Tuesday March 31st 2015

How long does tramadol last?

How long does tramadol last?

Immediate release tramadol lasts for 4-6 hours. Extended release tramadol lasts for 24 hours. More here on the duration of action for tramadol, tramadol addictive properties and a place at the bottom for your tramadol questions.

Tramadol effects on the body and brain

Tramadol hydrochloride is an opioid agonist medication used as short term analgesic to manage moderate to severe pain. Although experts aren’t exactly sure of how tramadol works, tramadol has been seen to bind parent and M1 metabolites to µ-opioid receptors in the brain and to cause weak inhibition of reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brains of mice and rats. In short, experts know that tramadol works by affecting the levels of different chemicals in the brain.

Tramadol is a central nervous system depressant. The most common side effects of tramadol are dizziness, nausea, constipation, and drowsiness. When taken as prescribed by a doctor, tramadol can offer mild pain relief as needed. However, when taken to try to achieve a euphoric high, or used long-term to control pain, tramadol can become addictive.  Tramadol overdose amount generally occurs over the 450 mg tramadol daily safe limit, but mixing alcohol with tramadol can increase risk of serious adverse side effects, including slowed breath and loss of consciousness.

Tramadol duration of action

Tramadol hits its peak blood plasma level an hour and a half after the drug is taken. Tramadol has a half life of 6 hours. The immediate-release tramadol tablet will need to be taken every 4-6 hours for continuous pain relief. The extended-release tramadol tablet, used mainly to manage chronic pain, will last for 24 hours, and is only taken once a day.

Tramadol time in the body

After more than a day or two, it’s unlikely that tramadol will still be present in the blood. Tramadol extended-release version may take a little longer to clear the blood than for the regular variety of the drug, as it’s released continuously throughout the course of the day. furthermore, tramadol will show up on urine screens for 1-2 days, but can stay present in hair samples for 90 days or even longer.

How long do tramadol effects last

The effects of tramadol won’t last long if you’re taking an immediate release tablet – only 6 hours at the most. If you take the controlled release tablet (as directed, without tampering), the effects should last all day, a complete 24 hours. However, if you tamper with the controlled release tablet by crushing, chewing, or snorting it, the effects may be immediately delivered to the body but will not last as long. Not only that, but you’ll be running the risk of overdose from releasing too much tramadol into your system all at once.

How long does a tramadol high last

Although some people do not think it possible, others claim that a tramadol high lasts between 4-6 hours, since that’s how long it takes for the drug to be cleared from the human body. In order to get high on tramadol, you will have to tramadol other than prescribed (snort tramadol, inject tramadol, or smoke tramadol or take higher/more frequent doses of tramadol). However, trying to get high on tramadol is dangerous because of the risk of tramadol overdose and addiction.

Tramadol high effects

Tramadol does not trigger euphoric feeling for everyone who takes the opioid. In fact, getting high on tramadol is an adverse side effect with incidence rates of 0.5% to <1.0%. Although rare, tramadol’s pain-relieving effects can also have the side effect of causing a high. However, tramadol can also be addictive, so abusing tramadol to get high does carry risks. In self-reported examples, people have reported some of these tramadol high effects:

  • cheerful mood
  • estatic mood
  • intense happiness

How long tramadol lasts questions

Do you still have questions about the duration of action for tramadol? Please leave your questions about tramadol below. We are happy to try to answer your tramadol questions personally and promptly. And if we do not have the answer to your question, we will refer you to someone whoe can help.

Reference Sources: PubMed: Tramadol extended-release in the management of chronic pain
PubMed Health: Tramadol
DailyMed: Tramadol Hydrochloride
Toxnet: Tramadol 

Photo credit: Bethan

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41 Responses to “How long does tramadol last?
7:27 am June 14th, 2012

With sever back pain I know I’m being impatient! Took my first pill how long and how many to be effective! Thanks

barbara carman
4:52 pm October 22nd, 2012

how long will the pain stay away by takeing tramadol

8:50 am October 24th, 2012

Hi Barbara. Pain relief occurs for about 4-6 hours when you take a single, immediate release tablet of tramadol.

5:44 pm October 27th, 2012

I took 400mg Tramadol last night to get high, its coming up to 24 hours now and I still feel off my face! I didnt sleep a wink last night even though I was drowsy as anything. I had no idea the high could last this long

Julia Harvey
6:53 pm January 25th, 2013

Could you tell me if it is safe to have a general anaesthetic, involving intubation, two weeks after finishing a course of Tramadol? Many thanks, Julia Harvey.

