Ultram® is the U.S. brand name of tramadol, an analgesic (pain-reducing) opiate drug that is prescribed to treat maladies such as:
- RLS (restless legs syndrome)
Side Effects of Ultram® / Tramadol
The regular version of Ultram® provides pain relief for about 4 to 6 hours and the extended-release version of Ultram® is to be taken once a day for all-day pain relief. Ultram® comes in a variety of forms. As an opiate agonist, it has a long laundry list of potential side effects, including:
- Changes in mood
- Difficulty breathing — an especially dangerous side effect
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Difficulty swallowing
- Drowsiness, sleepiness
- Dry mouth
- Flu-like symptoms
- Heartburn or indigestion
- Muscle tightness
- Sores on the inside of your mouth, nose, eyes, or throat
- Swelling of the eyes, face, throat, tongue, lips, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- Uncontrollable shaking
State Regulation of Ultram®
Although Ultram® is not a federally controlled drug, many states have classified it as a controlled substance, because it has a high potential for addiction and abuse. In fact, in 2009, the FDA issued a warning to marketers saying that they were overstating the efficacy of the drug and understating or minimizing the many risks associated with it.
Ultram® and Pregnancy
If you are pregnant or are planning a pregnancy, talk to your doctor before starting treatment with Ultram®. It has been suggested that taking Ultram® while pregnant, especially during the first two months, may increase a woman’s risk of having a baby with birth defects. Taking a high dose of the medication close to delivery can also increase the risk for complications.
Women who took Ultram® close to delivery should tell their doctors right away if they notice unusual symptoms in their babies such as:
- Persistent crying
- Shallow or slow breathing
- Vomiting or diarrhea
Women that are breastfeeding should not take Ultram® as it can be passed to the baby through the milk and cause complications.
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