Saturday August 23rd 2014

How to stop taking tramadol

Interested in quitting tramadol?

If you’ve been taking tramadol for a while, you won’t be able to simply stop taking tramadol. Why? Because when you use tramadol for a long period of time, your body starts developing a tolerance to tramadol which can develop to dependence on the drug. And when you get off tramadol, the presence of withdrawal symptoms manifest. In fact, withdrawal from tramadol can be dangerous and even provoke seizures.

So what is withdrawal from tramadol like? How long do tramadol withdrawal symptoms last? Learn what to expect and how to stop taking tramadol below. Then, ask your questions about tramadol at the end.

Can I just stop taking tramadol?

Yes. And no. You can stop taking tramadol whenever you would like to. But you can only quit tramadol cold turkey if you’ve been using tramadol for a short period of time. It is NOT ADVISABLE that you suddenly just stop taking tramadol if you’ve been using tramadol for extended periods of time.

Tramadol is an opiate pain killer and can result in uncomfortable and dangerous withdrawal symptoms if your body has become physically dependent. Withdrawal symptoms can include; seizures, insomnia, vomiting, and anxiety. In order to understand the full extent of tramadol withdrawal symptoms, it is a good idea to get help from a doctor. A doctor can tapper your use of tramadol slowly and over time until you’re no longer using tramadol. Tapering also helps alleviate the harsh effects of withdrawal.

What happens when you stop taking tramadol?

When you stop taking tramadol you go through a period of withdrawal. Why? With time, your brain and body adapt to the presence of tramadol in the system to the point that you integrate tramadol into the functioning of the body systems. As you continually take tramadol, your body then becomes dependent on it and without the presence of tramadol, your body manifests adverse effects trying to compensate. This “rebound” effect is characteristic of any drug withdrawal period as your body learns to cope with the new chemistry and function normally. Withdrawal is a way for the body to regain homeostasis. Withdrawal from tramadol begins about a few hours after the last dose of tramadol has worn off. Even if you don’t have an addiction to tramadol, you can experience these symptoms when you stop taking tramadol.

Side effects stop taking Xanax

You can develop a physical dependence on tramadol after only taking tramadol for a few weeks. Withdrawal effects may be more severe and intense the longer you are taking tramadol. some common side effects that occur when you stop taking tramadol can include the following:

  • cough
  • chills
  • excessive sneezing
  • depression
  • hallucination
  • insomnia
  • nervousness
  • numbness in the extremities
  • panic attacks
  • runny nose
  • sweats
  • tingling
  • uncontrollable shaking

Stop taking tramadol suddenly

Never stop taking tramadol suddenly. If you stop taking tramadol suddenly, you run the risk of seizures, hallucinations, and losing concsiousness. It is better to work with a doctor and have your tramadol dosage slowly and gradually tapered. Doctors may substitute other medication that can help with any side effects you may be facing because of withdrawal.

Stop taking tramadol cold turkey

Opioids like tramadol can be painful to quit. Tramadol has also been shown to cause atypical withdrawal symptoms such as convulsions and seizures which can put you in danger if no one is watching you. Always let a doctor know about your intentions to quit tramadol before altering you medication or stopping on your own. You can only stop cold turkey if you haven’t been taking tramadol for a long time or if you experience a high tolerance for tramadol without adverse effects or the signs of dependency. Anytime you present withdrawal symptoms from tramadol, you shouldn’t stop taking tramadol cold turkey.

How do I stop taking tramadol?

The best way to quit tramadol is to work with a doctor and have him or her gradually taper you off the medication. Tapering tramadol doses helps your body regulate and can decrease the intensity of tramadol withdrawal symptoms. The timeline you and your doctor come up with will help you wean yourself off of the medication as you observe symptoms. In fact, it is helpful to schedule regular doctor appointments and make check-ins as you stop taking tramadol so that the prescribing doctor can make adjustments, if needed. If you have developed an addiction tramadol while taking this pain killer, seeking outside help is even more important. General tapering guidelines for opiates such as tramadol include the following recommendations:

1) The method of tapering will be dependent on the presence of other physical and mental conditions present.

