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What Does Tramadol Treat?

Tramadol hydrochloride (Ultram®) is used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. This prescription medication is only approved for adults (age 16 and older), and is typically taken every four to six hours as needed. Tramadol is considered a controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). 
When using tramadol to treat pain, the medication works in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), acts much like morphine in the body, and relieves pain. Tramadol also works in a similar manner as some antidepressant medications by inhibiting the reuptake of certain brain chemicals (serotonin and norepinephrine).
(For more information on what tramadol treats, click What Is Tramadol Used For?. This article discusses how the drug works, why it is not safe for children under the age of 16, and potential off-label uses.)
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