioid analgesics.
- Even when used as prescribed, a person can develop a dependence on tramadol, leading to withdrawal symptoms when the medication is stopped.
- Withdrawal symptoms can include typical opioid withdrawal symptoms like sweating, nausea and restlessness, as well as atypical symptoms such as severe anxiety and paranoia.
- The timeline for tramadol withdrawal can vary, but symptoms typically begin within a few hours to a few days after the last dose and can last for several days to a few weeks.
- Detoxing from tramadol can be challenging due to the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. It’s crucial to seek medical advice before attempting to stop taking tramadol.
- Medical detox, such as the programs offered by The Recovery Village Kansas City, can provide a safe and effective way to manage withdrawal symptoms.
What Is Tramadol?
Tramadol is a prescription medication used to treat moderate to severe pain. It belongs to the drug class opioid analgesics, which alter the way your brain perceives pain.
However, it’s important to note that tramadol, like other opioids, carries a risk of substance abuse. Even when used as prescribed, a person can develop a dependence on tramadol, leading to withdrawal symptoms when the medication is stopped.
Tramadol Withdrawal and Dependence
Dependence on tramadol can develop even when the medication is used as prescribed. This dependence occurs because the body becomes accustomed to the drug’s presence and may react when the drug is no longer available.
When a person stops taking tramadol, they may experience a range of withdrawal symptoms. These can include:
- Muscle aches
Tramadol Withdrawal Timeline
The timeline for tramadol withdrawal can vary depending on several factors, including the length of time the drug was used, the dosage and individual health factors. However, withdrawal symptoms typically begin within 12 hours after the last dose and can last for several days, with protracted symptoms possible up to a few weeks or months later.
Atypical Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms
In addition to the typical opioid withdrawal symptoms, tramadol withdrawal can also cause atypical symptoms. These can include:
- Severe anxiety
- Depersonalization (feeling detached from oneself)
- Derealization (feeling that the world isn’t real)
Detoxing from Tramadol
Detoxing from tramadol can be challenging due to the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. It’s crucial to seek medical advice before attempting to stop taking tramadol, as a healthcare professional can provide a safe and effective plan to manage withdrawal symptoms.
Medications Used in Tramadol Detox
There are several medications that can be used to manage withdrawal symptoms during tramadol detox. These include:
- Methadone: This long-acting opioid medication is often used to ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings. It works by activating the same opioid receptors in the brain as tramadol, reducing withdrawal symptoms without producing the same high.
- Buprenorphine: Another medication used during detox, buprenorphine, can reduce the length and severity of withdrawal. It’s often combined with naloxone (a medication that blocks the effects of opioids) to prevent misuse.
- Lofexidine: This non-opioid medication is used to reduce withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, sweating and runny nose. It’s not an opioid and doesn’t have the risk of misuse.
- Non-opioid painkillers: Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to manage aches and pains associated with tramadol withdrawal.
Medically Supervised Detox for Tramadol Withdrawal
Medical detox is a process where healthcare professionals monitor and manage withdrawal symptoms in a safe and comfortable environment. This process can significantly reduce the discomfort of withdrawal and decrease the risk of complications.
If you or a loved one is considering stopping tramadol, it’s essential to seek professional help. The Recovery Village Kansas City offers comprehensive treatment programs for tramadol withdrawal, including medical detox.
Remember, you don’t have to face tramadol withdrawal alone. Reach out to The Recovery Village Kansas City today to learn more about how they can help you navigate this challenging time.
FAQs on Tramadol Withdrawal and Addiction
What is tramadol withdrawal?
Tramadol withdrawal refers to the set of symptoms that occur when an individual who has been using tramadol regularly stops or significantly reduces their intake of the medication. Tramadol is an opioid pain medication commonly prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain.
What are the common symptoms of tramadol withdrawal?
The symptoms of tramadol withdrawal can vary in severity and duration, but they commonly include:
- Muscle aches and pains
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chills or goosebumps
- Increased heart rate
How long does tramadol withdrawal last?
The duration of tramadol withdrawal can vary from person to person. Generally, acute withdrawal symptoms may start within a day after the last dose and can last up to a week . However, some individuals may experience prolonged or protracted withdrawal symptoms that can persist for weeks or even months.
What factors can influence the severity and duration of tramadol withdrawal?
Several factors can impact the severity and duration of tramadol withdrawal, including:
- Duration and dosage of tramadol use
- Individual physiology and metabolism
- Tapering or discontinuation method used
- Presence of co-occurring physical or mental health conditions
- Previous history of substance abuse or withdrawal
When should I seek medical help for tramadol withdrawal?
It is advisable to seek medical help for tramadol withdrawal if you experience severe or prolonged withdrawal symptoms, such as intense anxiety or depression, severe pain or discomfort, and suicidal thoughts, or if your withdrawal symptoms significantly interfere with your daily functioning or well-being. Consulting a healthcare professional can ensure appropriate support and guidance throughout the withdrawal process.
Drugs.com. “TraMADol Monograph for Professionals.” April 19, 2023. Accessed August 6, 2023.
American Society of Addiction Medicine. “National Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder.” December 18, 2019. Accessed August 6, 2023.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. “Protracted Withdrawal.” July 2010. Accessed August 6, 2023.
Rajabizadeh, Ghodratolah; Kheradmand, Ali; & Nasirian, Mansoureh. “Psychosis following Tramadol Withdrawal.” Addiction and Health, summer 2009. Accessed August 6, 2023.