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Tramadol (Ultram) Withdrawal Symptoms + Duration

Tramadol (Ultram) is an atypical opioid drug that is primarily utilized to help people manage moderate or severe pain. It is considered an “atypical” opioid due to the fact that it also prevents the reuptake of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. It also has a very minor effect as a mu-opioid receptor agonist. This is a drug that works very well to help individuals ongoing moderate pain.

For chronic severe pain this drug is less effective than morphine, but in cases of moderate pain, it is considered equally effective. Individuals who take Tramadol will likely notice that it provides significant relief from pain sensations within an hour of ingestion. The drug itself doesn’t really have a purpose other than to provide people with relief from pain. It is used by people struggling with pain associated with fibromyalgia if that pain becomes severe enough to warrant an opioid.

When compared to morphine, the dosing of Tramadol is approximately 10% of the potency, therefore it also works well to help manage acute opioid withdrawal symptoms. There are people who use this drug recreationally to “get high,” but most people who use it are doing so because it helps with pain management. It is currently being investigated as to whether it helps treat depression, diabetic neuropathy, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and premature ejaculation.

Factors that influence Tramadol withdrawal

There are many factors that play a role in determining the severity of opiate withdrawal symptoms. Things that will influence the intensity of your withdrawal include: time span over which you took the drug, your dosage, whether you have become dependent on the drug, how quickly you taper, as well as other individual factors.

1. Time Span

How long were you on Tramadol? If you were on this drug daily for many years and are looking to quit, you are likely going to have much more severe withdrawal symptoms compared to someone who took this drug for a couple months and/or shorter duration. Additionally if you took the drug “off and on” as opposed to every day, you should have an easier time with the withdrawal because you have given your body “breaks” from being under the influence of the drug. In general, the longer the span of time over which you took this drug, the tougher the withdrawal process.

2. Dosage (50 mg to 100 mg)

What dosage did you take? If you were on a high dosage, the process of withdrawing takes much longer than someone on a lower dose. Higher doses taken over an extended period of time result in your body building up a greater tolerance to the drug. The recommended daily dose of Tramadol is between 50 mg and 100 mg.

However, many people end up building up tolerance to the 100 mg and/or require a greater dose to treat their pain. The maximum recommended daily dose is 400 mg, however some people end up taking more with doctor supervision. There have been reported cases of people taking between 1000 mg and 2000 mg as a result of long term use and tolerance.

3. Tolerance / Dependency / Addiction

People that have been taking Tramadol for an extended period of time may develop tolerance to the drug. When tolerance develops, people usually increase the amount of the drug that they take so that they receive the same relief for pain management. Some people end up developing a major tolerance and actually become dependent on the drug for functioning.

Those who become dependent may have a very difficult time withdrawing from the drug or even decreasing the dosage. The fact that this drug does provide pain relief and individuals can develop a tolerance, it is possible to become addicted to Tramadol. Fortunately the addiction potential of Tramadol is significantly less than that of other opioids.

4. Cold turkey vs. Tapering

How did you quit taking Tramadol? Did you come off of the drug “cold turkey” or did you conduct a gradual taper? In most cases, it is highly recommended to taper off of any opiate due to the fact that cold turkey withdrawal can be dangerous. Many people have had success quitting cold turkey, but the symptoms may be significantly more severe than if a gradual taper is conducted.

Most people that have experienced Tramadol withdrawal “cold turkey” advise to conduct a taper. The rule of thumb that many users live by is that the tapering period should last 1/4 the total duration of the time you took the drug. So if you took the drug for 4 years, your tapering period should last one full year. You should also work with a professional to determine the increments by which you decrease your dosing.

5. Individual Factors

It is also important to understand that since everyone is unique, individual factors can influence withdrawal time and severity of symptoms. Certain people barely experience any sort of withdrawal when they come off of Tramadol, while others may experience very difficult symptoms that persist for weeks following their last dose.

Individual factors include things like: physiology, environment, social support, whether you are taking other drugs and/or supplements, etc. Keep in mind that some people are also more sensitive and/or aware to the physical and mental sensations that they experience during withdrawal.

Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Below is a list of possible symptoms that you may experience when you discontinue Tramadol. Understand that not everyone will experience every last symptom on the list. You may experience one or two symptoms or an array of them. Realize that your withdrawal symptoms will be unique to you and may not necessarily echo what others experience.

  • Abdominal cramps: One of the most common symptoms associated with Tramadol withdrawal is abdominal cramping. If you feel abdominal pain and as if you have an eternal stomach ache, it is just your body reacting to no longer receiving the drug.
  • Anxiety: Most opioid drugs tend to help people stay calm and reduce anxiety. This drug can further reduce anxiety with its affect on serotonin levels. When a person withdraws, the individual is no longer getting the endorphin stimulation from the drug and the same effect on serotonin levels. The withdrawal can make people feel significantly more anxious than before they started the drug.
  • Brain zaps: When withdrawing from higher doses and/or when withdrawing “cold turkey” many people experience electrical-shock sensations throughout their brain. These are most commonly experienced during antidepressant withdrawal. Since Tramadol affects serotonin, it is thought that serotonin levels readjusting leads to “zapping” sensations.
  • Cravings: Some people have a very difficult time quitting this particular drug. Although it is less addicting than other opiates, many people still end up having cravings during their withdrawal. As time continues to pass and you stay sober, these cravings tend to gradually subside.
  • Dilated pupils: Opiates tend to result in pupil constriction. When you come off of these drugs, your pupils will likely dilate and look pretty huge. This is merely something that you may notice when you look in the mirror.
  • Depression: Since Tramadol affects the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, it may lead some people to feel happier. It is being investigated as an antidepressant and many people find that it works great at alleviating depression. When quitting this drug, not only are endorphin levels low, but serotonin and norepinephrine levels may also be low – leading people to feel depressed.
  • Diarrhea: It is well known that taking opioid drugs can lead to significant constipation. When you quit taking the drug and your bowel functioning changes, most people first experience diarrhea. This may be somewhat difficult to deal with and especially uncomfortable. The best way to manage this is by taking some over-the-counter Imodium.
  • Dizziness: Among the most common of all withdrawal symptoms is that of feeling dizzy. Some people report feeling so dizzy that they cannot do any sort of physical activity. If you feel especially dizzy at times, make sure that you take the time to get proper rest. Understand that this is a reaction you are having to the withdrawal.
  • Fatigue: Many people feel intense fatigue when they quit this drug. It may be difficult to get out of bed in the morning and/or do much of anything. Your energy levels should gradually pick back up within a few weeks.
  • Goose bumps: Another common thing to experience is “goose bumps” across your entire body. These are little bumps and tingling sensations that may be powerful during the initial couple weeks of withdrawal.
  • Headaches: Some people report having very painful headaches during withdrawal. If you are experiencing intense headaches, consider some sort of headache relief. Make sure that you are drinking plenty of water, getting adequate sleep, and relaxing your facial muscles.
  • Insomnia: Although you may feel excessively tired at some points during withdrawal, you may also struggle with insomnia. This can be a result of increases in anxiety and stress, but may also be due to the fact that your neurotransmitters are out of balance.
  • Mood swings: During withdrawal your moods may be difficult to control. You may feel somewhat normal one minute, then super depressed the next.
  • Muscle cramps: As mentioned earlier, it is very common to experience abdominal cramping. However, some people experience cramps throughout all of their muscles. If you find yourself cramping up easily, just know that its normal.
  • Nausea: The nausea can be overwhelming at times when you initially quit the drug. It may lead you to vomit, but in most cases it will just be very uncomfortable. Try to weather the storm and realize that this will improve.
  • Pain: If you were being treated for pain, you may notice that the pain reemerges when you stop taking Tramadol.  This pain may be more severe than before you went on the drug.  It should eventually improve as a result of your body building up its natural endorphin levels.  With that said, be sure to work with a doctor to treat your pain if it is unbearable.
  • Panic attacks: If you experience intense anxiety during withdrawal, this could lead to a panic attack. It is the adjustment in neurotransmitter levels that can take some time and make people prone to panic. To decrease feelings of panic, take the time to consciously relax when you feel stressed.
  • Restlessness: You may notice that you feel increasingly restless in the weeks following your last dose. If you feel especially restless, try to do something productive like clean up around the house or go for a walk.
  • Sleep problems: You may notice that your sleep changes significantly compared to when you took the drug. It may be difficult to stay relaxed and fall asleep or you may notice yourself sleeping too much. Most people end up sleeping heavily at times during withdrawal and at other times notice that they cannot fall asleep at all due to insomnia.
  • Suicidal thoughts: During withdrawal it is very common to feel intense depression – especially in the first few weeks following your last dose. In some cases this leads people to experiencing suicidal thinking, which can be difficult to deal with. Take the time to realize that this is simply a result of withdrawal and things will improve as you heal. If you are unable to realize that these thoughts are merely a phase of withdrawal, be sure to seek professional help from a therapist.
  • Sweating: If you sweat profusely during withdrawal, just know that you are not alone. Many people end up experiencing intense sweating throughout the day and during their sleep at night. If you feel like a walking puddle, just know that it’s a symptom of withdrawal that will improve in time.
  • Tremors: Many people report that they shake uncontrollably when they initially quit this drug.  These tremors may be more severe if you quit cold turkey from a substantial dosage, but they can occur even if you taper properly.
  • Vomiting: In some cases people actually experience flu-like symptoms and get sick. This may lead a person to vomit within days after taking their last dose. Typically vomiting won’t last more than several days after discontinuation.

Note: Most evidence points to the fact that people experience seizures while on this drug. Although many people are curious about whether withdrawal can cause seizures, it should be noted that this is a pretty unlikely experience during withdrawal.  It should also be noted that in rare cases, people can hallucinate during the withdrawal process as well.

Tramadol Withdrawal Duration: How long will it last?

Most individuals report that the bulk of their withdrawal from Tramadol lasts anywhere from 10 days to a few weeks. However, it is important to understand that many people also experience what is known as post acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). These “post-acute” symptoms occur long after the drug is out of the body and most of these effects are a result of the body trying to reset itself back to homeostatic functioning.

Understand that what you experience during withdrawal will be largely influenced by the factors listed above including: time span, dosage, dependency, individual physiology, as well as how quickly you tapered. If you do not conduct a gradual taper, you may experience very severe withdrawal symptoms compared to someone who tapered slowly over a long period of time. It is important to understand that Tramadol stays in your system for less than 2 days after stopping (on average), and most people feel better several weeks after cessation.

If your withdrawal symptoms are too severe to cope with, you may want to work with a professional. You may want to take the time to visit a therapist who specializes in drug withdrawal and/or consider consulting a doctor. A doctor may be able to prescribe a drug like Clonidine to help take the edge off and reduce your anxiety, insomnia, and unnecessary stress that you may be experiencing. During withdrawal, do your best to get plenty of rest, get proper vitamins and nutrients, eat a healthy diet, and consider some very light exercise (e.g. walking).

Tramadol affects opioid receptors that manage pain as well as neurotransmitters that affect mood. Some people swear that this is the toughest drug that they have ever withdrawn from. If you have successfully withdrawn from Tramadol or are in the process of withdrawing, feel free to share your experience in the comments section below.

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{ 159 comments… add one }
  • Liz August 4, 2014, 5:33 pm

    I’m glad to see this article. This is definitely the hardest drug I’ve ever withdrawn from and I’ve taken percocet, vicodin, and even oxycontin. When I withdrew from those I got depressed and dizzy for a couple days. I began tapering from tramadol last week of June/first week of July. I have sacroiliac joint dysfunction and have been on and off pain meds since February 2013. After getting an si joint injection in June of this year, I finally started feeling better by early July. So I cut back on the tramadol. Immediately got withdrawal symptoms. I tried to white knuckle it through a weekend but couldn’t do it. So I took a full dosage and started the slow taper over again. I’ve been out of work for weeks now. I stopped entirely two weeks ago exactly and I still have dizziness, insomnia and severe anxiety. The anxiety is the worst. The only thing that’s helped make it bearable is benadryl. I take 50 mg at a time and this calms me down enough to function. I’ve read this could take a month. I wish I had never taken it in the first place. Now I have to go see a psychiatrist to get put on ssri’s so I can cope.

  • Frank September 14, 2014, 4:16 pm

    I was on Tramadol for about 6 weeks and as the pain stopped decided to stop taking them. Talk about cold turkey, I have been off them for 6 days now and do not feel any better with dizziness, diarrhea and insomnia. A nurse told me to stick it out but it is very hard going. Frank

    • Christina October 3, 2014, 12:54 pm

      Hello Frank,

      I read your post today (10/3/2014) while I have been researching Tramadol withdrawal. I have a close relative who was referred to a Rheumatologist by her PCP. I had seen this doctor also (only once as I thought he was an idiot). This doctor saw her once and told her to stop taking Tramadol immediately and put her on something else (not an actual pain med). Subsequently, I noticed immediately that she seemed to be suffering from withdrawal. It has been 3 days and she seems to be getting worse. I have to tell her what is most likely happening to her.

      I just wanted to thank you for your post and to share that someone else is going through the same thing. I have read so many times that withdrawing from Tramadol is NOT recommended and that DOCTOR supervised tapering is required. I read about a formula for tapering…1/4 of the time one has been taking Tramadol equals the amount of time tapering should take. Personally, I would not take the word of a nurse (no offense nurses). Good luck to you Frank. I hope you speak with your doctor.

    • strongsmith November 15, 2016, 10:01 pm

      Be brave and keep the faith brother. Your courage will prevail.

  • Robyn October 9, 2014, 5:34 pm

    I have been on Tramadol for a year now. I had been on smaller doses in the past with no problems getting off of it. This time, however, has been horrid. My last day was 10/4. (Cold turkey) The body aches and the nausea/dizziness have been the worst. Finding certain websites explaining withdrawl and knowing it’s not just in my head have been very helpful. Wishing everyone the best in getting control of their lives back. Good luck.

    • Jax October 12, 2014, 3:37 am

      Hey Robyn. After breaking some vertebrae after a fall from a ladder, I was first introduced to Percocet my a fast-script writing doc. I’d had no experience with addiction whatsoever, trusted the doc when he told me to take em two at a time. For six months I used way too much and then one day got a steroid injection. Not knowing better, I just quick taking the Percocet. I went through withdrawal but didn’t know what it was..thought I was having a bad reaction to the steroid.

      When I went for a checkup 5 days later I was still in withdrawal, which the doc recognized, and he offered to give me more meds in order to help the symptoms. I declined, since I figured I was pretty much over it. I tried many injections for the back pn., trigger point injections, radiofrequency nerve burns, even botox in the back. Nothing really worked so the doc finally gave me tramadol. I took it for years before I finally decided I wanted to be done with all the shit.

      Figured I’d just hunker down for 3 days and get it over with….REALLY rough withdrawal. Much worse than the Percocet,probably because I was on it longer. I didn’t taper, just quite (which is so me) but did have a couple of seizures and some pretty fucked up hallucinations. Day 3 was the worse, as I could feel the chemicals “peeling” off my cells in wave after wicked hot wave as my body searched for the chemical.

      When I finally came out of the fog – after a good 12 hours of hard, hard withdrawal on day 3, it took probably 5 days before I slept even one hour, and my body shook so badly I couldn’t even plug in the cell phone. Walking around the condo was a huge feat and it was days before I trusted myself to stand in the shower. I was alone and didn’t tell anyone I was doing it…maybe not the smartest thing but once again, that’s how I am.

      My biggest problem is the RLS…because this is something that I’ve struggled with my whole life. Now just exasperated by the withdrawal. I’m going to break down and go to my doc now for medication for the RLS…something I’d not had to deal with while on the pills. I’ve since learned that tramadol is sometimes even prescribed for severe RLS. But I feel free for the first time in years, and even though it seriously sucks, I’d urge anyone to do it and get on with your life.

      In the big picture of things it’s not that much time. Get some sleeping aids (the big dog kind if y0u can score them) and meds for RLS would help greatly. Then just go for it. It’ll be worth it to be free of this bullshit controlling your life. Best of luck…I mean that. You’ll need it, but you can do it.

      • Jeff November 11, 2014, 12:27 am

        Nice comment. Was on tramadol for chronic sinus pain at 600mg/day for five years. Brought it down to 400mg/day a little over a week ago and stopped three days ago. I waited til my wife was away for a week and am simply sweating it out. The RLS is very troublesome but oddly, sleeping on the floor helps. The buzzing sensation every time I change my gaze is really annoying. But the bottom line for anyone considering it is, cold turkey from tramadol is no picnic but it’s doable. At three days the worst symptoms are already beginning to subside. Stick with it and free yourself.

        • Just G February 14, 2015, 3:46 am

          “The buzzing sensation every time I change my gaze is really annoying.” This is the best description I have found of what I am going through as well with quitting Tramadol! I’m on day 6 and as stated earlier it has gotten easier, but has still been hell! I just really want to know then the depression and the “rebuilding” of serotonin will begin? I’m so over this feeling and having NO energy… Sleep seems to get better each night, but awake usually with anxiety or panic attacks for 1-2 hours… That’s sucks too! Anymore helpful words from anyone!? Oh and THANKS EVERYONE who comes in here and shares their experience. It’s all I have been reading for 6 days and I can only say it’s the reason I HAVE NOT given up.

          • Just G February 14, 2015, 3:48 am

            The reason I HAVE NOT relapsed. This forum has really helped me understand withdrawal symptoms and how to cope with them day by day! Very much appreciated!!!

          • Walter February 10, 2016, 9:33 pm

            I know this sounds funny, but I found that taking Dramamine once a day has helped with the dizziness. It’s the stuffy head and congestion that’s killing me. Headaches are the worst, I’ve had a stiff neck for days and my head feels hot and very heavy.

        • Richard October 23, 2016, 8:52 am

          Your comment is pretty bang on to my experience, so it encouraging to know it’s normal what I am going through. I’d have to say the leg pain/RLS has been the worst of it, couple with insomnia. It’s been 8 days now, and I feel mostly good at times, then come the dreaded night. How long did your symptoms last? I can’t function much more on 2-3 hrs a night… thanks.

      • Jason September 6, 2016, 4:37 pm

        Thank you for that! Needed it!

