Cold turkey tramadol

Is going cold turkey off tramadol recommended. No. More here on protocols for tramadol withdrawal and SAFELY stopping tramadol.

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Going cold turkey tramadol?

What does tramadol withdrawal feel like?  A bad flu.  So can I just stop taking tramadol?  No. We suggest that you consider tapering tramadol doses first.  Why?  Because even through tramadol is not a scheduled narcotic, tramadol’s interaction with the brain’s chemistry provokes both typical and atypical symptoms during tramadol withdrawal.  This means you risk seizures, serotonin syndrome and potential coma by stopping tramadol cold turkey.

In fact, tramadol is a pain killer with a unique opiate chemistry that also has effects on serotonin levels.  In this article, we take examine the safety of going cold turkey off tramadol and tramadol detox treatment. More here on what doctors recommend and what conditions need to be present for safely stopping tramadol cold turkey. Then, we invite your questions about tramadol at the end.

Stopping tramadol cold turkey risks

There are risks involved with stopping cold turkey. You can’t always account or anticipate what may go wrong, because each person reacts individually to stopping tramadol cold turkey. And the extreme withdrawal that occurs when quitting tramadol abruptly can be not only painful, but dangerous. Some risks you run with stopping tramadol cold turkey include:

  • brain zaps
  • erratic heart beat
  • increased blood pressure
  • potential coma
  • potential fatality
  • SSRI discontinuation syndrome
  • suicidal thought due to depression
  • seizures
  • severe mood swings

Cold turkey tramadol withdrawal

Cold turkey tramadol withdrawal can trigger severe or intense symptoms that can require medical attention. Because of tramadol’s unique effect on the body, tramadol is considered to provoke two types tramadol withdrawal symptoms. Typical opioid withdrawal symptoms may be present such as nausea, restlessness, and insomnia. But other atypical withdrawal symptoms are also possible during cold turkey tramadol withdrawal. This second set of withdrawal symptoms are similar to signs of benzodiazepine withdrawal and can include paranoia, seizures, extreme anxiety, panic attacks, and confusion.

Tapering down your doses of tramadol helps to ease withdrawal symptoms. Stopping tramadol suddenly does the opposite. Symptoms of tramadol withdrawal become more intense or severe when you go off tramadol cold turkey. Why? A cold turkey tramadol withdrawal is a sudden and severe shock to the system. The body immediately attempts to neutralize the fact tramadol is no longer in the body. Stopping cold turkey can provoke the following:

  • abdominal distress
  • dysphoria
  • insomnia
  • muscle cramps
  • restlessness
  • seizures
  • Serotonin syndrome
  • sweating
  • trouble sleeping

Keep in mind that tramadol withdrawal takes longer than other types of opiates because of its effect on serotonin levels. It can take up to about a week and half to start to even out and feel normal after tramadol withdrawal. Symptoms related to Serotonin levels and other symptoms which affect mood and sleep can possibly last for months before you can regain full recovery of sleep and disruption in serotonin levels. The point here is that intensity of symptoms peak when you provoke cold turkey tramadol withdrawal rather than taper.

Quitting tramadol cold turkey

Who are the best candidates for quitting tramadol cold turkey? Everyone is going to be different and react to cold turkey withdrawal differently. It is a little hard to determine with tramadol how quitting tramadol cold turkey withdrawal is going to go.

The best possible situation for someone to stop tramadol cold turkey is the person who hasn’t been using tramadol for a very long time and has little dependency to the drug. Also, if you are in prime physical health this can help the success of quitting tramadol cold turkey. It is also recommended that you DO NOT take other substances or medications that can complicate withdrawal from cold turkey. That is, stay away from things like alcohol, other opiates, or central nervous system depressants that will hinder your body’s ability to address withdrawal.

Because the process of withdrawal is taxing not only on the body, but on the mind, you will need to be dedicated and really want to stop taking tramadol. Once withdrawal starts people have a hard time living through the pain and discomfort and may find themselves quickly using tramadol to alleviate symptoms. If this becomes a cycle of repeat use, it may be better to find an alternative way to stop tramadol.

Cold turkey off tramadol

If you are going cold turkey off tramadol, doctors recommend doing so through detox. With the help of a detox clinic, you will still stop taking tramadol but it’ll be under the supervision of a clinician who can treat your symptoms with medication or help you compensate for the withdrawal effect. This can be done in a hospital or treatment facility.

If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction to tramadol, it is highly recommended that you look into the positive effects of rehabilitation. The risks associated with immediate withdrawal are heavily outweighed by the benefits of seeking legitimate help. Though you may feel like you can handle the symptoms on your own, you may be putting your health at greater risk. All you need to do is take a quick look online to learn more about the benefits of professional rehabilitation. Choosing to do so will allow you to recover in an immensely healthy manner while being surrounded by medical professionals in a comforting environment.

Get off tramadol cold turkey

Doctors don’t really recommended you quit tramadol cold turkey if you can help it. They feel that withdrawal doesn’t have to be severe or painful. They would rather you instead taper your doses of tramadol slowly. The reason is that when you taper, your doctor can help monitor your withdrawal to the point you may not even have to feel the harsh effects of withdrawal at all. It’s also safer.

What’s the best alternative to getting of tramadol cold turkey? The key way to treating tramadol withdrawal symptoms is to first slowly reduce medication intake and taper off tramadol while supporting symptomatic reactions to the withdrawal. So how do doctors taper tramadol?  And what’s the ideal time for how long to withdraw from tramadol,

Before tapering off tramadol, ALWAYS seek medical advice and supervision. In general, a decrease by 10% of the original tramadol dose per week is usually well tolerated with minimal physiological adverse effects. Some people can be tapered more rapidly without problems (over 6 to 8 weeks), while others may need to slow the taper timeline to monthly, rather than weekly, dosage adjustments. Doctors might also recommend antidepressants to manage irritability, sleep disturbance or antiepileptics for neuropathic pain. Speak with your prescribing doctor for an individualized plan to get you off tramadol with minimal discomfort.

Can I quit tramadol cold turkey?

In general, it is best not to quit tramadol cold turkey. However, if you are in good health and have the support, mind set, and environment to go cold turkey…this method may be for you. You need to know that the process is going to be hard and painful. It will take your mental will power and your physical well-being and test it. If you find yourself unable to quit tramadol cold turkey then don’t worry. It’s not for everyone. In this case, talk to a doctor so you can find an alternative solution that can help you to effectively quit tramadol.

Cold turkey tramadol questions

Do you still have questions about stopping tramadol cold turkey? Please provide us with your questions or experiences below. We would love to hear from people who have tried stopping tramadol cold turkey. Your experiences are important to us. And we try to respond to each comment personally.

Reference Sources: Utah Clinical Guidelines on Prescribing Opioids for Treatment of Pain: Strategies for Tapering & Weaning
The National Pain Association: Abrupt withdrawal
Drug Enforcement Administration Drugs of Concern: Tramadol
NCBI: Physical dependence potential of daily Tramadol dosing in humans
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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