Thursday July 31st 2014

What are tramadol withdrawal symptoms?

Thinking about detox from tramadol?

Dependence on tramadol symptoms can vary from restlessness to abdominal discomfort to seizure. Learn what are tramadol withdrawal symptoms, how long they last and how they can be treated here. Plus, a section at the end for your questions about tramadol.

Why do Tramadol withdrawal symptoms occur?

How long does tramadol stay in the body?  About a day, or two.  So, when your body detoxes from tramadol after your last dose, you go through withdrawal.  Why?

The biggest reason withdrawal symptoms occur when you stop taking tramadol is because tramadol is part of the opiate family. Although tramadol is technically an opioid (a man made opiate), it acts like an opiate on the brain and central nervous system. Opiates have a naturally high dependency rate and people taking forms of this drug become physically dependent on tramadol relatively quickly.  These reasons affect how tramadol is prescribed and for how long.

Because of this high dependency rate, withdrawal is likely to occur in anyone who gradually comes off tramadol as well as those who suddenly decide to stop taking tramadol. Withdrawal symptoms are more likely for people who choose to go off of tramadol suddenly or who stop taking tramadol cold turkey. However, it is interesting to note that tramadol is one of the safest opioids that doctors prescribe and comes with a lower risk of developing tramadol drug addiction.

What are symptoms of Tramadol withdrawal?

There are two types of Tramadol withdrawal symptoms: typical opioid withdrawal symptoms and atypical opioid withdrawal symptoms. The first set of withdrawal symptoms for tramadol are typical of opioid drugs which result in flu-like symptoms such as restlessness and tramadol cravings. It has been reported that this first type of withdrawal shows up in about 90 percent of the population who are taking Tramadol. The second set of tramadol withdrawal symptoms is considered rather atypical but nevertheless occurs in about 10 percent of the population. Such symptoms include; hallucinations, paranoia, extreme anxiety, panic attacks, confusion and numbness and tingling in the limbs.

Other symptoms of tramadol withdrawal may include the following:

  • abdominal distress
  • dysphoria (unease or dissatisfaction with life)
  • insomnia
  • muscle cramps
  • restlessness
  • seizures
  • Serotonin syndrome
  • sweating
  • trouble sleeping

Tramadol withdrawal symptoms: How long?

How long the symptoms of tramadol withdrawal last varies by person. Those who stop using tramadol can expect to feel the effects of the withdrawal up to at least 24 hours after the last time they took tramadol. This is the most likely timeline. In other cases, however, it has been said that tramadol withdrawal can take several days before acute symptoms dissipate. Those who have developed a dependency with tramadol have a harder time, as withdrawal symptoms can linger and be more intense.

Tramadol withdrawal symptoms treatment

One of the key ways to treat withdrawal symptoms of tramadol is to first slowly reduce medication intake and taper off tramadol while also supporting symptomatic reactions to the withdrawal. It is important to be careful with over the counter and prescription medications used to help with the symptoms and that they do not interact negatively with the tramadol. Avoiding the use of alcohol and other drug are important for not only inhibiting dependency but also to alleviate potential withdrawal symptoms. Slow tapering helps with anxiety and restlessness. However, all cases of tramadol withdrawal should be supervised by a medical professional.

Tramadol withdrawal symptoms questions

Do you still have questions about withdrawing from tramadol? Please leave us your tramadol questions below. We are happy to respond to you personally, and will try to answer your questions ASAP. And if we don’t know the answer, we will refer you to someone who does.