  • Stephanie October 13, 2014, 9:57 pm

    I have been taking regular tramadol and tramadol with APAP for a few years now and my advice for anyone who has been recently prescribed this drug, STOP while you can! It is highly addictive and the withdrawal symptoms are horrific! I continue to try and try but eventually give in after just a few days of the side effects. It’s sad to see so many ppl going through the same struggle I am. I just went to my doc on 10/10/14 to get a refill and they said that Tramadol is now labeled a controlled substance. My prayers are with all of you and hopefully we can all come clean off this drug!

    • kathi October 15, 2014, 7:01 pm

      Same here. I am just now starting cold turkey.

  • kathi October 15, 2014, 7:00 pm

    Today is my last day on tramadol. I took my last one at 8:10am. I have been on it for months at 50mg or 25mg per day. I took 50 mg today. I am scared. I am not tapering as I have no more meds so I am starting cold turkey. Please tell me what over the counter meds will help. What is the best thing to eat or drink. What vitamins I need to get to help me.

    • Erin December 5, 2014, 7:17 pm

      How have you done? I took my last 25mg yesterday morning. I’m scared also. I’m already feeling anxious, and terrified of my RLS kicking in soon. I also can’t focus on anything.

    • tim December 28, 2015, 12:06 am

      Buy some powdered vitamin C and start mega dosing the vitamin C. You should have started earlier to enable your system to get used to mega doses of vitamin C. Look it up on the internet its all over the internet. I had a great pain management doctor, but lost him due to my own stupidity. Now that I look back as my doctor said, “sometimes out of bad comes good.”

      I’m totally off every thing and I have been on opiates for 18 years a lot of them. The Vitamin C mega dosing does work you have to keep taking it during the day and it really helps the withdrawal. I had a couple of seizures and could not eat or sleep for 3 weeks. Of course I was on them for years. Good luck and look up Mega dosing Vitamin C.

    • Lori January 26, 2016, 4:43 pm

      I am on day 5 of no dosage – cold turkey. I was on since 2009. I would take 100mg in morning and 100mg at night. I feel very lucky to not have had such terrible detox symptoms. However, I gathered items that would help me: over the counter L-Theanine tabs for calming, over the counter Melatonin for help sleeping, a good over the counter probiotic for my tummy, prescribed flexeril for muscle relaxing, and prescribed ativan for if I had anxiety attacks (have not had to use ativan, yet).

      I have not tried, but have read about ingesting high potassium foods and taking magnesium salt baths (to pull out toxins from your body). Drink water (ginger infused sparkling water, ginger tea etc) for flushing out your system. I also have turmeric root on hand to help with inflammation (foot pain!!). ALWAYS try to have a medical professional involved if you want to try over the counter solutions.

      I am NOT advising that what I used will work for others. You must be sure what you do doesn’t work against you. If you have someone to help, have them rub your legs for the restless times. If you do massage, get one scheduled and let them push the toxins out of your muscles. Massage isn’t just for pampering! It can help a great deal with making you more comfortable.

      Best of luck to anyone trying to ditch this monkey. I keep telling myself, if I could quit a 19 year smoking habit, I can kick the tramadol.

  • chuck October 18, 2014, 2:33 am

    I have been on this pain med poison for 15 yrs along with klonopin and have been off cold turkey a week now. I can can hardly function and feel like I am dying. I am saving money to go to mexico for ibogaine treatment did much research and seems to be a miracle cure but of course it is not legal in the USA. Anyone know of this ? I am trying to find a affordable quality place to go and do it. Have found hardly any negative things about it. Any comments that anyone may have would be truly appreciated. Best to all that are trying to get off of this poison. Thanks much.

    • Scott February 19, 2016, 3:16 am

      Of course Ibogaine is illegal in this country, big pharma doesn’t want people stopping anything. I considered it myself before stopping for good 7 months ago. I’ve gone through withdrawal 6 times in 10 years, the first 4 were a horrible nightmare but the last two didn’t seem quite as severe.

      Toward the end I was taking 400 mg at a time (that’s right, 8 pills at once) and I would do that 4 or sometimes 5 times a day (that’s right, about 1600 to 2000 mg per day). Yes it’s very fortunate I’m not dead. Yes I had lots of seizures, the last one cracked half my teeth.

      I hate Tramdol, I hope never ever to take one again. I used to love pain medication but no more, I feel entirely different about it now. It never keeps working and you always have to take more to maintain relief. Good luck to all.

      • lori May 22, 2016, 6:51 am

        I thought I was the only one in the world taking 2000 MG tramadol a day…

  • Pauline October 20, 2014, 11:34 am

    I was prescribed tramadol by my back specialist for lower back pain. Never having had prescription painkillers before I was careful to check with him that this drug was safe, non addicting and non drowsy. The good news is that after over a year of treatment I found a personal trainer and osteo that specialise in injury rehab. Within four weeks their treatment saw me finally being pain free, so I stopped taking the tramadol as I thankfully had no further need for it. The bad news? I was never told that tramadol causes physical addiction with subsequent withdrawal symptoms. Four days after stopping I’m sick as a dog with my most severe symptoms being restless leg, insomia, racing heart and unrelenting nausea. I wish I had never accepted my doctors advice! Tramadol is horrendous and not worth the misery I’m in!!!

    • chuck October 21, 2014, 3:48 am

      All the doctors are just legal drug pushers that are pushing these big pharma poison drugs on us. Soooooo sad!!!! All about keeping us sick not to make us better!!! Greed & Money and trying to keep us down as a people. I have this physical addiction also from what started as a low back problem. I am going on 2 weeks cold turkey. I know what you are going through, also feeling the worst of all the withdrawal pains. Wish you well.

      • Dana July 8, 2015, 5:33 pm

        Hi Chuck. I am in complete agreement with your comment. Western medicine is so ridiculous! All about lining the pockets of the big pharmaceutical companies and, if everyone is healed, there is no more money coming in to line their bulging pockets. I have taken Tramadol only from time to time for short periods to treat flair ups of arthritis and fibromyalgia, so I have not personally experienced withdrawals as you and others have.

        I am quite infuriated to learn about how severe withdrawal from Tramadol can be considering how it is portrayed as safe and many doctors say it is a non narcotic. Unfortunately, I am not at all surprised though. I now suffer from RA and Fybromialgia after taking the word of a team of Doctors, nurses, and Midwives about a “miracle” birth control that has “absolutely no side effects.”

        They forgot to mention that it would change my life forever and leave me with irreversible auto immune diseases. Hey, but now I have to keep paying for meds to make life bearable. So I am pretty sure they knew what they were doing. I have experienced withdrawal symptoms with other medications and they were some of the most difficult periods of my life, so I truly pray and wish the best for all of you here that are going through this! Best Wishes, Dana

  • Laurie K October 31, 2014, 12:06 pm

    I just recently found out that as of August Tramadol had been put in the same class as vicodin, Percocet and other opioids. I have taken tramadol for a couple year now for back pain, and arthritis pain. I cannot take anti-inflammatory meds so that seemed like a good choice. Suddenly I get a phone call from my primary M.D. office and I’m told that she will no longer prescribe tramadol. Last week was the first week off this med cold turkey and it has not been fun.

    I wish my M.D.would have had me taper off because the withdraw symptoms have been awful. Headaches, restless legs, insomnia, exhaustion. Ugh! At least I know I’ll servive. BUT, if an M.D. prescribes a medication they should know of possible withdrawal issues and help make the transition going off of them. I just had my first appointment at a pain clinic last night and this guy knows his stuff. He does a holistic approach that I’m more than excited to try. Enough of these horrible meds the medical community don’t fully understand.

    I have read a few comments from professionals that tramadol doesn’t have withdrawal symptoms… umm read the comments made from those who have taken this drug and now have had to come off of it. I know first hand that there are withdrawal symptoms, and they are not fun. I’m looking for the silver lining, and that’s no more pain meds. I’m hopeful for a natural approach to pain management.

    • Scott February 19, 2016, 3:04 am

      That’s not true, Tramadol has not been put on the same schedule as Vicodin and Percocet. Tramadol is now schedule 4, Vicodin is schedule 3 or 2 depending on formulation and Percocet is schedule 2. I’ve got through Tramadol withdrawal 6 times in 10 years, I know it’s a nightmare but Tramadol is not as addicting as more traditional opioids. I survived, you’ll survive. I’ve been off it 7 months now and don’t ever want to take that big pharma poison again.

  • John November 2, 2014, 1:43 am

    70 year old male, on 50mg x 3 daily for arthritis and bursitis. I was on extended release “advil” for 30 years and it worked just fine, but my rheumatologist said those were hard on my kidneys and Tramadol was safe, non-habit forming alternate. It actually worked great for about 2 years. I started getting deep, dark bouts of depression, with constant flu symptoms and other Tramadol problems I later found out were Tramadol withdrawal. It seems my current dose was no longer enough, so I was looking at increasing the dosage or getting off it completely.

    I got a complete physical from my GP, and chose cold turkey. My GP briefed me fully on what to expect and even gave me a script for a few Vicodin for emergency use; for use instead of returning to Tramadol. 28 Sept 2014 I took my last Tramadol before bed. The morning of 29 Sept it started. No buildup of symptoms but within a couple hours I had them all. Headache, body/joint aches, stomach ache, diarrhea, dizzy, and a general all over awful feeling. Excedrin x 2 helped some as did the Imodium.

    This is going to be bad I was thinking but I can do this. Then came bed time! Completely unable to sleep. Severe restless leg syndrome. Heavy cold sweat enough to soak my bed clothes. In hind sight, the first 24hrs were the worse but the next two were little better. The second night, I took a Vicodin before bed and got 2-3 hours of sleep but all other symptoms continued. I was able to tough out night 3 but still no sleep.

    Day 4 started out with almost complete exhaustion, Plus all the withdrawal symptoms but there was no way I was giving up after all the suffering I had endured. The night of the 4th day I actually got a little real sleep but it was a series of naps of an hour or so each. By day 5, I thought I was starting to maybe feel a little better. I still had all the withdrawal symptoms, but they didnt seem so severe. Still, sleep didnt come that night so about 3am I took another Vicodin and got a solid 5 hours after that.

    That seemed to be a turning point. The next few days I was getting noticeably better: no more diarrhea, less stomach ache, the Excedrin was able to better control the aches and pains, I still had the full range of flu symptoms, headaches, sweating, etc., but I did feel less depress and helpless with the withdrawal. Week 5 starts in a couple days. I still have most of the flu symptoms including sneezing and runny nose. Still dizzy and weak at times and I still cant get a full nights sleep, but I understand all this will pass in time.

    The depression is gone. I savor the memory of the pains and suffering so I will never be tempted to go back to Tramadol. A few points I want to make. Milestones: Getting past day 3. Making it past day 5. Getting into week 3. Do not ever, ever think Tramadol is non-addictive and harmless. It is very tempting to replace Tramadol with Vicodin; Don’t! Just don’t trade one addiction for another. And lastly, if a 70 year old can kick this crap cold turkey, YOU have no excuse!

    • Sharon December 14, 2014, 11:56 pm

      I (60yrs) have been on tramadol 50mg, 6 times daily for 22 months for arthritis in my hands. I’m scheduled for arthroplasty surgery in January. Neither my family physician or the surgeon have said a word about getting off tramadol before surgery. I involuntarily quit cold turkey December 10 because I ran out before my next refill arrives (mail in pharmacy).

      As many others have stated, NO ONE told me tramadol is addictive (prescribing physician actually said it was NOT addictive) or that when I quit it would be best to taper off. What was their plan before surgery, just continue up until surgery and then go through withdrawal and surgery recovery at the same time???? The only way I’ve learned about withdrawal is reading all these posts, when I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I’ve never been on pain Meds long term of any kind before so I had no idea. And like I said, naively I trusted my doctor.

      It seems they are all so concerned about meeting all the federal regulations and paperwork required of them, they forget to be a concerned competent doctor! Anyway, my main symptom is insomnia. I can’t get my legs and/or body to relax enough to sleep. I’ve never had trouble sleeping before so this sent me into a panic. Tossing and turning, getting up to walk, going to another location to sleep. Four nights now with only a few (although disrupted) hours of sleep.

      The only thing that helped was putting the hot tub jets right on my calves for 30 min or so. And getting a sinus infection with a horrendous headache which took my mind off the RLS! I dread the nighttime now because I don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep, and without sleep I have trouble coping with just getting out of bed. I’m exhausted. But I think I will continue with the withdrawal because I don’t want to go through this again!! I wish I had been told how hard this would be.

    • Dana July 8, 2015, 6:10 pm

      John I loved your post! I especially appreciated you revealing your age! You are a trooper and super admiral. I have never had to take Tramadol long term, but my sweet grandfather had to take it for severe nerve pain in his legs and feet. He was on it for many years and took it until the day he died, so thankfully he never had to experience the horrific withdrawal.

      I am so glad he didn’t have to go through that and I am so angry that this is given to people left and right with out them being fully informed of what will come if they decide to end treatment with Tramadol. I am glad your Doctor was kind enough to give you a thorough run down of what to expect! Nice of you to pass along pointers to others going through what you did.

    • Nona January 29, 2017, 4:11 pm

      Hi John, Wondering how long you felt depression symptoms. I tapered down from my regular dose for 2-3 Mos 50 MG 2x a day to 12.5 MG 2x a day over three weeks, and then 12.5 MG a day for a few days, then stopped. It’s been about 10 days now. I am still having anxiety, depression mostly in the morning. Hard time getting up today. Anyway, I see at your week 4-5 you say depression gone. How long and how bad was it?

  • Andrea November 4, 2014, 3:05 am

    I’ve been on 100mg 5x daily for spinal stenosis, degenerate disc disease, and fibromyalgia. I started getting spinal injections and haven’t had pain so I haven’t taken my ultram. Its been 3 days and I seriously just wanna die. I’ve never had any addictions and I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to this. I can take it or leave it. Now I don’t need it so I’m leaving it but I’ve been on it at a high dose for almost 4 years.

    I seriously have a new respect for people dealing with withdrawals. The withdrawal symptoms listed are right on and I really wish it were an exaggeration. I seriously am having an impossible time functioning. I don’t know if I should just keep dealing with this or contact my doctor. Any advice would be appreciated. One side effect I’ve also been having but didn’t see it is a lot of chest pains.

    • Lyn C November 28, 2014, 12:31 pm

      Andrea. I have been on Tramal SR for nine years It was prescribed to cope with Post Mastectomy Reconstruction Syndrome… Going through the withdrawal process must be slow… I am being guided by natural therapists who are giving me supplements like neurocalm and PreGaba to help me. I am now reducing the Tramal by using it in drop form and therefore reducing slowly.

      Like you I suffer with chest pain, and muscle spasms of the chest, causing difficulty in breathing. Most days I need a little valium to break the muscle spasm, and lots of magnesium citrate. I have no intention of becoming dependent on valium, but am needing it as a crutch at present. I hate what Tramal has put me through, and have lost faith in the medical profession and the way they prescribe drugs, without taking responsibility for the long term outcomes.

      I expect the withdrawal to take me up to three months maybe longer to complete, but it is certainly not easy along the way. Can’t wait to be off this rotten drug which has ruined the quality of my life for so many years, even causing anxiety attacks. I plan on taking SAMe to help me with any pain I have after withdrawal, as suggested by my alternative health professionals. -Lyn

  • Carol November 11, 2014, 6:28 pm

    I want to first say I have been owned by this demon drug five years now… prescribed for chronic back pain and fibromyalgia. Tramadol has made my life a living hell. I tried several times to quit by cutting down my dose but this did not work. I have been cold turkey 12 days and have no intention of giving control back to this PILL. I know I do not have to tell you how horrible the withdrawal is and I wish you all luck. YOU CAN DO THIS.

  • Brian November 22, 2014, 7:47 am

    This drug really helped my depression and made me feel happy and I was hooked straight away. I was on 50mg times 4 a day. I been cold turkey and it’s been hell mentally but starting to smile again after 6 days. I am having trouble sleeping though. I’ve been through a few withdrawals from different drugs and all I can say is keep going the result is priceless.

  • Felicia November 23, 2014, 2:22 am

    I started detoxing from tramadol almost 2 weeks ago now. The first few days were probably the worst thing I ever put myself through. I was sweating to death, yet freezing at the same time pretty much the entire day. Probably took my coat off and back on at least 200 times per day. I also had zero appetite. I was eating less than 500 calories per day and that was forcing myself to eat (that lasted for about a week).

    Almost 2 weeks later most of the symptoms are gone, MINUS the insomnia (extreme insomnia) and twitching of my extremities (almost like restless leg syndrome, but its also in my arms). For the first week and a half I went from sleeping 9+ hours at a time, to only 3 hours an entire day. Was dreadful (still is, but getting better). I don’t know whats up with the twitching of my arms and legs. My left arm is surely the worst, looks like I have tourettes. Just can’t wait for it to be over already!

    • mishelle December 5, 2014, 6:01 am

      Take a lot of potassium and magnesium it will help with your legs and arms. Also banana is a good potassium. But it will be better if you buy a supplement and take it in double doses also vitamin b12 double dose. It helps me a lot for restless legs. Take care. And good job. I am still on day 3 and suffering and don’t know how long it will last.

      • sherry December 9, 2014, 6:26 pm

        Sounds like we are in the same boat!! I’m on day 11 of being off of them. I want to never get on them again. But, I’m in so much pain. Ugh!! But, I feel more awake. Good luck.

  • Brian Greer November 24, 2014, 8:08 pm

    I was on 150 mg of tramadol for about 5 years and needed to get off because of the change in schedule. I was really concerned after reading all the horror stories. I had saved 180x50mg pills in case the time came when I couldn’t get more. I used them to taper off over a 5 month period and have had only very mild symptoms. I ran out about ten days ago and only have experienced an upset stomach and have been a bit lethargic. Save yourself some pain and taper off if you can.

  • A1rh3ad November 30, 2014, 1:33 pm

    A few weeks my arse. I’ve seen people withdrawal years after stopping this horrible drug. Ultram is an awful frankendrug that should have never hit the pharmaceutical market in the first place. It’s sad that its only now years after its development that they are saying oops sorry we messed it and now trying to slowly lessen its use. They sold it as the wonder drug with no side effects and it ended up being worse than heroin. They should be sued into the dirt.

  • sherry December 9, 2014, 6:22 pm

    I am on my 11th day of being off of these devil pills!!!! I have been on them for ten years, for nerve damage in my arm and back problems. The most I ever took was ten a day. I have known I was addicted to them for several years, just was afraid of the withdrawal that came when I was out of them. I also have a heart condition, and the more I thought about it, the more I knew I needed to get off of them. I have a husband, two kids and a granddaughter to think of. This has been terrible, and let me tell you the doctors that think that these aren’t addictive are dead wrong!!!! I’m taking one day at a time, but can start to feel better. Good luck to all going threw this.

