Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

Tramadol Withdrawal

People might think that using Tramadol has no consequences, because it is a legal medicine, “just” a pain reliever. The truth is, it is an opiate (like morphine) and as such, has such powerful effects on the body.

And that implies that the body strongly reacts once Tramadol is not delivered anymore. The user develops a range of withdrawal symptoms, which can last several weeks. This physical dependence is the primary reason people have a hard time to quit using Tramadol. In some case, people can even develop a psychological addiction.

If you are hooked on Tramadol and consider quitting it, you should know what to expect. While you will likely experience unpleasant and quite painful symptoms, you are usually not in physical danger.

The withdrawal effects should fade after several weeks. But for safety reasons, you should not withdraw from Tramadol without professional assistance. That is especially important if you are addicted to Tramadol or other substances.

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Symptoms and Timeline of Tramadol Withdrawal

Day 1 to 3

All traces of Tramadol will disappear within three days. During that stage, you will experience withdrawal symptoms:

  • You might have the feeling of pins and needles.
  • Sweating and palpitations are very common.

Because your body gets rid of Tramadol, you mostly experience physical withdrawal effects. They will pass very quickly, and you should not worry about them.

  • But many people still become nervous and even anxious.
  • Insomnia. Your sleep/wake cycle might be disrupted for some days.
  • Drug cravings. You probably started taking Tramadol to treat some form of pain in the first place. It is tempting now to take the pain reliever, to stop your withdrawal suffering.

Day 4 to 7

After the body got rid of Tramadol, it will try to get back to its normal state. It will seem as if your chemical balance returned to normal, but this not yet over.

Now is the most unpleasant time, when previous symptoms continue and some new add-on.

  • Cravings for the drug and insomnia
  • Confusion and disorientation. You might have difficulties in distinguishing fantasy from reality for a while.
  • Dilated pupils and blurred vision. Your eyes might hurt from seeing unclearly. Try not to strain your vision. It is only temporary.

Day 8 to 14

Typical opiate withdrawal symptoms will be present:

  • Anxiety. You might experience being anxious again. It usually lasts some days at most.
  • Irrational You can find your thinking pattern not be coherent. That can be caused by anxiety. This symptom too is only temporary.
  • Depression.

You should be vigilant after the first week because serotonin syndrome occurs in some people. That usually includes:

  • Muscle rigidity or muscle twitches, sometimes loss of coordination
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

In severe cases, however, this can be dangerous. It is not common, but you might face the following:

  • A high fever
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • You become unconscious
  • Or have seizures

You should immediately call a doctor or go to the emergency room if you experience these.

Day 15 to 28

  • Drug cravings can persist for several months.
  • Depression That is the most stable effect you will encounter. It is mostly caused by modifying brain chemistry. It should fade after a month or two. If it doesn’t, you could seek the help from a mental health professional. But make sure your therapist has experience with Tramadol withdrawal. Clinical depression should not be confused with depressive withdrawal symptoms.
  • Irritability and apathy can appear. You might begin to get frustrated and wonder if these unpleasant sensations and emotions will ever go away. They will. Extended periods of poor sleep quality do not make it easier.

Factors Affecting the Severity of Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms

  1. The dosage of Tramadol. The usual dose is between 50-100 mg per day, with 400 mg being the maximum recommended dose. Withdrawal from that amount will be quick and not very painful. However, many people build up a tolerance and need stronger doses. Some people increase their dosage without doctor supervision and end up taking up to 2000 mg per day. That is far beyond the recommended daily dose. Such a high dose induces substantial chemical changes in the body and withdrawal symptoms will be stronger accordingly.
  2. Duration and Frequency of use. It matters how long you have been taking Tramadol. If you were taking it occasionally and irregularly, you should not have problems to get through detox. That is because you gave your body breaks from the drug already. But if you have used it for several years on a daily basis, your withdrawal symptoms are very likely to be tough.
  3. Tolerance. That point is directly related to how you used the medication. Regular and prolonged consumption often leads to increasing tolerance to the drug. People then require increasing their dosage to achieve the same pain relief. Tha is how dependence on the drug develops. Luckily, addiction (psychological attachment) is rather rare. But if you are physically dependent on Tramadol, your withdrawal symptoms will be stronger.
  4. The method of quitting. Many people stop Tramadol abruptly because they want to get rid of their dependency problem as fast as possible. But that is a trap, because quitting “cold turkey” causes sudden and rough changes to the brain and the whole body. It results in equally unexpected and intense withdrawal effects. The impact depends on the size, duration, and frequency of the dose. Tapering is a much safer method: it consists in gradually decreasing the dosage. It is recommended that tapering lasts ¼ of the duration of Tramadol consumption. The best way to do it is under medical supervision.
  5. Individual factors. Everyone’s situation is unique; many additional causes can contribute to the quality of your withdrawal process. Here are some other factors to take into account:
  • Your physiology and metabolism. Your general health adds considerably to your ability to face withdrawal symptoms.
  • Your tolerance to pain. Some people tolerate pain better than others.
  • Taking other drugs, medicine or supplements. There can be numerous unpredictable chemical interactions.
  • Environment. The possibility to relax can ease the suffering, while stress might strengthen them.

