Tramadol : I’ve been following this web... - Restless Legs Syn...

Restless Legs Syndrome

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I’ve been following this web site for about a year now and have written about how taking Tramadol was working for me. RLS for 20 plus years and this is the first time I’ve been having a good nights sleep. I never read of anyone else using this method for RLS. So is there anyone else who can talk about their experience good or bad. I’d love to hear about it.

51 Replies


I think you’ll find lots of people on here use/ have used it, either on it’s own or alongside another form of medication. Unfortunately many doctors are reluctant to prescribe it because of the fear of addiction or abuse.

Personally I found it invaluable during my withdrawal from ropinirole and continued 50mg per night for another 18 months until it lost its effectiveness. There is a slight chance you can augment on this as well. You don’t say how long you have been taking it but I hope it lasts a good many years more and your doctor remains willing to prescribe it!


Legsbohn in reply to Pam34

I take 200mg. a day and have been for 2 years now. I started with 100mg but went to 200mg six months latter. I go to a pain clinic and they say that it’s ok to take up to 400 mg if needed.

Wonko_TheSane in reply to Pam34

What did you do when the Tramadol lost its effectiveness? How was the withdrawal? I'm currently starting opiates after DAs stopped working - and I'm wondering if there is anything else after that or if it's the end of the line..?

I started with 100mg for about 1 1/2 years but it was still not 100% effective so pain Doc upped it to 200mg and it’s been great so far. I’ve never had any side affects.

I had no withdrawal it just wasn’t working as well as it did when I started at 100mg. Now so far at 200mg I sleep like a baby, no more walking for a couple before I could get to sleep.

Pam34 in reply to Wonko_TheSane


I was only on a low dose of Tramadol, 50mg, occasionally 100mg so was able to stop overnight. I’m now on Pregabalin and doing very well. How long it will last I don’t know but I have a vague plan that if it lasts a year then I could revert back to Tramadol and keep alternating. It’s best not to over think it and take what you have while it lasts! I also try to keep my doses as low as possible ready for that inevitable withdrawal!



Hi, no I don't have any experience but am very interested to hear about yours because I am currently wondering what I suggest next to my consultant (who seems to rely on me having done my research). After iron, pregabalin, ropinirole and melatonin didn't work, I tried codeine. Only 60mg but it made no difference whatsoever, other than to make my usual morning headache even worse! So I seem to be in the 10% of people who cannot metabolise codeine into morphine. Tramadol is metabolised differently so may be worth trying for me. Can I ask whether you had side effects and, if so, were they worth it?

So, so pleased to hear from someone who is getting relief. Long may it last!

Pam34 in reply to Hidden


I found that 50mg per night eased my RLS but caused insomnia. Of the two I’d rather be awake with calm legs! I used to get the occasional headache but otherwise had no problems.


Hidden in reply to Pam34

Interesting... generally I feel a little better for no sleep than for very disturbed sleep. Makes no sense but good to know others have the same experience. Thank you for the feedback on tramadol

Legsbohn in reply to Pam34

I forgot to mention that I also take 10mg of chewable meletonen to help with sleep problem.

Alison7 in reply to Legsbohn

I read somewhere that Melatonin can make RLS worse. I think it was in a reputable site. Others may have more reliable info about this

Legsbohn in reply to Alison7

That may be true for some but I’ve been taking it for over a year now and it helps.

I too have heard that melatonin can make rls worse. It might be worth taking a break for a few days to see if things improve.

Dcb55 in reply to Pam34

That’s my experience with low dose hydrocodone. Eases the legs completely but I have opiate-induced insomnia so have to take something else to sleep. Still, calm wakefulness vs twitchy discomfort — no contest.

Legsbohn in reply to Hidden

Been taking for two years now. Started with 100 mg and after about six months I went 200mg. Been working great with zero side affects. I go to a pain clinic to get meds as my GP (most I think) wouldn’t give me more than 100mg. He sent me to pain clinic to get higher dose.

I know everyone is different but this has really helped me.

Legsbohn in reply to Hidden

I haven’t had any side effects since taking Tramadol.

Hidden in reply to Legsbohn

Thanks legsbohn, what I am taking away from these posts is fairly positive re tramadol, which is really helpful

My experience is almost similar to Pam’s. I used tramadol 50mg effectively after stopping ropinirole (augmentation). It my case it lasted some 9 months before it lost its effectiveness. A higher dose (100mg) gave me heart palpitations that didn’t settle (I tried for 1-2 week I think). And indeed, quiet legs but a clear and awake mind. Still, I slept far more than before (untreated or during augmentation). Enjoy while it lasts. If you notice the tramadol loses effectiveness, don’t increase but ask for something else. For example oxycodon extended release.

