Tramadol is a prescription medication which can be used to treat mild to severe pain. The medication works by acting as a synthetic analgesic agent. Basically, Tramadol is a man-made drug with opiate effects including euphoria, respiratory depression and more but it is not a controlled substance by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Due to the opiate effects of Tramadol in the body, it is useful for relieving withdrawal symptoms, some of which include anxiety, diarrhea, gastrointestinal distress, sweating, hot and cold flashes, insomnia, depression and fatigue. Some people experience benefits from the medication while others only feel it is minimally beneficial. Tramadol also inhibits reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine. Potentially this can be useful for boosting mood-enhancing chemicals in the brain during opiate withdrawal. Serotonin especially is a relaxing neurotransmitter which provides ‘feel good’ emotions. Norepinephrine is a stimulating neurotransmitter which provides more energy and lifts mood.
Some risks are associated with use of Tramadol for opiate withdrawal. Although there are less risks associated with this medication than others used for similar purposes, it is important to use the medication as prescribed for the following reasons:
- Tramadol can be addictive
- Consistent use can be as bad as opiate withdrawal
- Overdose can occur with improper dosage
- Tramadol may not work as hoped depending on severity of addiction and individual circumstances
There are some key concepts to keep in mind when considering use of Tramadol for opiate withdrawal. Due to the above precautions, some of the following may be additional considerations:
- Use the least amount possible to reduce opiate withdrawal symptoms
- Three to seven days maximum is recommended length of use to help withdrawal symptoms
- Consider using extended-release form rather than regular Tramadol
- 50-100 mg 3-4 times a day is a common dose but some may need more depending on severity of addiction
The best way to obtain this medication is by prescription from a doctor who can monitor the withdrawal process to ensure safety. In spite of dependency potential, Tramadol comes with less side effects than other medications. This medication compares favorably to other drugs used during detox in management of acute withdrawal from heroin, depending on the amount used. Although some side effects may be present, many individuals feel it is worthwhile compared to experiencing withdrawal from opiates in general.
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