Is Ultram addictive?

Yes, Ultram and Ultram ER (tramadol hydrochloride) can be addictive. In fact, the makers of Ultram even issued a new warning with the FDA about the dangers of Ultram. Learn who can get addicted to Ultram and who doctors recommend stay away from this narcotic pain killer here.

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Opioid pain killers can be addictive

All opioid analgesics carry the risk of addiction, even under appropriate medical use. According to the FDA and the manufacturers of Ultram tablets (a.k.a. tramadol hydrochloride), proper pain management  rarely results in addiction to opioid analgesics such as Ultram ER. But the jury is not out yet on addiction rates among chronic pain patients. Nonetheless, experts recommend that anyone prescribed opioids for pain should be watched for signs of abuse and addiction.

Will I get addicted to Ultram?

Not necessarily. But you may become physically dependent on the drug (have withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it) or develop a tolerance for Ultram (need more of the drug to achieve the same initial effect). Generally, tolerance and/or withdrawal are more likely to occur the longer you use Ultram continuously. Physical depedence and developed tolerance for Ultram, however, are separate and distinct from drug abuse and drug addiction.

Signs of Ultram addiction

Drug addiction and addiction to Ultram are characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following:

  1. Craving Ultram
  2. Compulsive use of ultram
  3. Continued use of ultram despite negative consequences
  4. Loss of control over Ultram use
  5. Non-medical use of Ultram

Ultram warning: who should not take Ultram

Although it may seem obvious, doctors should not prescribe Ultram to people who are predisposed toward addiction or who use alcohol in excess.

Likewise, doctors are advised to use caution when prescribing the opioid to people who experience emotional disturbance or depression. The idea here is that Ultram can trigger suicide. Furthermore, doctors are warned against prescribing ultram to people who express suicidal thoughts or feelings or who are taking tranquilizers or antidepressants. Instead, researchers recommend that doctors consider non-narcotic analgesics for people who match the following profiles:

  • experiencing emotional disturbance
  • experiencing depression
  • feeling suicidal
  • prone to addiction
  • taking antidepressants
  • taking traquilizers
  • use alcohol in excess

Where to go for Ultram help

If you suspect that you may be developing an addiction to ultram, speak with your prescribing doctor first. Honesty is always the best policy when looking at drug addiction, so report the frequency and dosage of Ultram use with a clear conscience. Your doctor can then help recommend a course of action for you. IF you don’t feel comfortable talking with your prescribing doctor, seek help from your family doctor, general practitioner, addiction counselor, or treatment center. You can get help. Self-reporting is the first step.

Reference source: FDA warning for Ultram
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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