Precautions and Warnings With Tramadol
Before taking tramadol, precautions and warnings for the drug should be reviewed with your healthcare provider. For example, your healthcare provider should be aware of any other medical conditions you have, as tramadol is not suitable for everyone. Also, tramadol can cause drug interactions, so it is important that your healthcare provider be aware of all other medicines you are taking (including vitamins and herbal supplements).
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Tramadol?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking tramadol hydrochloride (Ultram®) if you have:
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Liver disease, such as cirrhosis, liver failure, or hepatitis
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- A head injury or high intercranial pressure
- Severe abdominal (stomach) pain
- Lung disease of any sort
- A history of drug or alcohol dependence
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Precautions and Warning With TramadolWarnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking tramadol include the following:
- Tramadol can cause seizures, especially in people who have a history of them, who are withdrawing from alcohol or narcotics, who have a head injury, or who take certain medications (see Tramadol and Seizures for more information).
- Tramadol has a significant potential for abuse. Tramadol is not a good choice for people who have a history of alcohol or drug abuse (see Tramadol Abuse). Do not take the drug more frequently, longer, or at a higher dose than prescribed. If you feel you may be developing a problem with tramadol, please seek help from your healthcare provider.
- Tramadol can cause slow and irregular breathing. In severe situations, this may lead to life-threatening complications, which may be especially dangerous in people with lung problems.
- The medication can cause problems in people with head injuries or high intercranial pressure. Tramadol should only be used with extreme caution in such circumstances.
- Tramadol can interfere with the diagnosis of many conditions that cause severe abdominal (stomach) pain.
- This medication can cause dizziness and drowsiness, and may increase the risk of falls in elderly people.
- Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how tramadol affects you. Your reflexes and reaction times may be significantly affected, even if you feel fine.
- Tramadol can potentially interact with several other medications (see Tramadol Drug Interactions).
- Tramadol is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy, although the full risks are not known (see Tramadol and Pregnancy).
- Tramadol does pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Tramadol and Breastfeeding).