Reference Sources: PubMed: Withdrawal syndrome after longterm treatment with tramadol
DEA Office of Diversion Control: Tramadol
FDA: Ultram Drug Warning
PubMed: Tramadol Dependence in a Patient With No Previous Substance History

The American Journal Of Psychiatry: Withdrawal Syndrome After Delayed Tramadol Intake

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36 Responses to “What are tramadol withdrawal symptoms?
Jane
4:28 am March 7th, 2013

Have taken 14 to 16 50 mg tablets of Tramadol for about 5 1/2 months for post concussion headache. Headaches are better and so I tapered down to 9 last week. Today I decided I just wanted to stop to see how bad my headaches really are so I haven’t taken any since yesterday morning. I feel horrible. Shooting pains in my head and legs, lower back and shoulder pain, irritable, restless, and my teeth even hurt. How long will this last? Debated on tapering more slowly but I just want to be off the meds to see if I really need it for pain and if my continued lack of diminished cognitive function is the Tramadol or from the TBI. Suggestions?

6:29 am April 14th, 2013

Hello Jane. I’d suggest that you consult with your prescribing doctor for treatment options and to report the symptoms.

Jane
8:25 pm April 23rd, 2013

Had to get back on the Tramadol and taper over 3 weeks. It was rough each time I tapered down, but not as bad. Would never take this again. It needs to be more controlled.

Mario
11:47 pm June 1st, 2013

trying this again in short

i did not take my prescribed tramadol for roughly five days, for a week not i have felt not right, kind of anxious, muscle aches, etc

tonight i took another dose for the muscle aches and i feel better than i have all week. was i experiencing tramadol withdrawl?

8:55 am June 3rd, 2013

Hi Mario. How long have you been taking tramadol? And how frequently? IF you’ve been dosing on tramadol daily or multiple times per day for more than a few weeks, it’s possible that you have been experiencing withdrawal. But short term or sporadic use of tramadol should not cause withdrawal symptoms. What does your prescribing doctor say?

diana taylor
3:39 pm June 6th, 2013

i have been on this med for over 12 years doctor just started me on cymbalta and told me to stop the tramadol i do feel awfull but i strated the nes med the same day i stoped the tramadol so how long will i feel bad ?

5:41 am June 11th, 2013

Hi Diana. Tramadol withdrawal usually peaks in terms of intensity and severity in the first 72 hours after last dose, but can persist for 7-10 days.

c. harrelson
8:42 pm July 9th, 2013

How long can withdrawal last after coming off 150mg per day? How much to taper per day?

11:09 am July 17th, 2013

Hello c.harrelson. You’ll need to set up a customized tapering schedule with your prescribing doctor when coming off tramadol. Medical supervision helps prevent extreme withdrawal effects such as seizures and hallucinations and it’s very important that you taper slowly over time. Seek medical counsel with your prescribing physician for help.

Tina
3:43 pm July 31st, 2013

Hi I am needing help was on tramadol and pregablin for 7 months due to back problems, I was on 400mg tramadol and max dose pregablin, I had an op in may this year, my doctor said i could come streight off both with no issues, so at the end of may i came off both and 2 months later I am still suffering depression, anxiety, no motivation, nervousness, seperation anxiety. I am 36 years old. Is this normal please as I feel like I’m going mad.

8:25 am August 13th, 2013

Hello Tina. It’s possible that you are experiencing PAWS, or protracted withdrawal symptoms…which can last for weeks or months after acute withdrawal. I’d suggest that you record your symptoms on a daily calendar, rate their discomfort level, and report back to your original prescribing doctor in 1-2 weeks. Anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication may be applicable and may be prescribed in your case.

Vickie Still
8:21 pm August 19th, 2013

I have generalized degenerative joint disease. My knees are very painful and my left shoulder is bone on bone. I have been taking tramadol (375mg. till 6-2011, then 50mg.4-5 times per day. Suddenly it’s a narcotic and my income dropped, along with being dropped from health insurance. I took the last Tramadol 5 days ago, early in the am. The next day I woke up with a sore throat and feeling generally yucky. Day after that I am running a low grade fever, & when I went down to sleep I experienced restless leg syndrome in my whole body. Slept about 7 hours in 72. No appetite, anxious, head and eyes hurt. I generally felt like I had the flu. I haven’t left my house in a couple of months so no exposure to flu. I might add I have been taking Celexa for anxiety since June 2007, when my son was killed. I ran out of it at the same time. I have no money to go back to the Dr. and get refills. Would appreciate your opinion on whether or not this illness has been do to withdrawal from one or both these med.s

5:06 am August 20th, 2013

Hello Vickie. The symptoms that you report seem consistent with tramadol withdrawal symptoms: generally like a really bad flu. The symptoms should resolve in 7-10 days, but if you continue to feel poorly, I’d suggest a visit to your doctor.

