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Old 10-07-2013, 11:22 AM   #1
Marty SLC
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Default Tolerance to Tramadol

Does anyone have an Idea how long it takes the body to completely ween off a pain medication like tramadol to where a lower dose will work again? Months, Years ????

2 pills use to do the job now 3 isn't cutting it. So why would I go completely off Tramadol? I will reach a point where no amount will do the job and I want to have them be effective when it really counts. This means cutting back on activities that have cause me to take tramadol until they work effectively again and winter months are the best time for this.


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Old 10-07-2013, 01:19 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Marty SLC View Post
Does anyone have an Idea how long it takes the body to completely ween off a pain medication like tramadol to where a lower dose will work again? Months, Years ????

2 pills use to do the job now 3 isn't cutting it. So why would I go completely off Tramadol? I will reach a point where no amount will do the job and I want to have them be effective when it really counts. This means cutting back on activities that have cause me to take tramadol until they work effectively again and winter months are the best time for this.


Thanks,
Found this site:

http://prescription-drug.addictionbl...tramadol-last/

Hope the site helps.
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Old 10-07-2013, 04:16 PM   #3
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Found this site:

http://prescription-drug.addictionbl...tramadol-last/

Hope the site helps.
Thanks good information. I'm looking to find out how long do I need to be off it completely before taking a smaller dose is does the job again. Anyone have a clue?
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:09 AM   #4
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Hi Marty,

I have a couple of clues where to look. What you're talking about in your OP is called a "medication vacation". The amount of time will vary for individuals, and it's possible that your tolerance may build quicker subsequently to the break than it did beforehand. The longer you are off of a substance, the better, but in the case of chronic pain, that's not usually a choice.

medication vacation

Tapering is probably the best way to come off of any opioid, especially tramadol.
Quote:
Tramadol withdrawal lasts longer than that of other opioids; seven days or more of acute withdrawal symptoms can occur as opposed to typically three or four days for other codeine analogues.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tramado...and_withdrawal
An alternative is "medication rotation" where your doctor prescribes a different medication for a time. The theory is that you may be able to do with less than an equivalent dose—at least until your body becomes accustomed to the new medication, at which time you may be able to switch back to tramadol.

pain medication rotation

Some doctors are amenable to these strategies, and some are not. All opioids eventually give rise to tolerance and dependence, so some doctors believe you may as well stick with one that works well for you for as long as possible.

Addendum: I recently came across this excellent article on the whole topic of pain medications & chronic pain. Worth a bookmark, IMO.

A Patient's Guide to: Medication Approach to Chronic Pain

Doc
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Last edited by Dr. Smith; 10-08-2013 at 11:57 AM. Reason: corrections, addendum
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Marty SLC View Post
Does anyone have an Idea how long it takes the body to completely ween off a pain medication like tramadol to where a lower dose will work again? Months, Years ????

2 pills use to do the job now 3 isn't cutting it. So why would I go completely off Tramadol? I will reach a point where no amount will do the job and I want to have them be effective when it really counts. This means cutting back on activities that have cause me to take tramadol until they work effectively again and winter months are the best time for this.


Thanks,
I just had 3 Tramadol for breakfast
I now take 8 a day and still dont get the euphoria as I did with my first pill . I like this drug because of its 2 pronged attack in killing pain so your getting and anti depressant and a pain killer in the one tablet and the overall effect for me can be described as "I have PN but who cares"

I plan on cutting back soon by replacing Tramadol with Amitriptyline, increasing one whilst decreasing the other and then cycling back again over time
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Smith View Post
Hi Marty,

I have a couple of clues where to look. What you're talking about in your OP is called a "medication vacation". The amount of time will vary for individuals, and it's possible that your tolerance may build quicker subsequently to the break than it did beforehand. The longer you are off of a substance, the better, but in the case of chronic pain, that's not usually a choice.

medication vacation

Tapering is probably the best way to come off of any opioid, especially tramadol.


An alternative is "medication rotation" where your doctor prescribes a different medication for a time. The theory is that you may be able to do with less than an equivalent dose—at least until your body becomes accustomed to the new medication, at which time you may be able to switch back to tramadol.

pain medication rotation

Some doctors are amenable to these strategies, and some are not. All opioids eventually give rise to tolerance and dependence, so some doctors believe you may as well stick with one that works well for you for as long as possible.

Addendum: I recently came across this excellent article on the whole topic of pain medications & chronic pain. Worth a bookmark, IMO.

A Patient's Guide to: Medication Approach to Chronic Pain

Doc
Great article and just what I was looking for. Thanks!
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:44 AM   #7
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Great article and just what I was looking for. Thanks!
I don't know if you noticed, but it's one of a series of articles on various chronic pain topics. I posted the list in the chronic pain forum.

Doc
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:36 AM   #8
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Marty,
Why do you think this is a tolerance to tramadol and not a worsening of your pain? Just a question. Have you completely eliminated gluten? Do you think gluten was the cause of your PN? I have been on tramadol for just a few months, and I hadn't thought of eventually getting a tolerance to it. So thanks for this depressing info.
Ron
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:54 PM   #9
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I have been on tramadol for just a few months, and I hadn't thought of eventually getting a tolerance to it.
Hi Ron,

Unfortunately, ALL opioids produce tolerance AND dependence eventually. Tramadol is slower than most for many people, but given enough time it is inevitable. It's just one of the risks that must be weighed against benefits for any/all medications of any kind. For many people in severe chronic pain, it's often of secondary concern.

Doc
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:07 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Electron View Post
Marty,
Why do you think this is a tolerance to tramadol and not a worsening of your pain? Just a question. Have you completely eliminated gluten? Do you think gluten was the cause of your PN? I have been on tramadol for just a few months, and I hadn't thought of eventually getting a tolerance to it. So thanks for this depressing info.
Ron
Ron,
I think basically because tramadol works really well for me and just want to make sure it continues to well into the future. My pain would be much higher on days where I have allot of I have to do.

No I'm no gluten free completely.
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