Saturday March 28th 2015

Can you overdose (OD) on tramadol?

Can you overdose (OD) on tramadol?

Yes. You can overdose on tramadol.

Although the amount of a drug it’s necessary to take to overdose varies greatly, most drug overdoses are unintentional. And a tramadol overdose can be avoided. What can you do to protect yourself from an accidental tramadol overdose? And what happens when you take too much tramadol? We explore more here, along with the risk factors for tramadol overdose. Your questions about tramadol addictive drug and overdose are welcomed at the end.

Can you overdose on tramadol?

Yes. You can overdose on tramadol. However, how much tramadol to overdose will vary from person to person, depending on previous exposure to narcotic pain medications.  Plus, if you are mixing tramadol and alcohol, your risk of overdose increases.  But even without overdosing on tramadol, it’s possible to suffer severe health complications when you take too much tramadol.

What happens when you overdose on tramadol?

The most dangerous complication of tramadol overdose is slowed or shallow breathing. Tramadol overdose can cause your breathing to stop completely. Other medications combined with the tramadol may also cause overdose, or make these effects more pronounced.

Keep in mind that if you are taking tramadol to get high, tramadol abuse increases your risk of death and overdose. This medication should only be taken swallowed as a whole pill, and only in the doses recommended by your doctor. You’re much more likely to overdose when you chew, crush, snort or inject tramadol pills.

How many tramadol is too much?

The amount of tramadol you need to take to overdose depends on your previous exposure to opioids. You can take more tramadol safely if your body is already tolerant to tramadol, opiates, or opioids. The safe doses for tramadol will vary between different strengths and formulas of tramadol. For example, if tramadol is mixed with other medications, such as acetaminophen, it can be much easier to overdose on the combined product. And if you’ve developed a tolerance to tramadol, you’ll have to have your dosage increased under a doctor’s direction – and you should never start taking more without your doctor’s input to avoid the risk of accidental overdose.

It would be difficult for an adult to take enough tramadol to be fatal. However, it’s very easy to exceed the maximum safe dose of 450 mg tramadol a day. And at doses around 500 mg many people begin to experience seizures and serotonin syndrome. Furthermore, a tramadol OD is a little more difficult with stronger medications – fatalities have been reported at doses between 2.65 and 8.2 g, which is 5-18 times the recommended maximum daily dosage.

Because of these risks, you only should take the amount of tramadol prescribed to you by your doctor. Never take more than recommended by a medical professional, and only take this oral medication as directed.

Tramadol overdose help

If you’ve taken a high dose of tramadol and experience adverse side effects, the outlook is good. Prognosis and recovery without long term damage is possible if breathing has not been compromised. Realistically, you’ll probably recover because it’s so hard to OD on tramadol.

In a more serious case of tramadol overdose, your doctor may administer oxygen to help you breath better. This is because although uncommon, tramadol overdose can be deadly. The lack of oxygen reaching your brain due to depressed breathing can cause permanent brain damage. Luckily it’s hard to accidentally take this much tramadol.

Overdose on tramadol questions

If you have any questions about safe amounts of tramadol in your system, please leave them here. We are happy to try to help answer your questions about tramadol, and will try to respond with a personal and prompt reply for all legitimate queries.

Reference Sources: Toxnet: Tramadol
Medline Plus: Tramadol
FDA MedWatch: Tramadol hydrochloride tablets

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65 Responses to “Can you overdose (OD) on tramadol?
Yao Ming
9:59 am May 31st, 2012

I chewed 4 50mg ANS 627 tablets, 2 at once, and then 2 more two hours later. I didn’t feel the effects from the first 2 for about an hour and a half even though I chewed them, and the second 2 I chewed took about an hour as well.
Also, not sure if it’s related, fapped to porn for more than an hour and couldn’t get off. It’s not been more than 6 hours since the first 2, and about 4 1/2 hours since the second two, I passed out earlier for about an hour because I was so drowsy, it was late anyway. Am I going to be alright? Most places I looked at about the drug said it doesn’t really do much that you can feel, but from what I’ve had, you obviously can

12:22 pm June 1st, 2012

Hi Yao Ming. Yes. At 200 mg tramadol, you are well under the 450 mg daily safe dose recommendation. But taking tramadol recreationally is really not safe.

9:13 pm August 14th, 2012

I take 200mg tramal twice a day for severe pain as I fibromyalgia.Plus 45 mg endep at night t help with sleep.
I do not respond to any other medication.
I can not function, work or have any normality of life without these medications.I have been on these for 5 years.
Tried reducing and not as good.
I am told this will poison my brain with continued use.
Is this true?
Is there an alternative?

