Tramadol is there an alternative?

I was given 400mg of Tramadol to take for pain relief for fibromyalgia. I was horrified to find that when I cut the dosage down I got withdrawal symptoms. Why didn't my doctor tell me? I am now on 25mg twice a day and had a terrible time going through the withdrawal symptoms. I am on Gabapentin but I don't think it does anything. What else is there that doesn't make feel like a zombie or make become an addict?

34 Replies

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  • I did it in about 4 weeks - I'm finding it very difficult to get off the last 25mg as I'm nervous of the of the symptoms getting worse.

  • I did it on my own as my GP is extremely unhelpful and tends to fob me off. I think I will take the last 50mg slowly.

  • Thank you for support. Much appreciated x

  • I think most of the dsstrong painkillers will give withdrawal symptons, I was on tramadol then it was changed to dihydracondeine but in consultation with my GP we decided I would go back on Tramadol and the withdrawal symptons from the dihydracodiene was not good. I am happy to be back on Tramadol.

    Did you take 400mg at a time or was that the days total ? Tramadol is a opioid and I understand you should always withdraw from it gradually.

    Hope you don't get any more symtpons coming off them, are you taking something else in its place or are you manafing without anything else.

  • Tramadol was not as effective as I had hoped. It usually took the third dose of the day for the pain to ease. Most of the time I felt like a zombie and just wanted to sleep. I was stupid to come off them so quickly as I suffered but what scared me more is if I missed a dose or took it late I would be shaking and anxious. That's why I came off them so quickly - I felt like an addict and was scared. My GP was not helpful. I am on Gabapentin which I don't think helps too much but at least I can stay awake for longer now! I'm glad that Tramadol works for you.

  • What made you want to come off of the Tramadol Ariadne, was it not working for you?

  • It wasn't working and the addictive quality scared me. I also felt like a zombie and slept all the time. I'm hoping my referral to Guys Hospital with Professor Davies will help with an alternative. It really gets me down. How do you cope?

  • I am on Tramadol & find it OK, so far I have had no side effects or withdrawal symptoms ... I guess we don't all react the same. I do find though to get the best releif from Tramadol for me is I take one paraceptamol with it. I have been told by my specialist nurse that it is quite OK to do this & the reason that it works is because both drugs work in a different way!

    I really hope you find the right thing for you & soon x

  • Thanks for that, I think the paracetamol might be of help because I took it before and it did help the feelings as I felt as if I'd been invaded by bees! ;)

  • I look farward to hearing if it helps you x

  • I had the same problem. I got addicted. If I was just half hour out on taking my dose i would get withdrawals. I am off it now and on Gabapentine but it's not enough. I'm booked in hospital to have multiple injections of stroid and pain killers that's meant to last 3 months and have to go under for it. Hope that helps x

  • I found it scary, even now when I cut up my pills I get the shakes and feel dreadful. I need more or something different to Gabapentin as its not enough. I have an appointment in March so fingers crossed for us both x

  • I know how hard it is I felt like i was going crazy but i did it in the end. I really wish you the best of luck x

  • Because these meds are opioids you will become addicted to them, just one of the side effects, I take 200mg every 6 hours but I don't get problems if I am late with takjing my meds.

    I was offered Gabapentin but i know one of the side effects of that is weight gain and there is no way I need to gain any weight so I refused them.

  • Oh dear my weight is also a problem. I feel like I'm going round in circles.

  • Remember that not everyone gets every side effect. And with weight gain, some meds cause food cravings (often for sweet foods) that lead to weight gain, but you can be strict with yourself to avoid this. Some meds do cause you to gain weight no matter what unfortunately, but it is always worth keeping a strict calorie diary to check that you're not just eating too many calories compared to what you are expending.

    Gabapentin is not an opioid.

    Taking an opioid does not mean you will necessarily become addicted. People can also become addicted to non-opioid drugs.

    However, addiction is a psychological problem as well as a physical problem. If you are only taking a drug because it relieves pain and not to get high or to feel another psychological effect, then you are not addicted. Physical tolerance (which can be associated with physical withdrawal symptoms) is not the same thing as addiction.

  • Thanks for the info ;)

  • I find Tramadol ok, I take it 'prn' and although I used to take it every day, I didn't have a problem reducing it. It's funny how it can affect people so differently. It is a pity you weren't told about the 'possibilities' though, that should have been pointed out to you.

  • It's strange how these drugs have different reactions. Glad you were ok - I think my GP was getting tired of me asking questions (before I was diagnosed) and just gave them to me with little thought of how I might feel. :)

  • Just want to say thanks to everyone for their comments. Sometimes you feel really isolated and can't understand why your body has become like a super conductor for pain!