  • Peter December 13, 2014, 6:12 pm

    Been off for 8 weeks now after 8 years of use. Tapered down from 8 x 50mg to 1 x 50mg over a year and finally quit after getting my pain problem sorted. First week was horrendous with all the normal aches, pains and mood problems, but most symptoms have slowly eased except for stomach cramps and bloating.
    My research suggests that this uncomfortable problem could remain for a few months which is an awful thought, but no regrets over coming off this wicked drug. I already feel so much better in so many ways, but getting my life back is the biggest benefit.

    I have read many articles about tapering, but I have to say that after having my Tramadol dosage increased following surgery to fix the cause of my 8 years of usage I took the view that once I had no medical need for the poison I wanted off as quickly as possible. After 14 days of hell I felt in control again, but only thanks to a very understanding wife! I would recommend this type of rapid withdrawal only with good family support, but for anyone in the same position I would say go for it. That from someone with 8 years of continual use.

  • Jonathon January 3, 2015, 3:19 pm

    So I was only on tramadol for approx 7 days. I was taking 50mg every 8 hours. I had no idea that this drug had these type of withdrawal symptoms. I thought I was getting sick though I really didn’t feel sick. I came off of these cold turkey and the first day is when the cold chills and sweating all day began. I am on day 2 now and the chills and sweating have not eased much yet. After the first night is when I began doing the research on this drug.

    It’s the only thing that I have changed in the last day. It does make me feel better knowing that this is a real issue and that I’m not going crazy, if that makes sense? I cannot imagine what it’s like to come off of these after months or years of use? I will never take this pain reliever again. Just felt like giving my input from someone that was only on them for a week, and what a dangerous and addictive drug this is.

    • Amanda edwards January 25, 2016, 11:34 pm

      Jonathon I have only taken tramadol for 1 week and was on 100mg every 4 hours. I too am having severe withdrawal symptoms. I am on day 2 without any tramadol now and it is hell. The shivering,the sweating, stomach cramps, no sleep. I am due back in work tomorrow but really don’t feel well. I noticed you posted this comment a year ago… How did you go on and how long did it take before your symptoms disappeared?

      • Sydney July 21, 2016, 2:27 pm

        Amanda, I too have only been taking it for a week, 2- 50mg per day. I was told it was safe but have been hearing that I will experience very bad symptoms. As of now I don’t feel anything but these posts have me feeling worried. I have to work and function so having the experience some of the withdrawals listed on this thread is frightening.

        Amanda, how long did you go through it? How are you feeling now? I will never trust a doctor when they say a pain medication will not have an adverse effect on my body or brain.

        • Elton October 28, 2016, 2:27 am

          I took 100mg a day for only a few months for back pain and decided to let my script run out. Within two days I had severe diarrhea, runny rose, restless leg syndrome, insomnia, the works. It was really bad, so bad that I broke down went and got more and started feeling better after taking them again. But now I see that this return to the drug was its controlling effect. After reading these posts, I am planning to try tapering off slowly to minimize the symptoms.

  • rosa January 14, 2015, 12:49 pm

    Today is Day No. 8 for my withdrawal from Tramadol. Minor knee surgery resulted in a prescription for 100 mg. daily but that moved up to 300mg. daily for a period of one month. The withdrawal produced insomnia, nausea, horrible leg and arm pain especially at night, extreme fatigue. I stayed in bed and took hot baths for 5 days straight. I also took .5 mg. Xanax every morning and .5 mg. Xanax at night. Day No. 6, I started pulling out of it and today I am feeling hopeful that I am on the road to recovery. I will NEVER touch this drug again. The withdrawals are not worth it.

    • Brian December 19, 2015, 1:25 pm

      After taking this non-addictive med for 2 years for fibro and back pain it’s unbearable. I was on 6 /50 mgs daily. I weaned down in a week. Today is day 4. I cannot believe just how aloof and uninformed drs are. I really wonder how the hell 80 percent even received a degree. This is like feeling on deaths door. Was starting to feel toxic being on it so long and my eye sight was getting worse.

      Sneezing and burning like pain in chest. The most relief I find even sleeping in the tub. Hope people read these boards before following drs advice. This is hydrocodone withdrawal. Synthetic meds? Better using real ones than this poison. Good luck to all getting off and make sure to inform your drs that this is horrifically addicting.

  • Carla January 18, 2015, 3:29 pm

    I took 50 mg. a day for 18 months for lower back pain. I didn’t realize the control this had on me.. If I missed one night, I had stomach pain and depression. However, I didn’t make the connection that a missed dose was the culprit. I have had a cat scan, an upper GI, etc. All were normal. I was afraid to make plans, because I never knew when I would feel bad. I work full time, and have had to go to work sick several times. On Dec. 18, my husband made the connection. I tapered off for 2 weeks and stopped altogether. I made it through a couple of bad days, and started feeling normal again. My back pain is even better than before. However, I am still having mild stomach issues and weird sensation feelings in arms and legs on occasion.

  • Michelle February 3, 2015, 10:40 pm

    On 10-21-14 I had shoulder surgery. The first month or so my doc had me on norco, I was worried about addiction due to what I had heard about norco so he swapped me to tramadol due to the fact I wouldn’t have to worry about addiction as much. My surgeon had me on 50mg 1-2 pills every 4-6 hours. I was on tram about 3 months. Sunday I quit cold turkey. It has been bad… I could feel the withdrawal symptoms as soon as I missed a dose. I am just gonna keep working on it and not give up. I feel like I can relate to everyone on here. This drug is no joke.

  • harry February 5, 2015, 3:59 pm

    Second day – cold turkey – in the states. Started tram a few years ago for herniated disc. Was embarrassed to go back to doc for continued refills so started to purchase online through US pharmacies. All was good, albeit expensive, until August 2014 when tramadol became a higher class controlled substance. Well, couldn’t go back to doc since I hadn’t been there in awhile & couldn’t justify my intake (300 mg per day – 6 50mg pills).

    So, started to order online from other countries. Didn’t really know what I was getting but it seemed to work – some days better than others. Last order never arrived. So, here I am. Day 2. Taking Aleve for pain, Mucinex for flu symptoms, Pepcid for upset stomach & GERD at night & SAM-E to counter serotonin drop. I have a few Valium that are about 7 years old & have been using them to help get sleep. Not working but make me extra woozy.

    I’m very very uncomfortable & haven’t been able to go to work. This is the first day that I’m able to sit at my computer though so maybe there’s been a little progress? Frankly, I’d like to be detoxed so that I can go to a doctor for a regular check up – have feared going for years now thinking that my “habit” would be discovered. How stupid is that? Hope this works. God bless.

  • Pat February 14, 2015, 3:57 am

    I was issued Tramadol by the VA as THEIR choice over opiates for my service connected injury… took 100mg per day for 4 years. I have spent the past EIGHT MONTHS withdrawing from this most evil of concoctions going cold turkey rather than systematic reduction because I stopped for 10 days before reading about cold turkey being dangerous. Once that far into it made slow reduction moot. I was still alive, it didn’t kill me, and I didn’t kill me either!

    It is an appetite suppressant. I have lost 20 pounds during the 4 years – from 163 to 143 @ 6ft tall. Not good. Somehow this appetite effect translates into what I call “the Tramadol flu attack” – as soon as I get done eating a light meal or even a snack, I am almost immediately overcome with an intense aching in my joints and have to go lay down and sleep – usually for a few hours This attack also prompts uncontrollable groaning and moaning to accompany the pain.

    This is a several times per day occurrence into the night, so sleeping has turned into a few hours at a time routine. THIS IS EIGHT MONTHS after taking my final 50mg pill! Lately it has eased up a bit, but still hangs on. Apparently the drug embeds in fat cells and is very hard to eliminate from the body. I only hope no one else suffers the way I have from this evil. I laid into the VA doctors for supplying it, while being quite aware of its poisonous nature.

    They could care less as long as they do not have to prescribe Vicodin and have to answer to the DEA for prescribing opiates. It is my understanding that this is the only drug in the entire pharmacopoeia that was not discovered first from organic / plant life, it was synthesized FIRST and then it was discovered that the African pin cushion tree has the same compound. Good luck to all suffering from this scourge, hang in there!

  • Maggie Bojang February 15, 2015, 3:10 pm

    I have been taking tramadol for nearly 9 years now for muscle wasting lower back pain. I used to take ibuprofen which was fine, but I’d had a heart attack and was told I couldn’t take it any more, hence the tramadol. I took my last tramadol Tuesday (5 days ago now) and I didn’t know what was happening to me. I thought I had the flu… the not sleeping, the sweating, etc. I’ve had every symptom described here. Doctors have a responsibility to ensure their patients have all the information on drugs they prescribe to them… I knew nothing. Cold turkey is an absolute nightmare; I don’t have the energy to go out and I have a husband who doesn’t understand… He thinks I’m just being lazy and overly dramatic.

  • A.J. February 16, 2015, 11:32 am

    I too was dependent on Tramadol/Lortab for over five years. I was wounded in Iraq by an IED in 2005. I took my first Lortab in 2008 for the pain. Little did I know that it fixed the mental pain too. I began looking for relief, both kinds. I was prescribed Tram in Jan. 2009. I took my last Tram December 23, 2013. I had a horrible week the first time I decided to come off of it. (March 2010). I was taking it as prescribed at that time, too.

    I started feeling off about four hours after I normally would’ve taken my dose. I didn’t sleep at all that night. I got up and had to take my son to school. It took me two minutes to walk to the shower and two minutes to do literally anything. I couldn’t see well. I hurt so badly, like I was hit by a truck. I had a love/hate relationship with it for four more years. I would take some, stop taking it… withdraw, and so the process repeated.

    The only time I felt well while withdrawing was when I did Insanity; two full cycles of it. Finally, I allowed the Holy Spirit to have it because I realized I couldn’t do it on my own. A lot of changes were made. Just know this, IT DOES GET BETTER! I have virtually no symptoms anymore; I don’t feel the urge to take them anymore. God Bless.

    • AF April 4, 2015, 11:42 pm

      I agree with you that the only thing that has gotten me through is the Holy Spirit! I started taking this demon drug in 2008, and even had surgery to correct the problem I was put on it for, only to be hooked and unable to enjoy any freedom. I have gone back and forth for years, had several seizures while on it, and now am on day 4 after tapering a little over the last few months. The sweats are the worst, and lack of energy, but I am praying I never have to go back.

  • Suzie February 17, 2015, 10:51 pm

    This is day 3 for me. I stopped taking Tramadol the night before last. This is after I have tapered it down over two years. I was bookending the day with 50 mg, Norco in the middle of the day, Savella for Fibromyalgia. Recently all I have taken is a 50 mg at bedtime, but the Restless Leg syndrome just got worse, so my only option was to quit and quit fast. I have stopped all of them now! Ha!

    But today, like yesterday, I feel like crap. The nights are the worst. My body thrashes around, my legs move (RLS), am cold-all the time! I am so scared to try to sleep tonight. My relationship is suffering. We have been sleeping in separate beds. I haven’t gotten a good sense how long the withdrawal will last for someone like me. Anyone else taper down, then cold turkey at 50mg?

    • A.J. February 18, 2015, 10:08 pm

      I have. If you’ve only been on it for two years, the worst is likely over. I would say about day five or six, things will be better. It will be another two weeks or so before you’re back to being OK, but it will be even longer before you’re back to perfect… that’s if you don’t relapse. Don’t relapse! The half-life of Tram is like nine hours or something crazy. I used to write down my withdrawing schedule.

  • Kathleen Cuny February 22, 2015, 5:38 pm

    Gradually stopped tramadol after 15 years. Fibro pain got so much better after chlorella & spirulina that I didn’t need it. Experiencing good deal of fatigue after waking up. Hope this passes soon after 1 week of fatigue.

  • Timothy McDonald March 1, 2015, 1:36 am

    I fight addiction problems. The doctors have had a hard time controlling my pain. Opiates in general were my favorites. Two days ago, I ran out of Tramadol and didn’t think anything about it. Well several hours later I started feeling bad. Joints, stomach, the works. I never thought it could be caused by this medication. However here I am. I got some additional meds and started back on it. Feel alright now but now I have to address this with addiction specialist and doctors. Anytime something seems to be working it bites me. Guess it’s just the luck of the draw. Will update in future if anyone is interested!

  • Chris March 3, 2015, 8:10 am

    I was on tramadol SR (150mg nightly) and Activus (between 100mg – 300mg daily, depending on pain levels) for two weeks after having all four wisdom teeth removed then getting a painful infection (the paracetemol and codeine didn’t stop the pain). It has now been 8 days since I last took Tramadol and I have barely slept. The first few days were the worst: total insomnia, restlessness, lethargy, uncontrollable sadness (I rarely cry, but I sobbed and cried numerous times in those first few days), headaches. Horrible.

    After two sleepless nights I could barely function at work and I was an emotional mess, my GP prescribed a low dose of temazepam to help getting to sleep and staying asleep. I took it for three nights which barely worked but let me get some light sleep. I didn’t want to become addicted to another medication so the past two nights I have tried to sleep without medications, although I have been trying magnesium capsules to relax, melatonin capsules to re-regulate my sleep patterns, milk (tryptophan helps natural production of serotonin and melatonin for sleep onset), as well as all the other common sleep hygiene tips, including exercise.

    All of these will only help a little if any, but I’ll take any tiny step towards sleep I can get. I crave a deep sleep – my cheekbones feel the weight. I know it will end, and I’m bored of talking to everyone about it, I rarely complain but I feel like I have been whingeing for three weeks now, one problem after another. Adds to the anxiety and low mood further, I have to catch myself on that. I know a bit about opioid withdrawals from my work, I just was too careless (as was my GP) taking too much tramadol for too long.

    My advice to everyone is to exercise, eat well, practice mindfulness (plenty of great apps for your phone if you don’t know how), read up on sleep hygiene, and hold on. It does end (I’ve seen many examples, if not my own yet) you just need to do the best job possible of holding it all together while your body resets. Here’s hoping it ends for all of us as soon as possible.

  • Joe March 11, 2015, 9:23 pm

    I was on tramadol for 5 years, 400 milligrams a day, I quit cold turkey, and the withdrawals were unbelievable. Its been 4 weeks since I had any tramadol, and my doctor has put me on percocet instead, but the other day I couldn’t resist and I took 50 milligrams of tramadol wow, felt guilty. The withdrawals I had from Tramadol were severe restless legs and depression.

  • Maureen March 14, 2015, 5:57 am

    I was put on Tramadol after surgery to control pain and had no idea why I got so sick when I quit taking the medicine after only 2 weeks of use. I was to take 1-2 50 mg pills every 4-6 hours as necessary. I was taking about 200 mg per day, sometimes more. My withdrawal symptoms included a severe headache, nauseousness, diarrhea, anxiety and no energy that appeared about 6 hours after I stopped taking this poison.

    The next three days, the only symptom that disappeared was the headache. The upset stomach never seemed to go away. What is weird is how random the pain can be. I feel ‘OK’ but not well in the morning and then as the day progressed I got really sick and had to lie down. Tomorrow is day 5 and I’m hoping it will be gone when I wake up as I feel OK tonight – much better than the previous 4 nights.

    I know I was not on it that long but was still shocked at the horrible withdrawal symptoms I experienced without any warnings from my doctor. Shouldn’t they be telling us this info before we take it? On the brighter side, it does get better people and the symptoms get easier to tolerate – hang in there and fight through it!

    • Andy May 6, 2015, 4:02 pm

      This sounds almost like me. In February I had a knee replacement and used massive amounts of oxycodone and morphine to get through the pain for the first 9 weeks, stepping dosage down towards the end. I moved to Tramadol, and have taken this before, just not after 9 weeks of the high octane stuff. Never a problem.

      Sunday was the last of the Tramadol; thankfully I have had a fantastic result by working PT diligently. For about a week I was taking 3-4 at a time when I wasn’t hurting–a hint I should have paid more attention to. Monday night the three weeks of sleep I finally started getting post-op screeched to a halt. Thought I was going crazy with the inability to sleep despite knowing I was exhausted to the point of tears. My poor dog, following me around the house, not realizing her desire to snuggle up against me was making my nerve endings scream.

      Last night around 11:30 I really started to worry as I could not stop yawning with fatigue but could not sleep–nerve endings on fire when I tried to lie down. I had a normal temperature, but felt chilled inside my 75 degree house that normally is 72. I found this site and realized it’s opium withdrawal. Last night I fought for about 3 hours sleep, so maybe this is getting better. God bless us all as we sort through the issues of taking medications our well intended professionals thought were helping.

  • Vonda Ballard March 17, 2015, 5:55 pm

    I was taking 50 mg of Tramadol once a day for back pain for 2 months and when my pain got better quit cold turkey 4 days ago. I have had such severe depression that I want to cry all the time and just feel like I can’t cope with life, I want to take a pill so I will feel good about things again but I know to so will only put me back to where I was. I wish I would begin to feel better pretty soon so I can get on with my life.

  • Chad M. Johnson March 25, 2015, 7:21 pm

    I wonder how many of us were bamboozled by the maker of this drug, or worse yet, our family doctor. I have suffered from chronic back pain for over 20 years. I’ve now had 8 back surgeries and 2 neck surgeries. Several years ago my doctor told me about this great drug, that could knock out my pain, was virtually non-addictive, and may even help me lose some weight.

    Sign me up doc, I said. What an immense mistake. I took tramadol for about three years and while it did ease my pain, and lose weight, it almost destroyed my life. In the past twenty years and all those surgeries I have never had a problem getting off pain meds. Tramadol was a completely different beast. Once it gets its hooks in you it very difficult to kick. While all of our stories sound pretty much the same to this point, it’s the withdrawal timeline and method that varies some. I was taking 600 mg. of tramadol everyday plus 4-6 10/325 percocet a day.

    When my tramadol script ran out I had know plans of quitting as I had a weeks worth of percocet left. For several reasons I won’t bore you with here when it came time a week later and my percocet was just about out I decided ENOUGH, it’s time to quit. I went cold turkey at home and just decided to bunker in and get it done. The absolute biggest mistake of my like. It has truly been hell. Oh, and did I mention that my wife decided to talk be into quitting my 25 year chewing tobacco habit at the same time. UGH!

