- Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Tramadol
- Watery eyes
- Runny Nose
- Body aches
- Dilated pupils
- Joint pain
- Abdominal cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Increased blood pressure, respiratory rate, or heart rate
Tramadol is a synthetic drug. Scientists classify tramadol as an opioid because it works to relieve pain similarly to morphine - by acting directly on the nervous system to change the way the brain interprets pain signals.
Ultram provides around-the-clock relief from moderate to moderately severe pain expected to last for a long time. For example, someone might take Ultram to relieve pain after surgery or to ease chronic back pain. Currently, more than three percent of American adults receive long-term opioid therapy including Ultram and other drugs to treat chronic pain not associated with cancer. The longer someone takes Ultram, the more likely it is he will become physically dependent on the opioid, tramadol.
In addition to analgesia, the tramadol in Ultram has other neurological effects; most immediately noticeable are sedation, relaxation, and a pleasurable euphoria. Tramadol also effects the digestive tract and, to a lesser extent, the cardiovascular system to cause constipation and lowered blood pressure when the individual stands up quickly.
With continual Ultram use, some neurological and physical effects become more permanent, altering how the individual thinks, feels, and behaves. These alterations can interfere with his ability to work, take care of personal responsibilities, and interact with others. In time, Ultram dependence can result in job loss and financial crisis, divorce and loss of child custody, homelessness, criminal activity and incarceration, illnesses caused by infectious diseases or chronic drug abuse, overdose, or death.
Dependence, Detoxification and Withdrawal
When someone uses Ultram or another drug for a long time, his body becomes accustomed to its presence. In time, his body will begin to depend on a certain level of tramadol to feel normal - he becomes opioid-dependent. When an opioid-dependent person stops taking Ultram, his body struggles to cleanse itself from the toxic effects of tramadol. Doctors refer to this as Ultram detoxification.
The opioid-dependent person experiences Ultram detoxification through unpleasant physical and psychological symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms may appear in two phases, with the first set of symptoms beginning a few hours after the last dose of Ultram.
Initially, the patient may experience:
Later, other symptoms may develop, including:
Some patients report tremors, shaking, and generalized pain. Rarely, the patient will experience hallucinations, panic attacks, severe anxiety, or a tingling or burning sensation.
Uninterrupted, withdrawal symptoms can last for five days or longer before fading as the individual completes the detoxification process. Once the person reaches an opioid-free state, withdrawal symptoms do not come back unless the individual returns to an opioid-dependent state.
Someone can use non-opioid drugs to ease the severity of withdrawal symptoms, such as Imodium for diarrhea or acetaminophen for body aches; these drugs will not interfere with detoxification. He can stop withdrawal symptoms completely by taking more Ultram but this halts the detoxification process and reverses the beneficial effects of Ultram detoxification.
Benefits of Ultram Detoxification
Ultram detoxification stops withdrawal symptoms and begins to reverse some of the toxic effects of Ultram. Detoxification clarifies the patient’s thought processes, making it easier for her to make sound decisions about recovery from drug abuse. In this way, Ultram detoxification facilitates the patient’s entry into rehabilitation.
Ultram detoxification is only part of the recovery process. Most opioid-dependent people benefit from some degree of rehabilitation to learn how to live without drugs. Rehabilitation often includes counseling and behavior modification that teaches the patient how to recognize situations that could lead to drug abuse and how to refuse Ultram when offered. Detoxification helps the patient remain in rehabilitation long enough to reverse the neurological and physical effects of Ultram abuse, and reduces the frequency and severity of drug use episodes when they do occur.
Detoxification begins to restore the cognitive, emotional and behavioral effects of drug abuse. Ultram detoxification re-establishes as much of the patient’s former life as possible, helping him get back to work, to school, or home with his family.
Types of Detox
The Institute of Addiction Medicine estimates there are almost 2 million Americans dependent on opioids like the tramadol in Ultram. Each of these individuals must participate in some form of detoxification to achieve an opioid-free state.
