Tramadol is a prescription medication indicated for
the management of moderate to moderately severe chronic pain. It received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in March 1995. Tramadol, the main ingredient in Ultram, has been prescribed for more than 55 million patients worldwide and more than 21 million
patients in the United States. Tramadol is an effective pain reliever
(analgesic). Its mode of action resembles that of narcotics, but it has
significantly less potential for abuse and addiction than the narcotics.
Tramadol is as effective as narcotics in relieving pain but does not
depress respiration, a side effect of most narcotics. Tramadol is not a
nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID), and does not have the
increased risk of stomach ulceration and internal bleeding that can
occur with the use of NSAIDs.
SIDE EFFECTS: Tramadol is generally well tolerated and side
effects are usually transient. Commonly reported side effects include
nausea, constipation, dizziness, headache, drowsiness, and vomiting.
Less commonly reported side effects include itching, sweating, dry
mouth, diarrhea, rash, visual disturbances, and vertigo.