Ultram is the brand name of the opioid-like drug tramadol, which is available in the U.S. by prescription and is considered a controlled substance with a potential for abuse and addiction. When someone is prescribed Ultram, it’s for the treatment of moderate to severe pain, and the extended-release version of Ultram is for around-the-clock treatment of chronic pain.

Ultram was initially introduced as a safer and less addictive alternative to many available opioids, but in recent years new research has shown that it is also a drug with the potential for addiction. With a narcotic opioid including Ultram, it’s incredibly important to take it exactly as instructed. This reduces the risk of addiction, and it also helps prevent dangerous side effects and scenarios such as an overdose.

Tramadol, as with other opioids, works as a pain reliever by changing the way a person senses or perceives pain. This opioid analgesic works on the central nervous system, and while this is effective in treating even severe pain, it can also result in profound sedation, serious depression of the respiratory system, coma and it can also be fatal. These are just some of the reasons it’s so important to follow Ultram dosage instructions.

Who Shouldn’t Take Ultram?

Before a doctor decides on a specific Ultram dosage, they’re instructed to make sure the patient is a good fit for the drug. There are certain people who shouldn’t take Ultram.

First and foremost, if a patient has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, or is at a high risk for abuse, they probably shouldn’t take Ultram. People who have a history of depression, hormonal problems, mental illness or similar conditions are also not meant to take Ultram because it can increase the risk of things like suicidal thoughts or actions.

Individuals with infections of the central nervous system or lungs as well as breathing problems like asthma might not be a good candidate for Ultram, nor are people with kidney or liver disease because of the slower removal of the drug from the body in these people.

With Ultram dosage guides also come warnings about potential drug interactions. People who use MAO inhibitors shouldn’t use Ultram, and you should always inform your doctor if you’re using other medicines that impact the central nervous system.

Some medicines that can impact the CNS include depression and anxiety medicines, prescription pain medicines, sleeping medicines, tranquilizers, drugs for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, muscle relaxants, and seizure medicines.

The reasons Ultram dosage guides include warnings about these medicines is because using them in conjunction with tramadol can amplify the effects or increase the negative side effects. Also, medicines like tranquilizers and sedatives also slow down the central nervous system, so when pairing them with Ultram, it can amplify these effects.

What Is the Typical Ultram Dosage?

Every patient is different, so a doctor will work with them to figure out the proper Ultram dosage for them, but below is a general guide that is often followed when prescribing it.

  • For chronic pain, the extended-release oral tablet is often prescribed, and for adults, the starting Ultram dosage is usually 100 mg taken once a day. A doctor may increase the Ultram dosage as the patient needs, but it’s not recommended patients take more than 300 mg per day.
  • For pain ranging from moderate to severe the Ultram dosage in disintegrating tablet form is usually 50 to 100 mg to start, taken every four to six hours as needed. The maximum Ultram dosage in a day shouldn’t exceed 400 mg.
  • In the oral tablet form, usually doctors will begin patients with an Ultram dosage of 25 mg per day, and the Ultram dosage per day shouldn’t exceed 400 mg.

If a patient misses an Ultram dosage, they are advised to take it as soon as possible, but if it’s close to the time for the next dose, they should skip it and not double doses.

In general, doctors are advised to start with the lowest possible Ultram dosage that will be effective, for the shortest period of time. When a doctor is determining an Ultram dosage, they look at the severity of the pain, patient response, risk factors for addiction and abuse, and whether or not the patient has any other analgesic treatments they’ve undergone prior to Ultram.

It’s so important for patients to follow their Ultram dosage instructions exactly to reduce their risk of becoming addicted, and also to prevent the risk of an overdose. Anytime someone doesn’t follow their Ultram dosage instructions, it is considered abuse of the drug.

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.