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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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{ 171 comments… add one }
  • BB September 3, 2018, 9:44 pm

    I decided to stop after taking tramadol from back surgery. I was on it for over 6 yrs and I was up to about 18 50mg pills a day. I decided 2 weeks ago to stop and never looked back. It was very hard the first few days and the by the end of the 3rd day I was going through severe withdrawals.

    I survived and now I am on day 17 without a single pill. I feel like my energy level is slowly getting better and my body is finally getting used to the adjustment without the medicine. Don’t give up – just keep looking forward. There will be better days to anyone who wants to stop.

  • SK August 26, 2018, 2:52 pm

    I have only taken tramadol for a week and a half for carpal tunnel surgery and I have a lot of sweating, running nose, jittery and low motivation now that I am no longer taking it. I did not take it very long… How long will this last?

  • Loved July 15, 2018, 10:52 pm

    I have Fibromyalgia and Arthritis. I have been taking 3 (50 mg) Tramadol a day for 4 years, down from 4 a day. Beginning in April, I started weaning off by eliminating the mid day dose (recommended by my Rheumatologist) & the detox for the first pill was pretty bad.

    LOTS of sweating, LOTS of brain zaps, body pain & depression. I waited 6 week then went off the morning pill. That was much easier. I waited 4 weeks & then eliminated the last one, the night time pill. That was 12 days ago & this has been the worst withdrawal yet.

    Violent mood swings, anger & aggressiveness & more sweating. Feeling anxious & no appetite. I have a medical marijuana card & have been using cannabis to combat the withdrawal symptoms. It helped with the brain zaps, the itching (that was fun), the pain and especially sleep.

    I’m proud I did this & NEVER ever want to experience this again. In 2012, I eliminated 3 anti-depressants plus Savella & this was worse. Yesterday was terrible, my lovely husband of 40 years finally had enough. I don’t blame him & he takes very kind& loving care of me but he just doesn’t understand.

    Today is much better, I actually slept last night. I’ve also been doing yoga & meditation when I can quiet my mind. I read that it helps to practice “self care” during this time. Today, I did what I love best, which is baking. I also made ice cream.

    Thank you all for sharing your stories and I wish you the best. This is the best article I’ve found on detoxing. Next up to eliminate is Gabapentin. I don’t have any side effects, but it has a $320 a year deductible plus the DEA wants to re-classify it as a pain med. It allowed me to finally leave the bed.

  • Tan June 15, 2018, 5:20 pm

    My doctor prescribed Tramadol for fibromyalgia pain. I had noticed lately that my pain seemed worse so I felt like taking it more often. Keep in mind, all meds are prescribed, I’m an educator, counselor, and couldn’t understand why it wasn’t helping. I recently saw my endocrinologist whom I’ve been seeing for 15 yrs or so.

    He is always saying I would feel better if I lose weight but I couldn’t do that either. He changed my meds to try something else which might help. I researched the medication and all the research indicated that it would make the Tramadol not work. I opted cold turkey. It’s been a rough week.

    But it’s Friday, I’ve not taken Tramadol since Tuesday morning. I’ve felt like I had the flu/worst migraine ever/stomach virus/nausea/just want to lie down ever. But today I’m coming around. I’m more proud than anything that I have these days behind me.

    I want to crush up the remaining pills and worn the world of the effects. The best part is that my pain is at the most minimal that I have felt in years. I’ve taken Aleve a couple of times and it has helped.

    I’ve been researching and reading all that I could so I wouldn’t feel so alone and wanted to know what to expect. I’ve had zero desire for one or even a glass of wine. Everyone and their previous comments have helped so much!!

    • BB September 3, 2018, 9:48 pm

      How long till you noticed all your energy level coming back? I’m on day 17 from the last pill and it’s been rough but so worth getting that out of my body. I’m a big advocate against anyone ever starting it now. Even though it’s very easy to get by Dr’s – they aren’t the ones going through the withdrawal process when you try to stop it.

  • Cindy Burns February 10, 2018, 3:40 pm

    I’ve been instructed by a pain specialist to discontinue tramadol. I’ve been taking 300mg/, as well as 30mg morphine/day for 10 years. Doctor increased morphine to 45mg/day. First, as I told him, I don’t want to be on a higher dose of morphine and second, I think the combination of tramadol & morphine have worked well for me.

    He said that’s the old way and now pain medicine says to only have one type pain med so that I wouldn’t become tolerant of tramadol. This seems all kinds of not right. I’m very concerned about tramadol withdrawal as well as morphine tolerance at such a high dosage. He was adamant about his decision and didn’t want to listen to my objections/concerns.

  • Daniel Yarusi February 10, 2018, 1:08 am

    This is an addition to the last post I made and a bit of background on why I was taking tramadol which I didn’t include in my previous post. I made that post at about 5AM after a horrible night of pain and insomnia. I’m 73 and have back fractures (T9-L1) from a 1986 skydiving accident. My back was tolerable until about 6 months ago.

    On top of that I have neuropathy, fibromyalgia and MGUS. Funny thing about fibromyalgia is that no physician knows what causes it. All they do is take tests and rule out what you don’t have and push drugs on you. My personal feeling is that fibromyalgia is some kind of virus like Lyme Disease that can’t yet be diagnosed through tests.