I think that is excellent advice, LotteM. I am coming to the conclusion that less is more when it comes to rls and inexorably increasing the dose of any med almost always ends in disaster.

BTW my memory is that you gave the heart palpitations rather more than 1 or 2 weeks to settle. They seemed to go on for a while - I remember feeling concerned about them.

I have had RLS for at least 30 years. For the last 12 I have taken Tramadol. I did try a couple of other drugs, but they had too many side effects. I did try to go off Tramadol by accident, when I had gone through a hip replacement and thought the drugs they gave me would replace the Tramadol. No. I had horrible head aches from withdrawal. So, I suspect going off Tramadol will be difficult, if I ever reach that point. I dislike having to get a new prescription every two months because the drug is considered a narcotic, although it is synthetic. I must take the meds a few hours before I go to sleep, and then once during the middle of the night. I am up to 300 mgs. per night.....throughout the night..... I hope to never go beyond that. I have no side effects while taking them......but can tell when I have gone too many hours between doses. Hope this helps with your RLS.

Legsbohn in reply to sas4900

I take 100mg around 5pm and another 100mg a couple hours before bedtime. It’s slow acting so I found that if I waited until right before I go to sleep I still have leg problems. This works for me but I think it’s something that people need to work with.

I am sure it helps me. I take 200mg of Tramulief which is longer lasting Tramadol. I take 100mg every 12 hours. I stopped taking it once but my legs violently objected so I still take it. A neurologist wanted me to stop once again and I titrated down, by 25 reductions to 150. There I stopped and am now back to 200 with the agreement of the neurologist. I also use 2mg of Rotigotine patch

Legsbohn in reply to martino

Never heard of Tramulief. I’ll check it out at my next doctors appointment. Thanks for the tip

The problem will be coming off tramadol. I was taking it for 5 years for chronic arthritic hip pain. Two years ago I got a new hip. I got down to 1 tab a day of 50 mg but Coming off tramadol caused dreadful withdrawal symptoms of rls, flu like symptoms, insomnia, etc. I was put on buprenorphine as a replacement. I have tapered down to 1 microgramme a night. I cannot stop that yet though. I get dreadful rls, anxiety, insomnia when I try.

I successfully use 50mg of tramadol.But I rotate it monthly with codeine and kratom to avoid tolerance. X

Guess im not as fortunate as most people with tramadol. First night i took 25mg, half a tab. Slept 6 hours but when i woke up room was spinning. I could not stand up for 2 hours and felt like a zombie all day. Cut to 12.5mg next night, one fourth mg. Same result and lost all interest in doing anything but sitting and staring at the wall. So i stopped taking Tramadol.

Legsbohn in reply to tom137

Bummer! I guess I’m one of the lucky ones because taking 200mg never gives me any side affects.

Hey there, I just saw this post. I have been taking Tramadol going on 9 years. To date I’ve NEVER had augmentation, the same dose and by being loyal to the time I take it, I forget sometimes that I even have RLS. The most negative side is that I don’t sleep well but I never have, others complain how Tramadol keeps them awake at night, I don’t know if my poor sleep is caused by this med, but if that’s all I have, then I feel I’m way ahead of the game. I take one 50 mg tablet at 5:30pm, and then another 50 mg tab at 11:00 PM, with great success. The only time I might add another pill is if I’m going on a long plane trip, or a long movie. I keep my schedule on a timer on my phone so no matter where I am, I don’t forget to take my med. there are a couple others here that also are successful with the Tramadol as well as others that say it doesn’t work, makes the sluggish the next day, but I haven’t heard really bad complaints. Good luck to you for having found your solution to the RLS like I did. I have zero side effects and if I get sluggish or sleepy during the day, I can either take a peer nap or just close my eyes, then I’m as good as it gets.

Legsbohn in reply to johannasuar

I had similar problem with sleep problems but I blame it on the fact that I worked midnight to 8:30am for 30 years and now I’m retired and sleep pattern is screwed up. I find if I take 10 mg of melatonin just before bedtime I sleep much better.

johannasuar in reply to Legsbohn

Ha, i take magnesium which makes me fall asleep in 15 min very soundly. Glad you’re getting your rest and so am I , as long as I don’t have RLS life is good.

Works 4 me too

Legsbohn in reply to Jev1972

I’m glad

I take Tramadol and it has been my sanity.

Legsbohn in reply to MATTIELUKE

Your the first person who has agreed with me.

