Physical addiction to tramadol

It is possible to become physically addicted to tramadol when you take it for a period longer than a month? Here we cover more on the available treatment options for physical addiction to tramadol.

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Worried about the possibility of developing dependence on tramadol? In this article, we explain the main difference between physical dependence and addiction. We also provide you with information to help you recognize physical addiction to tramadol. At the end, you can post your questions and feedback, and we’ll get back to you in no time.

Physical dependence on tramadol

Physical dependence can be described as the body’s adaptation to a particular drug. Basically, it is a state during which your body becomes accustomed to a drug like tramadol and needs regular dosing in order to function normally.  Dependence is characterized by two main types of symptoms: tolerance and withdrawal.

Tolerance is a phenomenon of brain elasticity that makes the regular dosing of tramadol less and less effective. So, when you become tolerant to tramadol, you may require larger or more frequent doses in order to relieve pain or achieve an effect. In cases when you believe that tramadol is no longer working for you or that you need larger doses doses of tramadol for effective pain-relief, you have probably developed tolerance to this painkiller.

Dependence usually occurs in people who are regularly using tramadol for about a month. As with any physical dependence to a drug, you can expect to experience a range of withdrawal effects when you lower you usual tramadol dose or try to stop cold turkey. Withdrawal symptoms during tramadol detox generally include:

  • agitation
  • depression
  • nervousness
  • vomiting

… and many more.

Addiction, on the other hand, is recognized by changes in a person’s behavior. It is accompanied by mental and physical reliance on tramadol. When tramadol use becomes a main priority to an individual, regardless of the knowledge of harm they are causing to themselves and to others, we can say that the person has become an addict.

When you are facing a problem with tramadol dependence or addiction you should seek the help of healthcare professionals. In fact, tramadol addiction can be treated with proper management.

Physical signs of addiction to tramadol

If your friend or loved one has started to abuse tramadol, you can spot that something is wrong by observing these physical changes:

  • appetite changes
  • dizziness and/or vertigo
  • lack of personal hygiene
  • loss of interest in physical appearance
  • nausea and vomiting
  • sleeping disorders
  • slurred speech
  • sweating
  • unexplained injuries or accidents
  • weight changes accompanied either by gaining or losing weight

Treating physical symptoms of addiction to tramadol

Doctors usually treat physical dependence on tramadol by gradually lowering your dose during a certain period of days or weeks. This gives your body some time to adjust to the absence of tramadol from your system. Treatment of physical dependence to tramadol is almost always accompanied by withdrawal symptoms that in some cases can be as severe such as:

  • abdominal pain
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • mood changes
  • panic attacks

Physical dependence on tramadol can be uncomfortable when your doctor starts to slowly take you off and you don’t have access to it. This is why any treatment of physical addiction (ie. dependence) should be done with the help of medical experts. We recommend that you look for a detox clinic or consult with your doctor before you take any further steps.

Physically addicted to tramadol? Still have questions?

Although tramadol dependence is fairly rare, it can happen…even to people who don’t have a history of substance abuse. One successful combination used to overcome physical addiction to the drug: for the treatment of physical dependence to tramadol, slow tapering along with medications to treat symptoms associated with withdrawal is often your best bet.

Did we cover all you wanted to know about tramadol physical dependence? If you would like to learn more feel free to post your questions in the section below. We try to answer as quickly as we can to all legitimate inquiries.

Reference sources: NIH: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide
NCBI: Tramadol Dependence in a Patient With No Previous Substance History
FDA: Important drug warnings
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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