Tramadol: Can anyone explain why... - Fibromyalgia Acti...

Fibromyalgia Action UK

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barbara-ann profile image
13 Replies

Can anyone explain why Tramadol can work amazingly well on one day and another time my husband has to take two doses two hours apart, then go to bed for about 2 to 3 hours before he notices any relief? Also sometimes he is unable to walk and another day will walk the dog with me quite happily all be it slowly. We cannot find any pain management help it all just seems to be hit or miss...

13 Replies
Lou1062 profile image

I cant take tramadol at all however my daughter takes quite a high dose and finds it works well when taken consistently, she was told the effect builds up in the system over time, she isn't on this for fibro she has Elhors Danlos , not sure of spelling. I do hope your husband finds more help with this xx

BlueMermaid3 profile image

Hi barbara-ann

You have just described Fibromyalgia. That is exactly the nature of the beast.

One day pain so severe you simply can't do anything other than take pain meds and go to bed.

The next day you can go out for the whole day.

Do you mind me asking why you are unable to find any pain management? Do you mean Clinic wise?

Lu x


barbara-ann profile image
barbara-ann in reply to BlueMermaid3

We have asked for information about pain management clinics as we were told we had to go through our GP; he said he would "give us a ring" but nothing has been forthcoming. My husband is due to see the rheumatologist in a couple of months we will ask him although during our last visit he said quote there us nothing wrong with you unquote!

Janet28 profile image

Hi barbara-ann has he spoken to the doctor regarding the tramadol not always working, has he been taking them go long. I used to take tramadol & i found the same thing & i changed to Solpadol (Codiene & Paracetamol) & they have worked for a long time & then I had the same problem with those & my GP has now given me Butrans Patches but I still take Codiene every day but not so many. The patches slowly release pain killer and they have made a big difference.

Anyway my friend, I would pass it by the doctor & maybe they will review the effect of the tramado. Do you take Amitriptyline ? It is a widely used drug to treat Fibro, it helps relax your muscles, which helps with the pain & helps sleep.

Your doctor can also refer you to NHS pain management clinics. Show him the Spoon Theory also because it will help him to be able to pace himself, which is very important with fibromyalgia.

Hope this helps.

Peace, luv n light

Jan xx

I find this with Tramadol as well. I also think it takes quite a bit of time before it reaches the pain and numbs. I asked for Maxitram which is better...but if my GP told me to choose between Tram and Zapain which is high strength co-codamol...I'd be hard pressed to choose. If your husband isn't getting the relief out of ordinary Tramadol, it maybe an idea for him to ask his Dr if he can try Maxitram...which is the prolonged release. xx

Leonwp profile image

I take mine for RA but i feel it is designed to be slow release and taken consistently as a base load rather than as a "im in pain remedy". As my pain is constant and i never have a good day only worse days i take max dose 4 times every day and even though i take enough morphine to knock most people out for a day with each dose im afraid i still live in pain, things are ok though if i dont do anything moving.


Hello Barbara-ann only just seen your msg. I take tramadol 50 for bad pain along with 2 paracetamol, has this been suggested to you?

Mad_scientist_ profile image
Mad_scientist_ in reply to

I use paracetamol with the Tramadol when I need them to work fast or when they are MOT effective on their own. Unfortunately they never get rid of the pain, just take the edge off it.

bluebell99 profile image


I am sorry your husband's pain relief is so intermittant. Unfortunately as BlueMermaid3 says, that is the nature of fibro.

Paracetamol and Tramadol are prescribed together in hospital and it is a recognised pain reliever. I would try that, but obviously be aware of the amount of paracetamol per day.

I would ask for a telephone appointment from your doctor and gently insist you want an appointment with the Pain Clinic. It could be that there is a very long waiting list in your area and this is the cause of your doctor's reluctance.

However, your husband needs to have an overview of his pain medication and management and this is the best way forward, even if there is a long wait.

Good Luck


TheAuthor profile image

Hi barbara-ann

I have never used Tramadol myself but as BlueMermaid3 says you have just described Fibro! I want to sincerely wish you and your husband all the best of luck, and please take care of yourselves.

All my hopes and dreams for you


Shazzzy profile image

Hi Barbara

The pain from fibro is neurological, therefore it can be felt anywhere in the body at any level low or high. But it affects the muscles so they are weaker so the pain is usually worse in the muscles we use most, like legs. Tramadol is used as a base medicine and is usually slow relief so is meant to be taken at same time each day at a specific amount. If this is not enough gp can raise the dose or you can take another painkiller such as ibuprofen when tramadol is not enough. The nature of fibromyalgia is that pain and exhaustion fluctuates at times being very severe to bearable although it never goes away. It is very frustrating and has a huge effect on your life, often preventing you doing what you want/need to do. Hope this helps

wdoneal profile image

Tramadol has been a miracle drug for my back pain and I've experienced no side effects other than a little sleepiness in the afternoon. I take 2 50mg tabs each morning and it gets me through my day. I've not seen any difference in how it works day to day. Is his dosage consistent? He needs to be careful altering dosages as there can be some nasty withdraw symptoms if his body gets used to a certain dosage then doesn't get it.

Heman69 profile image

Your better of with nortriptyline it’s basically the same drug without as many side affects my wife takes nortriptyline and tramadol I myself take nortriptyline instead of amatriptyline.

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