Two thumbs up for Tramadol.

Mine too, thank goodness.


Tramadol works for me quite well. No side effects at all. But the constant pain never goes, just gets a bit duller...

Yes! I take Tramadol for both my arthritis and my rls, I also am taking ropinirole for the rls.

I'm not too sure that the Tramadol helps my rls,but it helps my arthritis in my knees and in the knuckles in my toes.It really helps my arthritis,and I might start noticing to see if the Tramadol helps my rls,too!

If it helps you tosleep at night I think that's great and since it helps your rls, so much that you can sleep,I'd keep on taking the Tramadol.

Good Luck !

AFAIC, Tramadol is a godsend. I am fortunate to live in Mexico (for many reasons) and Tramadol is OTC here. I take 100 mg tablets and when I am going through a rough patch, I take one every 4-6 hours up to, but not exceeding, 400 mgs per 24 hours. After augmenting fairly quickly on levodopa/carbidopa, I now use it only as needed and most times 1/2 a pill before bedtime does the trick. An added benefit is that it knocks me out and I sleep very well on those nights.

Legsbohn in reply to Whippetmama

I live in Florida and GP’s are less likely to prescribe Tramadol so I had to go to a pain doctor.

Joolsg in reply to Whippetmama

Tramadol is a controlled drug in the UK so only a doctor can prescribe it and many are reluctant to do so due to addiction fears. However we can buy codeine OTC & that’s addictive as well. Interesting to read how different countries have different rules.

Legsbohn in reply to Joolsg

Tramadol is controlled in the US as well. Even our general practitioner’s are afraid to give out more than 50mg. You need to go to a pain clinic where they specialize in these types of drugs. I used to get a 90 day supply with two refills but not any more. I have to go to doctor every three months. But it’s worth an hour of my time for the relief it gives me.

Memmy in reply to Joolsg

Hi Joolsg, I live in Greece and codeine is prescription only. I bring paracetamol and codeine from Boots UK but it has such a low dose that it doesnt work. Which pharmacy sells it OTC and how many mgs will they sell. I like to alternate mirapexin with Tramadol so as not to augment but my GP doesnt want to prescribe tram. Could you please give me the name of the med as my son in law is coming to the uk this weekend and he can buy it for me. I dont like taking paracetamol with the codeine but thats all I have at the moment. I take 5 days a week mirapexin and 1 day tramadol and 1 day codeine and paracetamol but that doesnt work well and Im up nearly all night on that day.

Joolsg in reply to Memmy

I apologise. Codeine is only available as you describe- in low dose with paracetamol. It’s called Solpadeine Max and has 8 mg of codeine I think in each pill. They do a Boots own brand with the same dose and do warn you not to take for more than 3 days.

Elisse2 in reply to Joolsg

Also you can buy OTC co-codamdol which i think has just 8mg of codeine plus paracetamol.

Memmy in reply to Elisse2

Thanks Elisse

Wow, Tramadol being otc in Mexico sounds kinda crazy! It's an opiate after all still! I wonder if they have a lot of addiction problems with it. On the other hand, maybe they don't - some European countries which have deregulated drugs of all kinds have had great experiences with that!

Hi. I just joined the forum. I have been using Tramadol which worked wonders for me, but took myself off as we travel and I can't get back every 3 months for required blood work for this drug. What is your concern about liver damage associated with this drug? I want to try other avenues, reduced my caffine intake etc but find I still dig out my dwindling supply of Tramadol when I just can't stand it anymore longer.


I too take a 50mg Tramadol capsule each night about 7.30pm together with 0.5mg of Ropinirole. That self imposed combination gives 8 hours sleep most nights. I tried not taking the Tramadol for one night and I lost a night's sleep!!

I have yet to try not taking the Ropinirole!!

I take Tramadol for chronic pain and pain from osteoarthritis and I have found if I forgot to take a dose especially in the evening I end up with restless arms and the only way to calm them down is to take another tramadol ,I take 100mg ,x4 times a day.

I had the same problem when I was on Morphine .

I have tried countless meds for my severe RLS and nothing worked until I took tramadol- RLS is completely gone when I take 50mg at night. Unfortunately I was given 1 script of tramadol for a pain issue and am now just about out- hoping my doc will prescribe just for a night time dose- at a low dose I'm not worried about addiction-

Legsbohn in reply to jjyankee

I take 300mg Tramadol over the course of the course of 10 hours before bed and it has worked for the last three years. I’ve had RLS for 20+ years and if I take this for another 20+ years so what. I’ve had no side effects taking Tramadol so if I do become addicted who cares.

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