    So, when I took my last percocet, the tramadol had been out of my system for about 7 days. Next to know side affects during this period. 24 hours after my last percocet and 8 days into my tram withdrawal things got ugly. First the anxiety and the old aches and pains setting back in, then the terrible diarrhea, cold and hot sweats and just about every other flu system under the sun, only multiply that by 5. But hands down the two worst symptoms I had was zero sleep for almost 90 hours, and it was in large part to the other system that just about did me in, Restless Leg Syndrome.

    This initial phase lasted seven days. At that time I started turning the corner. I am know 10 days in and most flue symptoms gone, sleeping about 4 hours a day, keeping most food down and just plowing through hour by hour. This sucks and I will never put myself in this position again. God is good for getting me through this.

  • Misty April 19, 2015, 5:30 pm

    I’m so pissed! We were told it was a safe non habit forming med. I have been on it for 4-4.5 years and just haven’t needed to take it the past two days. I have done this in the past as well but never put it together that my symptoms are from withdrawals. The worst of it is definitely the weird leg problem! It’s unbearable. Thanks to all if you who’ve posted here. I am somehow comforted knowing I’m not the only one who is experiencing this. I’ve never taken more than I was prescribed or “abused” it. I always thought that if you didn’t take more than prescribed you’d be very unlikely to get addicted. I was wrong. Wish me luck.

    • Wendy November 25, 2015, 2:15 pm

      I was prescribed Tramadol for chronic pain due to torn tendon of gluteus max and arthritis. I was on for two years when the doctor refused to prescribe anymore. I went back to my regular M,D who prescribed again. I felt like an addict begging for medication! I’m a recovered alcoholic with 26 years sober! And never addicted to medication so…I decided to stop. I had been taking 2 50 mg per day for over two years. I went down to 1 per day and now none.

      I’ve had trouble sleeping, stomach pain and diarrhea, muscle aches, sneezing and coughing. I’m waiting for the original pain I took the drug for to reappear. I’m hopeful it won’t. Anyhow, by changing the medication to an opiate changes the whole situation…it’s not addicting to it is addicting. The medical community should tell their patients how to come off it and not just one day say I won’t give it to you anymore. Thanks for all the info on withdrawal. I’m amazed at how large of a problem this is.

  • Michael May 3, 2015, 9:05 pm

    I have been taking Tramadol for 2.5 years at 100mg – 200mg per day depending on pain level. I lost my medication in November of last year and went cold turkey for about a week. I felt absolutely awful – every withdrawal symptom mentioned. I asked my PCP physician to taper me off of the drug in January – tapered off for one month. I felt absolutely horrible – so I started taking Tramadol again at a lower dose – 100 mg -2x50mg.

    I have issues with high blood pressure which I never had before taking this drug and when I saw it was a possible side effect I quit taking it after a a one week taper three weeks ago. Again, terrible withdrawal symptoms – most notable – severe dizziness, zaps in my brain, depression, mood swings, suicidal thoughts, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, crying, feelings of hopelessness, body aches, sweating, etc. It has been awful – last week I saw my PCP and she prescribed 5/325 Percocet twice a day for lower back pain – sciatica – lumbago.

    I have tapered off of pain meds many times as a result of surgery etc. – I know I can stop taking Percocet without that much of a problem at a low dose – and I will as soon as possible as I do not want to take any medication whatsoever. Tramadol is a horrible drug and the effects on the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine as a reuptake inhibitor SNRI are what I think causes the prolonged withdrawal symptoms.

    Tramadol is is almost identical to to the SNRI Effexor (Venlaxafine) and is one of the hardest antidepressants to get off of. Wikipedia is a great reference to learn more about drugs and there effects – side effects. Tramadol is poison in my opinion.

  • Emily May 4, 2015, 1:36 pm

    I was prescribed Tramadol 50mg 3 times a day as needed for pain due to slipped discs for the last two days. I wasn’t even taking them daily but I can tell you these withdrawals are awful. I took my last dose two days ago. I am having the issue of wanting to sleep all the time but my entire body is restless. My worst symptom is the vomiting – I can’t keep fluids down. I swear if any doctor tries to prescribe this again I will tell said doctor to shove it.

  • Fran May 13, 2015, 9:38 am

    Hi, all the withdrawal symptoms above are very familiar to me. I’ve been on and off the Tram for 4 -5 years now, owing to chronic back pain that we now know is arthritis. Despite the hellish withdrawal experience I made a conscious choice to ask for a refill of my Tram script when the pain got bad a few months ago, and I haven’t regretted it so far; it works better than anything else the docs give. They refuse to give actual opiates in my country but not sure if I would have chosen Vicodin anyway since the constipation is awful.

    Why did I choose Tram, having been through all the things described above? Well, it works for the pain is reason number 1 and number 2 is that (after floundering through WDs before and only learning about them via websites like this) I finally realized that tapering to get off Tram works like a DREAM. I think all of you who advocate cold turkey are choosing am extremely hard path, because going CT you get ALL the symptoms everyday, and tapering you get NONE until the last 2-3 days and even those are so mild that you’ll think they’re all in your head.

    Also: tapering lasts usually the same amount of time as CT and you can go about your daily life during all that time, instead of suffering. And at the end of that period your symptoms are almost gone. I’ve tried both and see NO difference in the end result at the end of the recovery period. Why bother with going turkey then? Seriously? You’re torturing yourselves if you voluntarily choose this route and it literally achieves nothing: it’s not faster, or better, or more comfortable in the end and actually it is far more likely to break your spirit and force a relapse.

    Please take my word as someone who has been on and off Tram for years and tried it both ways: do taper. Don’t let your script run out and CT because you feel weak asking for a refill. If your script runs out during the WD, get a new one from your doc. These above symptoms are real, documented and dangerous and you MUST avoid getting them. I can’t stress that enough! I am sure some of you are frightened when you experience WD at first, and as a result you decide to kick this addictive substance ASAP. That is fair enough; It’s true that Tram is addictive and that the docs lied to you… but don’t punish yourselves for that! Follow a gradual and safe reduction regime instead.

    Here’s what I do: when I realize I’m pain free, I stop taking Tram for as long as I can before the first WD appear. When I feel those coming on I take HALF my regular dose and wait until I start to feel the WD coming on again. If it takes less than a day for the WD to come on again, I increase my tapering dose slightly, and then take that dose every day for a week. After a week, I repeat the process: I stop the Tram until I feel the first signs of withdrawal; take half of the dose I’ve been on; wait and see if it takes less than a day for the WD to return.

    If it does, I increase the tapered dose and if it not, I leave the dose at the new, reduced level. Doing this, it’s never taken me more than 3-4 weeks to come off of <200mg a day starting dose. And through it all, I experience just a few hours – a couple of days of mild WD symptoms. If you don’t believe me please look around online before you decide to go turkey: long term users like myself always advise against it… For good, good reasons!! Having said that, I’m sorry you’ve all gone through this and wish you all the best :-)

    • Drea November 16, 2015, 12:25 am

      Excellent advice. I’m new to the withdrawal symptoms…and two days in and I’ve been reading forums for hours now. There is hope found in these threads. Both of my (grown) children have almost died numerous times from addictions to opiates. I am the last person I ever thought would get addicted to pain meds. But here I am on and off the Tram. Thanks for the insight and the HOPE. I think we learn alot more than how to w/d from the Tram. Love to all.

  • silvia May 15, 2015, 7:49 am

    I can’t believe how hard it is for me to kick this terrible drug. I was on tramadol for at least 9 years. And I was taking between 1000 mg to 2000 mg on my own. I began having the seizures and that was it for me. I knew it was time to quit. I went cold turkey. I had to. And I’m 8 weeks but still going through insomnia, restless, anxiety, diarrhea, depression. Those are still with me 2 months later. But I’m determined and I’m not breaking. I’m staying strong and I know I’ll beat this. This is the hardest pill I had to kick.

    • dwyatt July 18, 2015, 8:30 am

      Hi Silvia. I am going through the same thing. Feels like I’ve been awake for months. I really hope you beat this. I’m 7 weeks in and scared to death. My dr has no answers. Please keep us posted on your progress. There’s strength in numbers. Just wanted you to know you’re not alone…

  • Raewin June 6, 2015, 12:37 am

    Hi. I have been on 300mg Tramadol for about a year. I started tapering 5 days ago but have not done it slowly and found the mood swings are so severe that I thought I was going to end up in psych ward. On top of that I find the dizziness and nausea really bad news. I am glad I have found your site it has comforted me to know I am not going mad. -Raewin

  • Ruth June 18, 2015, 6:17 pm

    For the past 5 days I have been experiencing difficulty breathing, insomnia, restlessness, moody, and panic attacks. I am relieved to know it is the side of effects from the Tramadol and that it will only last a few weeks. I unfortunately abruptly stopped taking the Tramadol instead of gradually discontinuing the usage as directed. After stopping the Tramadol the next day is when my first panic attack started along with the insomnia. Now I have flu like symptoms and difficulty breathing. Keeping my mind occupied by reading, cleaning, cooking and shopping during the day helps. I have no energy to exercise. But at least I know there will be an end.

  • Dan June 19, 2015, 2:44 am

    I was on 100 mg a day for one year and quit cold turkey. My biggest complaint after about 8 days now is extreme lethargy/fatigue. I’m 66 and have been lifting weights/cardio most of my adult life, so the fatigue is pretty debilitating – can’t get ‘up’ for the gym. I’m a combat veteran with severe PTSD, and I’m surprised that I’m not experiencing panic attacks, which I used to have often in the past, while going through my tramadol withdrawal.

    I’ll try taking clonidine, which my doctor prescribed for me in the past. I’m glad someone at this site suggested that. I’ve been under severe stress for more than a solid year and have had long-lasting depression over the past many years, which I’m sure are adding to my withdrawal suffering. Its been helpful to read your comments so I can kind of gauge how long this misery might last for me. I wish I’d known about the tapering advice before I quit cold turkey; guess there’s no turning back for me now. My prayers are with us all!

  • Orlando June 22, 2015, 9:17 am

    I have been on about 500 mg for two years after a motorcycle accident I quit cold turkey and I will say it was hell!! I ended up getting some pot to help for the first 4 days it helped and quit that yesterday. Panic attacks, zaps, plus not being sure if I can deal with reality after being on for so long. I haven’t hardly slept for 4 days and I work tomorrow… I do feel a whole lot better. Doing a cleansing tea seamed to help along with lots of water. I rode my bike twice like hell for the miles; I think I got it if I can stay ahead of the depression and panic attacks. Any ideas?

    • Eileen Wisely May 24, 2016, 12:52 pm

      Sounds like you are off and running… Are you still clean? Can you tell us how you feel now?

  • kirsti June 30, 2015, 7:10 pm

    I started off taking 100mg of slow release tramadol at night in January. This was shortly after increased to 200mg. this was for pain for a ruptured disc. As the pain subsided I began decreasing the amount I was taking until I was down to 50mg every other day. Last week after speaking to my doctor I decided to stop as I had a week off work. I am now on day 8 and feel the worst I have done so far. I haven’t slept properly for 4 nights and am waking up soaked in sweat. Or I’m cold and covered in goosebumps. I was at work today with a jumper on and wrapped up in a blanket…

    It’s a really hot day today. I had a migraine on Friday which has left me with a standard headache since, cocodamol makes it worse, paracetamol and ibuprofen don’t touch it. I’ve had stomach cramps and diarrhea most days. I just didn’t expect it to last this long. However I still have tramadol in my handbag and at no point have I ever wanted to take one even though I know will make all my symptoms go away. I will never take tramadol again even if it did do a really good job when my back was at its worst.

  • ML July 22, 2015, 8:00 pm

    Like so many others I am blown away at getting off Tramadol. I live in Mexico and is over the counter, called Mavidol TR. Is only 25 mg. I’ve taken it for about 5 months in the afternoon. Smoothed out chronic pain and made me feel better about life. I felt like cleaning and cruising around. Then I started trying not to take it for obvious reasons. Today is day 6 and is an astonishing array of symptoms: fatigue, insomnia, severe needles and pins, nausea, and diarrhea.

    I have ZERO intention of taking it again and will get through this but its pretty bad and I was on only 25 mg a day! One thing that made me not want to take it was that after a light meal, I would have to lie down and sleep (???!!!). I knew that the slight euphoria was false so I decided to quit. Have not been right since I quit so hope things improve. Again, this was only 25 mg for a few months, one time per day.

  • lynette July 24, 2015, 9:06 pm

    I have taken this drug everyday, 100mg 4-6 times every single day for 2 years. I’m on day 2 of cold turkey. This is horrible. My entire body hurts. My legs and arms feel like they way 100lbs each, just typing this is too much for me. I have diarrhea, I’m dizzy, and I’m having restless legs endlessly. I just want to sleep it away but can’t even sleep. I’m having mood swings from wanting to cry to biting people’s heads off. I can’t go through 2 weeks of this. I just can’t.

    • deb July 27, 2015, 2:40 pm

      I’m worried about you. How are you doing?

    • Dave July 29, 2015, 4:06 pm

      Hi Lynette, How are you getting on with your withdrawals? I read through all the comments but I realise yours is pretty new so you would probably still be withdrawing. I hope you didn’t give in as I know all too well how tempting that is. I was on Tramadol since early last year for 18 months and took my last Tramadol exactly 3 weeks ago. I had been on 300mg (6 pills) per day.

      I was prescribed them by my doctor for lower back pain and for the first 6 months I was taking them in small doses when needed. But without fully realising it, I started to take my whole daily dose in the mornings. I had become addicted to it not only for the pain relief but for the sense of “euphoria” and well-being it gave me when I took all six pills – It set me for the day. WELL that was at least for 6 months of taking it that way….

      Then, ofcourse, I became more tolerant and the influence it had on me was weaker and weaker. It got to the point where I couldn’t function at all without it. I would spiral into depression if I didn’t take it every day. My attendance to work started to suffer a lot because my body was in withdrawal during mornings before my next dose and I couldn’t get myself out of bed to face the world.

      It also made me retreat from family and friends, I would only see them when I had little “bursts” of happiness from the tramadol – I would cancel on them a lot making up false excuses. I was a yo-yo, one minute I could deal with everything and the next minute I couldn’t face the simplest of things. Before I quit, I tapered down to around 2-3 pills a day (150mg) and I hoped this would have eased the side effects but I was in for a TREAT. When I took my last pill 3 weeks ago, the first 5 days were insanely horrible.

      In those days the worst withdrawal symptoms for me were: insane hopelessness and depression, insomnia, and the evil Restless Legs Syndrome. The other side effects were also bad of-course (diarrhea, nausea, bursting into tears at anything, wet sex dreams, etc). The wet dreams side effect: I completely lost my sex drive while I was on these so I think my body is restoring and causing this… which is of course good in the long run but bad for my sheets! After those 5 days things slowly got better for me and over a week into the withdrawals I was so glad that the worst symptom, being the restless legs, stopped.

      This meant I was able to gradually get more and more sleep each night. Today, 3 weeks in, I feel less depressed, better rested and getting out of bed for work is much easier. The one thing I am still feeling though is the occasional dips in my mood throughout the day. Several times, about 30-60 minutes at a time my mood can dip into a moderate depression and during those dips, part of my head is screaming out for a “fix” of Tramadol, knowing that it will make me feel great for half a day.

      Of course, I am glad I don’t have any reserve of Tramadol to “give in” to and I am just taking each day at a time. I must say that I do finally have that “haze” away from me – the world/my emotions feel “real” again and I do feel like I have some “natural” happiness back that I forgot even existed without the help of Tramadol. Also, I now take a natural health supplement called “5-HTP” which is sold in our health stores over here (Holland & Barrett).

      This is serotonin and it can take some of the edge off moderate anxiety or depression while your serotonin levels are low from coming off Tramadol. I would like to thank everyone for their stories as they were very engaging to read and it made me feel less alone in the battle!

      • Colin1983 May 19, 2016, 8:35 am

        Hi Dave, I know it’s been a long time since you last posted but I am in a similar position to the one you were in and was just wondering if you had any sleeping troubles after the 1st week or so and if indeed, you’re sleep returned to normal at all? I’ve slept maybe 2 hours a night for the past 5 days. I’m away with my girlfriend on a 3 week holiday in 2 days and I’m scared that the holidays already ruined. I went CT 6 days ago after 350mg a day. Never ever again.

  • deb July 26, 2015, 3:51 pm

    I have taken 300 mg of ultram in 3 divided doses a day for 20 years. Prescribed for post polio muscle pain. Recently I started to get tremors and extreme sweating, so have weaned down to 200 mg, and sweating and tremors have disappeared. Will continue to wean very slowly…10% a week, but probably won’t stop altogether.

    Would like to get to 150mg per day. Post polio pain is annoying and I can’t take nonsteroidals, or the things like Zoloft that are often prescribed. Tried just stopping, and it was awful, like described here, but weaning at 10% a week is pretty painless. If my legs seem like going to become “restless”, I take 1/2 a benadryl. Good luck all!

  • Cayleb August 3, 2015, 10:46 am

    These comments are very helpful. I hope everyone going through this know that they’re not alone. I’m going on my second day. Insomnia is my worst symptom. I checked on a few websites and they said taking a shower (even if it’s 3 in the morning) will help the restless legs syndrome and insomnia. It’s crazy because I haven’t told anyone. My roommate thinks I have the flu or something. This feeling is terrible. Makes me feel better that I’m not alone.

  • Susan August 11, 2015, 7:36 pm

    I am so glad to have found this website. I hate to see anyone else going through this, but am grateful for the validation and not feeling so alone and crazy. I was taking two 50mg pills, one after lunch and one at bedtime. I backed that down to 1/2 after lunch and bedtime and then 1/2 bedtime. Tapering slowly was not going helping me, so stopped completely two weeks ago. I have had a lot of the symptoms with the worse being the insomnia, RLS which tends to hit me in my shoulders and constant fatigue.

    I have used hydrocodone in the afternoon and bedtime and even that has not made the withdrawal much better. I am stepping down that also so I am now at 1/2 dose at bedtime for one more week and then off everything completely. It is going to be the only way I can see what my pain levels are truly like and seek help accordingly. The toughest part for me to remember that the anxiety and pains are a result of the withdrawal and not my cancer coming back. Again, I am so grateful for all of your posts that make this less frightening and telling me there is an end in sight! Best wishes for us all. Susan

  • Karlee August 28, 2015, 5:39 am

    I used to do meth, I injured my spine because of the dumb things I was doing while I was on meth. So my doctor tried steroid injections in my spine but we saw no results. So he put me on tramadol. 50 Mgs 3 times a day. When that started not working as well he switched me to 4 times a day. Then when that stopped being effective I started taking 100 Mgs twice a day. And as you can guess that stopped being effective and so on and so forth.