7:53 pm August 15th, 2012

Hi Kula. “Poisoning the brain” is a rather loose term. Tramadol and other opiates and opioid prescription drugs are known to change the way that the brain functions during use, and for several months afterwards. But I have no knowledge yet of permanent brain damage done by medicines like tramadol. You can search the internet using this search term to find recent studies and publications based on research about the long term effects of tramadol on patients using tramadol for pain control: long term effects tramadol

9:18 pm August 15th, 2012

Thank you for your prompt reply.
My dads pain specialist who is totally against the use of tramal is the one who made this comment. He wants to put him in rehab and slowly take him off them. It did frighten us all.
Thank you very much for your response.

Mike M
4:07 am August 20th, 2012

I think I’ve taken 12 or 13 50mg tablets over the course of the day. I’ve been taking 300mg of tramadol a day for about a year. Is 750mg too much over the course of 14 hours?

11:49 am August 20th, 2012

Hi Mike M. From what I’ve read, 450 mg is about the daily limit over 24 hours for safe dosing of tramadol. I’d suggest that you contact emergency services ASAP and follow up on a possible overdose, especially if any overdose symptoms are present. And then contact your prescribing doctor ASAP to ask for more information on daily limits, or to seek other options for pain management if you are taking tramadol chronically for pain.

For what reason did you take 750 mg tramadol in the course of 14 hours?

8:22 pm August 28th, 2012

Hi I took 150mg slow release tramadol about 4 hours ago I have really bad sciatica ATM and in a lot of pain tempted to take 50mg quick acting tramadol to try take the edge off. Is it ok to mix the 2 types without getting an increase in side effects?

3:33 pm September 5th, 2012

Hi Sandra. This is really a question for your prescribing doctor or pharmacist. While it seems logical to take an extra 50 mg tramadol for the cross-over pain…you’ll need to get a medical OK before you start dosing like this.

9:05 pm September 8th, 2012

hi i have taken 5 50mg in two days along with two500mg naproxen and one 20mg omepsules and two prochlorperaz 5mg .i feel sick i have been sick i feel faint shaking hot and my hart feels fast ,what can i take at home to stop feeling like this.till i can see my doctor monday,i will not be taking them again ,got them given on 7th 09 12???

11:45 am September 9th, 2012

Hello amanda. This is a question for your pharmacist or prescribing doctor. Can you get in touch with either of them ASAP?

john overton
1:54 pm December 21st, 2012

just been to docsafter a bad night.8 nonths ago i was prescribed to take 200mgs tram twice a day,this i did. pain did not go away went to hosp a&e three weeks ago they told me to up the dose to four times aday which i did also they said it would be good to take paracetamol at the same time cut to the chase yesterday norn i felt bad so went to docs he took me off them and gave me codine, ok,since teatime yesterday have had areally bad time back to docs today he then realised that i was taking double the dose (800mg)so i have been killing myself for 3 weeks so its now cold turkey for xmas and not roast beef .by the way these were prolonged release tabs

12:00 am January 6th, 2013

Hi. Question…..I take Tramadol for a chronic pain issue. Currently I take 100mg 3x a day. That dosage is no longer addressing my pain very well and I’m thinking about upping my dosage to 150 mg 3x a day. I’m pushing the daily max on that I know. I’m concerned about that and I’m also concerned with taking 150mg at a time. Is that ok?

2:15 pm January 10th, 2013

Hi Patrick. It sounds like you are describing the phenomenon of increased tolerance for tramadol. I’d suggest that you discuss the trend with your prescribing doctor. It may be necessary to change opioid medications to another pain killer such as hydrocodone or oxycodone to address your needs. OR look into other alternative pain treatments.

8:47 pm January 10th, 2013

Thank you for the response. To let you know I tried the 150mg dose and was not comfortable with the side effects. I felt “drugged”….it was too much. I am starting to think that Tramadol probably is losing some effectiveness…like you suggested. I’ll address it with my doctor. Thanks again.

1:48 am January 11th, 2013

ive been in a lot of pain due to a kidney infection. my doctor prescribed me tramadol, which doesnt do anything. ive even taken oxycodone and that didnt even releive the pain. today i took three 50 mg tablets of tramadol in less than an hour, is that too much? im also on antibiotics and antidepressants. im having side effects now but the pain is still there. i want to be sure that i dont overdose i just want the pain to be releived. is this a safe dose?

9:21 am January 14th, 2013

Hi nonah. First it sounds like the breakthrough pain you’re experiencing requires some stronger doses of short term opioids. Check with your doctor for more options and alternatives.

