Tramadol Withdrawal & Detox

Doctors prescribe tramadol (and its brand name versions, including Ultram) as a narcotic painkiller for treating moderate to severe pain. Like other narcotics, tramadol may cause both emotional and physical dependence. Attempting to quit tramadol cold turkey is often tied to serious withdrawal symptoms and complications. The psychological and physical pain associated with withdrawal symptoms during opioid detox often leads to relapse.

If you are looking to detox from tramadol, a doctor may recommend you undergo supervised drug detox as part of an individualized tramadol addiction treatment program. This can help mitigate withdrawal symptoms and maximize recovery support.

Because tramadol is habit-forming, dependence can occur over time. Whether or not addiction is also present, withdrawal symptoms may manifest upon cutting down or stopping the use of the drug. Severity and length of tramadol addiction can directly impact the presence, intensity, and duration of the following withdrawal signs:

Physical Symptoms

  • Headaches
  • General malaise
  • Nausea
  • Shaking and chills
  • Changes in appetite
  • Cold sweats
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Vivid nightmares
  • Insomnia

Psychological Symptoms

  • Anxiety, nervousness or panic
  • Agitation
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
If you decide to stop taking tramadol after establishing a physical dependence, you are likely to experience symptoms of withdrawal. This occurs because the brain has grown accustomed to the drug, and has even adapted many of its processes to accommodate the presence of tramadol. When there is a sudden absence of the drug, the brain has such difficulty adjusting that it triggers withdrawal symptoms.

Tramadol Withdrawal Medications

In some cases, doctors may choose to administer medications to ease the tramadol detox process. Here are a few common medicines that can help ease the symptoms of tramadol withdrawal:

  • Valium
  • Clonodine
  • Metocloperimide
  • Loperimide
  • Ibuprofen

Dangers of Home Detox

To safely detox from tramadol, you must remain under close medical supervision until your body expels the drug. Choosing to detox at home opens you up to a litany of dangers and detox side effects, including the following:

  • Hallucinations
  • Psychosis
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleeplessness
  • Extreme sweating
  • Vertigo
  • Serotonin discontinuation syndrome, which can be fatal

Rather than detoxing at home, consider these options:

•Inpatient Treatment – With 24-hour supervision, doctors and nurses can closely monitor detox symptoms and help make you as comfortable as possible during your stay. This method may produce higher success rates than at-home or outpatient programs.

•Intensive Outpatient Treatment – While maintaining other life obligations such as family, work, and school, outpatient detox allows patients to attend treatment sessions during the off hours of their day.

tramadol addiction withdrawal
Tramadol detox symptoms typically show up within a day of stopping the medication. Especially if you are currently in the throes of withdrawal, you may be wondering just how long tramadol withdrawal lasts.

The duration of tramadol detox is unique to each person, but can range from 10 days to several weeks. Your personal timeline will depend on your dosage, tolerance, physiology, and how long you’ve been battling the disease of addiction.

Stopping tramadol cold turkey is usually an unpleasant experience — it is often compared to withdrawal from other opioids. However, tramadol is unique from its fellow opioids in that its chemical makeup impacts the brain chemical serotonin.

Because tramadol has chemical components of both opioids and antidepressants, someone who suddenly stops taking tramadol can experience withdrawal symptoms associated with both types of drugs. Thus, stopping Ultram cold turkey can cause serotonin discontinuation symptoms such as digestive problems, paranoia, depression, and suicidality.

Whether you quit tramadol use over time or all at once, seeking medical assistance during this time can help prevent withdrawal complications and increase your comfort.

Typically, withdrawal symptoms associated with tramadol are unpleasant but not fatal. However, if you have another health condition, you may have a higher risk of more dangerous withdrawal symptoms and complications.

If you find that you are unable to stop using this medication, you might need tramadol addiction treatment. Quitting tramadol may not be easy, but your long-term health outweighs any temporary discomforts of tramadol withdrawal. With the help of medical professionals, detoxing from tramadol can be done safely and effectively.

tramadol addiction withdrawal and detox
“Drug Scheduling.” DEA, Accessed 11 Jan. 2017.

“Tramadol: MedlinePlus Drug Information.” MedlinePlus – Health Information from the National Library of Medicine, 15 Sept. 2016, Accessed 11 Jan. 2017.

Harvard Women’s Health Watch. “Going off Antidepressants.” Harvard Health, Harvard University, 27 Oct. 2015, Accessed 11 Jan. 2017.

“Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 20 Apr. 2016, Accessed 11 Jan. 2017.

Rajabizadeh, Ghodratolah, et al. “Psychosis Following Tramadol Withdrawal.” PubMed Central (PMC), National Institutes of Health, 2009, Accessed 11 Jan. 2017.

Tramadol Withdrawal & Detox
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Tramadol Withdrawal & Detox was last modified: July 8th, 2017 by The Recovery Village