Tramadol is used for the short-term relief of moderate to severe pain. It should only be used when other forms of non-opioid pain relief have not been successful in managing pain or are not tolerated.
Tramadol is not usually recommended for the treatment of chronic (long-term) pain.
How does tramadol work?
Tramadol works directly on opioid receptors in the central nervous system and reduces feelings of pain by interrupting the way nerves signal pain between the brain and the body.
What are the possible side effects of tramadol?
All opioids, including tramadol, can have side effects that include life-threatening breathing problems. The risk of these is higher:
- when first taking tramadol
- after a dosage increase
- if you are older
- if you have an existing lung problem
The side effects of tramadol are similar to those of other opioids, and include: