How long does tramadol last?

The effects of immediate release tramadol last for 4-6 hours, while extended or controlled release tramadol lasts for 24 hours. Learn more about tramadol dosing, dangers, and more here.

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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 
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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