Since first being introduced to the public, Tramadol has been considered an excellent medication for treating moderate to severely moderate pain. However, many people are unaware this particular drug can be prescribed for reasons other than pain. Because there are misconceptions about Tramadol, we wanted to take the opportunity to offer insight into some of the additional uses. Keep in mind that using this drug for reasons other than pain might not be for everyone but for some people, this might be a discussion to have with a medical doctor.
What is Tramadol?
For starters, we wanted to offer a general introduction into the makeup of Tramadol. Regardless of the brand name, this drug is a "centrally acting synthetic", which means it inhibits the reuptake of norepinephrine and induces the release of serotonin. The effects of Tramadol are very similar to codeine and although a common prescription drug, it is often used when other forms of pain medication have failed.
Tramadol offers narcotic-like relief but because this drug is not a narcotic, it does not need to be controlled by the US federal government. One caveat is that when prescribed for intravenous use, there is government control in certain states to include Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming, as well as the United States military.
Additional Used for Tramadol
Again, Tramadol is most commonly prescribed to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. The benefit of this drug is its effectiveness for a wide variety of pain types although the most common uses are acute postoperative, back, osteoarthritis, and neuropathic pain. However, in addition to pain, a doctor may choose to prescribe Tramadol for treatment of the following:
Anxiety - There are thousands of reasons a person can develop anxiety. Stress from work or school, death of a loved one, going through a divorce, and being a single parent are all examples. With this, an individual would have a constant sense of worry, uneasiness, and/or nervousness.
Depression - Similar to anxiety, there are many things that can cause or trigger depression. The important thing to understand is that depression comes in many different forms and levels of intensity. However, depression overall creates a feeling of hopelessness and in more severe cases can lead to suicidal and even homicidal thoughts and actions.
Diabetic Neuropathy - This type of nerve damage is associated with Diabetes, most often affecting the legs and/or feet. Depending on the exact nerves that have been damaged, the effects would include pain, numbness, and even issues relating to blood vessels, the heart, digestive system, and urinary tract. While most people experience mild symptoms they can be severe and in some cases, life-threatening.
Fibromyalgia - This chronic condition affects the musculoskeletal system. The level of intensity varies to include pain but also tender areas of the body and extreme fatigue. Many people with Fibromyalgia have achieved relief by being prescribed Tramadol.
Migraine Headaches - Unlike a standard headache, migraines are intense. In some instances, a person would also become nauseated and/or experience visual disturbances.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) - While there is pain associated with MS, Tramadol is also prescribed to treat the broad range of additional symptoms such as muscle spasms, mobility issues, and bladder difficulties, among others.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - This anxiety disorder is characterized as intrusive thoughts of fear, worry, and apprehension. The most common manifestation is the strong need to repeat certain actions or maintain full control over situations.
Opiate Withdrawal Management - For someone who has become addicted to an opiate, Tramadol has been proven to be an excellent withdrawal management medication
Post-Therpetic Neuralgia - This form of neuralgia is the result of the Varicella Zoster virus
Premature Ejaculation - This consists of ejaculation in the early stages of arousal
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) - This neurologic disease is the result of damage to the Reflex Sympathetic Nervous System and causes extreme pain that feels like fire. However, there are other symptoms connected to RSD for which Tramadol has been shown to work effectively.
Restless Leg Syndrome - Sometimes referred to as "Wittmaack-Ekbom's syndrome", this condition creates an almost uncontrollable urge to move the legs
Potential Risk Factors
In addition to the conditions listed, there are others that would respond favorably to this anti-inflammatory and non-steroidal medication. Even though Tramadol is considered effective and extremely safe, there are some risks. Of course it would be essential to discuss any concerns or questions with a doctor. Someone with a history of any of the following would be at greatest risk for problems.
Head Injury, Epilepsy, or Seizures
Alcohol or Illicit Drug Abuse
Additionally, if someone is currently taking any other type of narcotic pain medication, sedative, antidepressant, muscle relaxer, antipsychotic, anti-nausea/vomiting medication, or drug for treating mental illness, the doctor should be notified. Another caution that people should be aware of is that Tramadol is unsafe to unborn babies in that it can cause serious side effects or even lead to death.