2) In general, tapering opioids consists of a reduction by 10% daily, 20% every three to five days, and 25% a week.

3) It is never advisable to taper by 50% daily anytime during the tapering process.

How to stop taking tramadol safely

Tramadol is a popular opiate prescribed because it is considered a schedule III medication. That is, it has a lower potential for dependence and abuse. Tramadol should be safer than other drugs to quit. However, as mentioned before, the safest way to stop taking tramadol is to consult a doctor and follow instructions for quitting. While you are trying to quit taking tramadol, you can treat your withdrawal symptoms with over-the-counter medications or home remedies to help the ease symptoms of tramadol withdrawal. Other medications might be prescribed if withdrawal proves to be severe.

How to stop taking tramadol questions

Still have questions about stopping tramadol? Please leave us your questions, comments, or experiences about quitting tramadol below. We respond to all questions personally, and will try to have you an answer or reply ASAP.

Reference Sources: NCBI: tramadol
Daily Med: tramadol hydrochloride
Utah Department of Health: Prescribing Opioid Guidelines 

Photo credit: iko

Leave a Reply

48 Responses to “How to stop taking tramadol
gene s.
9:52 pm December 26th, 2012

I am currently talking six 25 mg half tablets per day. I want to get off of this drug completely. I don’t quite understand your withdrawal schedule. Could you please clarify it for me?

Thanks much.

Gene

12:14 pm December 31st, 2012

Hi Gene. Thanks for your question. I’d suggest that you call your prescribing doctor or consult with a local pharmacist for a precise dosing schedule. Tramadol tapering should be medically supervised, as withdrawal from tramadol can provoke seizures.

Therese
2:05 pm February 22nd, 2013

Do you consider taking tramadol for 3 or 4 weeks a long time? Can I stop it cold turkey or should I taper off? I had a total knee replacement. weeks ago and went from oxycodone to tramadol HCL 50mg

Jess
6:39 pm March 20th, 2013

What types if medications can be given while a doctor is tapering your dosage to wean you from tramadol? I’ve been prescribed 200mg/day for over a year (1 tab 4x/day) and have an appt with my doctor to taper, but am wondering what options are out there as I’m not able to lower my dose hardly at all without really feeling withdrawal symptoms.

cindy
9:47 pm March 20th, 2013

I have been addicted to tramadol since 2008. I usually get it on the street. And if I cant find any I take vicodin to not go through withdrawls. I moved to another state in order to change my life but now I am experiencing the worst withdrawls I have ever seen. I don’t know what to do. It has only been 36 hours and I am hurting so bad. What can I do because I feel like I am losing my mind? I feel like I am losing my mind.

2:24 pm March 21st, 2013

Hi Cindy. Have you gone cold turkey or tapered down doses?

Kathy
8:07 pm March 21st, 2013

To Cindy,
I have taken myself off of Tramadol as of a week ago. You are not
losing your mind, think of it as sweat and toxins pouring out of you.
Chew gum. Take a shower. Take a bath. Drink chamomile tea.
I have a legitimate health issue and was allowed six pills a day.
I wasn’t thinking clearly, spending all my days in bed for months.
I am going to pray for you now for the rest of the day. Take another bath, drink water, rock like a baby. You will be exhausted
but you will crawl through the tunnel into the light. You will be okay.