    If I’m right, Fibromyalgia is then really a symptomatic disease that a physician is clueless of. The physician only knows that you don’t have other things and gives what you have a name, ‘Fibromyalgia’. On a final note, it’s 5PM, I’ve had my double Tanqueray and looking forward to some short term relief in hot water.

    Not looking forward to tonight and the horrible pain and insomnia that comes with withdrawal from Tramadol. Withdrawing from Fentanyl was a piece of cake compared to this. Hope it subsides in a week or two. My GP asked me “what are you going to do about the pain if you stop the tramadol?” I haven’t a clue! I only know I don’t like being addicted to meds. Chronic pain sucks!

    • Tan June 15, 2018, 5:25 pm

      I understand! I too have “fibromyalgia”. I feel better today, my symptoms have subsided. I don’t like feeling like I have to take something to feel better. Good luck!

  • Daniel Yarusi February 9, 2018, 4:56 pm

    I’m withdrawing from Tramadol for the second time. I didn’t mind taking the Tramadol but it was the constipation the made me decide to stop cold turkey. I’ve read about 50 posts on withdrawal symptoms but no one mentioned that the reason they stopped was the constipation. Not being able to have a BM for a week really sucks so you take laxatives.

    After a while they don’t work anymore. Last week I tried Milk of Magnesia, then Ex-Lax twice a day for 3 days and as a last resort used an enema. All because of the Opioid Induced Constipation. Pain can be really debilitating but not having a Bowel Movement for more than a week can be worse than the pain bringing on it’s own pain, hence the decision to stop cold turkey.

    Last night was day 4 without any Tramadol and with my insomnia and pain I started to think of different ways to end it all but first I had to finish getting my life together for my wife and son. I can to the conclusion that it would take about 6 months to finalize my affairs and as a sailor I thought to mail a note, just buy or rent a sailboat and head west until the sea took me. Funny what you think about in the middle of the night during pain and insomnia.

    Anyway, I have no idea where this will all end but I see my GP (who said Tramadol is not addicting) I knew better as I was addicted in the past and managed to taper off. Just started again about 6 months ago and thought I’d try cold turkey as this time I was only using 100mg twice a day. It was the constipation that made me quit cold turkey.

    Why there’s no posts on that aspect of taking the horrible drug is beyond me. Perhaps I haven’t been looking in the right place. It’s morning now and the spa is heating up. Hopefully it will help with the withdrawal symptoms if only for a little while.

    • JOHN D September 7, 2018, 3:56 am

      Hang in there dude. I know it feels really bad on your body and your mind keeps going flippy on you and you want it to stop. But it gets better in just a few weeks with the withdrawal. Find an alternative medicine doc right away and get a script for marijuana.

      Then try the different pain relieving ones as they work wonders especially for spinal injuries like yours and mine. I know you cannot do the things you want to do with your son and you are really irritable right now, but put all that aside like you never have before and think about how much he needs you in his life even if it just to take a walk, say goodnight at the end of the day.

      Him just knowing you are there, sick or not, gives him strength and purpose to succeed to juts make you happy. I do not know you, but I believe you can hang in there because I have been you. John

  • Jon Johnson January 25, 2018, 11:12 am

    I’ve taken Tramadol 50 mg every 12 hours = 100 mg/day for 8.5 years following awful head-on collision that crushed my right side and took out 95% of pancreas, spleen, etc., with traumatic brain injury. After 1 month in intensive care, I was put on Tram. It was like a miracle: just two months after the crash, the drug made me feel strong enough to go back to work in a wheelchair, and in four months I began walking with crutches.

    The medicine made me feel almost normal…that’s what it does…until you try and quit. Then, unbelievable hell! I have noticed over the years that I get lots of cold sweats, when exerting my body. I figured, correctly, that my true underlying condition was making itself felt through the tramadol mask. I’ve tried four times to get off.

    The RLS made it IMPOSSIBLE to sleep, because it is actually RBS (restless body syndrome), and it hits JUST AS you are drifting off to sleep…After a week of that, I end up completely wiped out…close to emergency! A month ago, my body developed tolerance for the old dosage. I tried taking more, and…no results! So I decided to get off FOR GOOD! My doc gave me substitute drugs, including gabapentin and mirapex for the RLS.

    I did a VERY FAST taper – down to zero in two weeks – and…disaster!!!DO NOT try this, unless you’ve only been taking for a short time. It’s been a MONTH, and by today, I’m so sleep deprived that I am completely wiped out. Losing weight, too. This is killing me! But today I found this site, and the CRITICAL advise: Plan to taper over a period of 25% of the time you’ve been taking.

    For me: 2 YEARS!!! Wow! So, that comes out to a reduction of 1 mg per week. I immediately re-took my usual 12 hour tramadol dosage, minus 4 mg for my first month. Feel SO MUCH better, and will be able to manage this new plan without crashing! Thanks, Mental Health Daily!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

    • Jeanette April 25, 2018, 10:10 am

      You should really present your doctor to some of these articles that say it is dangerous to stop cold turkey on Tramadol!! It is very irresponsible of him, not to help making a tapering program for you. :-(

      If you already have come off tramadol by now, I suggest you look into LDN – Low dose Naltrexone concerning your Hashimoto and depression. Google LDN and Hashimoto’s or check on youtube. Best of luck to you. :-)

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

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