Tramadol Can Lead to Serious Side Effects if Misused

Tramadol, sold under the brand name Ultram among others, is an opioid pain medication used to treat moderate to severe pain. When taken by mouth in an immediate-release formulation, the onset of pain relief usually occurs within an hour. It is often combined with paracetamol (acetaminophen) as this is known to improve the efficacy of tramadol in relieving pain.

Dr. Clever Okeke (Consultant Pharmacist), has warned that the use of Tramadol to get high or for delayed ejaculation could lead to depression and irrational behavior.

Dr. Okeke speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Says some youths and adults use Tramadol when they want to feel `high’ or achieve delayed ejaculation.

According to him, even though Tramadol is meant for the treatment of severe pains, it is sometimes abused because of the euphoric feeling that comes with its use.

“Tramadol belongs to a group of analgesics called Opioid Analgesics. It is the lowest in the class of cocaine.

“It has a very strong analgesic effect which is used for strong or severe pains.

Common side effects include:

  • Constipation
  • Itchiness and
  • Nausea

Serious side effects may include

  • Seizures
  • Decreased alertness, and
  • Drug addiction.

“But you find that because of the opioid effect- the euphoric effect- which is one of the side effects, it makes the user feel high. The pain goes away but the euphoria remains,’’ he said.

Okeke also disclosed that some users may be tempted to seek out the drug after the completion of treatment because of the ‘good’ feeling experienced while using it to kill pains.

According to the pharmacist, the recommended dose of Tramadol is 50mg to 100mg with a maximum of 200mg in severe cases.

“Anything above 200mg will cause a massive euphoric effect,’’ he added.

Generally, tramadol is not a recommended drug for;

  • Children
  • Those at risk of suicide
  • Pregnant and Breastfeeding mothers
  • Persons with kidney or liver failure

Okeke, however, noted that because cocaine was not easily accessed, some people resort to using an overdose of Tramadol to get the desired ‘high’ effect.

“Getting high or achieving delayed ejaculation cannot be gotten with the recommended dose,’’ he added.

He also warned that high doses could cause convulsions and seizures.

He called on parents to closely monitor their children, by watching out for signs like prolonged sleep, hyperactivity or any irrational behavior.

 

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