Ultram is a prescription drug with the primary active ingredient tramadol. It’s a narcotic opioid that is used to relieve pain ranging from moderate to severe, and it changes how your brain senses and responds to pain. There is a regular version of Ultram available that can be taken for pain as needed and as prescribed, as well as an extended release version of the medicine, used for around-the-clock pain treatment.

When Ultram was introduced it was seen as being a less powerful opiate painkiller, so the hope was that there would be a lower potential for abuse, but this has started to seem like it might not be the case.

Tramadol is on the controlled substances list, so this means there is the potential for abuse with this drug, and a significant percentage of users are shown to develop an addiction to it. The effects of Ultram and tramadol can be similar to the effects of oxycodone, especially when the drug is abused.

Despite the potential Ultram addiction side effects, it is considered an effective painkiller and it’s unique from others that are similar to it because it inhibits the uptake of serotonin and norepinephrine, which are brain chemicals.

When considering Ultram side effects, one of the biggest to consider is the potential for addiction as well as overdose, and these topics will be covered below.

Who Shouldn’t Take Ultram?

Before considering the side effects of Ultra, people should know that this opioid-like pain medicine isn’t recommended for everyone. First, doctors are told to be very cautious when prescribing Ultram to people who are predisposed to substance abuse or addiction. They’re also advised against prescribing it to be people who have a history of depression or mental disorders because it is believed to have the potential to trigger a suicide risk.

Also, because of the serotonin element of Ultram, doctors shouldn’t prescribe it to people who are on antidepressants or similar medicines because it can increase the risk of serotonin syndrome.

What Are the Side Effects Of Ultram?

In general, some of the common side effects of Ultram include feeling lightheaded, drowsy, or experiencing nausea or vomiting. People may get a headache as well, and these side effects frequently go away after using the medicine for a period of time. When people take Ultram, they may experience not only pain relief but also a sense of euphoria and relaxation, and that’s why it is a drug with the potential for abuse.

When taking Ultram, there is the potential to experience an allergic reaction as well, which can range from mild to moderate and can include symptoms like itching, hives, and swelling of the face and mouth.

Ultram Addiction Side Effects

As mentioned, one of the biggest Ultram side effects is the potential for abuse and addiction. When people use this pain medicine, signs of Ultram addiction can include craving it, or using it compulsively. People who are addicted may also use Ultram even in the face of negative consequences, or they might lose a sense of control.

Anytime a person is taking Ultram in a way other than what’s prescribed, such as crushing it up to get a faster effect, taking more than they’re supposed to, or taking it outside of a medical prescription, this is inherently considered abuse of the drug.

It’s also important to understanding not just the Ultram addiction side effects, but also the signs of an overdose.

Since Ultram is an opioid and it interacts with serotonin and norepinephrine receptors, it changes brain activity and depresses the central nervous system, increasing the potential for an overdose. Signs of an Ultram overdose can include slowed breathing and heart rate, drowsiness, dizziness, decreased body temperature, cold, clammy skin, and loss of consciousness.

Withdrawal side effects of Ultram occur when someone is physically dependent on the drug, and then they stop taking it. Some of the withdrawal Ultram side effects can include depression or anxiety, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills or tremors. Other withdrawal side effects of Ultram may include hallucinations, insomnia, and slowed breathing.

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.