    Basically I’ve been taking 200 Mgs once or twice a day (depending on my pain levels) for the last 4 months. I know that’s not long compared to a lot of people. But I can tell you that withdrawing from tramadol is definitely a lot harder than coming off of meth after 9 months of daily use. I don’t have all the symptoms but I do have the insomnia and the anxiety. I have anxiety all the time but it gets way worse when I’m not on the tramadol.

    I’ve always experienced this strange super uncomfortable feeling when I’m withdrawing from tramadol and trying to sleep. It’s very difficult to explain but the all over goosebumps is part of it. I just get like the constant feeling of a cold chill running through my body and it feels like someone is running their finger up and down my spine very lightly touching it. I also get this heavy pressure feeling in my chest. Kind of like someone is pushing me down right underneath my collar bones.

    And it just makes me feel so disgusting and uncomfortable and make it seriously impossible to sleep Like I said this probably sounds weird because it is literally the only way I’ve come up with to describe it. Anyways I also get insane headaches when I’m awake and my pain always seems to be 10xs worse than usual. Anyways that’s my experience withdrawing from tramadol. Worse than meth. But has anyone else experienced the feeling I described? And if so, is there a name for it?

    • Florian September 5, 2015, 7:09 am

      Thank you! I have had the exact same issue during multiple tramadol comedowns: my back and shoulders seem like they want to contract or shiver but do not quite get there, they just feel “tickly.”

  • Susan August 30, 2015, 3:38 pm

    Day 33 for me and I just realized that I am listening to soft, acoustical guitar and actually relaxing a bit. Only energetic dance music could help the restless “body” syndrome I have been going through up until today. The third week was in some ways the worse for me. I knew the physical withdrawal would be the worse the first 10 days, but was not prepared for the depression that hit day 21. “Is this never going to get better?!”

    I had to cancel activities and just hunker down again. Thank goodness for this board and all of you sharing your experiences. I am expecting ups and downs for about three months since I was on tramadol for most of a year. I am still taking 5mg of hydrocodone at night, but cutting back to half of that for another week tonight and then done with it. I am fortunate that I do not have to be up for a job and will just ride out any insomnia until my body finally adapts.

    Besides supplements like calcium, coriolus, baby aspirin, melatonin, and letrozole for my cancer, I am taking magnesium, 5-HTP, Cortisol Manager and a multivitamin at night. Until the allergy season lets up, I am also taking Advil PM which helps get me to sleep. I am forcing myself to stay awake all day.
    Walking is a must for me and daily, often twice. The RLS is worse at night, of course, but I find listening to dance music and either standing on one leg or holding a plank pose (I feel a lot of the RLS in my shoulders) until lactic acid/the burn builds up enough helps.

    One of the toughest parts for me right now is staying away from sugar and garbage food. Just another quick mood fix with its own withdrawal. I feel so much better with clean eating. I hope everyone is doing well and beating this really nasty drug. I cannot believe a class action lawsuit has not been started against the company that promoted this stuff as non-addictive. -Susan

  • Ally September 3, 2015, 5:33 pm

    I ruptured two discs in my back and was put on Tramadol, Celebrex, Flexeril, Percocet and Medrol Dosepaks until they could perform surgery three months later. After surgery I was kept on everything but the Medrol Dosepaks. Then, within a few weeks after the surgery, I was able to wean myself off of the Flexeril and Percocet.

    Since then, for about a year now, I have been taking the Tramadol, 50 mg, and Celebrex, 200 mg for lingering pain. I had no side effects from either drug. I considered the Tramadol a real lifesaver. It’s the only thing that controls my pain. Recently I’ve cut way back on the Celebrex because I worry about it’s safety. (I can’t take any other NSAID.) I’ve had no problems doing that.

    But because I don’t like the idea of taking a drug indefinitely, I am now trying to stop the Tramadol. But I feel terrible! I know Tramadol has an SSRI effect, so I expected to feel a little blue. I can manage that. But I also have stomach cramps, diarrhea, chills/goosebumps and a general overall sick feeling. After reading the comments here I believe cold turkey was not the best way for me to do this. So, I will try weaning myself off Tramadol instead.

  • Stephanie September 10, 2015, 7:37 pm

    I feel bad for everyone on here but glad to know this is not just me. I did a dumb thing and I had been on and off hydrocodone for tooth problem and then got addicted. I tried to get off them and couldn’t so when I had no more I went to Tramadol because I had them. Now I only have a couple of them and have only been taking 1 a day and feel horrible but I know that all my pains are probably not real and just the symptoms from the withdrawal.

    I can’t stop to rest this off because I work and have no time left and then go home to run my daughter around as a single mom. I am so exhausted but can’t sleep and the RLS in my arms is horrific and unbearable at night. I hope this ends soon!! Good Luck Everyone.

  • Stephanie September 24, 2015, 3:32 pm

    I had taken Tramadol after having my wisdom teeth out years ago, but did not want to stop taking them as I felt more energetic and motivated whilst on them. I was not able to get another prescription so have been buying them online on and off for years. This time, I had taken them everyday for 18 months but had to keep increasing my dose just to function normally. Last week I ran out and my new order did not arrive in time.

    The first three nights I was unable to sleep with shocks in my legs and arms, headaches so even though I felt exhausted I was unable to sleep. The days were terrible too, sneezing and too weak to do anything. Then the pills arrived but I felt like I had already been through hell and was determined never to feel like this again. I wanted to be ‘clean’ for my own sake and that of my family.

    I opened the package and poured them into the outside bin so I could not be tempted to get them back out! It has been 7 days now and last night was the first time I actually slept well. I still feel exhausted during the day but I am hopeful this with pass? It is so hard coping with my full time job and family (no one knew about it) but as a wife and mother you just have to keep going. (I told my husband I had flu for the first 4 days).

    I have to say, it was the hardest thing I have ever done but feel so relieved that I no longer depend on them. I have suffered from depression most of my life too so if I can do it, I think anyone can, you just have to talk yourself through it and don’t give in to the poison.

  • Devin October 12, 2015, 10:39 am

    I was addicted to I.R. oxycontin and let me tell you guys, it was absolute Hell. A month in rehab and months of other crap. Anyways, needless to say, you guys can do this. You’ve accepted the fact that this pill had control over your life and that you no longer need it. That’s all the power you need. What’s a little time suffering compared to the rest of your life without tramadol? Totally worth it. I wish you all luck. I’ve been through W/D’s, so if I can do it, so can you!

  • Patti October 13, 2015, 10:44 pm

    This forum is extremely informative and helpful. I am facing night #3 with no sleep. I was taking 100-150 mg per day for 60 days for a Fibromyalgia flare. The pain stopped so I stopped cold turkey. Not smart. I am seeing a new doctor who warned me to NEVER take this medication again. I have all of your described symptoms. Keep up the good fight is all I can say and seek professional help if you can’t do it along! Best Wishes.

  • Skut October 14, 2015, 4:06 am

    I’ve been prescribed tramadol since 2007. I underwent several surgeries and took 400mg per day along with other stronger opiods. Eventually I tapered off the potent pain meds but continued to take Tramadol. Now nearly nine years later I’ve tapered my dose to 150mg per day. I couldn’t imagine complete discontinuation of it because I’ve taken it so long everyday that it’s like physiological now if that makes any sense.

  • jami October 30, 2015, 5:59 am

    JPR. I have been taking Tramadol for many years for back pain, fibromyalgia, and knee pain. I was also put on Norco/Vicodin. I was sent to pain management by my family doctor. He is now saying he is going to take me off the Tramadol. I have two months to wean down. One thing I have that I have not heard is, I yawn continually as the few I am taking wears off. My legs feel like they are being twisted off. I feel very tense and emotional. I’m so frustrated I could cry. I am so glad to hear others. This is like a support group. I wish I had never taken it.

    I was told it was non addicting and was a non narcotic as well. I’m exhausted and it takes everything to get up and move. I will say Ibuprofen and stretching helps the tingling and shocking feelings in my legs. Let’s just hope and pray we can continue to help each other mentally. The pain is bad enough but stopping the medicine on top of that pain is exasperating.

  • Randy November 12, 2015, 7:33 pm

    HELP!!! I’m 62 and was a slave to this drug for a few years a long time ago (had a seizure in 2004 and another in 2005 that finally got me to stop then). But I was in a hospital after 2005 seizure and that helped me cope and recover. Unfortunately, after major surgery in 2011, when the Percocet was gone I went online and was able to go back to my old friend (so I thought) Tramadol.

    I’ve been taking very high daily doses for over 3 years and when the last delivery of pills ran out (this past Sunday) that was it. I had none to take so I’m on day 4 of cold turkey and its hell. Anyone have any ideas of other supplements that will help me cope? Smoking a joint helps a bit but not much. Anyone know if Xanax would help? Or what would? Or do I just have to hang in there?

    (BTW I can’t share this info with anyone in my family so to them I’ve got a bad stomach flu for now but it drives me crazy dealing with the depression, stomach ache, total lack of appetite, etc.). I don’t blame anyone but myself for this pain I’m causing myself and I would not wish this on my worst enemy.

    • Char November 28, 2015, 6:27 pm

      Diazepam helps with anxiety and relaxes the muscles… I am in the UK so not sure where you are or what meds are available to you. I would however strongly suggest you see your GP as you’ve been on it for so long they will have to help you. Hang in there tho as it will pass and just remember another day gone is another day closer to being free of all this withdrawal and pain meds. Good luck.

  • Jill November 15, 2015, 5:21 pm

    Thank you for this article!! I was on Tramadol for about 10 years! I have Daily Chronic Migraine. I am in severe pain daily, Tramadol worked, so my doc stuck with it. In the middle of that 8 yrs my doc wanted me to take Morphine. I took it for 2 & 1/2 years. I took a high dose due to the pain. But it worked!! I was afraid to come off Morphine. I was able to come off of Morphine in 1 month, no problem.

    Doc & I agreed long-term Morphine wouldn’t be good. So, went back to Tramadol. A few years ago I was taking about 500-1000 mgs/day. I slowly drew back till I got 250-300 mgs/day this last 6 mos. About 3 wks ago I wouldn’t take it daily, the pain was horrible. When I have my Migraines, they put me in the hospital if I don’t have any pain meds. Tramadol just dulled the pain, but I wasn’t in the hospital.

    About 2 weeks ago I only allowed myself to take it a few times a week. Last week was hell! I couldn’t even fix a sandwich, I could barely muster strength to get shower or go to the bathroom. I felt dead & somewhat emotional, like a failure. I felt so out-of-control of my own brain/body. It’s bad enough to feel out of control of my pain & a failure for the Migraines taking over my life. Because of them I have missed many many things with my hubby, kiddos & family in the last 10 1/2 years!

    I could hardly shower/get dressed each day. I was in bed all the time. But I know I have to completely be finished with Tramadol. When my dad had to take it for a fall, he was a zombie for the month he took it. When he went off, his spark was back. I think Tramadol has added to my fatigue/brain fog/exhaustion/tireness, etc for the last 10 yrs. I am starting to feel alive again after 10 years! I can think straighter, I WANT to shower/get dressed & get through the day, even with the horrible head pain.

    Tramadol has been harder to come off of, please don’t become a TRAMADOL ZOMBIE. Find another way to muster through your pain, it’s worth it to get some of your life back. Take control of your own life.

  • Marion wilby December 4, 2015, 11:09 am

    Hi I have been on tramadol for over 20yrs on the high dose 100 four times a day + my other tabs, but I wanted to come off of them so went to my docs. She was alright about it, so we are taking it slowly, but the withdrawal symptoms are freightening me a bit, as I’m already in a wheelchair, so can’t move around very much. I just hope I’m not too bad.

  • Sue December 4, 2015, 11:34 pm

    My husband was crashed by a 800kilo excavator bucket to his left foot. After 4 operations over the last 12 months they have now fused the foot hoping not to amputate. They tried morphine and such, but you have never seen anything like it with hallucinating… the only drug he could tolerate was Tramadol which he was on 100mg from the beginning, but over the past 2 months they have cut him down to 50mg and now he has been off them altogether for 4 days.

    He is hallucinating and very restless, trouble sleeping, but will sleep during the day on and off. I have seen my husband go from this strong fit man to a man at 64 years you would think is 85. I became very worried with this mental aspect he is presenting to me and was relieved to read the side effects and that he isn’t going mental. His D-day is Tuesday to see the specialist and I’m crossing everything and hoping to see my man come back to me.

  • Michelle December 8, 2015, 6:34 pm

    Hi, I’ve been taking tramadol for months due to severe sciatic pain, I managed to reduce my dose to manageable, to cope with pain relief and trying to feel awake! I have had steroid injections now and have slowly come off my tramadol, under the direction of my doctor. 3 days ago, tramadol free, but have been having very, very hot feet when I go to bed at night. I have to get up and stand on the cold tiles in the kitchen until they cool down, usually 1/2 hour to 2 hrs, feel dog tired but can’t sleep as feet are so uncomfortable. Anyone else had this as a side effect of coming off tramadol Starting to come off Naproxen this weekend wish me luck! ?

  • Drea December 24, 2015, 11:46 am

    I only took tramadol for 5 days for an aching tooth. Once it got better, I stopped taking them and am now seriously having withdrawals. Stopped 5 days ago and I swear I still feel like I’m going to die. Vomiting, diarrhea, aches all over and can’t sleep. I think I’ve taken a hundred baths just to feel a little better. I haven’t eaten since I stopped taking them, I’m too nauseous. I was told these pills are non-addictive and no worries of withdrawals like with vicodin or percocet. LIES! This drug is evil and anyone prescribed it should stop taking it immediately!

  • Judy Gale December 24, 2015, 10:46 pm

    I am so glad I found this site!!! I have been taking tramadol for over ten years. I have gotten it down to 50 2x a day. If I don’t take the second dose, I get horrible RLS, which is what made me think of possibility of addiction. I started researching and there it was. Thank you to everyone who commented, now I know I have a battle to go through but it is not on my head.

    I really want to get off the tramadol, I am an alcoholic and being tied to anything makes me uncomfortable. Also, the side effects of tramadol, for me, are not worth the pain relief any more. Dizziness, depression, fatigue and anxiety are things I can do without, I hope!

  • Gary December 26, 2015, 11:50 pm

    Today is December 26th and I’ve been clean since November 11th. My fatigue is brutal, still. My bowels are still in disarray and my sleep patterns are just back to normal. I was taking 350 mgs a day for four years and prior to I’ve been on two Oxy Merry go Rounds. Pretty much since my last back surgery in 2005 I’ve been taking opiates for pain. My doctor assured me that if taken for pain…no addiction. My original pain is now manageable now that the dam pain receptors have calmed down. I hate what tramadol has done to me!!

  • Dottie December 29, 2015, 10:36 pm

    Dizziness and feeling like I was going to pass out made me take one, then everyday again to get things done for Christmas. 50 mg reg pills 1 X a day. There is no lower dose. How do you taper when you are already taking the lowest dose? Doc has no info, just says stop taking!!! 2 pharmacies have said it is safe to cut 50 mg, but website for tram says DO NOT CUT. EVEN THE REGULAR PILLS. Please advise how I can taper. Want to end this terrible med.

    • Joe January 15, 2016, 11:09 pm

      I have NO idea why they would say not to cut tramadol pills. It would affect the absorption rate a bit (it’d be quicker) but that is completely harmless for a bite of a 50mg tramadol pill.

      My first cold turkey experience with tramadol was me accidentally leaving my bottle in Vegas. It sent me to the ER at 3:00AM on day two. Two ER doctors were very nice to me about it because one of them had been through it. They suggested tapering and specially mentioned “biting” of pieces of the 50mg pills at the end of tapering.

  • Rainman December 29, 2015, 11:15 pm

    I wish I would’ve seen this article earlier. I’ve been taking Tramadol for PMR, about 300-400 mgs per day. I quit cold turkey about 4 days ago. I don’t have any of the gastro issues but I do have overall pain and severe sleeplessness, RLS, night sweats, runny nose, severe mood swings, aggressiveness, etc. The insomnia is the worst. I’m going to stay cold turkey and never take this demon drug again. My rheumatologist said this drug was safe. I need something for the PMR pain but I’m afraid to take anything now. Who knows how long these withdrawal symptoms are going to last…

    • greg December 30, 2015, 5:29 pm

      Rainman, I too am on day 4 of cold turkey taking about 200-300 mg a day. This is my 2nd try at it. Maybe we could encourage one another through this nightmare, praying for you too. Greg.

  • Andyforrester January 3, 2016, 2:09 am

    Hi. I have been on tramadol since February but only started taking extra in June. I’m doing cold turkey and it’s hell. Its 02.05 and I’m still awake but the tingling down below is horrible. I have to beat this even though tempting to take one just to sleep I can’t and won’t. Never again will I be so stupid and put myself through this. I hope any one who reads this can beat the same problem and live hopefully as normal can be. Thanks for listening. Back to hell I go. Andy

  • Peter January 6, 2016, 7:19 am

    I have been on Tramadol for about 6 months leading up to hip replacement. It’s been 7 weeks now since the operation. At most I was taking 400 MG a day. I cut Tramadol off and used Dilaudid for 2 weeks or so. As that prescription wore out I went back on Tramadol. Now I’m trying to cut it off. So far I go off one day and feel fine. The next day I have flu-like symptoms (sneezing/body aches).

    That night I’ll have terrible RLS and stabbing pain. So I’ll take 100mg of Tramadol. Repeat process. Tonight I’m trying just 50 MG. I’ll see how that goes. I won’t go back to 100. If I can repeat the one day on/one day off at that level, then I’ll try cold turkey after 2 or three weeks. Going off Dilaudid was a cinch compared to this.

  • Andyforrester January 7, 2016, 3:34 pm

    I quit tramadol on Jan 2nd 2016. I was on roughly 450mg a day. Cold turkey was hell. I went there 3 times but crawled out the other side. I’m on day 6. Sleep patterns are non exist. I’m exhausted beyond belief. Still feel the tingling sensation down below which is the worst ever. Back at work in two days and seriously need sleep. Do not give up if you’re doing cold turkey. Pleaseeee. Yes it’s hell and the worst thing ever. You must stick to it no matter what. Do a video diary 2 or 3 times a day. It does help. Good luck people. I seriously mean it. It does get better.

  • jeff January 8, 2016, 7:31 pm

    I have been on Tramadol for about 8 years. The doctor gave it to me for shoulder pain at the time. At the time it made me feel great and I had no pain. I tried to stop it about 15 times over the years. I was able to go about 4 days without and then I would go right back on because of the horrible withdrawls. I have spent thousands of dollars over the years buying the tramadol online.

    The last 5 months my abdomen started to hurt real bad. I had all kinds of tests and they all came back fine. I have slowly weaned my self off and I am on day 8 of no tramadol. Have chest pains still,hard to breathe, stomach cramps,still sore all over. Has really messed up my digestive system. Stomach sticks out like I’m pregnant. When I eat I get sick. I threw out all my pills and will never touch that stuff again.

    I spent probably $10,000 buying online over the years because I did not want to keep asking my doctor. I feel more alive than in years. I feel what made me get off for the final time was because I was really afraid about what it was doing to my insides. I’m 54 years old. I know more than anyone how hard it is to get off the drug, but think about what it is doing to your body and hopefully that will see you through.

  • Joe January 15, 2016, 11:03 pm

    I stopped taking about 800mg tramadol per day one week ago. I ran out by poorly timing a reorder on accident. I could have gotten in a quick visit to the doctor and refilled that way but I decided to just stop taking it instead. I was taking Tramadol for about six years for back pain that is moderate to severe. I quit cold turkey exactly seven days ago today. The first 48 hours was insane.

    Extreme pain everywhere. No possible way to get any healthy sleep, just occasional naps from extreme exhaustion. Constantly pacing my house because sitting still or lying down just causes more pain. The restlessness was as bad as you can possibly imagine. To get through the first 48 hours I took a decent amount of Loperamide (Imodium AD or Walgreen generic have it). Talk to YOUR doctor before taking it!

    Do not take it just because I mentioned it. Loperamide is sort of like an opiate that affects your stomach. It helps Tramadal withdraw similar to how methadone eases hardcore heroine withdraw. We’re all adults here I assume so I’m going to mention one of the more intimate possible uses of tramadol listed above: premature ejaculation. My Tramadol use DID have this effect for the years I took it. You can have sex for hours if you like on tramadol, easy peasy.

    Really you can stay “on the job” as long as you like with this medicine. That alone could up the abuse potential of tramadol I would think lol. Though it does numb you a bit, like wearing a bad condem. Climaxing can be difficult. When I stopped cold turkey… yikes. I’d forgotten how amazing sex is when tramadol is not numbing you and you feel everything like normal. My sex drive has been through the roof during withdraw and the sensitivity is crazy.

    It’s like being 18 years old again! My long term girlfriend has been… well she’s been great to me this week and having fun with how “easy” I am now 😉. This was the ONLY perk of withdraw. I highly recommend you take advantage of it to get your mind off the withdraw symptoms. I was taking about 800-1200MG daily, which is higher than a person should take. One week in and I still get dizzy bouts and have very low energy and low concentration.

    I stopped taking loperamide on day three to avoid becoming physically dependent on it and having to keep taking it next (again, always ask YOUR doctor)! Hopefully by next week symptoms will be gone. Ironically my big dog got an injury a few days ago. I had my housekeeper take him to the vet… and they came back with a bottle of 20 x 50mg Tramadol pills that the vet prescribed for my dog LOL.

    Tempted by nasty withdraw symptoms I almost took a few but I managed to hold tight and keep my system 100% tramadol free. Things I took during the first three horrible days:

    Loperamide (Imodium AD or generic)
    NyQuil with Dextromethorphan.
    Advil (not while on NyQuil)
    Coca Cola (helped stomach upset and fatigue)
    Lots of water
    Lots of sex. It’s the only perk in this mess and I recommend it. It gets your endorphins going which is an awesome break from pain and the general blah feeling.

    Regular Coke has so much sugar in it that you would get sick drinking it. So it has an agent that calms your stomach. For some reason that stomach agent worked very well for calming my stomach during withdraw. Regular old Coke, easy peasy. Don’t guzzle two-liters of the stuff. I did an 8 ounce cup with ice at breakfast then one more at lunch. Coke is extremely unhealthy, so I just sipped a couple small cups for the first several days.

    This worked well for me but again you should take NOTHING without talking to your doctor. I am a software engineer with back pain… NOT A MEDICAL EXPERT. Hang in there a few days. Tough it out. Give em hell. It goes away.

  • Nick January 20, 2016, 8:08 pm

    I’m on day 3 with no tramadol. I ran out and decided not to ask my doctor for another refill. Detox from Tramadol a few times In my life so I know what to expect. Somehow I always seem to forget how bad the pain is. The worst for me is the muscle and joint aches. I can say this though after you hit about day 4 things will start getting better and easier.

    No matter how bad you wanna just take another tramadol don’t do it its like starting the process all over again. Do yourself this favor and get to at least 5 days then see if you can manage. It really does get bearable and easier from that day forward. You can start living your life again.

  • tim January 22, 2016, 10:20 pm

    It’s been two weeks, and two days since my last dose. I only took it for about 6 weeks, about 4-5 50mg tablets at once at night. I stopped cold turkey the 5th of jan and today the 22nd I’m still having substantial stomach cramps. Is this a normal symptom of a lengthy withdrawal? Just a side note I’ve never taken this devil drug before this.

    • Lori January 26, 2016, 4:53 pm

      I’m sorry you are feeling so lousy. I understand. Not sure if this will help, but for your tummy try some sparkling water (no sugar) with ginger root slices infusing it. It helps me. Also, get a good probiotic greek yogurt or a good over the counter probiotic to get your stomach in order. If you have to, get some immodium to have on hand. Again, I can only speak for what is helping me with this specific symptom. I hope it helps you, too.

  • Diane January 26, 2016, 4:05 pm

    I’m on day 7 of no Tramadol after having been tapering off, down to 1/2 tablet every eight hours (25mg) for a couple of months before that. Still not sleeping for very long, night sweats, flu-like symptoms, teeth hurt, body aches like flu, sneezing. Evil, evil drug. I was prescribed Tramadol for herniated discs originally about three years ago.

    The good thing is that my withdrawal symptoms are lessening, but they are not yet gone. I do have hope. What amazes me is that every single doctor and/or pharmacist that I have mentioned the awful addiction of this drug looks at me like I’m either making it up or some kind of weakling. Big lesson to be learned is to always, without fail, research every single drug that you put into your body before starting it, if at all possible.

    I do think that one day Tramadol will be recognized as the dangerous drug that it is. Good luck to everyone who is struggling. As I say, I am feeling some better now and there is hope for all of us.

  • Melissa February 4, 2016, 6:30 pm

    I have been on 100 mg of Tramadol four times a day for seven years. There was recently a series of miscommunications that led to me being forced into severe withdrawals. This is what they prescribed to me after choosing to stop taking narcotics after 15 yrs of treatment with the gamut of vicodin, percocet, oxycontin, methadone etc… I had no clue it would affect me like this. I found all the comments on here interesting. I have every single side effect listed and it will take me weeks to recuperate.

  • Andy February 10, 2016, 8:50 pm

    I’ve been off tramadol now for 6 weeks. I was on 600/800 mg a day and did cold turkey. It was hell. I visited that place 3 times. Withdrawal symptoms are horrid and insomnia kicks in at the end. It lasted 12 days but the trick is to never give up. It is hell but worth it in the end. Good luck anyone cold turkeying. Do a video diary like I did. It does help. Good luck peeps.

  • Anonymous February 13, 2016, 6:24 pm

    I was prescribed Tramadol, 200 mg daily, for two years, (2009 – 2011) during my first stint with the drug. However, I grew concerned about addiction issues, so one day, I just dumped what I had on hand in the toilet, flushed and quit… Simple, right…? Nope! I was not prepared for the withdrawals, thought I was sick or something!

    I finally figured it out… what was going on with me, and gutted through it… As I recall, that first time I quit, the physical withdrawals lasted about 5 days, were actually pretty minor, insomnia, restless legs, sweating, low energy, and at the end of it, I felt pretty good… no lingering issues that I could tell. My second go around with Tramadol…

    My PCP attempted to treat my nerve pain, resulting from some pretty bad back injuries, knee injuries and multiple surgeries, using alternative methods, other than narcotics. Yes Tramadol is a narcotic. However, after trying what seemed like a thousand different treatments, therapy and non-narcotic meds, with zero relief, my PCP basically advised me, that it was his professional opinion, that I should resume taking Tramadol.

    See, Tramadol, insofar as treating my pain, was a wonder drug… I could actually have a moderately pain free life. So, without further ado. Addiction… I re-started taking Tramadol at the end of 2011. Originally I was prescribed the same dose as I’d initially been prescribed, 200 mg daily. But, I noted that as the years passed, 200 mg basically stopped providing relief.

    So, my PCP upped my daily dose to 400 mg daily, and that seemed to do the trick. But, as the years continued to pass, I found that I needed more and more Tramadol in order to obtain pain relief. But I still retained some control, and, mostly, kept my Tramadol intake somewhat under control. Although, there were bad days, when I’d take as much as 800 mg, thankfully, I didn’t let myself get pulled down that path too far, and I always got myself back on track, insofar as 400 mg of Tramadol daily can be considered, “on track”…

    Anyway, there were times when I’d run short of pills, but never completely out of pills, as my PCP understood my situation and worked with me, in getting occasional early re-fills. As time and my addiction progressed, I began to note changes in myself. Things like… well… I felt like I was less intelligent, like I had less intellectual/psychological agility and resiliency. I found myself making occasional mistakes at work, that I’d never made before.

    I also found myself withdrawing from life and people in general. My wife, of 25 years, with whom I’d shared 3 wonderful children, (All grown now) and had established a home and life with, left me… I blame her leaving, at least partially, on the effects Tramadol had on me, and to an extent, my changed personality. I’d become lazy, disengaged, and disinterested, in pretty much everything. She finally had enough. (There were many issues coming between my wife and I.

    I cannot blame it all on Tramadol, but I really wish I could.) At the risk of providing evidence against myself; I just felt stupid-er… I also began to experience other health conditions, like high blood pressure, that I’d never had prior. I continued to take Tramadol from the end of 2011 until February 6, 2016 at 1900 hours… Today is February 13, 2016. On February 6, 2016, I decided that I valued my health, wellbeing, and life, more than I valued Tramadol.

    I also came to the realizations, that I fear the inevitable pain I will suffer without Tramadol, less than I fear, slow suicide with Tramadol. So, as before, I emptied my Tramadol bottle in the toilet, flushed, and with a fair amount of trepidation, stood by… This time around, the withdrawals were MUCH worse that my first experience! This time, I’ve experienced, every single possible withdrawal symptom listed above, with the exception of suicidal thoughts.

    It’s been pretty darn BAD! The worse part; is it’s been nearly seven days, since my last use, and I’m still suffering notable physical withdrawals, mild cramps, sneezing, runny nose, mild vertigo, and joint pain! However, I do seem to be coming out of it a little more each day now… Days 1 – 4, were flat ugly! As I expected, my back and nerve pain have returned, with a vengeance, but at least its honest, not the pain managed illusion that Tramadol provided.

    The silver lining, now that I’ve stopped taking Tramadol; there is less danger of turning into a drug induced retard!  I’ll learn to deal with the pain… To each of you, I wish you the absolute best in your journeys! Peace!

  • Mark Voors March 10, 2016, 4:02 pm

    I have been taking Ultram for 4 months. 200mg/daily. I started to reduce dose 50mg each two days. Then stopped. First day without Ultram: Medium Anxiety and Diarrhea. Second: Some muscle pain and hard morning. Third: Brain zaps. Fourth: Almost nothing. Conclusion: Ultram withdrawal is not so hard for everybody. Each body reaction is different. Don’t panic, maybe yours is easy too.

  • Alice March 18, 2016, 12:29 pm

    I didn’t even realize I had still been taking tramadol 50mg for about three months until I was refilling my meds one day and realized it was still in my drawer. I stopped immediately because I didn’t have enough to “taper” off as I would have liked to do. I now realize I must have been addicted to it and not known.

    I don’t usually take pain meds but my arthritic knee had been bothering me and the doctor prescribed the tramadol. I now am having terrible insomnia, headaches, multiple urinations during the night and severe leg and arm spasms. I can nap during the day but for some reason cannot sleep at night. My naps are only half hour here and there but at least I can function.

    I am diabetic and am going to tell my doctor to never give me this med again cause even though it helped, I don’t like the “withdrawal” effects, OR he could’ve explained how to taper off of them. I am SO GLAD I found this article to explain a lot of what I was going through because it was really making me nervous.

  • Linda March 24, 2016, 5:50 pm

    I decided to get off Tramadol and Ativan at the same time. I am sick of being ruled by medications that did not help anyway. I went cold turkey on both. The doctor put me on Paxil. I took it for 10 days and it made me anxious within a half hr of taking it. So I stopped it as well. I had a very severe panic attack level 10 and a few lesser ones.

    I felt great 2 days after stopping Paxil and bam, panic and anxiety. It comes and goes. She gave me Xanax to take during a panic attack. It works after 15-20 min and I am fine. But this is getting to me. I have been off Tramadol and Ativan for 3 wks and 3 days. I still am getting the goose bumps. Not all the time but every day still. I am anxious and try very hard to get it under control.

    I am aware of every twitch and pain in my body. It makes you nuts. I hope this ends soon. I am trying to go with natural supplements for my anxiety. I was good for almost 3 yrs and bam it hit me when I made appts for the doctor. It is a flight or fright response to medical issues and it produces so many symptoms. I do not know what is real and what isn’t anymore.

    I did have some derealization issues as well. My hearing was off and eyesight the first week. I was only taking one 50mg Tramadol in the AM. And 1 mg of Ativan in the am and PM. I was on Tramadol for 6 mo. and Ativan for 4 yrs.

  • Barbara LEwis March 27, 2016, 5:42 am

    Upon taking Tramadol daily for over 10 years for back pain I had to cold-turkey 3 days ago. I am now taking Oxycodone as my back problem has escalated requiring upcoming surgery. You can’t take both drugs at the same time. Quitting Tramadol and subsequent withdrawals is the most difficult experience of my life. In addition to the common withdrawal symptoms I am experiencing severe breathing symptoms making sleep impossible.

    Nose sprays don’t help. The sweats and chills are constant plus the feeling of being caged-in. The brain zaps are brutal and constant causing dizziness. The flu symptoms especially nasal congestion are persistent. I empathize with anyone in my shoes. Tramadol is like a bad relationship. When you try to break off it comes back and bites you in the ass.

  • Eabarth April 1, 2016, 5:36 pm

    I had been prescribed Tramadol for knee pain due to arthritis. Had no idea it was addictive. Bad thing was I kicked it once before. I have no idea why I started it again. Should have known better. But I am on withdrawal for the second time. This website has been so helpful, it’s not all my imagination!

    I’ve had most of the withdrawal symptoms, restless legs, insomnia, bad stomach, depression, you name it. I am on day 5 and just starting to feel a little better. I can honestly say I will never take this stuff again! Prayer helps, hang in there people, it does get better!

  • Joe Flores April 10, 2016, 6:45 pm

    I have been taking tramadol for about 2-3 months and I decided to go cold turkey one day. Flushed my pills down the toilet and prepared for the worst. However, I didn’t know what I was in for. Worst experience of my life and currently still going through it.

    I am on day 6 so it’s not as bad. The pain, anxiety and insomnia are the worst and are always present. There were times where I thought of killing myself but with a little faith and will I managed to make it through the worst. I wish all of you experiencing any type of withdrawal the best. My heart goes out to all of you and know that it can be done.

    I consider myself to be a very weak willed person so if I can do it I know that anyone can. Supports systems are good as well and make sure that if you are deciding to quit, you choose a place and people that can understand. God bless.

    • Lynn May 23, 2016, 4:09 pm

      Thank you Joe for your story. I have been taking 50mg tramadol about 4 to 6 and occasionally 8 pills a day for hand surgery. I have been on them for about 2 months. I don’t want to take them any more and it has been just awful. The first day was just awful, crying all day, very needy and depressed and dizziness, cold sweats, cant sleep, soaking my bed with sweat at night.

      The second day I have no appetite feeling horrible so I went and got a professional massage to get toxins out of my system, still depressed, made myself walk for a mile, total exhaustion, mental state just horrible, keep reading the 91st psalm. I slept the second night but had weird dreams, This is my third day and still exhausted, no appetite, having to force myself to eat.

      I am told that 7 to 10 days should do the trick. I have lots of people praying for me. I will be 70 years old this august and this is the worst thing I have ever been on! I just so appreciate your comments and pray that anyone taking this horrible drug gets off of it really fast.

  • Valle April 11, 2016, 10:43 pm

    Trying to taper, Down from 8 tramadol a day to 5 a day. Tomorrow I begin 4 a day for three days, then 3 and one half for 2 days, 3 for three days, and so forth. I don’t know what it is about Tramadol but it has worked like an anti-depressant for me. I have never felt “high” on it or anything, just an absence of pain; physical and mental.

    Still, I don’t like being dependent on it. I’m in my fifties but many years ago, in my early 20’s, I was hooked on Dilaudid. I remember clearly that withdrawal and that memory has me pretty scared about this withdrawal, even though I am tapering on my own. It’s a relatively quick taper because it takes a tremendous amount of self-control and I just want to get it over with.

    I have another 10 to 15 days of tapering and then its really show time. Just want to be off it. Thanks to everyone for all your stories, experiences and advice. I have been taking notes and developing a withdrawal and post withdrawal treatment plan. Thank you all so much.

  • Vernon April 24, 2016, 5:25 am

    I decided to turn to the Internet when I noticed the first onset of withdrawals. I have been on Tramadol 200mg for 5+ years through CA Workman’s Comp. My insurance co., not my doctor, stopped approving my prescription with no forewarning or explanation. I was left to fend for myself, not knowing what to expect. I am writing this in the wee hours because I am unable to sleep and I feel like crap (thank you CA Work Comp). I would have appreciated some kind of help with this.