    Great to know that you are all here too (but not good too!) xxx

  • Yes, Ariadne, Fibro can make you feel very isolated even though you're around people either in-person or online, I think it's very important to find a place where you can share with people who understand and know about Fibro specifically.

  • I think fibro can make you feel isolated because it is an invisable condition. For example, if I were to have a good spell in the morning, it don't mean I am going to be good in the afternoon & often people can't see that your ill, it's even hard for your loved ones or people in close contact with you to see, because there are no visual signs.

    It's good to talk to other people that suffer the same or similars conditions to you, because you can speak openly without 'the mask' that we often put on for the outside world, because it's easier to cover up how we feel instead of having to continually try to explain yourself

    Rest easy :)

  • My family is good most of the time but they do find it hard when I can barely get out of bed or stay awake for more than a couple of hours. When I'm on a good day they forget that I am still fragile. I have a great hubbie and 2 lovely children but my constant and most loving companion is my dog Scruffy. He doesn't care if I'm up or down. :)

  • It sounds like you are depressed Ariadne & maybe you could seek some help with that, I take duloxetine as an antidepressant & I'm told it's a pain killer too I don't think it helps massively but added to my other medication it works. I am prescribed Tramadol & I was told to take it every 4 hours BUT to take an anti sickness pill first....if I don't take the sickness tablet first I am very sick for the next 24hrs or so. I just take them as & when I need them...My GP said that if I took them 4 hourly irrespective as to if I'm in pain or not I would get a build up of the drug & I would be pain free...

    I take a lot of other pills for my health & I didn't like the thought of taking pain killers if I wasn't in pain so I never tried the all the time plan my GP had suggested.

    I just take them when the pain is unbearable.

    I would change my Dr if he behaved like yours...we are the one's suffering & his job is to alleviate that.

    It's because of folk like us that he has a job !!!

    Take care & BIG ((((HUGS)))) to you & Scruffy

  • Hi Chris-Dee, thanks for your reply. Im shocked at our GPs are handing out these pills like sweets. I am waiting for counselling at the moment and hope this might help. Hugs to you too (((hugs))) and thanks :)

  • i take tramadol 200mg slow release i also take solpadol 30/500mg x 2 and 300mg prebaglin in the morning and evening, and i take the solpadol for breakthrough pain, i feel this works for me if i have a particular stressful day or i have to go out i will take another prebaglin at lunchtime this works for me at the moment, my g.p told me that he could refer me to the pain clinic if i wanted but that after tramadol its morphine and i am afraid that is a step to far for me.

  • hi i also take tramadol & co codamol at night, but because i work and drive just take co codamol in the day.i was so anti meds but gave in in december and am coping a little better with the pain. i have also become self employed as my employer didnt support me i was aretail manager i may be financialy worse off but my stress levels are realy low!!!

  • My GP put me on cymbalta which yes it has side effects if you don't take all the time but it's great for my anxiety and depression, helps relax my muscles and great for pain.

  • i take 400mg tramadol a day & co-codamol and feel it doesnt help like it used to. i also take tabs for tummy probs and sertraline for depression 200mg and a tab for anxiety ! seeing doc nxt wk about changing sertraline for valium/diazapam and also to try gabapetin dont know what the doc will say but i will blog when i know & how i find it xxx amanda

  • We take so many drugs and I don't feel we are treated as a whole person. I know there's no wonder tablet but when I read about the amount of drugs we are on I'm amazed that we can even stand up!

    I would like a drug to give me energy, one for the pain and another to help me sleep. Is it too much to ask?

  • Iv found that oxycodone 5mg work for me x

  • Dr. dont think to tell you about side affects when cutting down on meds i take pregabline which is an alternative to gabipentine i have been on both the side affects arnt as bad on pregablin i now check my meds on google.

  • Hi AriadneJones I am taken gabapentin just gradually increasing it up 3/300mg 3 times a day

    Yesterday but have only felt a little pain relief so don't know if it will work, not found any side affects yet with it also take 45mg mirtazapine at bed time for depression have tried Neely all antidepressant tab there are as have had depression for 10 years and anxiety and stress but now found one that gives me a good nights sleep If nothing else

  • ive been put on gabapentin recently 100mg three times a day to start off with i also take 1 x 200mg tramadol morning and night, paracetamols x8, amitrypalines 75mg, naproxen 2 x 500mg, diazapan 20mg. not had any change in pain releife yet from the gabapentin but hoping to soon ,i live in hope as the doctor said upping the dose next step and if all else fails its morphine/ketamine situation which i do not want to go down that route at all ! xx

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