In this article, I’m going to teach you everything you need to know about using tramadol for opiate withdrawal. Tramadol is by no means one of my top choices for easing opiate withdrawal symptoms, however, tramadol is still a good option for some, though not all people. I was even prescribed tramadol for opiate withdrawal several years ago after I went to the ER for acute heroin withdrawal.
I’m going to share my experience using tramadol for opiate withdrawal with you shortly. First, I believe it’s important to explain how tramadol works in the body, that way you will gain a better understanding of how it can help ease opiate withdrawal symptoms.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Tramadol For Opiate Withdrawal Works in Your Body
- 2 Tramadol For Opiate Withdrawal Benefits
- 3 My Experience Using Tramadol For Opiate Withdrawal
- 4 Precautions Using Tramadol For Opiate Withdrawal
- 5 Tramadol For Opiate Withdrawal Studies
- 6 How to Use Tramadol For Opiate Withdrawal
- 7 Tramadol For Opiate Withdrawal Natural Alternative
How Tramadol For Opiate Withdrawal Works in Your Body
Tramadol is a prescription medication used to treat mild to severe pain. Contrary to popular belief, tramadol is NOT a narcotic drug. Tramadol does not come from the opium poppy plant. Furthermore, tramadol will not show up as an opiate on a drug-test. So how exactly does tramadol work? Tramadol is a centrally acting synthetic analgesic agent with opiate activity due to a low affinity binding to the parent compound and higher affinity binding of the O-demethylated metabolite M1 to mu opioid receptors.
So basically, tramadol is a synthetic (man-made) drug that has opiate effects (pain relief, constipation, euphoria, respiratory depression, etc.) due to it binding to the same opioid receptors in the body that opioid analgesic drugs like Morphine and hydrocodone bind to. However, unlike opioid analgesics, Tramadol is not currently scheduled as a controlled substance by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Tramadol For Opiate Withdrawal Benefits
Since tramadol has opiate effects in the body, it can be useful for relieving withdrawal symptoms such as: anxiety, diarrhea, gastrointestinal distress, sweating, hot and cold flashes, insomnia, depression, nausea, achy muscles and limbs, and fatigue. Based on severity of addiction and biochemical uniqueness, using tramadol for opiate withdrawal symptoms can work very well for some, and offer minimal benefit for others.
Another thing I find interesting is that tramadol inhibits the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine. This means that it could potentially also be useful for boosting mood-enhancing chemicals in the brain during opiate withdrawal. Serotonin is an inhibitory (relaxing) neurotransmitter that makes you feel emotionally chilled-out and happy. Norepinephrine (noradrenaline) is an excitatory (stimulating) neurotransmitter that can give you more energy and lift mood.
My Experience Using Tramadol For Opiate Withdrawal
Several years ago, I went to the emergency room for acute heroin withdrawal. I had been using a half gram to a gram of heroin daily for a few months, and less than 24 hours after my last hit I couldn’t bare the cold-turkey withdrawal symptoms. The ER doctor prescribed me clonidine, Librium and tramadol for opiate withdrawal. The medications helped get rid of the most severe symptoms, though I still had no energy and some depression and anxiety. In an effort to get high, I decided to take much more tramadol for opiate withdrawal than I was prescribed.
It was so long ago I honestly can’t remember, but I think I was only prescribed between three and six 50 mg tramadol within 24 hours. I can’t remember how many there were in the bottle, but I ended up taking ALL OF THEM within 24 hours. My withdrawal symptoms were reduced considerably, but I didn’t even come close to getting “high”, and then my pills were all gone and I was off to get another bag of heroin immediately. I obviously wasn’t ready to quit. Either that or I was possessed by Satan (evil laugh)!
Precautions Using Tramadol For Opiate Withdrawal
Don’t use tramadol for opiate withdrawal in the foolish and irresponsible way that I did. Tramadol can be a useful medication if you use it properly.
If you decide to use tramadol for opiate withdrawal, be aware of the following risks:
- Tramadol can be habit-forming and addictive (many people have become severely addicted after using tramadol for opiate withdrawal).
- If you use tramadol consistently, tramadol withdrawal can be just as bad as opiate withdrawal.
- Taking too much Tramadol can result in overdose.
- Depending on severity of addiction and biochemical uniqueness, tramadol may not work well for everyone.
Tramadol For Opiate Withdrawal Studies
In a study from 2012, tramadol was compared to Methadone for the treatment of opiate withdrawal:
- Patients were put into two groups: methadone group (60 mg per day) and tramadol group (600 mg per day).
- No significant differences existed in overall Objective Opioid Withdrawal Scale (OOWS) scores between the two groups (P = 0.11).
- Dropout rates were similar in both groups.
- Side effects in the tramadol group were as or less common than in the methadone group, with the exception of perspiration.
- Results stated tramadol may be as effective as methadone in the control of withdrawal.
In a study from 2006, tramadol was compared to buprenorphine for the treatment of withdrawal:
- 115 patients were put into two groups (45 in the buprenorphine group, 70 in the tramadol group).
- 56% of the buprenorphine group and 71% of the tramadol group completed detoxification.
- Tramadol patients had significantly higher average withdrawal symptoms when compared to the buprenorphine group and a greater reduction in withdrawal symptoms over time.
- The number of side effects was minimal and didn’t differ between the two groups.
- Results of the study stated that tramadol shows some promise as an opioid withdrawal management medication.
How to Use Tramadol For Opiate Withdrawal
If you’ve decided you want to use tramadol for opiate withdrawal symptoms, make sure to use it responsibly.
The following key concepts should help you determine how to use tramadol for opiate withdrawal:
- Always use the least amount of tramadol possible to reduce opiate withdrawal symptoms.
- Never use tramadol for longer than absolutely needed (3-7 days maximum should get you past the most severe part of withdrawal).
- Tramadol comes in an extended-release form; this could be more beneficial to use than regular tramadol due to it’s long half-life.
- Depending on addiction severity, some people will benefit from taking 50-100 mg 3-4 times per day, others will need much more than this.
Example: Someone who is coming off a 60 mg daily oxycodone habit might get decent benefits from using tramadol for opiate withdrawal. However, if you’ve been shooting up three grams of heroin per day for the past five years, tramadol might be like putting a band aid on a broken leg.
Tramadol For Opiate Withdrawal Natural Alternative
Suppose you can’t get a doctor to prescribe you tramadol for opiate withdrawal. Buying it on the street would be an option, though I never recommend breaking the law. If you want my expert opinion, you’d probably be better off using kratom as a natural alternative.
Kratom is a plant (member of the coffee family) that is not regulated by the DEA in the United States (making it’s use legal), that binds to the same opioid receptors that tramadol binds to (so it eases opiate withdrawal symptoms). Kratom is available for purchase online and at select retail locations.
If you want to learn more, simply click on the link below to read my detailed article on using kratom for opiate withdrawal:
Click here now to view my best home detox program. If you have any questions on using Tramadol for opiate withdrawal, please feel free to leave them in the comment box below.