jayne
8:57 pm March 25th, 2013

Hi, ive been taking tramadol for 2 months an reduced from 8 50mg to 3 50mg daily. I took my last one last night and didnt feel pain this morn or the start of withdrawel as i usually do sk i decided to cold turkey, im not feeling too bad, sweats and fee shakes an brain zaps. Should i just take a tab now or cobtinue cold turkey? Thanks

cindy
4:25 pm March 26th, 2013

I quit cold turkey…I feel like a different person. The first 3 days I felt like I wanted to die. But after I got over the hump it was manageable. I took lots of hot baths and tried to sleep alot. I will admit that my legs were in such pain that I did not sleep.for almost 48 hours. I shattered my leg in 2008 and had seven surgeries to repair it…not too mention two total knee replacements on this same leg. This was always my excuse for continuing to take the pills. I did not want to be a slave to them anymore so I moved our whole family to a different state where I would not know where to find em anymore. Well this did the trick…I am seven days clean with no Tramadol. I know this is just the beginning but the sickness was the part that scared me the most. I am past that so…my new beginning is looking brighter already!!!

Steve
12:40 am April 22nd, 2013

Hi, thanks very useful, iam going cold turkey about second week now, doing pretty well but main side affects are now itching driving me crazy.
Any suggestion great fully recited ta Steve

Steve
12:43 am April 22nd, 2013

Hi, thanks very useful, iam going cold turkey about second week now, doing pretty well but main side affects are now itching driving me crazy.
Any suggestion gratefully relieved thanks Steve

Kathy
1:14 pm April 22nd, 2013

To Steve,
You might benefit from an hour long massage for the itching.
Good luck!

Dwight
12:15 am May 3rd, 2013

i seem to have made a bad choice on taking Tramadol other than prescribed for the last 3 weeks and have now ended up with withdraw symptoms. i ended up taking about 650mg a day for about 10-15 days and after 1/1/2 days without started having flu like symptoms and shaking. i did take 3 tablets today to get an idea of what i need to do and found your link. what is the best way to get off this terrible drug. i assume the advantage I have is the short period of time I was on but still it seems I need to adjust this dosage down and would like some help.
regards,
Dwight

jorge
2:18 am May 6th, 2013

Hello, If i´ve been taking tramadol for 3 weeks will I feel withdrawal symptoms?? The first week the doses were 200 to 300 daily by the last week its 400 daily. So do you think im physical depended ? should i start tappering off in 50 mg daily. for how many days? thanks

cheryl harrelson
3:22 pm May 6th, 2013

I have been on 150mg Tramadol for 2 years. How do I taper? Doctors say, cut 50mg once every 2 weeks. Is this too fast?

cheryl harrelson
3:37 pm May 6th, 2013

Does tramadol cause tolerance withdrawal?

7:38 am May 7th, 2013

Hello Cheryl. You’ll know if you’re tapering too fast if withdrawal symptoms kick in in the hours or days after you cut doses. 50 mg every 2 weeks seems reasonable, but check with a pharmacist for alternative suggestions. I’m not sure what you mean by “tolerance withdrawal”. Can you clarify, please?

cheryl harrelson
9:45 am May 7th, 2013

Can a person go into withdrawal while still on Tramadol, between regular dosing 3 times a day? This happens in benzo withdrawal. Wondered if it could happen with Tramadol. Thank you.

Gregg Starkel
9:42 pm August 15th, 2013

I have been taking tramadol for 3 years 150 mg in morning and 150 @3 pm. I want to get off of this med. Do you have a idea how to start doing that. I am seeking accupunture.

nichole
12:43 am September 20th, 2013

I had a spinal fusion 2 and a half years ago. I was taking tramadol 6 months prior to surgery. 6 months after my doctor stopped me cold turkey and I had no idea what I was in for. I listened to the doctor say it wasn’t a narcotic and stopped when he said. The withdrawal was the worst thing I ever imagined and I didn’t even know it was coming. It started with sweats and chills then moved to vomiting and diarrhea I ended up dehydrated with a fever. The amount of anxiety I had was unbearable. I spent 4 days wanting to die which leads me to today. 7 months ago I started taking it again because another doctor said it was the best thing. Now she would leave me on it for the rest of my life but I am tired of feeling crappy all the time. I have decreased pain but I don’t want my life to revolve around the fear of not having meds. I am taking 300-400 mg per day. If I go too long without taking some the chills and nausea begin. However in the world do I taper? I never had a schedule. I literally take them when I feel bad which is every 8-10 hours. My mind and body do not agree. ……..