While 150 mg tramadol may seem like a lot, the effect to your central nervous system will be related to how opioid naive your system is. If you’d been taking tramadol regularly for a week, or so…this dose may not have as many adverse side effects than if you’d taken it without any exposure to tramadol.

I’d suggest that you call your prescribing doctor, a pharmacist or the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222 for more information and a professional medical opinion.

9:49 pm January 28th, 2013

I’ve been taking tramadol for recreational use for awhile back in June I took 20 at a time and an hour later I woke up in the hospital family think I had a seizure. What do you think happened?

2:25 pm January 29th, 2013

Hi Sofia. Seizure is possible while taking tramadol. What did the hospital report indicate?

12:00 am February 6th, 2013

hi. i was wondering what would happen if a person took 750mg of tramadol in a 24 hour period, daily, for several weeks? My husband has been doing this and he says its because he has a tolerance to opioids but I am concerned that he is taking dangerous amounts.

2:32 pm February 9th, 2013

Hi Barb. Thanks for your question. 450 mg of tramadol per day is generally agreed upon as the “safe limit” for this opioid. While your husband may well be experiencing increased tolerance for tramadol, there are other opioids out there that may be more effective for him. Talk with him and his prescribing doctor to try alternative pain medications at lower doses. Too much tramadol can cause serious health problems at relatively low doses of the medication.

Best of luck!

2:56 am May 3rd, 2013

If you take 7 50 mg tramadol? Not at once, over about five hours. would you most likely be ok?

6:29 am July 5th, 2013

What happens if I stop my addiction cold turkey? I have been addicted to Tramadol for the last 3 years. I am taking anywhere between 700-900 mg daily.

11:23 am July 5th, 2013

Hi Tim. Stopping tramadol cold turkey can provoke seizures or other medical complications. You’ll need a tapering schedule from your prescribing doctor and a plan to withdraw over the course of several weeks.

7:13 am July 10th, 2013

Hi there. I am taking 800-900 mg of trams a day.. For my pain.. It is not working as much as it was before.. But I love trams and there are very good on putting me to sleep.. I do want to come of then . Do u think I should go could turkey .


1:21 pm July 16th, 2013

Hello Adrian. Withdrawal cold turkey is not necessary when you can step-down doses using a tapering regimen. Seek supervision and a tapering calendar from your prescribing doctor for help.

10:54 pm August 4th, 2013

I have tramadol 50mg prescribed by dr for horrible back pain… today in a 6 hour period I have taken 150mg total because of my pain…is this too much? will I be ok?

8:23 am August 6th, 2013

Recently I damaged a tendon on my rotator cuff (shoulder). My doctor prescribed 100 Tramadol 50mg caps, one to be taken 4x a day. I’ve been following the course religiously. Stupidly last weekend at a BBQ I drank a few to many beers (very stupid). Admittedly my prescription is not high, but I did feel very sick and sleepy as well as swetty, I took my self off the Tramadol for a few days. It’s only now (a few days later) that I’ve started the course again because of the pain in my shoulder.
Have I done myself any harm with my stupidity ?

9:51 pm October 6th, 2013

The last year I have been having bowel problems which was causing a lot pain in the stomach. I was prescribed 50g 4 times and day . Today within a few hours I have taking 16 50g pills to cope with the pain. Is that safe? I fell extremely tired and my body fells funny. Have I done any long term damage ?

5:33 am November 18th, 2013

My fiance just took 26 50 mg tramadols what should I do… please help im worried

10:51 am November 18th, 2013

Hello Ika. I’d suggest that you call emergency medical services ASAP. And/Or the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

2:28 am December 5th, 2013

I just came home to find that my husband took 9 37.5-325 tramadol. He is recently detoxed from narcotics. Been clean for about months. He is allergic to tramadol too, makes him vommit. He is a heavy man about 265 pounds. Breathing seems shallow.

2:08 pm December 5th, 2013

Hello ab. I’d suggest that you call the Poison Control Center or the Emergency Room ASAP. Then, you may want to visit a counselor with experience in treating family addiction. Taking nine (9) tramadol pills at once is an indication of a problem. And you can benefit from learning ways to stop enabling and to set boundaries with your husband.

