Ultram is one of the many names under which the drug tramadol is marketed. Ultram is a analgesic, meaning it is a pain reliever. It may be prescribed to an individual suffering anything from moderate to moderately severe pain. Because it is not a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), there is not as much risk of stomach ulcers or internal bleeding with ultram. When given through an IV or intramuscularly, ultram has about one-tenth the potency of morphine. Because it is stronger than acetaminophen, but not as strong as a narcotic agent, ultram is a great choice for treating patients with lower back pain. Unlike other drugs, patients do not develop a tolerance to ultram.
Other adverse effects may take place however when taking ultram. You may experience impaired thinking or even have physical abilities such as driving a car or operating machinery impaired by the use of ultram. Ultram should not be mixed with other medications or alcohol. If you need to take other medication in addition to ultram, please consult your physician first. If you are epileptic, taking ultram may increase your chances of having a seizure. Patients over the age of 75 may require a reduced dosage amount. Any patient with a history of liver or kidney disease may need a lower dosage of ultram or the doctor may suggest a different prescription drug for pain. While ultram is an opiate, it is an atypical opiate. This leads many to believe that it will not be habit forming, but some packaging comes with warnings. Patients with a history of opiate addiction or sensitivity to opiate medication should discuss this with a physician if he is considering prescribing ultram.
One of the more severely adverse side effects that ultram can have is when taken in conjunction with alcohol or other drugs. Russel Jones, known as the rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard, died from an overdose combination of cocaine and tramadol in November 2004.
Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.