The word “detoxification” also refers to the medical process of lowering opioid levels and controlling withdrawal symptoms. A detoxification procedure can occur at home, through an outpatient clinic, or in an inpatient hospital or detoxification center. Of those that attempt detoxification, only about 10 percent of opioid-dependent people seek help with detoxification from a specialty facility. The rest engage in self-help, work with a private doctor, go to an emergency room, or detoxify while in jail or prison.
Everyone experiences opioid dependence in a slightly different way and most patients have individual personal needs when it comes to detoxification. One person may be able to overcome withdrawal symptoms with no assistance, for example, while another might need a great deal of medical support throughout the detoxification process. Any approach to Ultram detoxification is valid so long as it helps the patient reach an opioid-free state in a safe and effective manner.
When someone no longer needs Ultram to control pain, his doctor will likely suggest the patient taper opioids by taking a smaller dose each day. This tapering method works well for those who have been opioid dependent for only a short time, have no underlying conditions that could cause complications, and are likely to experience only minor withdrawal symptoms.
Stubborn withdrawal symptoms prevent some people from completing Ultram detoxification. These individuals might try quitting cold turkey by discontinuing Ultram abruptly. Cold turkey is associated with severe withdrawal symptoms but it will bring the individual to an opioid-free state eventually.
Some people use natural remedies to ease withdrawal symptoms. For example, someone might take cayenne to slow diarrhea or peppermint to soothe nausea. Another person might try acupuncture, meditation, yoga, or massage to relax the body and reduce aches and pains.
Someone could develop a homemade treatment plan, such as The Thomas Recipe, including prescription and non-prescription drugs to control symptoms. The Thomas Recipe calls for a benzodiazepine, such as Xanax or Ativan, to help with anxiety and insomnia. This plan also suggests Imodium for diarrhea, Vitamin B6 and hot baths for muscle aches, and L-Tyrosine for a much-needed burst of energy in the later stages of detoxification.
Outpatient clinics and inpatient facilities offer medical detoxification, sometimes called medication-assisted detoxification, that use opioid or non-opioid drugs to control the onset of detoxification and manage the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
When self-detoxification fails to bring someone to an opioid-free state, he may seek help through an outpatient clinic. Outpatient clinicians prescribe opioid replacement drugs, such as methadone or buprenorphine, as an aid to tapering. During outpatient therapy, patients start out on a high induction dose of the replacement drug then take successively smaller doses until reaching an opioid-free state. These replacement drugs are opioids that mimic the effects of tramadol, so they prevent withdrawal symptoms. In therapeutic doses, these replacement drugs do not get the consumer high.
Outpatient detoxification is appropriate for those patients that have been dependent on opioids for more than a year, require little supervision, cannot taper successfully, and are unable to spend time in a hospital or special detoxification facility.
A chemist first synthesized methadone in a German laboratory in a quest to develop a safe, effective pain reliever. Doctors worldwide prescribe methadone as an analgesic, but U.S. physicians typically reserve methadone to treat dependence on opioids, such as heroin or tramadol.
Many people associate methadone with its use in drug maintenance programs, where the patient takes methadone to control withdrawal symptoms while he engages in rehabilitation. When he learns how to lead a drug-free life, he weans himself from methadone.
About 100,000 Americans use a methadone maintenance program, where the patient comes to an authorized clinic each day to drink a beverage containing methadone. The effects of one dose of methadone last 24 to 36 hours.
To use methadone as an aid to tapering, a doctor will start the patient on a high induction dose - usually 10 to 15 mg - then increase dosages by 10 mg each day until establishing a safe dose that controls withdrawal symptoms. The patient then decreases daily dosages by 10 mg until he is no longer dependent on opioids.
A patient may use buprenorphine in the same way as methadone - either as part of a drug maintenance program or as an aid to tapering. As with methadone, patients start on a high induction dose then lower daily dosages until achieving an opioid-free state. A patient places a buprenorphine tablet under his tongue where it dissolves and enters the bloodstream at the appropriate rate.