Hovik
12:21 am November 5th, 2013

Can Tramadol cause watery eyes?

Bettie
6:55 pm November 5th, 2013

I went through cold turkey withdrawal from 150mg daily of Tramadol. Bad, but no serotonin syndrome. Now I need more pain med for arthritis. Started with 50mg daily PRN. But I find now, after several weeks, that when I don’t take a pill, I have diarrhea and chills in less than 24 hours. What do I do? If I take it regularly twice a day, will that stop the withdrawal or require more the two pills eventually to keep the withdrawal under control? Tylenol is not sufficient. I can’t take any more NSAIDS due to my stomach.

2:25 pm November 6th, 2013

Hello Bettie. I’d suggest that you consult with your prescribing physician on getting the dosage right. Or speak with your pharmacist for more information.

Hovik
4:04 am December 28th, 2013

I do not take Tramadol everyday and when I take it is 2-3 50 per day. My eyes water heavily every morning and by noon I am back to normal. We also have a cat that shades badly. Could Tramadol be my problem? Thanks

Sicklee
3:37 am January 28th, 2014

I am now taking 4 50mg tramadol daily. How much less should I take and when, if I want to taper slowly and how long should I wait before I go down more. Also, will my body adjust to the decrease or will I be in pain with flu-like smptoms the entire time? What can I take to help ease the smptoms?,

Sicklee
1:58 am January 29th, 2014

I am so sick from these little white devil pills !! I can’t move … my body aches all over !! I feel like I have a horrible flu :( How long am I going to feel like this ?? If I’m sick like this anyway wouldn’t it just be better to quit cold turkey and get it over with ? If I’m going to suffer anyway. I thought tapering would help me not have major withdrawal symptoms ?? This is BRUTAL :(((

Brenda
8:07 am January 31st, 2014

Hi,i stopped the devil pills 20 days ago,after being down to 3 a day,after 5yrs of use, you will feel awful,i took myself off to bed having strong epsom salts baths every day body brushing, nibbled on bananas,made smoothies after a few days with fruit, veg,nuts,oats , coconut oil,etc.doctor gave me diazepam for the leg twitching,sleeping tablets for 10days, 3days ago started with hourly palpatations so am now on betablockers, has anyone else experienced this,its rubbish,!

Mary Ann
1:11 pm March 16th, 2014

I have been taking Tramadol since my knee replacement surgery 3 weeks ago. I took 100 mg. twice a day for two weeks then only 50 mg twice a day for one week for pain during rehab exercises. I stopped it entirely on Friday night. By Saturday I felt tired, lightheaded and could not sleep for most of the night due to strange restlessness that kept me sitting up and moving around. That stopped during the night, and I finally did sleep but it was awf’ul while it lasted. Today is Sunday. I feel better, but can I expect that to return tonight or is the worst over?

10:10 am March 17th, 2014

Hello Mary Ann. Short term use of tramadol and dependence usually resolves in under 72 hours; best of luck to you, but make a record of continuing symptoms if they persist and schedule an appointment with you prescribing doctor.

joe mad
11:21 pm June 20th, 2014

I have been taking tramadol for 3 years for arthritis in neck / back / both knees ( too young for replacement ) / both shoulders and both hands ! sever pain has been treated with injections 2 to each hand , both shoulders and thumbs , I was told this would be my last prescribed tramadol , as the ‘guidelines’ have changed and 28 days is the new max !
Q 1 . what’s is the exit strategy ?
Q 2 . is there an alternative ?
Q 3. I will not be able to work , where does that leave me ? both during the withdrawal and living in such pain day to day ?

vali
6:02 am July 1st, 2014

Tramadol withdrawal is awful! I have been on and off this drug for chronic pain for the past 4 years. You cannot go off this drug cold turkey if you have taken it for a long time and/or at a high dose. It can actually be harmful to your health and safety causing seizures etc. Protocol to tapper off is to reduce 25ml a day. This will give mild withdrawal symptoms but totally tolerable. 25ml every two days should go without any discomfort. Good luck!

