24 Apr Tramadol Withdrawal Timeline, Symptoms, and Detox
There is undoubtedly a major opioid abuse epidemic going on in the United States. We all hear about it in the news, online, and from friends and family. We hear often about the major players in the opioid crisis: heroin, oxycontin, and fentanyl, but there is another opiate that we hear much less about, yet it is prescribed just as often. Tramadol is a synthetic opiate that is prescribed over 40 million times per year in the United States alone.
What is Tramadol?
Tramadol affects the central nervous system and opiate receptors in the same fashion as the more notorious drugs like fentanyl and heroin. It causes a sense of euphoria, calm, and relaxation. As well when taken in high doses in can cause respiratory depression and the possibly fatal side effects that come with it just as other, more well known opiates do. These side effects and risks are much more likely when a person mixes tramadol with other drugs, like alcohol or benzodiazepines, because they have a synergistic effect which means the Tramadol becomes much stronger in a person’s body when paired then it would have by itself. A person taking tramadol regularly will become increasingly tolerant to its effects and will have to increase their dosage to maintain the same effects. A person who is taking tramadol as prescribed can still become addicted to it and experience withdrawal symptoms.
Tramadol Withdrawal Timeline
Tramadol has a relatively short half-life compared to the other traditional opiates such as oxycodone or hydrocodone. Typically the half life of tramadol tends to be somewhere in the range of 1-4 hours. Due to the short half-life of tramadol the onset of withdrawal symptoms tends to happen much quicker than other longer lasting opiates. Tramadol withdrawal has been likened and compared to the symptoms typical of having the flu.
The early symptoms also known as early opioid withdrawal often include runny nose, sweating, tearing up, yawning, muscle and body aches, trouble sleeping or insomnia, anxiety, agitation, racing heart, and hypertension. The later occurring symptoms also known as Late Opioid Withdrawal include symptoms such as chills, goosebumps, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain and cramping, cravings, irritability, depression, pupil dilation, and trouble focusing or thinking clearly.
Many of the Late Opioid Withdrawal symptoms can last quite some time and make it that much harder for a person to stay off of Tramadol. The physical withdrawal symptoms of Tramadol tend to peak after several days and taper off in the next several days after that. The psychological withdrawal effects can last much longer, and herein lies the difficulty of getting off of tramadol long term. Everyone experiences the withdrawal from Tramadol a little differently from one another.
There are several factors that play into the severity and duration of a person’s withdrawal. The amount taken (level of dependency) is likely the largest factor in deciding the severity and duration of and individuals withdrawal timeline with Tramadol. The next most important factor is the way in which someone takes Tramadol. If it taken as directed (orally) the risk of dependence or the severity and duration of withdrawal will be much lower than a person who injected or snorted Tramadol.
Tramadol Detox and Treatment
Tramadol withdrawal can be managed if safely. It is recommended to find a medical detox and the input of medical professionals to safely get off of Tramadol rather than to stop taking it suddenly. A medical detox can provide the highest level of care in managing the withdrawal symptoms of Tramadol. They can provide around the clock care to assist in minimizing the pain and discomfort of Tramadol withdrawal through therapeutic and medical assistance. It is important for People who are chronically addicted to Tramadol to be in a safe and supportive medical setting when they are withdrawing due to the high risk of relapse. There are many drugs that can be used to help reduce the feelings of depression and drug cravings during the withdrawal timeline.