What Can I Do to Make It Easier?

There are indeed some things you can do to ease your transition from Tramadol use.

What You Can Do Yourself

  • A common advice for the successful withdrawal of any opiate is to stay hydrated. Toxic chemicals are getting out of your body, so you can support that by drinking enough water. 2-3 liters a day is about enough.
  • Eating healthy food. You are what you eat. Food is also acting on your overall health. Try to stay away from fast food and stick to healthy meals.
  • Exercising. Being in a good physical shape makes it easier to cope with pain and withdrawal symptoms. Exercising also stimulates your metabolism helping to get clean quicker.
  • Don’t take other drugs or alcohol. Consuming alcoholic drinks or other substances will either interact with your symptoms or delay the detox process

Seek Medical Assistance

Many factors can affect how you will experience the withdrawal period from Tramadol.
You should not stop taking the drug on your own. That could lead to complications because your body chemical balance would be drastically modified. For that reason, you should seek medical attention to be under supervision the detox phase. A doctor can follow the timeline of your symptoms progressing and give you medication to reduce some effects.

Today, withdrawal effects of Tramadol are rather common medical knowledge. But if you’re anxious, ask the doctor of your choice about the experience in dealing with Tramadol detox.
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Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

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Comments 17

  • Kicking this medication is possible ive done it !! It really isnt that bad and a lot easier than coming off buperenorphine ……give it a go and stay strong it does get better every day x good luck !!

  • it all depends on how high your dose is, i was on 100mg per day for 3months had great feeling when was on it, but i had to make up my mind and stop so i dropped to 50mg for few days then i detoxed drank atleast 3l of water a day took a rest sleept it off in 3-4days time i was ok had mild flu feeling felt weak for first 2days, but was no stress at all so as i mentioned your dose counts i was on a low one so i guess higher dose takes longer to detox and recover so go for it and pray as you detox God will help you through it

  • I am having an extremely difficult time. Was taking at drs rx 100-150 mg for legitimate pain for year and ten months. Tapering, but pain is terrible! Constant headache and congestion, stomach cramps to the back. Burning muscles. I am now at 20 mg after 6 weeks but have been in constant pain! Drink every hour, walk 3x a day, hot showers. What a nightmare! Dr feels it’s the SSRI component that is most troubling and yet depression is not one of my symptoms. Drs should tell you what this drug really is, 20% opioid, 80% antidepressant and how troublesome to stop. Will never touch again and am telling everyone.

  • Day 5 of completely stopping tramadol. Couldn’t cut the tiny pill any more so jumped off at 20 mg. As have read day 4 or 5 things get worse! Terrible stomach cramps so dr gave me 10-20 mg Bentylol. Helps a bit. Plus heating pad. Burning muscles and jitters. Hot shower helps. Wish I had a hot tub! Heavy weird feeling in my head. Anybody else have these symptoms? I keep hanging onto the thought that every day is closer to being better.

  • Don’t get off tramadol alone. It is not a joke. It is an anti-depressant and an opiate at the same time. So you are withdrawing from the two drugs. You need help. I am taking Kratom, Gabapentin, 1 Xanax a day. This has helped but it is still hell. I was only taking a total of 4 (100 mg) tramadol pills a day. They were for my horrible back pain. I am on day 7 and it’s still very hard. I have very strong depression withdrawals and i still need medication for withdrawals I can’t do it alone it’s too painful. I’ve never been in any drugs and I am so mad that I have to withdrawal from a prescribed medication because I became accidentally denpendent on it. This drug ****. Be strong. We can do this.

  • This stuff or Tramadol is very dangerous. After taking it from about 2008 to 2018 I found my self suffering from bleeding lungs that my family doctor and local hospital first thought was lung cancer, valley fever (San Joaquin Valley CA), rare foreign disease (I worked overseas a lot), or ever TB. After months of test and ever taking a sample of a blood clot in my right lung, all of the tests came back negative but the blood persisted. So, at the start of this year, after coughing up over a cup of blood every other day, my family doctor decided I might have a weak heart of “Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) (this is when the left part of the heart gets weak and the blood starts back flowing into the lungs. I have been an athlete all of my life, so I thought this was BS. I then decided to go on the web to see if Tramadol would or could cause CH failure, and off course the maker of this BAD drug said no it could not. I then found a web page that said they found Tramadol did and could cause this type of heart failure. To make a long story short, I went cold turkey on February 7, 2019. I am going through all of the with-drawl symptoms and then some, but the good or great news is that my lungs stopped filling with blood about two weeks later after stopping Tramadol, which means I am NOT going to die of Congestive Heart Failure that Tramadol WAS causing. The bad news is that I now only have two with-drawl symptoms left that are very hard to ignore. One is that I am peeing about every 15 minutes to a half hour and my hands and feet cramp up day and night. PLEASE, if you or your family member has a week heart DO NOT take this killer drug. I survived because I am in great shape, but if you are weak, I am sure you won’t make it back. Please pass this post along to others Today. This drug should never have been approved.

