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January 15, 2021
Tramadol is a medication that is detectable in your urine for about 1-4 days after its last dose, in hair for about 4-6 months, in saliva for up to 48 hours, and in the bloodstream for 12-24 hours.
When you use it as directed, Tramadol is a safe and effective medicine for people who suffer from moderate pain levels. However, its misuse increases the danger of dependence and addiction.
Recreational use of Tramadol is risky and has the potential to lead to a fatal overdose. Fortunately, there are treatment options for Tramadol addiction.
What is Tramadol used for?
Tramadol (Ultram) is a prescription opioid sold under the brand names Ultram and Ultram ER (extended-release version) and Ultracet (in combination with acetaminophen). Doctors prescribe Tramadol medication for the treatment of moderate to moderately severe pain conditions. More than 43 million prescriptions were written for Tramadol in 2016 in the United States, making it one of the country’s most prescribed opioids.
Similarly, like other prescription painkillers, Tramadol acts by binding and activating opioid receptors in the human brain, nerves, spinal cord, and other body organs. When the substance attaches to some specific subsets of these opioid receptors, many neurochemical events occur, culminating in a decrease in the perception of pain and a significant increase in the release of dopamine, which creates a sense of pleasure and euphoria that enforces Tramadol abuse.
However, the medication is also a monoamine reuptake inhibitor, which signifies that, like some antidepressants, it inhibits the reuptake (absorption) of serotonin and norepinephrine into the nerves. This inhibition contributes to its effectiveness as an analgesic.
Tramadol immediate delivery pills have their effects last for about 4-6 hours, while the extended delivery version imparts pain relief for about 12-24 hours.
Whether used as prescribed for its therapeutic benefits or abused for recreational purposes, frequent side effects of Tramadol include:
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Flushing of the skin
How Long Tramadol Stays in Your Body?
Tramadol elimination begins in the liver due to some enzyme processes that create 23 metabolites of the medication. The primary metabolites are O-desmethyl-Tramadol, a pharmacologically active metabolite, and N-desmethyl-Tramadol. The metabolites mainly get excreted through the kidneys.
Tramadol’s half-life is 5-6 hours, while its metabolite O-desmethyl-Tramadol has a longer half-life of 8 hours. The half-life of medication indicates the time it takes for the body to eliminate half concentration of the substances ingested.
Tramadol on Drug Tests
Tramadol is not detectable on all standard drug tests; however, it is detectable on advanced screenings. Urine tests, saliva tests, hair tests, and blood tests are the most common drug screening tests for detecting Tramadol.
- Urine tests
Tramadol is detectable in urine from 1-4 days after the last dose.
- Saliva tests
Tramadol is detectable in saliva for a short duration of up to 48 hours after the last dose.
- Hair tests
Tramadol is detectable in hair for a window of up to 4-6 months of last use. However, several studies indicate that traces of Tramadol are traceable in hair for about 7 months.
- Blood tests
Tramadol is detectable in the bloodstream for about 12-24 hours after the last use.
Several factors, such as height, weight, age, metabolism, and hydration of a person, impact these tests’ results. In addition to this, the dose a person takes and the length of time they have been taking Tramadol also affects the half-life and drug screening of the medication.
Is Tramadol abused?
When you use Tramadol responsibly, and as directed by the doctor, it is a relatively safer pain medication according to the WHO (World Health Organization). In 2017, nearly 1.7 million people above 12 years abused Tramadol.
However, people can also abuse Tramadol for medical use. The FDA labels the medication about its abuse potential. The label indicates that using Tramadol can result in physical and psychological dependence, particularly for those who have a history of alcohol or any type of drug abuse.
A major risk of Tramadol abuse is a fatal overdose. Symptoms of Tramadol overdose include:
- Constricted pupils
- Low blood pressure
- Cold and clammy skin
- Cardiac arrest
- Slow heart rate
The risk of a life-threatening overdose is much higher if the user abuses Tramadol in combination with any other substance that depresses the central nervous system, including alcohol, opioids, benzodiazepines, etc.
A Tramadol overdose requires immediate medical attention. Call 911 without delay if you notice the signs and symptoms of an overdose.
How to detox from Tramadol?
Tramadol withdrawal symptoms usually take place about 12 hours after last use. Generally, the peak in severity within 1-3 days after last use and subside within a period of a week or so.
When a person detoxes from Tramadol, they may have several withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Pupil dilation
- Nausea or vomiting
- Watery eyes
- Muscle pain
- Runny nose
A supervised detox from Tramadol is helpful for those who have significant dependence. A patient going through Tramadol withdrawal gets monitored for any health complications, and a certified medical professional prescribes medication to them if needed.