Tramadol Does More Than Relieve Pain

Discussion in 'General' started by Cort, Aug 22, 2018.

  1. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    I took Tramadol for the first time last week. I was really surprised at the result; it did more than relieve my pain - my fatigue diminished dramatically and my cognition improved significantly - I was definitely thinking much clearer.

    Issie believes tramadol has all sorts of other effects including effects on the autonomic nervous system. I'm a believer.

    I'm just going to use it sporadically and I look forward to using it again.
    Angel27, ritasheart, Zapped and 3 others like this.
  2. Paw

    Paw Well-Known Member

    Similarly, I've recently been experimenting with kratom -- not daily -- and was surprised to find it significantly energizing and clarifying. Issie may be on to something, or it could simple be that when you ease overall gnawing symptoms you free up the brain and other resources to function more normally.

    I do find with kratom, which lasts a good eight hours or so, there's a moderate price to pay the next day -- so I have to plan for it. If kratom lifts me from, say, a 5 to an 7 one day, I'll probably be a 3 the following day (ranking fatigue, malaise, and pain).
  3. frederic83

    frederic83 New Member

    Who is Issie ?
  4. Hip

    Hip Well-Known Member

    There's a thread here on how some ME/CFS patients find opioid pain medications substantially improve brain fog, fatigue and neurological symptoms like tinnitus.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  5. Remy

    Remy Administrator

    Nasty, nasty withdrawal from it though, if used regularly, probably due to the serotonergic aspects of the drug that are not found in regular opiates.

    I was given it as a "safe" alternative to hydrocodone after a serious accident, but it turned out to be a nightmare. It makes my list of potentially life-ruining drugs, along with Cymbalta and Valium.
    Not dead yet! and Paw like this.
  6. Paw

    Paw Well-Known Member

    I don't disagree necessarily, but this points to the varied natures of our diseases. Cymbalta -- not to be toyed with -- has been a lifesaver for me, but my disease seems to have neurological roots.

    It's a tough dilemma to navigate -- when one's untreated symptoms (or bad "flu" days) are very similar to withdrawal from the strong drugs affecting opioid or serotonergic systems that can bring relief.
    Farmgirl likes this.
  7. Zapped

    Zapped Well-Known Member

    I use Tramadol periodically. Earlier, I had used it for years but wanted to ‘clean out.’ I titrated down for a week and stopped. My withdrawal was minimal - nothing more than a few sniffles. I suppose this is another example of different reactions for different
    Systems. OTOH, I was also taking OxyContin on occasion, e.g. about .5 pill maybe twice a week, which I also quit w/o incidence.

    I still use Tramadol ~ 3 pills a week and get similar reactions to Cort’s (post above). Go figure.:confused: ...and even more complete remission feelings with a small dose of OxyC. Also, dental Nitrous Oxide causes absolute clarity of mind in addition to its pacifying effects.

    FWIW, another drug which prevents or minimizes PEM for me is Methyl Prednisolone, a steroid.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
  8. Zapped

    Zapped Well-Known Member

    See my post re @Remy... .
    I have evolved an observational premise that CFS is an intangible, like a feeling which is biochemical, i.e. in the brain. It’s causes may be close to the psychiatric field, but more tangibly, neurological mechanisms.

    I think we all have this dynamic which is so far undiscovered in its piecemeal constituency. It’s like the reaction of a chameleon changing colors. It’s cause, though unknown as yet suggests a psychoactive place in the mind, triggered by stress of some sort, likely inputted through the eyes, whether triggers are physical or mental.

    This is a neurological rabbit hole. It is difficult to explore because the science is so esoteric and complicated and neuroscientists have more pressing agendas. I wonder how many of them even take time to consider the nature of CFS relative to their specialized fields. Or, are they even aware of the problem, much of which has neurological correlations?

    Many psychoactive drugs already yield dramatic palliative results for the various stages of CFS, e,g. dealing with cognitive issues, crashes and PEM. They, the various rxs can change the course of CFS, maybe not cure it but make it tolerable, doable?

    In conclusion, I would raise research appeals around the various neurological camps. This calls for the classic paradigm shift in focus - to research and funding in neuroscience. It seems reasonable that the time is right. Infectious disease stalwarts have for decades beat the same old drums looking for viruses, immune dysfunctions, mitochondrial disorders, and dietary experiments with little to no real effective results, like looking for the lost keys under the lamp posts. Why not work backwards from palliative psychoactive drugs and explore how the mechanisms in the brain are affected by them? IMO, they will then find CFS and PEM are neurological events triggered by ‘X’.
    Susan Hampson likes this.
  9. Paw

    Paw Well-Known Member

    Zapped, your theory rings true enough -- although I wouldn't be surprised if it's not universally true.

    Meanwhile, as we continue down the rabbit hole, new research is suggesting opioid activation might be a more fruitful approach to depression than glutamate reduction.
  10. Issie

    Issie Well-Known Member

    Tramadol works on all the neurotransmitters. Originally they werent sure how it worked. But a few years ago it was listed in the opiate catagory as a class 4. Makes it frowned on by doctors and others who aren't familiar with its range of properties .

    That being said, it can be addictive and I've heard can have some bad withdrawal issues. It also can stop working and most people increase their dosages and then you could have a problem. I have found it along with Bentyl to be my best POTS moderator. I take a very low dose and cycle on and off it. (In an off cycle now. ) I don't seem to have issues with withdrawal other than my POTS and FM get worse. Also have issues not sleeping as well. I take such a small amount, may be why I don't have much trouble just stopping it.

    There is a lot of info out there about it. It does work on seratonin, dopamine, NMDA and calcium channels. It calms my hyper response down when I get surges with POTS or Mast cell. I'm super sensitive to medicines though. 1/2 of a 50 mg. pill can be enough to do that. I don't really take enough to help with my pain. Yet I'm sure it does help. I usually take it at night. (Unlike other SSRI or SNRI it doesn't affect sexual function or feeling.) It has been used off label for those who didn't respond to those drugs.

    I hypothesize (if) there is a connection with POTS and the sympathetic nervous system hyper response due to high glutamate. I seem to have conversion issues with the channels between GABA and glutamate. (GABA paradoxes and keys me up. Every medicine that is supposed to up GABA and cause a parasympathetic response - does the opposite. Also supplements do the same. I don't have that trouble with Tramadol.) Though some of us with the subset of higher blood pressure and HYPERPOTS, many of us, have very high standing NE (norepinephrine) levels. This increases tachycardia and aids in heart pumping for blood flow and oxygen - (probably a compensation - yet very uncomfortable ). Tramadol works on NMDA (glutamate channels).

    It also has mild calcium channel blocking properties possibly helping with mast cell issues. GastroCrom is also a mast cell stabilizing drug and is also a mild calcium channel blocker. It has helped me with my mast cell issues. Along with Allegra and 1/2 of a Zantac. I really didn't see much improvement until I added mast cell moderators.

    I sent Cort lots of research papers. Maybe he will share some of those. He has the knack to summarize better than me.

    For some of us maybe it's the opiate receptor that needs a little tweak. Not sure why it's frowned on when it may be needed. As long as someone is being careful and using it wisely with doctor supervision. It's another neurotransmitter that our body naturally has. It could get out of balance too - same as seratonin, dopamine etc.

    I plan to try some other things on this off cycle. See if they may work as well. But so far, this has been my best help. I've had POTS friends that this was horrible for. We are all so different.
  11. Issie

    Issie Well-Known Member

  12. Issie

    Issie Well-Known Member

  13. ritasheart

    ritasheart Member

    I use a pain reliever sporadically when I must rise to an occasion and not crash from it. I feel if I used it all the time, it would stop working. My mother and sister took Tramadol daily for FM. I take what I take to get clarity and energy for outings (medical mostly).
  14. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    I’ve been on Tramadol for FM pain, now up to 350mg daily, max is 400, for eight years and consider it a terrible med. You go through phases of effectiveness, continually upping the dosage while your pain increases. I take it three times daily and can tell when it wears off but it only lowers pain from about 7 to 6 or sometimes 5.5. It doesn’t touch 9 “ should I tap out” days. It is also extremely unpredictable, sometimes helping, sometimes not at all, correlated with nothing I can discern. Finally, if you are a male, you will have really bad problems as Tramadol, unknown to virtually every doctor with whom I have worked or who prescribed it, was used as a treatment for premature ejaculation. So...if that is not your problem, say goodbye to functional sex. I’m sure there are numerous other bad things it does to your system but I haven't taken the time to find them as, even at only 10-15% pain reduction, it’s the only med that works for me.
    voner likes this.
  15. Issie

    Issie Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear that you are on so much with limited benefit. But good it helps some. I knew others had said it would stop working and they would up it trying to make it work. I found that if I lower and go off for a bit of time - when I start back taking --- much lower dose works. Like resetting my body to recognize it again. I'm still in my off cycle right now. But all the rain we are having is making me really hurt. Humid and wet sure makes things worse.
  16. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    I wish I had the fortitude to try giving it up for a while and see if it would improve the pain relief but I can’t it, even 10% is something. Like everyone, I’ve tried to correlate various internal or external factors with pain. Sometimes I’m 100% certain that, as you said, humid weather and/or barometric changes make things worse, then I’ll have the same dreadful pain on a sunny day in the 70’s.
  17. voner

    voner Active Member


    I’m the same way as you as far as correlating external and internal factors, I now view a sharply falling barometer as a triggering factor among many others, some known and some unknown... it is frustrating.
  18. Not dead yet!

    Not dead yet! Well-Known Member

    I've never tried tramadol long enough to worry about withdrawal. It didn't help me, but that was years ago. Really glad it works. I might give it another try after researching withdrawal from it.

    I second the Cymbalta withdrawal is hell sentiment. I have a suggestion if anyone's going through it... it causes massive anxiety from adranaline that was previously lowered. Benadryl can help lower that a bit. There's "home detox" websites that talk about using benadryl like that. That's what helped me through it and it was an instant addiction. It was helping me, but the side effects were too much. Three weeks later, I tried to stop and it was already horrible.

    My genetics precludes antidepressants and my experience does too. I've tried dozens, each of them prevents sleep for weeks or causes a feeling much like descriptions I've heard of meth use. It wasn't until I got my promethease report that I figured out why. Several genes I have interact badly with antidepressants.
  19. suzn91

    suzn91 Member

  20. suzn91

    suzn91 Member

    I took Tramadol daily for about 9 years, and yes, it did the same immediately for me - clarity of thought, ability to work better and it really helped both the fatigue and the bizarre, debilitating pain that seemed to be from my skin to the deepest bone, muscle and tissue. It felt miraculous. I believe it was 200mg/day.

    At some point, it was not working and I began to have stomach problems. Ended in ED with non-productive retching. I was admitted and found I had an ulcer from the Ibuprofen (maybe due to the Tramadol too, I forget now) that I was taking to replace the non-working Tramadol. I tried to stop the Tramadol on my own but had vicious headaches and pain and crashes. While in the hospital I told them I wanted to stop the Tramadol and they assisted me medically to do so. I was very lucky. I don’t know if that would happen today. You’re wise to be careful but I certainly understand the enticement.

    I have a long list of meds I won’t go near again but that’s me (and ME).

    Thankfully, we don’t all react in the same way and, unfortunately, we all don’t react in the same way depending on the circumstances.
    Not dead yet! and Remy like this.