Tramadol: The Drug Claiming More Lives Than Any Painkiller

People often think that drug addiction involves only the most popular drugs such as marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, and heroin. And that’s because they get more media coverage. But opioid addiction is also widespread, and few know about it!

Northern Ireland’s state pathologist Professor Jack Crane asserts that there is one particular painkiller that “[claimed] more lives than any other drug – including heroin and cocaine.” The painkiller is called Tramadol.

What is Tramadol?

If you are not familiar with this painkiller, you may be familiar with the brand names ConZip or Ultram. The prescription medicine works like a narcotic and is mostly used to ease moderate to severe pain.

Watch the video below to see what it does:

This drug is usually prescribed after surgery and comes in an extended-release form to manage ongoing chronic pain. When you take Tramadol, it works in your brain targeting the central nervous system specifically to alter how your body both feels and responds to pain.

The painkiller does not cause severe harm as long as you take it according to your doctor’s instructions. Unfortunately, many people take it combined with alcohol or other drugs. Last year for example, in Northern Ireland, doctors associated thirty-three deaths with Tramadol.

“I don’t think that people realize how potentially risky taking tramadol is,” Crane expressed. “I think it’s because it’s a prescription drug – people assume it’s safe.”

People prefer quick pain relief instead of trying natural ways to reduce the pain. But after reading the side effects of tramadol, it might make them think twice.

Tramadol’s Side Effects

Many people who take this medication tend not to have severe side effects, according to WebMD. However, there’s a reason it’s rising in medical circles as a problem. Some of these more serious side effects can include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Light-headedness, dizziness, or drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Agitation or confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Severe stomach or abdominal pain
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Depleted adrenal glands
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Fainting
  • Seizure
  • Rashes, itching, or swelling
  • Slow or shallow breathing
  • Serotonin syndrome/toxicity

Other Concerns

In addition to this long list of side effects, many people who take tramadol incorrectly end up ingesting high dosages of the drug. And when this happens, a few unfortunate things are occurring:

Patients are becoming addicted to the narcotic-like pain reliever. Structurally, Tramadol is similar to that of codeine and morphine. If taken incorrectly or too much, they can form both a physical and psychological dependence. Since it’s habit-forming, anyone currently on it shouldn’t quit ‘cold turkey’ and should speak to their doctor before making any decisions.

Patients are suffering from dangerous drug interactions. As mentioned earlier, many unfortunate outcomes come as a result of using this drug in combination with other substances. As a general rule, no one should ingest Tramadol if they’ve used or plan on using alcohol (especially), sedatives, tranquilizers, or other narcotic medications.

Drug control is lacking in some countries. Thankfully, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) changed its classification to a schedule IV drug in 2014. Previously, only select states controlled this drug, but now it’s a controlled substance in all fifty states.

The Bottom Line

Strong painkillers were never meant for chronic pain. Countries such as the U.S., at least when you look at the laws, should ideally have this opioid crisis under control. But it’s very much alive. Overseas in Northern Ireland, Tramadol was reclassified in 2014 making it illegal without a prescription. Even then, people are finding other means of getting these kinds of drugs. Individuals like Crane are pushing to reclassify the drug again with even stricter limitations.

One of the most frustrating aspects of strong painkillers, especially for people in the medical field, is that they don’t even treat the source of the pain. The best thing you can do before seeking strong painkillers like Tramadol for pain is looking further into natural solutions such as:

  • Natural anti-inflammatories and analgesic ingredients
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic doctors
  • Traditional Chinese medicine
  • Holistic doctors

You do have more than one way to treat pain, and you’ll be better off knowing how to find relief with useful drug-free options.


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