Tramadol (Ultram)
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Experiences with Tramadol


Tramadol is used to treat moderate to severe pain, including nerve pain and pain caused by arthrosis


Tramadol is used to treat moderate to severe pain, nerve pain, arthrosis and coughing. Tramadol is also used in patients with hypersensitivity to other painkillers or when alternative pain medication is contraindicated. Tramadol blocks the transmission of pain signals sent by the nerves to the brain. Therefore, even though the cause of the pain may remain, less pain is actually felt. Tramadol is a type of medicine called an opioid painkiller.

Opioid (morphine-like) painkillers are prescribed when simple painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen alone do not provide adequate pain relief. In general, user experiences with Tramadol are very positive. Some users will experience more side effects than others, this varies per person. On our product page you can find reviews on Tramadol.

Tramadol and pain


Pain is a mechanism that is essential to human survival. It is used by the body to make you aware that there is a problem such as an injury, illness or infection. Pain tells us that we should take action. For example, spit out liquid that is too hot or visit the doctor to get checked out. Pain can be acute or chronic. If possible, pain should be treated at the source.

Pain medication such as Tramadol may be used for additional pain relief. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has developed a three-step ladder for pain management called the ‘pain ladder’ or ‘analgesic ladder’. Tramadol is indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe pain at step two of the WHO analgesic ladder. Stronger opioids such as morphine and methadone are used at step three.

Different kinds of Tramadol and how they work


Tramadol is available in both brand and generic forms. Tramadol is a generic brand. Tranadol, Tramal and Tramagetic are brand names for medicines containing tramadol. Tramadol is available in various forms, as tablets, meltlets, capsules, effervescent tablets, oral drops (Tramal), suppositories and injections.

According to user experiences, regular Tramadol tablets and drops reduce pain fast and take less than an hour to become effective. Suppositories take up to a few hours to work. Modified-release tablets and capsules have a pain-relieving effect of around 12 to 24 hours. Suppositories and regular capsules relieve pain for six to eight hours.

Experiences with Tramadol and side effects


Some users of Tramadol have reported the following side effects:

  • Nausea and vomiting. In most cases this will get better after a few days once the body adjusts to the medicine.
  • Drowsiness, sleepiness, dizziness and impaired reaction times. Do not drive, operate machinery, climb a ladder or perform any tasks that require alertness until you know how this medicine affects you and you are sure you can do so safely. It takes approximately two weeks for the body to adjust to Tramadol.


Rare side effects include:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Sleep apnoea.
  • Difficulty passing urine.
  • Psychological problems such as depression, nightmares, sleeping difficulties.


If you experience (extreme) side effects from Tramadol, be sure to tell your doctor.

It is possible that Tramadol is not the right painkiller for you.

Tramadol and pregnancy


The safety of this medicine for use during pregnancy has not been established. Tramadol should therefore not be used by pregnant women or women who are trying for a baby.

Tramadol and user experiences with habituation/addiction


Tramadol is a weak opioid and therefore many people fear it may be addictive. This fear is ungrounded. However, like with any other painkiller, it is important not to use more than necessary. Long-term use may result in habituation, which means you need a higher dose to get the same effect. So be aware of how you respond to this medicine.

Read the package leaflet for more information about risks and side effects, or ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.