Before taking tramadol, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other narcotics (e.g., codeine); or if you have any other allergies.
This medication should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this medicine, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: severe breathing problems (e.g., respiratory depression, hypercapnia), intoxication with drugs that depress the nervous system or your breathing (CNS/respiratory depressants such as alcohol or tranquilizers/sedatives).
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: certain bowel diseases (paralytic ileus), brain disorders (e.g., seizures, increased intracranial pressure), conditions that increase the risk of seizures (e.g., head injury, brain tumors, meningitis, metabolic disorders, alcohol/drug withdrawal), adrenal gland problem (e.g., Addison’s disease), difficulty urinating (e.g., enlarged prostate, urethral narrowing), heart problems (e.g., irregular heartbeat), personal or family history of regular use/abuse of drugs/alcohol, kidney disease, liver disease, lung diseases (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD, hypoxia), disease of the pancreas (e.g., pancreatitis), mental/mood conditions (e.g., major depression, toxic psychosis), a certain spinal problem (kyphoscoliosis), stomach/intestinal problems (e.g., gallbladder disease), underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
To reduce dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially slow/shallow breathing and drowsiness.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. It is not recommended for use for long periods or in high doses late in pregnancy because of possible serious harm to your baby. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Infants born to mothers who have been using this medication for an extended time may have seizures or withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, abnormal/persistent crying, or diarrhea. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of these symptoms in your newborn.
This drug passes into breast milk. While there have been no reports of harm to nursing infants, consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Important information about tramadol
You should not take tramadol if you have ever been addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Seizures (convulsions) have occurred in some people taking tramadol. You may be more likely to have a seizure while taking tramadol if you have a history of seizures or head injury, a metabolic disorder, or if you are taking certain medicines such as antidepressants, muscle relaxers, or medicine for nausea and vomiting.
Take tramadol exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take it in larger doses or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Do not take more than 300 milligrams of tramadol in one day.
Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. A tramadol overdose can be fatal. Overdose symptoms of a tramadol overdose may include drowsiness, shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, extreme weakness, cold or clammy skin, feeling light-headed, fainting, or coma.
Tramadol may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Tramadol should never be given to another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it. Tramadol can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert. Do not stop using tramadol suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, sweating, nausea, diarrhea, tremors, chills, hallucinations, trouble sleeping, or breathing problems. Talk to your doctor about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication.
Do not crush the tramadol tablet. This medicine is for oral (by mouth) use only. Powder from a crushed tablet should not be inhaled or diluted with liquid and injected into the body. Using this medicine by inhalation or injection can cause life-threatening side effects, overdose, or death.
Before taking tramadol
You should not take tramadol if you have ever been addicted to drugs or alcohol, if you are currently intoxicated (drunk), or if you have recently used any of the following drugs:
- narcotic pain medicine;
- sedatives or tranquilizers (such as Valium);
- medicine for depression or anxiety;
- medicine for mental illness (such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia); or
- street drugs.
Seizures have occurred in some people taking tramadol. Your risk of a seizure may be higher if you have any of these conditions:
- a history of drug or alcohol addiction;
- a history of epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
- a history of head injury;
- a metabolic disorder; or
- if you are also taking an antidepressant, muscle relaxer, or medicine for nausea and vomiting.
Talk with your doctor about your individual risk of having a seizure while taking tramadol.
If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take tramadol:
- kidney disease;
- liver disease;
- a stomach disorder; or
- a history of depression, mental illness, or suicide attempt.
FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tramadol may also cause serious or fatal side effects in a newborn if the mother uses the medication during pregnancy or labor. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Tramadol can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Tramadol should not be given to a child younger than 18 years of age.