10:22 am January 28th, 2013

Hi Julia. Thanks for your question. An anethesiologist would best answer your particular question. My (unprofessional) hunch is that as long as tramadol is not in the system, and you have passed through the withdrawal stage, you should be OK for surgery and general anesthesia. But please seek medical advice first!

9:07 am February 27th, 2013

hi: I was prescribed tramadol today for back spasms and promised they wouldn’t make me loopy as other pain pills do. my question is; can I cut the 50mg pill in half to prevent this unwanted high? thanks for your time :)

1:25 pm February 27th, 2013

Hi Beth. Check with your doctors or pharmacist first. Different types of drugs have coatings or release seals that break when you cut the drug. As long as it’s OK with the pharmacist, you may want to proceed.

3:21 pm February 27th, 2013

Beth I have been taking tramadol and I know everyone reacts differently. I highly doubt that one 50mg pill is going to make you loopy. Constripated maybe but not loopy.

2:41 am April 7th, 2013

i am supposed to take 300mg max per day.this does not seem to be enough as the pain is there all of the time.how many paracetemols can i add to that dose (or should i ask for more tramadol or something stronger)

11:23 am April 8th, 2013

Hello Chris. If tramadol does not work and you’re experience break through pain, you might consult with your prescribing doctor and ask about the possibility of taking hydrocodone or oxycodone. These are stronger opioids with known risks of dependence and higher risk of addiction, but the stronger medications might help.

12:46 pm April 8th, 2013

many thanks for your advice.i may do just what you suggest if the pain relief get’s no better.


7:19 pm June 5th, 2013

I took an immediate release Tramadol last night at 10 p.m. (the whole pill). It’s now 1:30 p.m. the next day–over 15 hrs later and I still feel somewhat dizzy. How is that possible if the drug is only effective 4-6 hours? Wouldn’t the effects be out of my system by now?

c. harrelson
9:52 pm June 8th, 2013

Does tramadol build up in body over time, or is it eliminated day by day?

7:32 am June 11th, 2013

re my submissions on 7th and 8th april,
i am now taking 400mg tramadol & 4 paracetamol per day and my back is now a lot better although I suspect that the warmer weather may have a bearing on this as well.


nicola crosier
10:20 am June 18th, 2013

Hi I have started to take slow release tramadol for severe pain could you please let me know over how many days should this start to work? I am taking 200mg morning and night? I was taking the ordinary one every 4-6 hours they actually seemed to have more effect. Can you explain?
Thank You Nicky Crosier

11:48 am July 5th, 2013

Hello Nicola. This is a question for a pharmacist. Call or stop in at your local pharmacy for more qualified medical advice.

11:53 pm August 20th, 2013

How long after the tramadol pill until I can drink alcohol again?

3:52 am December 29th, 2013

We took my mom off tramadol because it was causing nightmares and hallucinations. How long will those side effects last? Its been 24 hours and she is still not back to normal

Elise Palmer
12:37 pm May 20th, 2014

Hi, Don’t know if anyone is checking this blog, but I’m going to give it a try.
Back on 5-15-14 was my last dosage 50 mg of Tramadol. I worked with my Pain Management Doctor to ween down. I started 2-2-1 for 5 day, 1-2-1 for 5 days, 1-1-1 for 5days, 1-1-0 5 days, 1-0-0 for 5days. Along with the ween down schedule I was given a Clinodine patch 0.1 mg to year for 7 days x 4 wks. I did great through out the whole process other than the nausea I experienced when eating. I also incorporated the “Thomas Recipe”. I am curious to know how long before I am back to having a normal chemical level in the brain receptors? When will my brain produce its own natural dopamine in the brain?

Any help

1:46 pm May 21st, 2014

Hello Elise. The occurence and duration of of PAWS (protracted, or post-acute withdrawal symptoms) will depend on the level, frequency, and length of dosing on tramadol. Have you consulted with a psychiatrist yet? You may benefit from the short term prescription of anti-depressants as your body continues to adjust.

8:38 pm June 1st, 2014

I can’t take many pain killers, Tramadol is one that I can, I took some last night for pain relief, usually I am ok, but this is the slow release, last 2 times.. I have gotten extemely high, not so much happy but dizzy, sick and almost an outer body experience, not pleasent for me. 24 hours later my head is over a bucket and i am struggling… I wouldn’t suggest them for people who don’t need them, I will be more careful now and especially as I know they are addictive!

