Ultram is the brand name of a prescription drug called tramadol. Tramadol is described as an opioid-like analgesic, meaning it acts on the brain and body much like an opioid and it’s a pain reliever. When it was initially introduced, tramadol was often touted as having less of a potential for abuse than other prescription opioids, but in recent years there has been an increasing amount of evidence showing this isn’t the case.

Although tramadol and Ultram are less potent than morphine, there is still the potential for Ultram to create feelings of being high, which means it can be abused and it can become addictive.

So, can Ultram get you high? The answer is yes.

What is Ultram?

As mentioned, Ultram is a prescription opioid that can be given to patients for the treatment of moderate to severe acute pain. It’s also available in an extended release version so it can also be used by people who have chronic pain requiring around-the-clock treatment.

Ultram is taken orally, and usually, doctors will start patients on a low dose treatment plan, and then they may increase the Ultram dosage as needed, up to a certain point. As an opioid analgesic, Ultram works by slowing the central nervous system, and changing the way your brain senses and responds to pain.

Ultram is unique from a lot of other opioids because it also increases the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in the user’s brain. Another version of the drug is available called Ultracet, which combines Ultram and acetaminophen.

Some of the common things Ultram is used to treat include back pain, migraines, nerve disorders, spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis.

Can Ultram Be Abused?

When Ultram was first introduced, it was touted as a safer opioid option with less potential for abuse. In 2010, however, the FDA and the manufacturer changed the warning label for this drug, telling doctors not to prescribe it for people who are at risk for addiction, indicating there is a potential for abuse. Doctors are also warned not to prescribe Ultram to people who have a past history of substance abuse.

Tramadol also isn’t supposed to be prescribed to people who are suicidal or take certain other medicines such as tranquilizers and antidepressants.

Even without abuse of tramadol, there is still the potential for addiction and physical dependence, although taking tramadol and brand-name Ultram exactly as prescribed can help mitigate this risk.

Does Ultram Get You High?

As with any opioid, Ultram can get you high, particularly when people abuse it. Some of the ways people seek to enhance the euphoric or pleasant effects of Ultram and get high from it include:

  • Chewing it
  • Smoking it
  • Snorting it
  • Injecting Ultram
  • Taking higher doses than prescribed
  • Taking Ultram more often than directed by a doctor

Ultram can also be abused, and the effects of Ultram can be amplified when it’s combined with another substance such as alcohol. When someone takes Ultram with alcohol or another substance, it may amplify the pleasurable feelings, but it can also increase the risk of dangerous or fatal side effects including slowed respiration and overdose.

When someone abuses Ultram in any of the ways named above, they’re getting the drug into their system faster and at a higher concentration which increases the effects.

One of the most common ways Ultram is abused is by snorting it, and this allows the drug to enter the bloodstream almost instantly. Side effects of snorting Ultram can include breathing problems, hallucinations, seizures, heart attack or coma.

For people who take Ultram exactly as directed, less than 1% experience a high and instead Ultram effects usually include dizziness and nausea.

To sum up, does Ultram get you high? Under normal circumstances, no. If a person takes Ultram exactly as prescribed, the chances of feeling a euphoric high are unlikely. However, Ultram can get you high if it’s abused, but this comes with serious and sometimes deadly consequences.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with 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 providers.