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What is Tramadol?

Tramadol is a synthetic chemical compound that is used to treat pain and discomfort. It is normally an ingested medication that works centrally instead of locally. While it is used as a pain reliever, it is often not prescribed to handle very severe pain. Ideally, it is given for mid-level to mid-level severe pain. Given the wide range of pain thresholds it can handle, it is prescribed for quite a lengthy list of painful or uncomfortable conditions such as fibromyalgia, motor neurone disease, restless legs syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, among many other conditions. In this respect, Tramadol is prescribed similar to pain reliever drug classes like codein.

What class of chemical compound is Tramadol?

Tramadol, in of itself, is quite a relatively weak receptor agonist of µ-opioid. However, the body metabolizes Tramadol to O-desmethyltramadol which is a much more powerful receptor agonist of µ-opioid. Among users of the IV version of Tramadol, this more powerful metabolized version is very similar to the metabolized form of codeine-morphine.

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Tramadol, in of itself, is quite a relatively weak receptor agonist of µ-opioid. However, the body metabolizes Tramadol to O-desmethyltramadol which is a much more powerful receptor agonist of µ-opioid. Among users of the IV version of Tramadol, this more powerful metabolized version is very similar to the metabolized form of codeine-morphine. Still, there are many other compounds on the market that feature a higher level of potency in terms of µ-opioid receptor agonist activity. Interestingly enough, Tramadol also impacts the body’s norepinephrine and serotonin levels. It inhibits the reuptake of these compounds. Since inhibiting the reuptake of these brain neurotransmitters has been used to treat conditions like phobias, anxiety, and depression, the idea of using Tramadol as an anti-phobia, antidepressant, or antianxiety medication has been floated. Physicians have not been entirely warm to this idea and this indication for Tramadol has not been approved. Instead, health professionals suggest that Tramadol’s serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibition qualities be utilized only in unique or very limited circumstances. These professionals suggest that this limited use of Tramadol should only be considered if other treatments don’t produce desired results in treating phobias, depression, or anxiety. In such a circumstance, Tramadol’s usage as a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor should only be done under the strict supervision of a qualified psychiatrist.

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In terms of structure, Tramadol looks similar to codeine albeit a stripped-down variant. How are they alike? Both codeine and tramadol have a shared 3-methyl ether structure. Both compounds are metabolized in the same pathway in the liver. Both are metabolized by the liver to produce stronger compounds. In the case of codeine, the final form is morphine while in tramadol, the final metabolized form is O-desmethyltramadol In terms of observed effect, patients don’t feel any subjective difference in potency in the IV form of morphine and tramadol.

Tramadol is off-patent in the US and is available in generic form under a number of brands. Many different manufacturers produce Tramadol under their own brands. Some of the bigger generic manufacturers of Tramadol are: Teva, APO, Pur-Pak, Mallinckrodt, Cor Pharma, Mylan, Caraco, Amneal, and many others. The most common generic dosage size and form are tablets in 50mg doses. Tramadol also has brand name versions on the market. These are Ultram and Ultram ER.

What is the typical dosage for Tramadol?

Tramadol can be taken in quite a number of forms. In the form of oral tablets and capsules, it is commonly available in the following dosages: 37.5mg, 50mg, 100mg, 200mg, and 300mg. In tablet form, Tramadol can be taken as both uncoated or low residue tablets under the tongue (sublingual). It also comes in chewable or regular tablet form. There are also extended and regular release versions of this pain medication.

Tramadol is also available in injectable, intramuscular and/or intravenous. It is available in a 100mg dosage.

Tramadol is also available in suppository, effervescent tablets, phial, and powder form.

If used as an ingredient, Tramadol can be added to other ingredients for topical creams and gels. These topical formulations are used to relieve nerve pain on the skin and joints. Some rectal foams also include Tramadol. There is even a product line that includes Tramadol as an ingredient for a skin patch. Tramadol is quite versatile in its applications and forms. Perhaps a large part of this versatility is due to market demand arising from the perception that Tramadol is less susceptible to abuse.

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