Moderate to moderately severe pain in adults can often be managed by using Ryzolt. Although it is not considered a controlled substance in most states, Ryzolt has been shown to have the potential for abuse and dependence. It works in a similar manner as morphine and some antidepressants, affecting certain chemicals in the brain and working in the central nervous system.
What Is Ryzolt Used For?
Ryzolt™ (tramadol ER) is a long-acting prescription medication approved to treat moderate to moderately severe chronic pain in adults. It is appropriate only for individuals who require continuous, around-the-clock pain medication. It should not be used to treat mild or short-term pain.
The active ingredient in Ryzolt is tramadol. Originally, tramadol medications were marketed as medications with very weak narcotic effects and very little potential for abuse. As a result, many healthcare providers came to view tramadol as a relatively safe medication for use in people at risk for drug abuse (such as people who had previous problems with drug or alcohol abuse). However, research has since demonstrated that tramadol works primarily through morphine-like activity, and numerous cases of abuse and dependence have been reported (see Tramadol Abuse).
As of July 2014, Ryzolt is a Schedule IV controlled substance. This means there are certain rules that regulate the prescribing and use of this medication, put in place to help prevent abuse.
How Does It Work?
Ryzolt tablets are specially designed to release the medication continuously over a 24-hour period. Ryzolt contains tramadol, a drug that is classified as a "centrally acting opioid analgesic." This means that it works in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), acts much like morphine in the body, and relieves pain. Much like morphine, Ryzolt binds to certain opioid receptors in the body known as μ ("mu") receptors.
Ryzolt also works a little like some antidepressant medications by inhibiting the reuptake of certain brain chemicals (serotonin and norepinephrine). Serotonin and norepinephrine are two of several chemicals used to send messages from one nerve cell to another. As a message travels down a nerve, it causes the end of the cell to release serotonin or norepinephrine. The serotonin or norepinephrine enters the gap between the first nerve cell and the one next to it.
When enough serotonin or norepinephrine reaches the second nerve cell, it activates receptors on the cell and the message continues on its way. The first cell then quickly absorbs any serotonin or norepinephrine that remains in the gap between the cells. This is called "reuptake."
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Schedules of controlled substances: placement of tramadol into Schedule IV (July 2, 2014). DEA Web site. Available at: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/fed_regs/rules/2014/fr0702.htm. Accessed September 28, 2014.
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