  • Jenny April 24, 2016, 8:38 pm

    I’m now into my 48 hours of being Tramadol Free. I toggled between Hydrocodone and Tramadol for the past 4 years. Tramadol was my gateway drug to the world of opiate addictions. I’m currently Red Flagged, ran out of Tramadol with a refill in 2 weeks… I don’t want to fill it but I fear I will. I hope I can get out of this tramadol withdrawal funk before then.

    I’m your typical mother of two, wonderfully loving husband who is blind to this. I lost my job for stealing meds from a co-worker, that’s how bad this got. A month later I had hip surgery that was planned and needed. I was high for a couple of months, bed ridden but planned a getaway. I moved my family a few hours away from the town that took me down.

    Mostly because I was humiliated with what I had become. During the recourse of moving, I knew that I would eventually lose my access to the drugs. I have lost it all but as a mom, I have to keep prevailing, faking it for my family. They will love me no matter what but I can’t let them suffer with my inability to parent right now.

    And wouldn’t you know, I worked really hard to find a good job, I shined in those interviews thanks to the power of Tram and Charm. I got the job. I start in a week, I have no more meds. They won’t recognize the gal they hired and I am freaking out that I suck as a Mom. Although it’s day two, I have managed to do all the laundry and help my husband clean the house.

    Kids are brushed, bathed and fed…I don’t know how I keep going. But what I do know is that I have read pages of posts from people just like me. And this alone as given me hope. The truth of your words has also scared me, its day 2… I now know I’m not out of the woods although I assumed day one was the worst.

    I can’t wait for night to fall when my responsibilities shift, but when the dark comes, I do not sleep… my thoughts keep me scared, worried, disappointed in me and what I have become. And all I wanted was to know why my hip hurt so badly… 4 years later, hip pain is easier to work around than tramadol withdrawals. Thank you for your words. They make me cry, scream, feel sad, happy and hopeful… your words are fixing me.

    That’s huge, take that in for a moment as I have and know that we can and we will be free, someday soon.

  • terry April 25, 2016, 4:40 pm

    I have been on tramadol for 22 years for fibromyalgia and OA symptoms. It doesn’t take away the pain completely from either problem, but it does make it bearable. It also clears the brain fog associated with fibromyalgia, at least for me. It makes me feel, mentally, the way I felt before the fibromyalgia, which started after a car accident).

    My doctor messed my prescription up a while back, and I was out of tramadol for a day, after only having 100 mg each day of the previous two days. I was miserable – couldn’t think, was in pain and I had restless everything (like restless legs, only over the entire body). I couldn’t sleep, I was sweating and just generally wanted to crawl out of my skin.

    I was intensely depressed, just for that one day, until the doctor realized his error and contacted the pharmacy. It was then I decided to get off these darned things. I had been taking 2, 50mg tablets 2-3 times daily as I needed. I am now taking 1.5 tablets in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. If I still need two later, I will take them, but that never was often, and is less often now.

    In 4 months, I will take 1.5 tablets for the morning and 1.5 tablets in the afternoon. I will do this, switching between lowering the morning for 4 months, then afternoon for 4 months, until I’m off these things. Today is the first day since I started the lower dosage, two weeks ago, that I haven’t had muscle burn and weakness when I awoke in the morning.

    I’m going so slowly because I’ve been on them forever, and I never want to go through what I went through before without them. Also, Uncle Stick His Nose In Everyone’s Business has decided we people in pain shouldn’t be on certain medications for the long term, without giving doctors any guide as to how else to treat the pain. Smart! Not.

    If I do better than I think I will, I may move up the dosage-lowering times. For now, I’m just happy to be able to function on a lower dose. My prayers are with everyone in pain and those who are trying to quit their meds and going through withdrawal. For the rest, I pray your doctors aren’t scared by the government, and keep prescribing what you need.

  • Renee May 11, 2016, 9:41 pm

    What if you’re on an extended release form that you can’t cut the tablet? How can you taper? I’d like to go slow to lessen the chance of w/d symptoms. I’ve asked 2 doctors who are treating my back pain. One told me 2 days to withdraw and the other 2 weeks with no advice on a taper. I take 200 ER for 8 years and fear I need slow gradual reduction.

  • Claire May 27, 2016, 8:41 am

    That was a relief to read the symptoms!!! I thought it was just me but seems it’s the tramadol. I’ve only been on tramadol for 3 weeks 2 days post op for my rotator cuff repair! Originally two in the morning and two at night (50mg each tab) for about 10 days, then one in the morning and one at night, then I tried one at night only and that was a joke (too soon) so moved back to two at night to sleep which worked well as the pain was manageable during the day and I was sleeping well!

    Then for the last week back to just one at night….so I guess without realising I have been tapering off this drug in terms of timing of the doses.
    Even though I have been on low doses, on day 2 of no tramadol I still feel the withdrawals!!! So if you are starting to take this drug just monitor your use! I’ve done my research and am going to start taking:
    -Magnesium at night
    -High dose Vitamin C – increase my normal dose
    -Increase my Multi Vitamin with calcium, B vitamins, zinc
    -More green smoothies with green leafy veggies, and bananas/frozen berries
    -Drink way more water

    …because after bursting into tears for no reason this morning, sweating up a storm the first night, feeling hot when everyone else is freezing but having goose bumps, having nausea, like feeling hungry all the time but it’s withdrawal cause when I eat I feel ill, taking paracetamol for my pain instead, and literally my brain telling me I’m in pain just after 6 hours but then 30 minutes later I’m fine (paracetamol dose on my packet says two every 6 hours) this is ridiculous!!!!!

    I suggest if you are struggling with your withdrawals, have tapered your dose and are nearly going to go for the packet to make things easy…
    -Take a few deep breaths
    -Have a glass of water
    -Get out of your head – there is nothing wrong will you, you will be okay, withdrawal is part of the process
    -Stay positive, think of something you can go do or take your mind off what’s going on

    The mornings are hard to get going but set a time you have to be somewhere or ready for something (if you are not in serious pain), and it sounds weird but talk to yourself like someone else would…like if someone else saw you panicking and crying they would say ‘what’s going on are you ok?’ And then to yourself you can say ‘I’m withdrawing on tramadol, I feel like crap, I’m ok I will be ok!’

    Kinda reassure yourself and get out of your head! Mind over matter on this one I’ve worked out. =)

  • Lisa Keres June 22, 2016, 3:26 am

    Worst withdrawals ever. I tapered off to half a 50mg pill a day to none and I’m 4 or 5 days off. I can’t sleep because I feel like my back is trying to crawl away. I can’t get comfortable. I’m overly emotional. I will never ever use this medication again. Although it’s good to know this isn’t all in my head. I’ve tried for years to get off and most Drs have told me it’s not addictive. That made me feel crazy. At least now they are being honest about it.

  • Stella June 29, 2016, 5:41 pm

    I took Tramadol for ten years (first prescribed for broken ankle) and am on third week of no Tramadol/ No Opiates. For six of the ten years I took 300-600 mg daily, then cut down to 150mg daily about 3 years ago, and started titrating towards total withdrawal about a year ago. The last six weeks of only 10 -15 mg were helped by the making Tramadol water previously mentioned.

    It’s been an extremely uncomfortable, lonely, long and sad journey as I told no one except my therapist. The discomfort has its ups & downs… Still sweat profusely and become dizzy when exerting myself at all; getting enough sleep is a daily struggle; my short term memory and ability to focus are non-existent… and, worst of all, I have become a hermit with my ugly little secret.

    Right now, all I can do is be clean & healthy as possible and know that my body will heal… I won’t be the person I was before Tramadol, but I won’t be an opiate addict either. I was stupid to trash my body, mind & soul like I did, but I have worked hard to make amends. My body, mind & soul have forgiven me… And yours will too.

  • Monica July 10, 2016, 7:31 pm

    I am now on day 9 I felt like I have the stomach flu, no sleep, and stomach pain. Went to the doctor she gave me Trazodone for sleep and that helped a lot I can now sleep for 7 hours. To others out there, it will get better. Will never take a pain killer again I have learned my lesson.

  • Bea July 11, 2016, 2:02 pm

    After 7 years of using Tramadol for a torn hamstring and degenerative hip condition, I knew the time was now to stop taking it. Daily dose of 50mg had become 75mg 2 x day often chased with beer to enhance the effect. While afraid of withdrawal, it’s time to be free from the dependency on Tramadol… It’s not my best friend although internal lies wanted me to believe it was actually helping me get through the day.

    No more blunting of reality, feelings or the truth which was that I was abusing the med. Yes, I still have pain and my body wants me to think it is unmanageable but this is simply the lure of addiction. This is day 3 without Tramadol – I’m feeling okay yet aware that my emotional state is more sensitive and crying spells are cleansing not setbacks.

    I’m firm in moving forward with faith and confidence that by this time next week, each day will be clearer because my thinking will be clearer. I cannot blame my PCP for prescribing and refilling all these years – I knew I enjoyed taking Tramadol for more reasons than originally presented to Doctor. Prayer, more prayer and admitting my problem to a trusted friend has made all the difference in breaking free.

    Please take heart and fear not – you can be free from Tramadol. O Yes – I am a Child of God for 30 years and strive to follow Jesus. Tramadol had become an idol. I’m 63 now & FREE!

  • Valerie Inanna July 13, 2016, 2:29 pm

    I was on 300mg tramadol for 6+ years. I quit cold turkey 3 days ago. Has sweats, stomach pain while on it. So what’s happening is not new. I have RSD so there is pain 24/7 just the level shifting throughout day and night. The first 24 were rough. Cried as cried a real pity party. No energy. My hands ached and ached!

    I contacted a close group of friends to support. A Doc friend wanted me to taper over 6 weeks. My body just didn’t want it anymore. 3rd day – woke up more my younger happy self looking forward to the day. Stomach feels awful. Bolted and achy to Sick to stomach. Again that part is not new. Head hurts a little bit. Using a reflexology palm pinch.

    Is there a time when my poor body will be over this stomach pain? Using ginger chews for many years. There is some bloating. I’m 59 with nerve pain from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD).

  • KT August 3, 2016, 8:44 am

    I was told this was safe… I’m on Day 5 of Tramadol withdrawal. I’ve never experienced something like this, it is pure torture… The Oxycontin and Valium withdrawal were nothing compared to Tramadol withdrawal… I had no idea.

  • Melissa August 12, 2016, 9:59 pm

    I just want to thank everyone for their account of withdrawal from Tramadol. I had injured my back and was on Norco for a year before they figured out what was wrong with my back and I had a fusion done from L3-L5. When I came home from the hospital, I was on morphine and Percocet. After about a month, was just taking Percocet.

    By month 3, was told by my surgeon I should be weaned off by now, but I was still having so much back pain, I couldn’t do it. After 3 months, it then became the responsibility of my primary MD to write for my Rx, which he happily did. Over the next month or so, I was having multiple other problems, such as stomach cramping or pain sporadically throughout the day, extreme lethargy at times, continued back pain, but was also starting to really hurt in several other joints.

    All of this was going on and I was still taking approximately the same dose of Percocet. I feel stupid now, because it took me a while to figure out it was the Percocet doing it to me. Once I figured it out, I said screw this, I’m just going to quit! Wow! I had no idea! So I emailed my doctor and told him I wanted off the Percocet and wanted to go back to the Norco like I was before the surgery and I had read on another forum, someone said taking Tramadol helps with withdrawal from Oxy/ or Hydrocodone, so I asked for that too.

    Well, that was on a Thursday that I took my last Percocet, and I went through 3 days of Hell, not even being able to get out of bed. On the 4th day, I think the worst of the symptoms were behind me, other than such extreme exhaustion, I could hardly stand it. On that 4th day, I took a Norco, and within 30 minutes, I could feel that veil of overwhelming exhaustion lift like magic.

    My original plan was to take Tramadol OTC and take the Norco for breakthrough pain. (I had always thought that Tramadol was not physically addictive like other opiates.) My doctor agreed and gave me said scripts. At first, everything was fine, but then slowly started noticing that I was hurting in multiple joints again. For example, I woke up one morning, and my shoulder hurt so bad, I couldn’t lift my arm. I had never injured my shoulder before, but the pain was excruciating.

    I admit, I’m a little slow sometimes, or just didn’t want to see it, but finally admitted, it had to be the Norco. So, decided to get off that and see how I do. Went through another 3-4 days of Hell and now left with utter exhaustion. I had put in for a refill of the Tramadol, which I should be getting any day in the mail, but after reading of everyone’s experience, I won’t be getting on that merry-go-round!

    For the record, it’s crazy, but now that I have all of that out of my system for the most part, not only does my shoulder not hurt, but neither does my back (so far)! It’s like the drugs were actually making me hurt so I would take more of them. Pretty awful sh-t!

  • Rose August 21, 2016, 10:26 pm

    I also took tramadol for years and years for shoulder pain. It was a great drug which worked so very well especially for bone pain. I begun on 50 mg and then went to 100 mg SR once daily. I stayed on that amount for about ten years. It enhanced my mood, gave me more energy and took away all my pain. I tried 200 mg once when my Dr inadvertently gave me a script for 200 mg SR but I hated it and refused to take them!

    Eventually though, after reading much information, I decided to give it up and try to be as healthy as I could without the band-aid fix I had come to rely on. I asked my Dr to put my dose down to 50 mg and expected to get 50mg slow release. This is not what I got and I decided to be content with the 50mg fast release. I held out my dose until I felt I was beginning withdrawal symptoms and continued to take one per day for many months.

    When my body adjusted to this amount i went to the health food store and bought gel caps and began to break the capsule of tramadol powder into two (sure makes it last longer lol). I continued in this dose for few more months and then proceeded to break that dose again into two. It was the only way I could curb the restless legs, headaches, cough and other side effects I had.

    It ended up being quite easy continuing along this way until I began to forget to take one and then because I felt OK began missing every other day. Then began missing every two days until soon not taking any. I suggest this is the only way to do it and, it wasn’t too bad at all.

    So depending on your dose, cut down, little by little, take your time, tell someone you are doing it because it helps for someone to know you have been addicted – they understand the cough etc and can be very helpful in getting you to the end. And by the way, the shoulder pain did come back and I needed a shot in the bursa, but I will never take tramadol again for as long as I live.

  • Wayne September 20, 2016, 12:29 pm

    I have been on Tramadol 150mg for over 14 years now, am 44, had a car accident when I was 30, “P” Plater went thru a red light and cleaned me up, broke my back, was on physio for couple years, couldn’t walk for months, and doctor put me on these for pain relief. Over the years I have put up with restless legs, more so the last few years, and recently Doctor suggested to up the dosage, and I just thought to myself I want to get off the tramadol, not increase the dosage!!!!!

    I have been physically riding my bike 10kms every two days for the last two months and feel a lot better, so physically I am getting fitter, only 10kg overweight, as my goal was to go cold turkey while my kids were on school holidays, so if I had restless nights it would work out ok. Anyway I have been cold turkey now for 48 hours, and basically I have diarrhea, and a temp of 38, have a cough as well. I don’t know if it’s coincidence or not, that I picked up the flu the day I decided to go cold turkey or not!

    And the biggest issue for me has been restless legs and cramps, sleeping has been pretty bad as well, because of the aches and pains in my legs. Even when on tramadol I found it helped with the aching, but when I get the severe pain where I cant even get up or walk a few meters without my back grabbing me in excruciating pain, it did nothing. I have learned to live with my injury over the years, know what I can and can’t do without repercussions.

    Anyway I hope to overcome this horrible drug, and manage my pain through exercise and looking after myself, not becoming dependent on a drug.

  • Dago Lupo October 17, 2016, 3:24 pm

    I’ll share my story: Started on 50mg of Tramadol in May for a Sports Hernia, then increased to 100mg in July because 50 wasn’t enough anymore. I suffer from anxiety/depression and it really made me feel very good and anxiety free. I got surgery for my hernia in Munich at the end of July. Doctors there told me that Tramadol is a terrible drug and that I should stop it immediately.

    I tried to go cold Turkey and it withdrawal symptoms were pretty terrible. Cold sweats, nausea, insomnia, etc. So I decided to immediately go to 50mg again for the time being. From August to one week ago I was taking 50 mg of Tramadol and I hated it. It wasn’t enough to give me a high yet it made me sleepy all day. I kept taking Tramadol until exactly one week ago. Knowing that I had to quit this ASAP and wanting to avoid as much pain as possible I decided to buy really good medical weed and smoke a lot during my withdrawal phase.

    I have to say it made my nausea completely go away, and even though I still couldn’t sleep much, I would smoke and be mentally ok. The first 3-5 days I was just a zombie, with no brain power and no energy. I couldn’t sleep much and had some crazy dreams. I went to the gym everyday and it made me feel so much better. Well now its been a week and I got my first real 8 hours of sleep.

    I feel much better, my mind is back, as well as my energy. During the withdrawal phase I did feel a bit depressed the first 3-5 days without taking it but then it went away. So don’t give up, the best time to quit is NOW. This drug numbed my mind and my emotions, yet is very addictive. Stay away from it if you can.

  • Jill Smith October 27, 2016, 12:44 pm

    I took 300mg tramadol for 6 years for back pain. I decided to stop taking it do to the back pain improving. I managed to taper over many months to 125mg. The effects of withdrawal were mainly Restless Legs Syndrome. My doctor prescribed Gabapentin and this really helped.

    We discussed going Cold Turkey on the last 125mg of Tramadol. I am now on day 16 of withdrawal. The gabapentin doesn’t seem to be working anymore and I have Restless Legs Syndrome in my legs and arms every time I lay down. It’s driving me crazy. I get maybe 1-2 hrs of sleep if I am lucky. This is the hardest thing for me.

    The sleep deprivation is terrible, I am thinking that this could go on for quite a time. I am obsessed with sleep and I can’t even lay down and rest because of the RLS. I asked my doctor about increasing the Gabapentin to 300mg I did this but it’s not helping.

  • Elizabeth Lynch October 29, 2016, 8:08 pm

    I was prescribed 50mgs of tramadol twice a day for about 4 or 5 years, never abusing the drug. I have withdrawn from several other drugs in the past so I was expecting to experience withdraw symptoms when I stopped cold turkey right after back surgery. I did take Dilaudid as prescribed for three days after surgery which was 3 weeks ago.

    Although cold turkey isn’t the recommended way to stop tramadol, I figured I may as well get the initial discomfort over with as long as I wasn’t going to be feeling all that great after the surgery and I’m glad I did it that way. As I said, surgery was 3 weeks ago and my back pain is 90% improved. I would like to get back to being as active as I was, but the lack of sleep every night and the low mood seem to stop me.

