Ultracet Overdose Risk
Tramadol is an addictive substance that has a high overdose potential, especially when mixed with acetaminophen. Due to the high risk of complications, the minimum effective dose of Ultracet should be administered. Ultracet should only be taken in short duration. Ultracet is not indicated for the treatment of chronic pain. The primary risk factor of prolonged Ultracet treatment is liver toxicity.
Ultracet should not be taken concurrently with other central nervous system depressants. These include other opioids, tranquilizers, anticonvulsants, benzodiazepines, non-benzodiazepine sedative/hypnotics, muscle relaxants, and alcohol. The concomitant consumption of these medications can lead to potentially life-threatening respiratory depression.
Ultracet should not be mixed with serotonergic drugs such as those recommended to treat depression. The combined use of Ultracet with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclics can lead to a dangerous condition of serotonin overload called serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome can lead to irreversible psychosis and death if left untreated.
Ultracet acts directly on the brainstem. The brainstem controls the autonomic urge to breathe by triggering respiration when carbon dioxide levels in the blood become elevated. High doses of Ultracet suppress this mechanism, potentially leading to carbon dioxide toxicity and hypoxia (oxygen deprivation).
Pinpoint pupils and severely decreased levels of consciousness are the other two primary signs of opioid overdose. Together, they make what is called the “opioid overdose triad.” Pupils become maximally constricted and unresponsive even to light. As the patient deteriorates due to oxygen deprivation, the pupils will eventually become fully dilated.
Severely decreased level of consciousness is defined as extreme lethargy that quickly progresses to stupor and coma. Other adverse effects of Ultracet overdose can include a weak pulse, peeling skin rash, seizures, hallucinations, agitation, rapid heart rate, diarrhea, fainting, poor coordination, nausea, and vomiting.
The amount of Ultracet necessary to overdose will vary between patients. Factors that influence the likelihood of overdose include the patient’s age, weight, overall physical health, genetic tendencies, kidney and liver function, and opioid tolerance. Patients with impaired kidney function should not exceed two tablets every 12 hours. Individuals with impaired liver function may also require reduced doses due to the increased likelihood of liver complications.
Other supportive measures, including oxygen therapy and vasopressors, may be necessary to manage pulmonary edema and cardiovascular depression.
To address acetaminophen toxicity, N-acetylcysteine (NAC) should be administered as early as possible. Activated charcoal should be administered within the first few hours to decontaminate the digestive tract.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.
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