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hi Midair, I experienced Ultram/Tramadol dependency. For me,the withdrawals were worse than Vicodin withdrawals. Through the actual experiences of patients doctors are learning that Ultram/Tramadol has dependency risks that were originally not known. Some doctors are still unaware of risks and prescribe based on much of the printed medical literature that either minimizes risks or still says there none. Ultram/Tramadol is a synthetic compound that successfully masquerades as an opiate~like drug and binds itself to related receptors---it masquerades so well in fact that it is now being learned that in some people it actually triggers the body into dependency with addiction risks. The number of cases are growing creating medical controversy among many medical professionals, but many others seem to remain unaware of risks so proceed with caution. You can type the words Ultram Withdrawals or Tramadol Withdrawals into Google and read personal experiences and related information.
Vickie, many have experienced addiction though many doctors aren't yet aware and still prescribe it w/o warnings. The withdrawals can be horrible. From personal experience, I wouldn't take it, especially if it is not helping you. To read about the personal experiences of others with it, type the following into Google:
Ultram Withdrawals
My entire story sounds like something out of a soap opera digest and it's kind of silly when I look back at it and realize what it sounds like. I worked for Ma Bell for 23 years, and we moved into a new building. I began to get sick, strange things like sudden, unexplained fevers to 104 that would go away as quickly as they came on, rashes, fatigue, irritability, and excruciating pain when I would sit for any length of time, which is what I did all day as a service representative. I would stand and do my job, but my supervisors said that "caused distraction" and told me to sit. I began going to doctors to try and find out what was wrong with me. They all said it was probably something in the building we moved into, but without thorough investigation by the proper authorities, there was no way to prove it. I was mostly put on steroids then. Others in my office began to get sick but not to that extent. I began to get hives so bad that I would swell up in my face like a monster. I began to miss all lot of work. It became a nightmare. To make a long story short, after 3 years of symptoms and no results after seeing 19 doctors and missing more and more work, they fired me. Of course, I lost my insurance, had no way to see a doctor, but the strange thing was that once I was home for two weeks, the symptoms all disappeared except for the pain. I was fine. I was in the process of trying to get my job back through the union and had been promised I could go back to work, but then they told me there was no place for me. I found other work and got benefits back. I went back to doctors about the pain in my legs and hips and finally was told that I had avascular necrosis of both hips to the point of collapse, needed surgery, and it was probably caused by the steroids they used to treat the other symptoms. The only problem I had with that was that I had the leg and hip pain before I ever took the first steroid, so I'm not sure if that was the cause or not. At any rate, I eventually had the hip surgery, which requires massive amounts of narcotics, which I took with no problem. That was in 1992. I still had pain and in 1995, my doctor told me there was a new drug out called Ultram that worked well, had no side effects, and was safe. I started taking it, and it worked GREAT. I thought I had found my miracle drug. Then the trouble started with taking more and more. I never got hooked on the morphine, Dilaudid, Vicodin, or anything else I took for long periods of time after my hip surgeries. I quit those drugs without any problem whatsoever. The Ultram was different. I had my surgeries at two different times 2 years apart. Both times I took the heavy narcotics with no problem quitting. It wasn't until I started the Ultram that I began to have problems with depression and all the other things I experienced. I would be fine as long as I was taking it, but then like I said before, I needed more and more, not for pain so much but just because I felt so lousy if I didn't take it. It was like a sneaky little monster creeping into my life stealing my life away from me if I didn't have it. I realized I had a problem and attempted to stop it. It was AWFUL!! The withdrawal symptoms were unbearable. My poor husband and children thought I had gone mad. I had to tell them their wife and mother was addicted, and that broke my heart, but I needed their support and understanding of what was going on. I couldn't bear the withdrawals, so I started taking the Ultram again. This happened twice before I finally think I've made it. It's been 2-1/2 weeks and I still live in a dark hole where nobody else can come. I have constant pain everywhere, not just my legs and hips any more, whole-body pain that is excruciating. I think the worst is the depression and the hot and cold, clammy sweats that come on about 15 times a day and the lack of sleep. Is this ever going to end? I love my husband and children more than anything in the world, but they look at me now as if I was some kind of degenerate druggie who can't cope any more. The sad thing is that I know if I call my doctor and ask for more Ultram, he would give it to me and I would feel fine. I won't let myself do that ever again.
I'll give you a good example. I have a friend who takes Ultram and got to the end of his prescription and started having withdrawals. He called his doctor, a rheumatologist who should be familiar with pain meds and their ramifications, but the doctor told him he couldn't be withdrawing from Ultram. This guy has been in practice for YEARS and should know better. A rheumatologist is the last step before a pain specialist. If he doesn't know, then how many other professionals don't know how addictive it is? As a rule, patients aren't going to look at a forum like this one before they start taking a prescribed drug...they go by what their doctor tells them because most of us trust our physicians. The doctor is just going by what he's told by the salesman from the company who manufactures the drug unless he does some extensive research on his own, which most aren't going to do, especially a general practitioner. I would think a rheumatologist would do just that, but evidently they don't. When I think of the hell I've been through, wouldn't it be worthwhile to stop even just one person having to go through the same thing? I know there are times that are going to come up in a person's life where pain medications are an absolute necessity, and many times, the patients will become addicted, but I think we're all owed the truth, and just maybe some doctor wouldn't be so quick to prescribe Ultram to a patient who has minor pain.
I think there's a link between people who are prone to depression and who are most likely to suffer the worst withdrawals coming off this drug, especially because of its serotonin uptake action. It seems to be these peoples bobys that suffer the most coming off the drug; but this is just my opinion, I wonder how many of the worst suffers will back this up???
I'm doing much better, thanks. I'm exercising daily and drinking tons of fluids. The aches are slowly dissipating, and the strength and energy are coming back.

