tramadol extended release (generic name)

It is used to treat moderate to severe pain in adults
(TRA ma dole)
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What is this medicine?

TRAMADOL (TRA ma dole) is a pain reliever. It is used to treat moderate to severe pain in adults.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • brain tumor
  • drink more than 3 alcohol-containing drinks per day
  • drug abuse or addiction
  • head injury
  • kidney disease or problems going to the bathroom
  • liver disease
  • lung disease, asthma, or breathing problems
  • seizures or epilepsy
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to tramadol, codeine, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Do not cut, crush or chew this medicine. Crushing this medicine may cause overdose and death. This risk is increased in patients who abuse alcohol or other substances. Take this medicine the same way each day, either with food or not. If the medicine upsets your stomach, take it with food or milk. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take it more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. This medicine is not approved for use in children.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • MAOIs like Carbex, Eldepryl, Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alcohol or medicines that contain alcohol
  • antihistamines
  • benzodiazepines
  • bupropion
  • carbamazepine or oxcarbazepine
  • clozapine
  • cyclobenzaprine
  • digoxin
  • furazolidone
  • linezolid
  • medicines for depression, anxiety, or psychotic disturbances
  • medicines for migraine headache like almotriptan, eletriptan, frovatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, sumatriptan, zolmitriptan
  • medicines for pain like pentazocine, buprenorphine, butorphanol, meperidine, nalbuphine, and propoxyphene
  • medicines for sleep
  • muscle relaxants
  • naltrexone
  • phenobarbital
  • phenothiazines like perphenazine, thioridazine, chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, fluphenazine, prochlorperazine, promazine, and trifluoperazine
  • procarbazine
  • warfarin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your pain does not go away, if it gets worse, or if you have new or a different type of pain. You may develop tolerance to the medicine. Tolerance means that you will need a higher dose of the medicine for pain relief. Tolerance is normal and is expected if you take this medicine for a long time.

Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your body becomes used to the medicine. This does NOT mean you are addicted. Addiction is a behavior related to getting and using a drug for a non-medical reason. If you have pain, you have a medical reason to take pain medicine. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose will be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects.

You may get drowsy or dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness until you know how this medicine affects you. Do not stand or sit up quickly, especially if you are an older patient. This reduces the risk of dizzy or fainting spells. Alcohol can increase or decrease the effects of this medicine. Avoid alcoholic drinks.

You may have constipation. Try to have a bowel movement at least every 2 to 3 days. If you do not have a bowel movement for 3 days, call your doctor or health care professional.

Your mouth may get dry. Chewing sugarless gum or sucking hard candy, and drinking plenty of water may help. Contact your doctor if the problem does not go away or is severe.

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Last Updated: August 31, 2011
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