8:42 am June 5th, 2014

hello i took 150 mg at 10am later at 5pm i took another 3 50mg breathing has not bn comprimised its 140am now and my heart rate bpm is 55-60 bpm pulse feels really faint should i be worried my bpm r never this low im usually in hihg 80s for bpm im just lil scared i threw them aal away i woke up in middle of night around 12am at 47bpm

1:49 am July 15th, 2014

I was taking the maximum dose and made a mistake and went over. I experienced the shallow strange breathing and shaking legs, weird weakness -so frightening. I stopped and started over the next day at only 2 (the amount left over for the 34 hour period). I kind of evened out and I went back up to taking 6 or 7, now tapering off. I’m miserable, exhausted, scattered and frightened. I have chronic back problems due to a very badly curved spine, but I am ready to try any alternative to opiates now.
I’ve taken 6 today and if I am going to sleep at all I need to take 1 or 2 more. I plan to get down to 5 later in the week, but right now the drop is too fast. I’m afraid that having dropped the dose quickly will make me have that weird breathing, and it is truly one of the most terrifying thing I have ever gone through. I’m looking for any advice at all about tapering. Thank you so much for your help.

7:08 am July 18th, 2014

I just took 5 50mg tramadol pills (250mg total) each spaced by like a half hour to an hour. I have no opiate tolerance and am feeling the effects really hard. Is it possible to overdose at this amount? If so, what should I do?

2:32 pm July 25th, 2014

Hi Jack-a-Roe. It’s probably a good idea to Call the Poison Control Center on 1-800-222-1222 for a free and over-the phone assessment of the risk of overdose and advise on what to do next. If the situation worsens don’t hesitate to Call 911.

4:31 am August 29th, 2014

Accidentally took 3x 50mg over a 2 hour period. Took the first forgot I did and made dinner, an hour later I took one and hoped an extra would help me sleep. Is 150mg taken like that too much?

2:31 pm September 1st, 2014

Hello Aaron. While the maximum safe dose is 450 mg tramadol a day, be carefull and look out for overdose symptoms. It can risky if you have no tolerance to tramadol. So, just in case, you should have the number of the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222 in mind.

5:05 pm September 19th, 2014

Hi there I take 200 mg daily of tramadol and recently started 40 mg of fetzima I am nervousness that I might get serotonin syndrome are these combined doses enough to cause this syndrome?

6:23 am September 22nd, 2014

Hi Erin. This is a good question. Both of these medicines can increase the level of serotonin in your body. High serotonin levels may cause changes in body temperature, blood pressure, muscles and behavior, and lead to a Serotonin Syndrome. Contact your healthcare professional (e.g. doctor or pharmacist) for more information.

2:56 am September 24th, 2014

Hi there, I have been taking tramadol for 2 1/2 years, 100mg in evening and 50mg as needed in daytime for pain. Tonight I had taking my 100mg dose at 6p. At 10;30 I went in to take my neurotin and elavil and was talking to my husband while I did this, so was not paying attention and opened and took 2more tramadol. Do I need to be worried? I have taken this much in a 24 hr period before but only occasionally, but consistently take 100mg dose daily. I am skipping neurotin and elavil tonight as I don’t want to add to any problem. At the moment I do not fell any side effects, and attempted to vomit the accidental dose up to no avail. Please advise, thank you

1:48 pm September 28th, 2014

I have take 7 within the last 24 hours of slow release think there 100 when would you know if you have any problems from them ?

6:29 am October 3rd, 2014

Hi I was prescribed to take trimafol 50 mg two every six hours along with 500mg penicillin and also naproxen I feel really faint I did not fallow doctors orders when he said to take two I have only been taking one I’m not an addict never have been and I never take any kind of pain reliever nothing no aspirin no advil non of that but I feel really sick can’t get out of bed and really scared and don’t know what to do

4:31 pm October 5th, 2014

Trmadol can be very addictive , I initially took them for severe sciatica after slipping my discs in my back, the pain I’d relatively mild now, but I continually take 2 50mg 3 times a day , mainly for the high it gives, my tolerance levels are good and I feel I need to take more just to get the same effect, can’t get off the damm things

11:29 am October 26th, 2014

I just took 6- 50mg tramadol (because I read 300mg is okay) but the pain from my gallbladder attack still feel severe. I have naproxen and hydrocodone can I take this too? Last time I had an attack I only had to take 4 to experience relief. I almost felt high and went immediately to sleep, and the next day I did not want to get up the whole day. This time no change,no relief, no anything!

3:06 am November 4th, 2014

i took 2 50mg of tramadol at 3.30 this afternoon at 9 this evening i started feeling like i couldnt breath proper its now 1 in the morning and still feels like i am shortning of breath

2:05 pm November 10th, 2014

yesterday i suffered severe back pain, it got worse in the evening, by this time i had drink more than a bottle of wine maybe 7 or 8 glasses. when i went to bed i took two tramadol of 50mg each. this morning i was so dizzy when i tried to stand up that i threw up. i tried to go to work but i am still feeling very sick and dizzy. will i be ok? i feel very drowsy still and sick

6:03 am November 24th, 2014

Can dr. prescribe 450mg daily of tramadol or just 400mg.

12:00 pm November 24th, 2014

Hi Sandra. You will be ok. But, you need to get examined by a doctor as soon as possible. How are you feeling now?

7:40 am December 3rd, 2014

Hi i took 6 tramadol a two days ago and felt high and numb also took 10 today cause of my chest pain just wondering if I need to go see a doctor of possible overdose I don’t seem to have many symptoms I’ve only felt really tired and my pupils have enlarged and my breathing seems to be fine. Please help

7:42 am December 3rd, 2014

Also feel dizzy

12:31 pm December 3rd, 2014

Hello Gab. Call 1-800-222-1222 for an over the phone assessment by the Poison Control Center.

12:59 pm December 4th, 2014

Hi do I still need to call because today I feel normal and pupils back to normal?

4:00 pm December 9th, 2014

Hi Gab. We suggested calling the poison control center since it’s a free helpline and you can speak to a poison expert to determine if you are at a risk of overdose and what actions should be taken next. I guess you are fine if you’re feeling better today, but it’s not wise to ever take such amount of tramadol again.

Wendy Dawson
1:19 am January 9th, 2015

I have a friend who has taken 2 of these tablets at once (At least I think) Ive started to get a lot more worried and decided to do some research.
Hes 14 – 15 years old and 6″2ft (tall for his age) In class he was acting very strange and kept seeing things. I have no idea who he got it off because were in school, hes too young to have it on him, but regardless I really care about my friend and I dont want him to die and I have no idea if his parents know

Cassandra M
6:00 am January 13th, 2015

Hi, I took 250mg of tramadol today over about a 6hr period. I’m pretty sure I’m ok as I’ve had a high tolerance for it in the past, but wanted to get high tonight due to family stress. I just want some assurance I’ll be ok. I shouldn’t have taken this much, I have a problem and need to get back to NA asap. I took some yesterday, just 100mg and got super high. Today it wasn’t working. So I waited, took 100mg more, then I just popped one more 50mg then regretted it. This is typical for me… I’m out of town, but will head to an NA meeting when I get home. :( Not a fan of my addiction issues. Am I ok for now? I don’t feel anything other than calmer than earlier and a little headachy. Yesterday it was the itching and euphoria, today a couple of itches and and a headache. I have a pretty high tolerance for opioids and I do this to myself.. I just don’t want the family to find me dead in the morning or end up in the ER (again) for an overdose. I wish I didn’t do this.

4:06 pm January 16th, 2015

Hi Cassandra. Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for an over the phone assessment by a poison expert and to make sure if there is a real concern and what you should do in case you need medical help.

7:07 am February 13th, 2015

I have taking 5 tramadol I believe 325mg each..its the 3.25-325 I believe. .well im really sick throwing up like every 20 mins..should I be breathing is fine..I juat cant stop puking

12:43 pm February 13th, 2015

Hi Renee. It’s best to get medical help. Even if you aren’t in big trouble and it may seem as “just puking” you are at high risk of dehydration. Can someone drive you to the ER. You may need a saline infusion.

2:14 pm February 15th, 2015

Hi, i have worked out i have taken 16 Tramadol and 2 codeine in the last 12 od hours feel due to pain finally managed to get some sleep for the first time in about a week but feel high and a kite :) almost drunk and a bit sleepy and a bit sick, breathing ok should i go and see someone or will the drug go on its own accord and how long would it take,

1:41 pm February 16th, 2015

Hello Simon. You can Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 to talk to a poison expert. It’s a free over-the-phone assessment of the risk of ODing. The poisn expert will also provide advise on what you should do in case you need medical help.

1:07 pm March 6th, 2015

What are the side affects of a 13yr old who takes TTramadol 50mg, he’s approx 5’6″ and weighs 100lbs. Need answer now..

5:39 pm March 6th, 2015

Hello MsLadyC. Call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for medical advice. You need a professional assessment and directions on what to do for your son.

4:57 am March 13th, 2015

I acknowledge that I have an addiction to Tramadol and that if I don’t have some in my system I can’t sleep. Tonight I took 400 MG in one shot; I had done the same thing earlier in the day. My question is: What is the time range that the Tramadol will have the maximum affect on my body’s systems? Usually I get loopy at the 2 to 3 hour mark and then it drops off. I want to come down off what I took today . It’s time to start tapering off and being responsible for my health.

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