Some people abuse buprenorphine by dissolving the tablet before injecting it into a vein. Drug makers discourage intravenous abuse by adding naloxone to the brand name buprenorphine product, Suboxone. When taken under the tongue as directed, naloxone does not affect the consumer. Intravenous injection of naloxone, however, neutralizes the effects of buprenorphine to prevent the consumer from getting high. Intravenous naloxone causes withdrawal symptoms in an opioid-dependent person.
Reckitt Benckiser voluntarily replaced buprenorphine tablets with film late in 2012 to discourage abuse and accidental exposure to children. Patients may still request tablets to make reducing dosages easier during tapering.
Inpatient Ultram Detoxification
Inpatient detoxification facilities offer a high degree of medical support through Ultram detoxification. Most institutions prescreen patients for underlying medical conditions that can cause complications and use professional treatment plans that include medical grade detoxification and anti-withdrawal drugs.
Inpatient detoxification is right for anyone with a history of not engaging in or benefiting from less restrictive programs. Inpatient care is for someone who is likely to suffer severe withdrawal symptoms or complications.
Inpatient care is mandatory for those recovering from an overdose or who have medical or mental conditions that prevent safe treatment in an outpatient facility. Anyone who poses a danger to his own safety or to the safety of others must engage in inpatient detoxification.
Almost all opioid-dependent patients can benefit from rapid detox. Rapid detox is a safe and effective procedure that brings someone to an opioid-free state in hours rather than days, weeks, or months. During rapid detox, doctors anesthetize and sedate the patient before administering the usual detoxification and anti-withdrawal drugs so the patient rests in a comfortable “twilight sleep.” The patient awakens a few hours later, unaware of the grueling withdrawal symptoms that prevented success detoxification in the past.
Our detoxification center: Who we are and what we do
We are a group of board-certified anesthesiologists and other dedicated medical professionals who receive advanced training in detoxification procedures. We have helped thousands of people reach an opioid-free state since opening the doors of our fully accredited hospital more than a decade ago.
We prescreen patients for any underlying conditions that can cause complications during Ultram detoxification. We then create a professional, personalized treatment plan that may include rapid detox. Once we help the patient complete detoxification, he may choose to continue his recovery in our qualified aftercare center.
Ultram Detoxification Approaches Comparisons
Dependence on opioids is traumatic, and choosing between the various forms of treatment can be confusing. It can therefore be helpful to compare treatment approaches to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Self-detoxification is the least costly because it avoids the expense of professional treatment and anti-withdrawal drugs but it is also the most closely associated with severe withdrawal symptoms and complications. Self-detoxification does bring the patient to an opioid-free state in a relatively short time but it is the most uncomfortable approach.
Outpatient detoxification is associated with fewer withdrawal symptoms but opioid replacement therapy lengthens the amount of time the patient takes opioids. Some patients become dependent on the replacement opioids and remain in treatment for months or years. A few people remain on methadone or buprenorphine for the rest of their lives.
Inpatient detoxification provides the greatest protection from severe withdrawal symptoms and complications. Inpatient care brings the patient to an opioid-free state faster than outpatient detoxification: the average length of stay for detoxification is 4 days, compared with 197 days for medication-assisted therapy.
Rapid detox brings the person to an opioid-free state in the shortest time possible, in just hours rather than days or weeks. Rapid detox is the most humane approach to detoxification because it spares the patient from the painful and demoralizing withdrawal symptoms that prevented him from completing Ultram detoxification in the past.
Possible Complications during Ultram Detoxification
Ultram detoxification is not typically life threatening but severe withdrawal symptoms, co-existing medical conditions or substance abuse issue, pregnancy, or chronic or acute Ultram abuse can cause dangerous complications. Ultram detoxification may cause pain to return in individuals who take this drug to control chronic pain.
The primary complication associated with all treatment approaches is relapse. Some people take more Ultram to stop egregious withdrawal symptoms during detoxification while others relapse sometime after completing the detoxification process.
Relapse increases the risk for toxic overdose. Ultram detoxification makes the person more sensitive to the effects of tramadol and reduces his tolerance to tramadol. This increased sensitivity and reduced tolerance makes it possible for someone to overdose on a smaller dose of Ultram than he took just hours earlier, before experiencing even modest withdrawal symptoms for a short time.
In 2008, 14,800 Americans died after overdoses of prescription opioids, including Ultram. That year, for the first time, the number of overdose deaths from prescription opioids killed more people than overdoses of cocaine and heroin combined.
Possible Complications during Self-Detoxification
During self-detoxification, uncontrolled withdrawal symptoms can cause complications. For example, prolonged and severe diarrhea or vomiting can result in dehydration or imbalances of potassium, sodium, and other electrolytes. Withdrawal symptoms can aggravate underlying medical conditions to complicate self-detoxification. Increased blood pressure and pulse, for instance, can worsen some heart conditions.
Outpatient Detoxification Complications
Patients may become dependent on opioid replacement drugs and have a hard time discontinuing methadone or buprenorphine at the appropriate time.
Methadone and buprenorphine are not entirely safe. The number of deaths caused by methadone overdose has been rising in recent years - there were 5.5 times as many deaths associated with methadone in 2009 as there were in 1999. Today, methadone overdoses account for about a third of opioid pain reliever deaths even though the drug accounts for only about 2 percent of sales on the prescription painkiller market. Death from buprenorphine overdose is possible too, especially when the consumer combines intravenous buprenorphine with benzodiazepines, like those called for in The Thomas Recipe.
Inpatient Detox Possible Complications
Inpatient Ultram detoxification provides the greatest protection from complications but some patients still struggle with the process, especially those withdrawing from multiple substances, especially alcohol, benzodiazepines, sedatives, and anti-anxiety drugs.
Possible Complications during Rapid Detox
It is rare, but someone can suffer an allergic reaction to the drugs used in rapid detox. Strong sedatives may complicate breathing, blood pressure and pulse in some patients. An anesthesia patient may experience bruising, swelling, or infection at the injection site.
Myths about Ultram Detoxification
Scientists have extensively researched the physiological, psychological and social effects of drug dependence and the benefits of Ultram detoxification. Despite this research and mountains of clinic experience gathered from actual doctors and patients, myths shrouding Ultram detoxification prevent some people from getting the help they need to reach an opioid-free state. Learning the facts about Ultram detoxification can actually make the process easier and improve the participant’s chances for success.
Myth: Self-detoxification is just mind over matter - anyone can do it with enough determination.
Fact: Self-detoxification can produce severe withdrawal symptoms that may result in dangerous or life threatening complications, especially in the presence of other medical conditions or substance abuse issues that may go undiagnosed in the typical self-detoxification patient.
Myth: The Thomas Recipe includes prescription and non-prescription drugs that make it safe for everyone.
Fact: Only a doctor has the medical knowledge and the legal power to prescribe safe and effective drugs. Furthermore, combining medications may result in dangerous drug interactions.
Outpatient Detox Myths
Myth: Incarceration is cheaper than treatment.
Fact: Treatment is less expensive than jail. A year of methadone costs about $4,700 per patient while that same year of incarceration will run approximately $24,000 per inmate.
Myth: Methadone causes bone rot.
Fact: Inadequate doses of methadone cause withdrawal symptoms, including a deep ache that can feel like the bones are “rotting.” Anyone suffering sore bones should consult with the clinician to discuss a methadone dosage increase.
Myths about Inpatient Ultram Detoxification
Myth: Inpatient treatment is a waste of a hospital bed because drug problems are incurable - all drug addicts always relapse.
