What is Ultram used to treat?
Ultram is primarily a painkiller and, as such is used in both acute and chronic situations with the dosage adjusted to reduce the risk of dependence over time. It’s effective no matter what the source of the pain. Thus, it will be used in cases of accidental injury and cases of fibromyalgia where the actual cause of the pain is uncertain. It will include physical disorders like restless leg syndrome and the more dangerous GERD where stomach acid rises up into the esophagus and begins to damage the lining. Some doctors are using it to treat other less obviously painful conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder and premature ejaculation. Veterinarians use it to treat animals where their nervous systems match our own.
How is it supplied?
For most uses in the home, it’s supplied as a tablet or capsule. This may be as a standard tablet or in an extended–release format. However, for different purposes, it’s also sold as effervescent tablets and powders, as topical creams and gels, and as a liquid for hospital use.
How is it taken?
The usual treatment strategy is to give a high dose for acute injuries and lower dosages where there is going to be a need for pain relief over a significant period of time. The intention is to minimize the risk of dependence by giving the lowest possible dose to produce an acceptable level of pain relief. Your doctor should individualize the dosage to get the best results. For long-term use, it’s more usual to take the extended-release version. If any degree of dependence is caused, this makes the tapering task more difficult to manage. First, you have to transfer to the conventional tablet and then slowly reduce the dosage.
Which drug interactions are the most serious?
The most consistent problem is from taking two drugs affecting the levels of serotonin, i.e. from mixing Ultram with some antidepressants, MAO inhibitors or similar drugs. Note the same result occurs if you take the natural herb called St. John’s Wort.
Are there risks during pregnancy?
This is not completely certain so the precautionary principle applies, i.e. you should not take Ultram unless you are certain the benefits will outweigh the possible risks including possible withdrawal symptoms suffered by the baby after birth.
Do older people need to take extra care?
Over sixty-five, there are increasing risks of loss of coordination and dizziness. Over the age of seventy-five, Ultram should only be given in the smallest possible doses and there should be proper supervision to reduce the risk of falls and other side effects.