Tina
10:06 am September 23rd, 2013

Hi been on tramadol 50mg three times a day for three days doc wants me to stop them now, will I have any withdrawal effects from just three days use.

8:58 am September 24th, 2013

Hi Tina. Probably not. Tramadol dependence usually occurs after a couple of weeks of regular dosing. You should be able to stop without much problem.

Billie Simpson
1:24 pm September 25th, 2013

taking two tramaldo aday for eight mo how to stop
please advise.
THANK YOU.

11:28 am September 26th, 2013

Hello Billie. First, I’d suggest you see your prescribing doctor or a consult with a pharmacist. You’ll need an individualized tapering calendar specific to you and your needs in order to slowly wean off tramadol. Generally, a slow taper occurs at about 25% per week…over the course of 3-4 weeks.

John
12:30 am October 10th, 2013

I have been taking 25mg tramadol 3 times a day for about 2 weeks to take the edge off of a suboxone treatment I recently tapered off pretty quickly so the tramadol has been a god send for the withdrawals but I want to make sure I don’t get in too deep. What are ur thoughts?

1:08 pm October 10th, 2013

Hi John. Follow your gut. 2 weeks after a Suboxone taper make be long enough to create tramadol dependence. Speak with your prescribing doctor to start the weaning process from tramadol – under medical supervision. Tramadol can provoke seizures during withdrawal.

Sam Totti
9:57 am November 7th, 2013

I’m addict to Tramal 50MG 20 to 30 pills a day from 2006, stupid man I am I know, I tried many times to quit but the pain is a killer, I cant sleep I cant eat I cannot sit always vomiting, fever, cold, my bones are like growing inside my body, my muscles splitting from there place and many other symptoms, is there any alternative medicine to take while withdrawal period that can makes me sleep or relaxes me, I will start my rehab in December while the holidays period because I have a lot of work I am a sales manager in a shipping company and I have many duties. please help if you can. Now I only take 3 pills every 12 hours that’s the best I can do.

12:38 pm November 14th, 2013

Hi Sam. Medications used during detox from opioids include buprenorphine, methadone, and/or naltrexone. Anti-depressants and benzodiazepines are also prescribed, if necessary. I’d suggest you seek counsel with a general physician to learn more about addressing these particular withdrawal symptoms in the short run. Where are you planning to attend rehab?

Andrea
6:53 pm December 5th, 2013

I have been on T for nerve pain (I have auto immune disorder – basically I had nerve pain and numbness and spasms in my feet and lower legs) for approx 4 months, but for the past 2 months I have been taking 2 x 50mg at bedtime. I have been prescribed another nerve painkiller for my nerve pain and need to wean myself slowly off T and onto that. I was advised by my GP today to take 50mg Tl in the morning and 50mg at bedtime. It won’t be very comfortable taking Tl in the morning as I have an office job and travel on public transport also. The T has been making me wake in the night about 3 or 4 times. I get back to sleep easily but am tired all the time so I need to get off T asap. Can you help please?

1:20 pm December 6th, 2013

Hello Andrea. If you have dosing problems, it helps to create a calendar so that you can track symptoms related to dosing. After a week or so, take the calendar to your prescribing doctor or pharmacist and request dosing changes, or recommendations. But this issue needs to be cleared up by a medical professional.