Fact: All people deserve humane treatment in a hospital, whether their conditions are easily curable or not. Drug dependence and addiction are chronic illnesses, and have relapse rates similar to other chronic conditions - about 40 to 60 percent.
Myth: Communities cannot afford to throw money down the hole of drug treatment programs.
Fact: Communities cannot afford to ignore the financial benefits of drug treatment. Experts estimate that a community can expect a return of $4 to $7 in lowered crime rates and criminal justice costs for every dollar it invests in drug treatment programs. When these experts factor in the savings to the local healthcare system, yields skyrocket to $12 gained for every dollar spent.
Myths about Rapid Detox
Myth: Pain and humiliation are important features of Ultram detoxification as they punish the patient for abusing drugs.
Fact: Suffering is never an appropriate part of any humane treatment plan and, in fact, can actually prevent a person from completing the Ultram detoxification process. Rapid detox is the most humane and effective approach to medical detoxification because it spares patients from the uncomfortable and demoralizing withdrawal symptoms that interfere with treatment.
Myth: It takes days or weeks to complete Ultram detoxification.
Fact: It takes a reputable expert one to two hours to perform rapid detox.
Pregnancy and Ultram Detoxification
An opioid-dependent woman is more likely to develop certain conditions than a woman who is not dependent on opioids. Opioid dependence increases the risk for anemia, heart conditions, blood infections, pneumonia, hepatitis, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, infectious diseases, HIV/AIDs and mood disorders.
These conditions can cause complications for a woman and a fetus during pregnancy. Complications can include premature labor and delivery, slowed fetal growth, inflammation of the membrane surrounding the baby, spontaneous abortion, and fetal death.
Methadone reduces these complications and is currently the only approved treatment plan for opioid-dependent pregnant women. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine does find, however, that buprenorphine treatments may be acceptable for pregnant women.
Using opioids like buprenorphine, methadone or Ultram regularly during pregnancy may result in neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS. A baby born with this syndrome suffers withdrawal symptoms during the first weeks or months of life. NAS may also result in low birth weight, seizures, breathing problems, feeding difficulties, and death.
Self Detox and Pregnancy
Detoxification may be unsafe for a pregnant woman and her unborn baby. A pregnant woman should consult with a physician before attempting even tapering.
Inpatient Induction to Methadone Maintenance during Pregnancy
A doctor would typically admit a pregnant woman to a hospital to start methadone maintenance, where he can observe her response to treatment closely and base subsequent doses based on those responses. Inpatient care usually includes fetal monitoring to determine how well the baby tolerates methadone treatments.
Normally a clinician starts a pregnant woman on 10 mg to 20 mg of methadone and increases dosages by additional 5 - 10 mg of methadone each day until he establishes a safe dosage that covers withdrawal symptoms. The maximum daily dose of methadone for a pregnant woman is 60 mg.
The woman can expect to stay in the hospital about three days. She will continue treatment as an outpatient until she delivers her baby. She may choose to remain on methadone maintenance after the birth of her child.
Outpatient Induction to Methadone
A pregnant woman may be unable to start methadone as an inpatient and choose instead to initiate treatment through an outpatient clinic. She must come to the clinic twice a day during the induction phase, once for a morning dose of methadone and again later for evaluation. She may reduce visits to once daily after establishing a safe maintenance dose.
A pregnant woman may suffer withdrawal symptoms late in pregnancy and require larger doses of methadone. The outpatient clinician will increases dosages accordingly.
Babies born to women taking methadone during pregnancy will remain under close observation in the hospital for 72 hours after delivery.
What is the best method to detox from Ultram?
The best approach to Ultram detoxification depends largely on personal needs. When considering treatment, the individual should assess the severity of his dependence, his potential for severe withdrawal symptoms and complications, and his ability to refrain from drug abuse. He should then choose the least restrictive form of treatment that is still likely to deliver him to an opioid-free state in a safe and effective manner.
Please contact us for more information on what form of Ultram detoxification might be right for you or for someone you love.