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Is Tramadol Addictive? - Reality and Alternatives
Although there are several opioid-infused painkillers in the market, people feel that tramadol is the least addictive of the lot. However, this perception is typically flawed as this drug is extremely addictive and takes charge of your senses, without setting out alarms. In most cases, people use this as a prescription drug and avoid higher doses. Even then, the addictive effects start kicking in, depending on the physicality and endurance levels of the concerned individual.
The Concept of Tramadol Abuse
As mentioned, tramadol is a sought-after painkiller, mostly consumed when prescribed by a physician. However, individuals tend to amplify the dosage, to get immediate results. There are times when people prolong the usage, precisely to increase the sustenance, provided they are experiencing unbearable pain. These malpractices qualify as tramadol abuse which eventually leads to addiction.
However, if you are still considering other painkillers that are better than tramadol, you might just have to wait. Firstly, despite the addictive nature of tramadol, it is still a unique and safe drug, if taken within prescribed limits. Safety, in the truest sense, means that this painkiller comes with the least number of side-effects, as compared to other potent inclusions.
Tramadol is readily classified as a Schedule IV painkilling drug unlike Heroin or OxyContin, which are Schedule I and Schedule II drugs, respectively. That said, if you surpass the prescribed dosage even by a small margin, be prepared to experience fever, sweating, muscle aches, dizziness, and even constipation.
Serotonin Syndrome: Explained
Tramadol addiction is also characterized by the life-threatening condition i.e. the Serotonin Syndrome. This side-effect results from prolonged spells of tramadol abuse with the body trying to release excessive serotonin. Some of the most pronounced effects include seizures, tremors, jerky muscles, and an agitated demeanor.
Recognizing Addiction towards Tramadol
If you want to the extent of tramadol addiction, be on the lookout for lack of concentration, impaired physical coordination, excessive vomiting, and drowsiness. Moreover, even if someone you know isn’t abusing the drug, it is still possible for him or her to get addicted. The reason here is that body develops tolerance against tramadol and to mitigate pain, the person needs to increase the dosage, eventually leading to a non-deliberate form of abuse.
The most dependable way to recognize addiction is to check for the mentioned conditions once you stop the medication. Despite this being a schedule IV substance, tramadol still showcases a host of withdrawal symptoms, thereby qualifying the same as an addictive drug.
How to rehabilitate?
Tramadol isn’t the strongest opioid-infused pain killer in the market and therefore rehabilitation is only necessary if you are taking the same for a long time and experiencing the mentioned signs of tramadol addiction. The best way to steer clear of the addiction is to taper off the dosage, followed by alternate-day consumption, and eventually terminating the usage.
Most importantly, there aren’t many alternatives to the opioid class of analgesics like codeine and tramadol. However, for milder, safer, and non-addictive effects, you can always for ibuprofen for treating moderate pain.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes