Taking Tramadol While Pregnant

Pregnancy can be a stressful time for many women, causing a variety of physical and physiological strains. Changing hormones can alter a woman’s mood and cause headaches, backaches and other pains the body may be unable to handle without help. For that reason, some women opt to take medication to reduce pregnancy pains.

While some medications are safer for a developing fetus, it is still important to know the risks associated with them.

Tramadol is an effective opioid pain-reliever prescribed to patients suffering from moderate to severe pain, typically from surgery or injury. Though it contains less opioid content than other prescription drugs — such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine — it is still as addictive, and can cause severe withdrawal symptoms in users. If taken while pregnant, tramadol can pose serious health risks to the baby and increases the likelihood of neonatal dependence.

Taking Tramadol While Pregnant
Tramadol is a powerful pain medication meant to treat moderate to severe pain from injury or surgery. It is also prescribed to patients suffering with pain from chronic illnesses, including fibromyalgia, arthritis and cancer.  Tramadol works by changing the way the central nervous system responds to pain. Because of its potency and opioid components, tramadol can be abused, increasing the likelihood of addiction and overdose.

Doctors urge patients taking tramadol to only take what is prescribed. It is also important not to suddenly quit taking doses after consistent use. Quitting cold turkey may cause withdrawal symptoms including:

  • Anxiety or panic
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills
  • Hallucinations

Abusing tramadol or combining the drug with other medication could lead to a variety of negative side effects, including uncontrollable shaking and seizures. Tramadol users taking the prescription even at the recommended dosage are also prone to an array of side effects including:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Depression
  • Itchiness or rash
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Severe headaches
  • Weight changes
  • Confusion

If side effects become more severe, consult a doctor immediately. Severe side effects, although rare, are possible and could be life-threatening to you and your baby.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration categorizes drugs on their level of safety during pregnancy, ranging from Category A — showing no risks to developing babies — to Category X — posing extreme risk the developing fetus and increased probability of birth anomalies. Tramadol falls into Category C, showing there is not enough data to assess the safety of the drug for a developing fetus and may pose potential risk of anomaly. It is recommended women avoid taking tramadol while pregnant and consult their physicians for healthier alternatives to the drug.

Tramadol is as addictive to a developing fetus as it is for the expectant mother. Consistent use of this drug, even at its lowest dose increases the likelihood of neonatal dependence. Following discontinuation of the drug, babies may exhibit withdrawal symptoms up to one month after birth if left untreated.

The first few months of pregnancy are crucial to a baby’s growth. Taking harmful prescriptions like tramadol can cause birth defects, premature birth and withdrawal symptoms. Some common neonatal withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Seizures
  • Irritability
  • Jitteriness
  • Abnormal muscular activity
Tramadol, like some medications, can be excreted into breast milk. There is not enough substantial evidence advising mothers not to nurse their babies since traces of the drug are small. However, consuming high doses of tramadol through breast milk poses health risks to the baby. Doctors recommend monitoring infants for signs of:

  • Increased sleepiness
  • Sedation
  • Difficulty breastfeeding
  • Limpness
  • Difficulty breathing

Prior to breastfeeding, consult with a physician on the safety implications and possible alternatives.

If you or someone you know are currently struggling with tramadol addiction or are worried about use during pregnancy, don’t wait another day for help. The Recovery Village and our trained team of professionals can help to provide you with treatment programs and safer alternatives to ensure your health and the health of your baby.
Taking Tramadol While Pregnant
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Taking Tramadol While Pregnant was last modified: May 31st, 2017 by The Recovery Village