Ingredients in Tramadol
Because many people may have reactions to some of the ingredients in tramadol (Ultram), it is important to check the contents of your particular medication. Generic medications, including tramadol, can have different inactive ingredients, such as dyes and fillers. Some people may have allergies or sensitivities to these products, so it is important to fully review the ingredient list before using this medication.
What Are the Tramadol Ingredients?Tramadol hydrochloride (Ultram®) is a prescription pain medication. Just like all medications, Ultram contains an active ingredient (in this case, tramadol), plus several different inactive ingredients. It is important to note that generic medications can have different inactive ingredients, compared to the brand-name medication.
How Does Tramadol Work?Tramadol 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, tramadol binds to certain opioid receptors in the body known as μ ("mu") receptors.
Tramadol also works in a similar manner as some antidepressant medications by inhibiting the reuptake of certain brain chemicals (serotonin and norepinephrine). These 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 cells. This is called "reuptake."