To those of you who think depression may have an effect on how dependency begins, I NEVER had a depressed day in my entire life, and I'm 55 years old. The depression I had coming off tramadol was intolerable. I took MS Contin, Dilaudid, morphine, and Percocet 10 mg for months after hip surgery, 6 months total, and came off those without any problem at all, no withdrawals, nothing. There's something sinister about Ultram/tramadol. I believe it will be found eventually how dangerous this drug is. It works great for pain but the damage it does isn't worth it. I thought I had found my miracle drug too like so many others. From what I've read (and I've read everything I could put my eyes on), the withdrawals from Ultram are much worse than the so-called opiates like morphine and Percocet or even Vicodin. If you take this drug for more than a few weeks, watch for signs of tolerance and the signs of withdrawal when you stop. It can be very dangerous.

As for me, I'm clean and getting better every single day!! :D
[QUOTE=Blasterboy]I think there's a link between people who are prone to depression and who are most likely to suffer the worst withdrawals coming off this drug, especially because of its serotonin uptake action. It seems to be these peoples bobys that suffer the most coming off the drug; but this is just my opinion, I wonder how many of the worst suffers will back this up???[/QUOTE]




I will back you up on that. When I first started taking Ultram it was a miracle drug for me. It lifted me straight out of my depression which I had suffered from for about 15 years. I am still on it, because everytime I try to get off of the crap I can't handle the depression that I sink in to. I was put on them for the same reason most everyone else was, because it is not supposed to be addicting. The part that is the worst about not taking it is the lack of energy and the feeling of being lethargic. I just don't want to go back to where I was before I started taking it. My psychiatrist just cannot manage to prescribe me anything for my chemical imbalance. I have tried just about everything for depression. If anyone has any new ideas I would be so grateful to hear them. I don't want to be on this stuff for the rest of my life.
Treace
i have a history of depression and i am back that statement up

[quote]Originally Posted by Blasterboy
I think there's a link between people who are prone to depression and who are most likely to suffer the worst withdrawals coming off this drug, especially because of its serotonin uptake action. It seems to be these peoples bobys that suffer the most coming off the drug; but this is just my opinion, I wonder how many of the worst suffers will back this up???[/quote]





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