Nancy
5:14 pm July 2nd, 2014

I seem to be having withdrawal symptoms from Tramadol even though I only took 100mg 4x a day for 3 weeks after ankle surgery. My doctor said I could stop cold turkey and there would be no withdrawal symptoms since I took it such a short amount of time. I didn’t believe him and I slowly decreased the dose from 400 mg per day to 100 in 5 days. Then I had diarrhea, headache, loss of appetite, restless legs. I’ve taken 100 mg for 2 days and tomorrow will take 50 mg. for a couple days and then 0. Is there anything I can do to help with these symptoms?

Ivana @ Addiction Blog
8:12 am July 3rd, 2014

Hi Nancy. Quitting tramadol cold turkey is not recommended. Your doctor probably thought you wouldn’t go through withdrawal because you were on the meds for a short time. Still, it’s enough time for the body to become accustomed to the presence of tramadol, develop dependence, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms is an expected outcome. So, what you’re doing by tapering is the right thing to do. What you’re feeling is normal, and some symptoms you can’t avoid even with tapering. If you are able to move and if doing exercises is recommended by your doctor, try and stay as busy as you can.

Angus
11:28 pm July 6th, 2014

April 24th I had a meniscus repair and was prescribed oxycodone. Then had hip resurfacing on May 14th and was prescribed oxycodone and tramidol. I got off of the oxy 4weeks after the May 14th surgery….and continued on the tramidol for 2 more weeks- 2 (50mg) 3x day. And was fine off the oxy. Then tried to stop the tramidol cold turkey (huge mistake). From then on I started tapering. For the first week I took 1 (50mg) 3x day then the following week took 1 (50mg) 2x day. The took 1 every 24hrs for 2 day then I stopped. I was ok for about 24-30 hours after then I was miserable. It will be 2 weeks this Tuesday July 8th. My symptoms have included hot/cold sweats, headaches, diarrhea, insomnia, restless leg and severe anxiety. At this point, I am most affected by the anxiety as well as insomnia which may or may not be from the RLS (as I have that symptom too).
I’ve taken several things to help. One evening I tried Xanax. Then I tried melatonin. Then Benadryl. Cannot remember if I’ve tried the Soma that I have…. Also saw my doctor and was prescribed ambien, which helped me sleep a little but I am sleep deprived! And don’t want to become dependent on that. How long will this last? What can help? I’m willing to try anything.

Laurel
1:00 pm July 13th, 2014

I have been on tramadol for 6 years without consulting a doctor. I would usually take no more than 5 50 mg tablets a day. I usually have to take at least 2 tablets a day without experiencing withdrawal. What is the best way to gradually come off this? Should I take 2/ 50 mg for two days and then every two days reduce it by 25 or 50 mg? Or should I reduce the tramadol over a longer period? For instance, is it recommended that I reduce the medication every 5 days? I don’t want to feel severe withdrawal symptoms because this will just prompt me to continuing taking them.

This is a horrible drug. I have massive hair loss. Every time I try to get off it I just cry and cry and cry.. In fact, I was originally subscribed this after a major car accident that killed my husband. I noticed right away that not only did it relieve physical pain, but it elevated my moods. I continued to take it after I found I could get it from other sources because it made everything feel better in my life. It has always been difficult for me to stop because I have a job and children and no help with them. It’s mainly the cranky and irritable feelings that my kids don’t understand. I get horrible cranky, sleepless, restless leg syndrome, extremely depressed, sweaty, irritable, diarrhea, flu like symptoms, lethargy. This is the worst drug!

I just need to know the best way to stop this drug without having severe withdrawal symptoms. And I refuse to go to a doctor.

diane
9:50 am July 14th, 2014

I took 100 mg og Tramadol for 45 days. The last gew days i only took 100mg/ day. Will I go thru withdrawl?

Betty Stapleton
5:27 pm July 15th, 2014

I am having bouts of sneezing and abdominal and severe back pain my last dose was half of a 50 MG yesterday how bad will it get

T. Williams
5:28 pm July 17th, 2014

My brother took several Tramadol over the course of a week or so, before he knew what they were. Originally, he had been told they were cannabis pills, but due to my nosiness I found out otherwise. I googled the markings on the pills only to find out that one was Tramadol and the other Vicodin. He immediately asked me to flush them. It has been 2 days since that happened and he’s still somewhat confused, has a loss of appetite and sweats a lot. Are these withdrawal symptoms? And how long should they last? Is there any way to help flush this out of his system?

sue
2:45 pm July 18th, 2014

Hi, I’ve been taking tramodol for 3 yrs now. When I had my breast off I asked the doc if I could come off them, he said “no”. But, I got no pain now; I ran out of tramadol on tues and since then I have been feeling dizzy and just yuki. My husband says is it cause I haven’t been taking them. Is it a side effect? Can you help please! I got them now but don’t want to take them…

Amy
5:43 pm July 20th, 2014

After being on Tramadol for about 6-8months for back pain I decided to get off of it because I wanted to try and get pregnant and I knew you couldn’t take it while pregnant. Little did I know it was going to be SO horrible. I had cold sweats, would go from being extremely hot then freezing, horrible restless leg and body, sneezing, nausea, anxious feeling, shaking, i was soooo sleepy but couldn’t sleep for the life of me. I was up for about 40hours with about 2 hours of sleep. I’m now on my 3rd day of this horrible detox and can finally lay down without feeling completely antsy. I will NEVER take this horrible drug again. To anyone else that is looking to get off plan it when you can have time off, warm bath soaks help and it also helped me to get out of the house and go spend the day with a friend to get my mind off this horrible withdrawal. I’m hoping within the next couple days my symptoms will be over.

Alexi
10:05 pm July 23rd, 2014

Hi… I am 26 years old. I’ve been taking Tromadols for almost 3 years now. Before I never had take. A pill other than Tylenol. I feel like I am depending on this drug everyday. I don’t feel normal without it. I would take two in the morning, to help me with my day with the children, cooking, cleaning, shopping. If I don’t… I feel like I can’t get out of bed. I can’t cook, stand very long. My EVERYTHING hurts! And I take two at night. If I don’t… I won’t be able to sleep. I honestly hate it. I never knew other people felt the same as I do because my sister has taken them longer than I have and she could stop and go without them without a problem. I can not without body pains. And I am a different peson without. I am mean to my fiancé, to my children and I just want to feel normal without having to take a Tromadol. And it has to be some other way other than just hot baths and showers and dealing with this pain. I don’t do drugs and I don’t drink. I don’t want to feel like I have no control over my life. It’s not as easy as people make it seem. I want help with this withdraws! It has to be some other way… Please someone help!

Jan
2:38 am July 26th, 2014

I weaned off tramadol for 6 wks. I took it for back/knee pain for 10 yrs and the highest dose I ever took was 3 1/2 once a day at night. I am now completely off tramadol and have been for 7 days now. The MAIN problem I have is the terrible tingling, restless sensation in my arms at night when trying to sleep which is unbearable. I manage maybe 2-3 hrs sleep at night. How long will this sensation last?

Sue
8:32 pm July 27th, 2014

I have been taking this drug for a relatively short period of time, 6-8 weeks. I have been cold turkey off it now for 5 days and feel yuck! I am irritable, tired as can be, lathargic and unmotivated. I have the worst restlessness at night, cannot sleep and I sweat terribly through out the day. I was taking 150-200 mgs per day. Had I known it would be so hard to stop, I would have never used this stuff! How much longer can I expect to be so uncomfortable?

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