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Tramadol Uses

Tramadol hydrochloride (Ultram®) is a prescription medication licensed for the treatment of pain. Specifically, tramadol uses include treating moderate to moderately severe pain in adults (age 16 and older).
 
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. Tramadol hydrochloride also works in a similar manner as some antidepressants by inhibiting the reuptake of certain brain chemicals (serotonin and norepinephrine).
 
Originally, tramadol was marketed as a medication with weak narcotic effects and little potential for abuse. As a result, many healthcare providers believed that using tramadol was generally safe for people who were at risk for drug abuse (such as people with previous problems with drug or alcohol abuse). However, research has since demonstrated that this drug works primarily through morphine-like activity, and numerous cases of abuse and dependence have been reported.
 
(Click What Is Tramadol Used For? for a more in-depth look at uses for tramadol, including information on how the drug works to relieve pain and whether there are any off-label uses.)
 
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