    Also, the sneezing has escalated to my surprise. My doctor suggested melatonin and/or Tylenol PM, but to start at low doses. Some nights it works and some nights it doesn’t. I just turned a young 70 years old so for my brain to reset may take a bit longer or not.

    After all the reading on tramadol withdrawal I guess there is not quick fix. All I can say is why did I have to wait so long for the minimally invasive back surgery that relieved my pain, but instead I was prescribed this drug for years until it stopped working only to leave me with another problem of withdrawal!

  • Lisa November 1, 2016, 10:55 am

    I’ve been taking tramadol on and off for a few months now for Chron’s pain, a month ago started taking it regularly daily 150mg-200mg per day. After starting to feel really down and shit about myself I decided to stop taking all my meds (except azathioprine for Crohn’s), I’ve never been addicted to anything in my life, I even gave up smoking 18 years ago without a problem, so my last tramadol was Saturday night around 8 o’clock, decided cold turkey was best as I’m so stubborn there’s no way I’d go back.

    Currently on day 3, around 62 hours in, and not really sure how I feel. I’ve been to hell and it’s spat me back out into bed! My head feels like the worst hangover ever, I feel like I’ve got severe flu, and my legs…. I’d saw them off if I had the energy to even find a saw! Tonight will be 72 hours and I’m really hoping I’ll be able to get some sleep, I’ve taken 2 paracetamol before bed and that’s it to treat my symptoms, I’m so glad I’m stubborn else I’d have probably gone back to the devil tablets by now.

    I’m back at work tomorrow so I’m really hoping I’ll be feeling a little more human by then. It’s good to know I’m not alone and find great comfort in reading all these blogs at night when I can’t sleep. I can’t believe how much my body has got addicted to tramadol after only taking it regularly for a month.

  • Gareth Gillespie November 11, 2016, 2:22 am

    For the past 4-5 months I’ve been taking tramadol (amongst other drugs) for sciatic pain causerd by a disc protrusion. I am now around 5 weeks post surgery and have started to try to come off some pain pills. Having never had any real problems with chronic pain or any reason to take and drug for a prolonged period, the thought of withdrawal never really crossed my mind… until I tried to stop tramadol.

    I had been taking 4-6 100mg pills per day along with some co-codamol, amitriptyline, lyrica and one other which I can’t remember right now. I tried a taper approach but I’m not sure I did it correctly. My GP gave me 50mg pills and told me to cut down gradually so I gradually got down to a point where I thought I could stop. But since I last had any tramadol (5-6 days ago), I have had awful insomnia, diarrhoea, cramps, restless leg and I keep arguing with my partner because of my irritability.

    How long will this last? I can deal with most of it ok but the inability to fall asleep is the worst. (It’s currently 2.30am). I keep thinking that I should start back on it so I can taper down more gradually, but I really don’t want to because it kinda defeats the purpose of stopping at all and surely I’m just prolonging the inevitability of withdrawing again when I stop again.

    Do I just deal with it? Do I get some sleeping pills since the insomnia is really the only symptom that really annoys me? When I first got tramadol for my pain I was excited because I’d heard it was the dogs balls but I genuinely regret ever taking it. Thanks. GG

  • Doing ok November 19, 2016, 4:26 pm

    I had used Tramadol 200 mgm daily for arthritis for 4 yrs when a new doc stopped it suddenly. It worked great, made pain manageable and no side effects. Withdrawal, cold turkey, was uncomfortable and pain is back but I certainly don’t blame the drug. When I read posts from people taking 3 or 4 times recommended dose saying it’s the worst drug ever I can see why they think that.

    Four times the normal aspirin dose would also be a problem. Face it, you dosed yourself into an abuse issue that needs chemical dependency treatment. You also helped lay the groundwork for the CDC to make Tramadol a Schedule 4 drug and scare docs out of prescribing it. Thats a loss for a lot of us, but it’s not the drugs fault.

  • Really Struggling January 2, 2017, 7:47 am

    I was on this medication for 10 years for chronic headaches. New doctor refused to prescribe and I’ve tried to taper down what little I had left for the last week. The pain was unbearable and the depression was even worse. Got blood work done out of desperation and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and prescribed Meloxicam.

    Not sure if it’s making it worse or if this is the withdrawal. I cry suddenly and uncontrollably and have terrible thoughts that aren’t like me at all. I can’t eat or sleep. I went to an urgent care where they looked at me like a drug seeker. Please tell me this gets better.

  • Nicole January 9, 2017, 8:36 pm

    Hi, I just wanted to share a quick version of my story on here, I was on tramadol for around 4 years, give or take, and it was a daily thing. It was a hardcore addiction that spiraled out of control the worst during the last year or so, I was taking up to 20-30 50mg tramadol a day, for me a taper would be taking only 10 a day. If I was tired, take some trams, if I was bored, take some trams, etc…

    My whole life revolved around needing them for fear of being sick. I can say my fiancee saved me from those devilish things. He has never been an addiction and I look up to hime for his successes in life, he helped me realize that I will never be anything and never go anywhere if I keep these things in my life… So I decided to make a New Years Resolution this year, to quit taking the pills and any other type of drug, and to quit smoking cigarettes.

    I am extremely proud and relieved to say that I am on day 13 completely free and clear of any tramadol. The cigarettes are a work in progress, but my main concern was the pills. The first few days were hell but I just kept pushing, making sure to tell everyone I’m not interested in them anymore and do not contact me, along with blocking and deleting numbers.

    I am still feeling the cold chills and sweats, like I’m freezing all the time but sweating also. It has definitely improved from the beginning, but it’s something I’m eager to see leave entirely. I have been drinking chamomile tea to help me sleep and green tea to help me with energy. I don’t like tea, I never have, lol, but I don’t want pills anymore! Nothing stronger than a Tylenol, please!

    I have regained much of my energy and my head is so much clearer! I can feel things again, I am laughing much more and talking to others more, too. It feels so amazing. A few days ago I had on a sweatshirt I haven’t worn in a couple weeks and found some tramadol in there, and I FLUSHED THEM! I know it’s early to tell yet, but I’m saying confidently that I am so glad that burden is gone now!

    I don’t want them back, I never want to be chained down like that again, I’m ready to be healthy and alive again. Thanks for reading, I never thought I would know what it’s like to wake up and have a good day and not need those pills again. I am so proud of myself for doing this, cold turkey might I add… you can do it too, if you’re struggling! It feels so amazing, it really does. Give yourself the reward of being sober!

  • JB February 7, 2017, 4:29 am

    35 M… on Tram for a year and a half heavy and I drank Bud Light on it. Every weekend. Still drink on the weekends but my drinking brings no enjoyment like it use too, almost completely lost the taste and don’t get that good buzzed feeling. Day 7 Tram CT.

    Days 1-3: legs felt tight like I needed to stretch all day long, as if I was getting ready for one of my high school basketball games back in the day. Depression. Tired feeling. My brain trying to convince me that it’s not from the tram but I know better. I’d say because it wants one.

    Days 4-7: Legs went from the tight feeling to the normal leg cramps. 1-3 like muscle jumps all over the body last a second or two. No headaches but feeling pressure in my brain will hit a second or two and Mostly in the back of my head 1-2 a day. Stomach issues bloating and mildly upset feeling maybe cramping. The depression seems to come and go now and some anxiety, with that lost hopeful feeling. I sleep ok and get my 8 a night but still have that dragging ass feeling.

    I didn’t read anywhere on here where someone said that there symptoms had completely passed and they have returned too normal. Some still having issues 8 months later. If I ever pass this sh-t I will post the end date. Overall I would say my condition is manageable so far. But I’ll welcome the passing of this bull.

    I been making myself get out and do stuff. It does serve as a distraction to some of the withdraws. Kinda give yourself a little break once a day and go do something damn it. I don’t really have much of a craving that I want a pill so that’s not an issue at 7 so much.

    However the withdraw symptoms are real and yes it is from the Tram. I’m gonna stay positive that it will pass and I will move past it. And if it’s 8 months then so be it. Let’s get it on. Good luck to all.

  • george March 16, 2017, 5:49 am

    Oh man, if I’m able to get off this drug I will never take it again. Been on it for 5 years at a low dose – usually 50mg/daily at night to help me sleep – I have Crohn’s that cannot be treated. It’s the panic attacks. During the day, I don’t mind as I can always do something to distract me but at night what can you do but scream. The kicker is that for the last year, I had reduced it to 1/2 or 25mg/night.

    The night sweats are extreme, a lot of gut pain (kinda used to it). Confusion and dizziness. The feeling of wanting to jump out of your skin that makes you sick. I’m on day 6 and it is about 10% better. Drinking a very hot peppermint tea seems to help the stomach and really does do some calming action. I’m up about every 45 minutes at night. Sometimes the sessions last for about an hour.

    I usually do get about 3 hours of sleep. When is this stuff going to stop? Some comments suggest 6 weeks! I don’t know if I can last that long. I have 3 bottles of the stuff and every night I swear I’m gong to take one just to get threw. This is not fun. If you don’t really really really need to take this drug – DON’T. I have tremendous compassion for anyone getting off this drug – I can’t tell you it gets better yet, but I sure hope it does soon.

  • Jill Smith March 16, 2017, 8:59 pm

    I will never take Tramadol again. Withdrawal seemed to go on forever. My main problem was only sleeping 2-3 hrs a night because of restless legs and arms. I was taking meds for RLS but they didn’t really work at that time. My sinuses hurt and my eyes stung. I didn’t realize a person could manage on so little sleep I couldn’t even lay down and rest because the RLS would start.

    I drank lots of tea and watched a lot of TV. Over 5 weeks my symptoms got better and I began to feel OK. I would say stick it out because to be free of it is a great relief. I have no evidence but some other medical problems I have had seemed to have disappeared since stopping tramadol.

  • Fran March 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

    I firstly wanted to say that I feel for anyone who is struggling with the above symptoms; having experienced several of them I can appreciate what a nasty surprise they may come as to a patient who hasn’t been warned about them. However, I really feel that people who try to compare Tramadol withdrawal to heroin or other stronger drugs are doing us all a disservice by making the task of getting off it seem far more daunting than it actually is.

    Yes, the withdrawal is unexpected and nasty but come on – have you ever given up daily coffees? Alcohol? Cigarettes? ALL these substances have comparable side effects. Making tramadol out to be harder than these is a guaranteed way to scare people into staying addicted rather than accepting the challenge of getting off the drug.

    Best of luck to anyone facing the WDs, but remember this happens to a lot of people and you aren’t as trapped as some of these comments may lead you to believe you are. When the effects end (and they will) it’ll be as if nothing ever happened at all, and you’ll be carry on with your lives. Same thing can’t really be said for a lot of substances that people use, and are far more casually addicted to than this drug.

  • Jill Smith March 22, 2017, 10:44 pm

    I don’t know how anyone can compare tramadol withdrawal to coming off cigarettes and coffee. I have done both and alcohol too. Tramadol is far worse. The problem for me was it went on for so long and I couldn’t lay down or sleep for more than 2/3 hours. I would not have been able to go to work if I had a job yet withdrawing from alcohol and cigarettes I worked.

    I agree that I couldn’t have coped with the amount of back pain I was suffering without medication and it could well be tramadol was right at the time. People who are on this drug have no idea and it should be discussed with the patient not routinely prescribed. My doctor, even when I was reducing my dose, did not give any advice – so I moved to another doctor who helped me and took notes on how my withdrawal was.

  • MickyUKlad March 24, 2017, 6:45 pm

    I am 28 and have been taking tramadol (50mg tablets) for about 4/5years. For the 1st 2 years I was only taking 2 tablets a day, (nothing I know) but as time went on I ended up taking lots more. I realized I had to stop when I was eating a full strip of tramadol a day! That’s 20 tablets! I depended on them for anything. I ate them for breakfast lunch and supper!

    I went for help at my doctors to come off these but they where no help at all. Told me to just stop taking them. (Which is dangerous) but I did it anyway. I reduced my daily amount from over 3 days before I quit. So from 20 I went down to 12..then to 7… then to just 2… now I’m on day 2 with absolutely none. It’s been awful. :( I haven’t had any sleep, Iv been shaking like mad and craving like mad, but I’m determined to never take a tramadol pill again.

    I’ve got some zopiclone off my doctor today to see if that helps me sleep, but I’m just scared in case I swap my tramadol addiction to a zopiclone addiction. But I only have 7 zopiclone tablets to take over the space of the next 10-14 days so I’m hoping this helps with sleep as I’m still going to work while I’m doing this cold turkey. The only 3 things I cannot deal with are: no sleep, dizziness, and the shocks I’m getting in my arms when I’m trying to get to sleep. Can anybody help with anything that can help with my dizziness and shocks in my arms?

  • Cellardoor March 25, 2017, 6:18 am

    Hi Micky, I definitely feel your pain. It’s really difficult going cold turkey like that (even though you tapered down for a few days, going from such a high dose, I’d consider that CT). I am fortunate in that I never really got to too high of a dose (I’m a 39 year old male currently at 100mg per day), but I was on that for a out 9 years, so my body got REALLY used to it, and coming off hasn’t been easy, even at that lower dose.

    I’m currently half-way through a pretty long and slow taper (just cut down to 37.5mg tonight) and for me, the most difficult part has been the psychological symptoms (mostly anxiety and depression) I have good days and bad, but overall I see an improvement. I’ve been trying to use this time as an opportunity for personal growth and introspection, sort of an alignment of my internal compass so to speak.

    I have a lot of things to work on, many of which the tramadol just sort of covered up, and lately have been bubbling up to the surface. As far as going cold turkey, that’s a personal choice that only the individual quitting can make. It’s the whole pulling the band-aid off slowly or ripping it off quickly thing. I think most of us can agree that in that analogy, pulling it off quickly is highly preferable.

    But that strategy becomes just a bit more difficult to do with trams at such a high dose. The CT withdrawals from trams are obviously more painful than pulling a ban-daid off. But with that said, there have been many others on here, as well as on other sites that have gone CT off of tramadol, made it to the other side, and are now happy and 100% tramadol free.

    It will be difficult at times, and may take awhile, but you can definitely do it! I admire you’re courage. Hang in there. As far as doing a slower taper like I am (cutting about 12.5mg once per week), I honestly haven’t had to deal with many physical WD symptoms. Only things are minor stomach issues, a little insomnia here and there, and waking up sweating more than usual.

    Like I said, for me it’s been more about the depression (a lot of the time just feeling kind of blue or bored and disinterested), anxiety and occasional cravings. I have had to stop CT before several times in the past when I ran out and couldn’t get any more for a week or so. During that time, I experienced many of the physical WD symptoms you and others have mentioned on here.

    As far as your question about dizziness goes, I believe I remember somebody on here saying that dramamine helps, which makes since being that it is used for dizziness. There are two kinds: Dramamine 1 and Dramamine 2. They contain similar, but slightly different active ingredients. They both should help, but dramamine 2 is a little less likely to cause dizziness, so take your pick.

    I just want to add a few other things that have been helping me, and that you or others might benefit from later on.

    -For anxiety: I’ve been taking L-theanine and magnesium. The L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea and is pretty safe for anyone. I’ve been taking 100mg 3 times daily. It also comes in 200mg. I feel it does a pretty decent job of taking the edge off. Low magnesium levels are associated with increased anxiety.

    -For depression: 5-HTP – This is a precursor to serotonin (tram increases serotonin in your brain, and a drop on those levels can lead to anxiety and depression for a while until your body re-adjusts). Although, it does make me a bit tired, I feel that it definitely helps at least a little bit in lifting my mood. You can take up 300mg/day. One thing I should add… if you or someone else is still taking tram, I would talk to your doctor before adding this supplement since there is a moderate interaction with tramadol.

    There is a possibility of serotonin syndrome when mixing these two drugs, but not near as high as there would be mixing a high dose of tram with an antidepressant, or mixing 2 different antidepressants. I started taking it (only 50mg which actually still seems to be effective) when I got to 50mg of tramadol. I also take 2000 iu of vitamin d3 daily, since low vitamin d levels are associated with depression. I can honestly tell a difference on days when I forget to take it.

    -Other essentials: A good multivitamin (your body will need it more than ever during this time), a good B-vitamin, especially the b12 a folic acid (this should help with nerves/mood and maybe some of your physical symptoms as well. As much exercise, fresh air and sunshine as you are able to get. It can be hard to exercise, but I find this really helps even if it’s just going for a walk. Even better if you can at least break a light sweat.

    Drink lots of water as well. Also good food, fruits and veggies and all that good stuff. I think more than anything, getting good protein really helps. At the very least, I try and drink a protein shake once a day. Most protein shakes contain all of the essential amino acids which is what your body needs at this time (it can be difficult to eat during acute WD, so this is another good reason to go for a protein shake which is a bit easier on the stomach.

    Another thing that always seems to make me feel better is eating an orange. It’s kind of odd. I don’t even particularly like oranges, and I don’t know what it is about them, but they always seem to make me feel a bit better for whatever reason. Also might need some pepto or Imodium AD, as many people do during acute WD.

    As far as the zolpidem goes, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Do what you gotta do for now. It can be addictive, but getting off of zolpidem is nothing compared to tramadol. Just stop using it when you think you can begin to get by without it, or at least cut it in half and gradually reduce. Good luck and hang in there!

  • Trish March 28, 2017, 9:12 pm

    Hi, I’ve been taking Tramadol for over 15 years for chronic back conditions. I’ve been taking 150mg per day. I’ve recently had a hip replacement and was given pregabalin in hospital for severe post op sciatica. As I was experiencing profound groin pain from hip surgery I decided to stop taking the tramadol and just use paracetamol and the occasional codeine.

    The reason for this was to establish when the groin pain was improving as I am sure the tramadol would mask the pain and I’d have no idea when the groin pain had gone. I then decided two days after stopping tramadol that I would also stop the codeine. I have to say it’s been a struggle. I’ve been a complete monster and quivering wreck, suicidal and been experiencing diarrhea, sweats and a great deal of back pain.

    But, I have not craved tramadol. I do feel I really need more than paracetamol and pregabalin for the back but have no idea what I can take instead? I don’t regret the cold turkey, it’s what I do, I did smoking cessation the same. I know I will experience these withdrawal symptoms for some time to come, but after fifteen years of taking tramadol, I feel I’ve achieved a great deal. Thank you for listening.

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