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I want to address one area of Tramadol / Ultram addiction that most post in general, do not recommend -- that is quitting cold-turkey.

I was having trouble finding a time table, advice, detox, etc. for this process, and often read of the low success rate of completely stopping this drug all together. I was taking up to 10, 50mg pills a day for over a year. The first disclaimer is this: I've read a lot about seizures with stopping this medication cold turkey. I have felt what can only be articulated as personified death, but no seizures. This is very serious, I'm not a doctor, I can only provide you with objective advice and try to detach my emotions from this extremely difficult experience.

I am on day 7. I have absolutely no need for tramadol -- not even a thought about it. When you make it through the first 3 days, you will hate this drug, you may even, like myself, call the online pharmacy that is based in South Dakota and then call the DEA (this was a bit excessive but I was writhing on the floor with "brain and lip zaps" and "sweats". But when you break it down, it is our fault for becoming addicted and abusing the drug. Yes, I started on the drug to relieve genuine pain, yes there should have been more information out there, but yes, we have addictive personalities and we have become dependent on a chemical that is so unnatural to our physiology and organism as a whole. In reality, I am to blame -- but it still felt good giving the online pharmacy hell when they solicited a call for a refill when my regularly scheduled $133 refill came and went without order.

That's that.

Number 1. Prepare yourself to go through symptoms where you truly wish a meteorite would crash through your roof and delivery an unorthodox death. No amount of words I can write, or you will read, will prepare you for the feeling. This is the physical aspect I felt: zaps in my brain and lips, chills, sweating, cold, sneezing, uncontrollable movement, a profound headache, and there is no comfortable position you will find. This is where you either throw in the towel and try to taper down, or you get off this chemical ASAP.

Number 2. Mind from body. I have my masters in film, not medicine, I do not know the medical vernacular of what decay and backlash happens to your body for the next 3 days. I do know how to fight it. First, mind and body are one -- but not now. You must, must, must, separate your pain from your mind. Through meditation (which will be filled with brain zaps, sneezing), try it, practice it. Drink tons of Vitaminwater XXX, the triple antioxidants (I know they say it is worthless) but it helped. Drink gallons of the stuff, pee every 10 minutes, you will be anyways. Get green tea, not the bags but the real stuff you just throw in hot water. Cut a lemon, drop it in there too. Drink it all, including the green tea stems. Walk around the block, now is a good time, it is very hot outside -- walk and sweat, drink your antioxidant vitamin water, separate your mind from your body. If you have support, the better for you, if not, you are not alone. Call someone you know and talk to them. Again, make separate your mind from body and make the conversation short and talk as if all is normal. You live with family, they see you, if they do not know, then you are sick with the flu. The lack of motivation and depression is horrible, it is the worst mountain to climb, but you must. Get up and do it, you just must, because you can, you really can. I'm not talking about plowing a field, I'm talking about cooking dinner, do it, get yourself a process to do, even for a short time, with all you have inside (which won't be much, but is more than you feel you've got).

3. Symptoms are Staying and I'm getting Pissed. Again, I've been taking Tramadol for over a year, up to 10 a day. When you suffer, you will (hopefully) NEVER want to touch this medicine again. It is a tortuous method, like being forced to smoke a pack of cigarettes at 11 years old so you'll never do it again. Hold that pain in your memory, because your withdrawal symptoms will slowly go away and be less potent; though, that seems like eternity. I no longer have "zaps", I awake in the morning feeling "normal", I have trouble getting motivated, but tea and coffee help. I do have to take an hour at times to vegetate, but then force myself up. Just keep flushing your body with liquids. I know a true medical professional will debunk this "flushing", but the point being is, keep your mind thinking it is purging a disease (which it slowly is regardless), and you will have moments of clarity, of how you were before Tramadol or Ultram. Those moments will expand. Look at old photos of yourself, I cried, life was beautiful then without the chemicals. This is a rebirth of sorts, think of it as a rare new perspective, and perhaps, reality.