Debby
6:41 am December 9th, 2013

This is my first post. I am 56 nerve damage lady. My dr first prescribed hydrocodone for the first year and a half. 500 I broke them into really concerned about taking this sort of drug. The dr changed my prescription to tramadol saying it was non narcotic pain medicine. I took 6 pills a day 50 mg each for almost 9 months now. One of the biggest mistakes of my life. I am tapering probably not a slowly as most but the demon in all of this is constant w/d every time you cut down no matter if it is weeks or not. It is still there. I am retired from high school admin so have seen many peoples life’s ruined by misuse of drugs. Currently cutting over 2 months I am down to 1/4 am and 1/2 in the pm. It is unbelievable, nightmare so very physically painful. I have tried clonidine but it was not a good thing for me. I keep my legs on a heating pad at night RLS it helps some and take a lot of showers which helps. My husband has rubbed my legs night after night. As soon as the w/d get a little better I cut down again. And start all over again. I don’t think there is any way to escape the pains of w/d. I wish I would have been given the information on what a deceiving demon this drug is. I pray for everyone on this post, stay strong keep your eyes on the finish line. I do feel it is our duty to tell others about this drug. I would like to ask, in a couple of weeks I will be off, how long will w/d be at that point. And how severe I want to be ready. I want to know what to expect. No one addressed the constipation that eventually comes with this . I drink lax tea eat prunes and almonds drink lots of water. Can’t wait for the day when I don’t have to put another one in my mouth. God Bless each of you . Deb

eliz
2:08 am December 10th, 2013

Hi, I have been on tramadol for 18 month now at 50 mgs per day for several months. I am also tapering off 1 mg ativan and want to know should I wait till I’m done with that before going off the tramadol? I don’t think I”m a tolerance but I don’t know for sure.

8:56 am December 12th, 2013

Hello Eliz. This is a question for your prescribing or supervising doctor. You might also seek a second opinion from a pharmacist. But you’ll definitely need a qualified medical opinion for your answer.

David
1:46 pm January 18th, 2014

Hello their.
I have been on tramadol for 6 month in a row at a dosage ranging between 750mg-1500mg .
I tried to stop gradually but failed to do so. I believe quitting suddenly or gradually will have almost the same severe effects. I have come to a decision to stop completely tramadol 225mg starting Monday but my question is: I need you to provide me with different ways to ease the withdrawal symptoms such as: drugs substitutes or specific techniques and how long would it take for withdrawal symptoms to end and will i feel normal again and be able to continue my life without relapsing?!
Sincerely
Best regards

9:36 pm January 18th, 2014

Hello David. Tramadol is kind of in a class of its own; an opioid that has properties like other opioids, but one with different chemical composition that manifests atypical symptoms during withdrawal. Check in with your prescribing doctor or a pharmacist about your options. Or call a detox clinic in your area to seek advice about ways or methods using medications during withdrawal. I’m not sure that buprenorphine, naltrexone, or short acting benzodiazepines are used during tramadol withdrawal, but it’s worth asking.

lakeba hudson
12:54 am March 10th, 2014

Tapering & I’m so confused when do u know when ur ready to come off tramdol.& when u say taper by 50% how many pills is that & 25% how many is that

MaryAnn
8:32 pm May 26th, 2014

I am a 36 year old mother of two. My ex husband introduce me to tramadol when I was 20. I’ve been taking it since, daily. I do suffer from kidney stones and a bit of back pain, but nothing that can’t be controlled with over the counter stuff. I have taken 6 50mg a day. I’ve tried to cut down, but I cannot sleep. I am in constant pain all over my body. I wake up in the middle of the night, aggravated with restless legs and can’t get comfortable. I have no energy what-so-ever, it sucks. Does ANYONE know of any over the counter med that can substitute for tramadol? I just want to go back to how I felt before I ever knew about this drug. I don’t wish withdrawal symptoms like this on my worst enemy.