12:49 am June 18th, 2014

I need help – my dad was on tramadol and is now lethargic and almost sedated like – he is in the hospital – can this med make you like that ? Even though he was not on it for a 24 he period? Thanks

5:40 am August 20th, 2014

I take 50g of slow release tramal 1 day a week to play a round of golf sometimes 2 games a week is this harmful. I will have maybe 2 glasses of wine when I have finished golf.

8:20 pm August 20th, 2014

I feel tired after taking tramadol. Will this cease eventually?

6:21 am August 21st, 2014

Hi Mary. Fatigue is a common side effect from Tramadol. Fatigue has been mostly reported by people with multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis. If you have any of these conditions, please call your doctor.

6:35 am August 22nd, 2014

Hi, yesterday i took 2 paracetamols a tramadol and also a cold and flu tablet to try and make myself feel better and not feel so sick. but i felt absolutely disgusting after taking them. 23 hours after and i still feel light headed and dizzy.

12:29 am September 15th, 2014

I have to take a urine test on Thursday. I am taking 50mg of tramadol when do I need to stop taking them to pass them test?

6:56 pm October 6th, 2014

Hope you can help I’m taking prolonged release tramadol at a high dose, but I’m pregnant and I have severe morning sickness, I’ve been taking tramadol at high doses for 3 years an it wouldn’t usually make me throw up. I’m holding down 100mg prolonged release tablets for about an hour, whilst I haven’t seen them in my sick can you tell me if they would of absorbed in the hour cos a lot of posts say on instant ones absorb in an hour an I can’t find an answer anywhere, I’m not getting the full effects but if I repeat the dose which I know you shouldn’t if just throw it up in an hour anyway. Just want to know if one hour is long enough for them to be fully absorbed. Please help I’m struggling so bad

11:27 am October 13th, 2014

Hi Marie. And congratulations, being pregnant is a wonderful thing. For yours and your babies safety, please consult your doctor or gynaecologist about this issue. It’s something that should be looked into with attention. Without knowing anything about your current health condition, it’s not wise for me to give you an advise.

7:40 am November 15th, 2014

if you take ten to fifteen tramadol you will be high all day, and when you wake up, you will still be high, it is a fact and one of the best absolutebest opiate buzzes

3:56 pm November 24th, 2014

how long does 100 mg of tramadol cause nausua

and only 100 mg no more

8:16 am December 18th, 2014

How long will Dizziness last.

3:07 pm December 23rd, 2014

Hello Amber. Are you prescribed Tramadol? How long have you been using it? Have you just started using it or just took it once? Is the dizziness a withdrawal effect since you quit Tramadol?

11:28 pm January 28th, 2015

I am currently taking 2-800mg ibuprofen tablets 3 times a day for chronic back,pelvis,hip,and leg pain from a pedestrian vs car accident I was involved in on April 2nd 2010. I’m afraid all that ibuprofen is contributing to erosion of my stomach. Will tramadol be better to take and can you refer me to a doctor who will prescribe it? I currently have moved and I’m looking for a doctor in providence,R.I.

3:01 am January 29th, 2015

I did not get a euphoria, I felt anxiety, slowed breathing and very unsteady, yet still felt pain. Never again. I was hoping this was the answer to my pain. It was not. :(

10:30 pm February 9th, 2015

can tramadol be taken alongside with multivitamin and coldliver oil tablet?

1:47 pm February 10th, 2015

Hello Kingsley. I cannot find any drug interactions listed. But you can double check with a pharmacist at the local pharmacy just to be extra sure.

2:47 pm February 21st, 2015

Hi I took a trumiadol tablet 50 mg for my back this morning will I be ok to drink later and will it be out my body by the time I go out ?

kittie kat
1:53 am February 24th, 2015

How long should i wait to drink alcoholic beverages after taking 100mg of ultram? I had 10 teeth pulled on wed and i finished my hydrocodone 7.5mg this morning. In a painful and desperate moment this evening i took some left-over ultram and tonight I’m supposed to go see a friend and we are planning to drink alcohol. If its not safe, i wont drink. I cant find anything about how long you have to wait to safely drink. I dont know if anyone checks this still, but im hopeful i will get some advice. Thank you for your time :-)

4:04 pm February 27th, 2015

Hi Kittie Kat. Tramadol effects kick in 2-3 after you take it. It is definitely not safe to drink alcohol within the same day of administering any amount of Tramadol. Medical scientists have concluded that it takes about 24 hrs and up to 5 days for Tramadol to completely exit your system.

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