4. There is an end. Cold-Turkeys, if you make it to day 3-4, you will curse Tramadol / Ultram to hell. What people are most concerned about is "when will it end? when will the withdrawal that is debilitating my life end?" I cannot find a definitive answer, and I can't even find anything other than the 3-5 days of tough symptoms. For me, it was 4 days of being part beast and composing myself at strategic moments. After that, I wish you remember this pain vividly, because then you will never be addicted to Tramadol again. I now am limited to an exhausted and depressed feeling in the mid-afternoon. This is fading slowly, too. What you need to know is this: IT ENDS. THERE IS AN END. I ALREADY FEEL IT. THE ADDICTION ENDS WITHIN DAYS VIA COLD-TURKEY, THE PAIN ENDS IN A WEEK'S TIME, NORMALCY, YOUR BODY'S NATURAL CHEMISTRY, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR SELF, THEY ALL WILL GLOW AGAIN.

5. Cold-Turkey Not for All. It is extremely difficult, but it is not impossible and if you flush or don't have the pills (or curse out your provider), then there is no other option. I swear though, if you can just make it past the first few days, push those moments of mindful clarity, you will win and never want to feel how you did again. Relapse is then as appealing and tempting a day trip to your local Department of Motor Vehicles.

6. Will Update. I did not proofread this, sorry if parts do not make sense, just want to provide support and encourage those who go for the cold-turkey route. I can help in my own quirky way. I'd like to expose these online med companies via a documentary -- but I'm afraid there are some benefits to these awful companies that I am not aware of; however, one for sure is not Tramadol.

If you are stopping all together, all at once, write and I may be able to help. I've been looking for long-term abusers, like myself, who stopped suddenly and there seems to be a void as the taper system is the safer way to go. However, if you want this disgusting chemical out of your body, you can handle a few days of pain in its most serious form, write here and I'll be checking in.


You are absolutely right. I've read a lot of about the seizures.

Again, I am only writing about my experience, and current experiences. If I made it sound like it has been easy and I'm in the clear then I am sending the wrong message; however, for some people, I know there is no other option than to go cold-turkey (as with myself).

I just want to be a voice, one of the only voices I've recently read, who can offer support for those who "fit" the criteria of trying cold-turkey. Though, as you mentioned, this can be very dangerous -- deadly, and I don't mean that to be an oversight to those considering their options to be Tramadol / Ultram free.

All I know from my experience is this: If you can make it through the horrendous withdrawal symptoms, it is enough to kill the addiction (at least it was for me). Now, about long-term anxiety and depression -- that, as you mentioned, is something I suggest should be helped by seeing a doctor with the proper medication -- Ultram / Tramadol IS NOT THE MEDICATION TO TREAT ANXIETY OR DEPRESSION. Resorting back to the drug to treat these debilitating diseases is not proper medical practice, it is not healthy, and after going through the hell I just did, I would rather die than take another Tramadol.

Everyone who reads these posts would agree in an ideal world we would check ourselves into a detox clinic / hospital and become clean the safest, most effective, and least painful way. Unfortunately that is not the situation I'm in. Taper if you can, it is safer in so many ways (I couldn't do it, just one little bad day destroyed my regiment). Cold Turkey, like myself was the best possible method under my circumstances -- but listen as Brian said: It can be and is very dangerous, resulting in seizures, which can lead to death.

Thanks Brian -- I know it's not ideal, it is not even safe as you said, but there needs to be a voice for this method of quitting.

Ultram/Tramadol is a nasty pain reliever. I was prescribed this after my first back surgery in 2001, being told it was a NON addictive synthetic alternative to Vicodin. Non addictive my fanny perpendicular :dizzy:

I cold turkeyed this stuff several years ago from probably 250-300mg a day, and it was no picnic to be sure. I do not recommend it AT ALL.

That said, my having supported on another forum and in direct contact, numerous others to free themselves from pain meds, benzos and anti depressants, I have learned that there simply are those who do not have the option to do a much safer and highly recommended taper from their poison. The main reason I have seen is having an extremely addictive personality. Some individuals clearly do not have the will power and determination to do a successful slow taper. Others simply do not have the luxury to do a slow taper due to life's daily responsibilities, i.e. work, child care, caring for their elders, etc., and/or lack spousal or family support to help them endure a lengthy taper.

I am not condoning C/T anything, for I agree it is extremely dangerous. I did it naively not knowing any better, and thinking it was no big deal. I have since learned I was a complete fool to do it the way I did and I would never attempt it ever again. But again, some have little choice.

If you are now, or are planning to do a C/T BE SURE to inform at least one other person you trust of your intent and have them check in on you, if not stay with you through the worst of it. Please don't attempt to do this on your own, there is simply too much risk involved.

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