Regards,
MaryAnn

Angela
11:07 pm June 1st, 2014

I have been taking tramadol for 2 years now. 3 in the am and 3 at night. I was giving this medicine for carpal tunnel because I have already had a pain pill addiction. My prescribing dr knew this. I did not know the dangers of this drug or I would not have taken it. To make matters worse I just found out that I am pregnant. So I tried to stop taking them and found out that I can’t. The wd is just as bad as the other pain pills. I need off these asap. How do I do this? Is a week methadone taper a good method?

james
8:06 pm June 9th, 2014

Because tramadol is in capsuals of 50mg how can u reduce ten percentage

Carol lawrence
5:42 pm June 10th, 2014

I have been taken off tramadol SR 200mg twice a day because they were causing dreadful sweating and have been prescribed Zapain 30mg/500mg are there any side affects doing this .If I was to stay on tramadol is there anything that I could take to help the sweating .

Tameka
1:05 pm June 26th, 2014

Im am currently taking 12 tramadol and 23 dyhrodrocien a day whats the best way to taper off the meds

Shary Symon
9:46 pm July 16th, 2014

I have been taking Tramadol for pain from a bi-lateral knee replacement. I have been taking it for two months varying doses of 1 50mg to 250mg. Every four to six hours. What should I do to stop?

John
10:26 pm July 25th, 2014

This is the third time period I’ve taken Tramadol. It’s the same every time. I have only taken them for two days at a time and when I stop the third day is horrendous. irritability, illness and unexplained depression. They are absolutely awful. This has happened every time.

Jan
8:18 pm July 28th, 2014

Been completely off tramadol 10 days after weaning for about 6 wks. I actually feel so sick like the flu, coughing, can’t sleep & if I do get a couple hrs. it is real restless and get restless arms that are unbearable. My Dr. gave me Ambien but I don’t like the feeling I get from it so I have only taken a few since she gave me the script. Benedryl made me so hyper I was in tears. How long is this all going to last. I was on tram for about ten years for legitimate pain (osteoarthritis) and the largest dose I ever took was 3 1/2 pills at night (only) and that dose was for about 3-4 yrs. I will never go back on tram, but will these withdrawals ever go away? How long before the brain receptors are back to normal again? I know the med itself is definitely out of the blood stream by now, but what about the receptors???? Thank you.

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
12:53 pm July 29th, 2014

Hello Jan. With tramadol withdrawal it usually becomes worse before it gets better, so it may take you a couple of weeks to begin to gradually feel better. Tramadol affects the pain receptors in the brain, and has antidepressant properties so, be aware that if you feel down for a few weeks, it is because of stopping the tramadol. Taking a good multivitamin, staying well hydrated and excersising-even if you’re to tired can help you. So, hang in there!

Nick
2:32 pm August 10th, 2014

Can anyone please offer any advice? I was prescribed tramadol in 1993 following failed spinal surgery. By mistake I was innitially prescribed 16 x 50mg a day which I took for a month or two. I have been taking the drug continuously for over 20 years. Several years ago I managed to reduce my daily intake from 8 x 50mg to 6 x 50mg a day. At the age of 54 should I attempt to come off the drug? The WD symptoms that I experience begin to manifest after 8 hours. I am trying to distinguish the difference, if any, between pain caused by tramadol WD and pain associated with spinal nerve damage. Has anybody out there managed to come off this drug after taking it for so long? Any advice would be sincerely welcomed and appreciated. With sincere thanks.

ian
8:55 pm August 11th, 2014

hi have been taking tramadol for a year roughly i am taking around 800 mg a day , my gp doesnt prescribeme them i have to get other people to get them for me , when i dont havve them even for few hours i start to feel horrible i feel like i want to quit now by reducing my dose till im finnaly off it im worried my gp wont prescibe me them to taper down because they were not prescibed to me in the first place except one or 2 times they prescibed me them am i right to think this or would a gp still help me to get off them by prescribing me them to taper down

Rosa
3:59 am August 19th, 2014

I been on Tramadol pills for my shoulder pain from car accident and I decide to quit but I am scare to withdraw I wonder how help me no more withdraw?

Leave a Reply