    • Well I quit cold Turkey it has been 8 yrs it’s no joke the withdrawal is horrible I’m on day 10 or 11 it is hard… I am getting hit hard.. I wanna give up I havnt told the women I’m talking too how i feel… its horrible I said after day 5 I was fine but I dont want to scare her.. tonight I woke up having nightmares I was screaming I’m my sleep… I never do that… I am laying here sweaty and just idk I’m having a horrible night.. I think of the baby we are planning to have so it keeps me going.. and I think about her.. idk I’m not doing well

    • Are you still experiencing the cramping I gotta you hands and feet? I’m on day 19 without using any Tramadol and I’m dealing with pins and needles in my hands and feet, it keeps me from sleeping. Kwashiorkor taking about 300 mg a day for hip and knee pain

  • I’m on tramadol for almost 4.5 year now. At the beginning I took about 4x a day and as time goes I have increased my dosage to about 12-16x a day. It was last Saturday (30th March) when my family found me tripping and hallucinating. I started cold turkey on Sunday but I was in so much pain the next day (31st March) that I beg my family member to give me 2x 50mg tramadol. It’s currently my 2nd day of cold turkey as of today (3rd April) I don’t even know how will feel when I’m sober again.

    • Hi John,

      Just wanted to know how you’re feeling. I quit cold turkey and the first day it wasn’t too bad, but yesterday was awful. I haven’t slept in 2 days. My physician gave me some anti nausea meds, flexeril, and clonidine. He also wants me to start taking Prozac. I was taking the same amount as you for a long time. I feel absolutely horrible I’m wondering how long this is going to last.

  • Hello. I quit cold turkey March the 1th after over 10 years of daily tramadol use 400 to 800 mg. Its 2 months now and im still very sick. I have got an inflammation in my intestens due to severe diarrea after i quit. Im not feeling human anymore this is truly hell. Now i understand the poision it is when you become this sick so long after you quit. I have been told it can take up to a year to feel ok after this long time of use. Dont ever start with tramadol it will destroy you. All i can hope for now is for this to become better or i will not have any strenght left for this life.

    • I quit on March the 1th after over 12 years of 400 mg a day. Its 10th of July now and im breaked from this. I also got an inflamation in my intestense now after and so much other symphtoms. Im about to give up on life because im no longer me. I hope you are feeling better from yours this is truly hell

  • Long term Tramadol use for severe arthritis pain from birth defect, deteriorating joints. Never asked to increase dose, maintained over a decade. Idiot doctors who are not following CDC opioid prescribing recommendations are cutting off Tramadol users without tapering, without warning. My doctor just did this to me. Didn’t even tell me to my face. I found out when my pharmacy could not get the prescription refill from her. Due to other diseases, severe IBSD, symptomatic diverticulosis, and liver unable to take up bile acid, I am already dealing with the ongoing severe diarrhea caused by my complicated medical situation. My internist simply refused to renew Tramadol prescription, did not taper me, did not discuss my already fragile medical situation, and how the Tramadol withdrawal would exacerbate my GI problems. In fact, she didn’t even consider it. Severe dehydration, no matter how much fluids I was taking in. Internist and her nurse refused to return voicemails, as I slid closer to medical crisis. Heart beating irregularly due to the loss of electrolytes. With diabetes, heart issues need taken seriously. I luckily have a very good gastro. Nurse coached me through stomach meds increases, added more medication, to slow down the diarrhea. I was very close to a heart attack, so dehydrated, heart skipping beats. I never abused my prescription medicines, never took more than prescribed. These doctors need to have their licenses revoked for doing this to so many people. I’m not saying she should just keep prescribing Tramadol. I’m saying she should have taken my other diseases into consideration, tapered the Tramadol dose, according to CDC guidelines. I never was an addict, in the sense I was receiving doctor prescribed drug therapy, and was totally compliant on all medications. I never asked for dosage increase or some other opioid. My doctor failed me. So, with my GI doc doubling my stomach meds and adding a third, today seems like I may be turning the corner. May not need to be hospitalized, hope not.
    I had been somewhat dissatisfied with her for some time, so have an appointment end of June. There is 3-6 months appointment wait with most doctors here. I can’t complain until I’m established with new doc and records transferred. After that, I’ll be filing complaint with state medical board and posting factual reviews online. Oh, and did I mention, I just found out this doctor has three malpractice settlements against her license in only seven years.

    • Hi there. I have too watched the entire U.S. Medical community have a profound and frightening adjustment ever since the “War” on opiates and prescription pain meds. I almost think the physicians feel SO threatened by the DEA and Governing bodies.FACT! Tobacco alone kills more people than opiates! Yet almost anyone has access to tobacco. I’m in no way attempting to promote self medicating. But since the opiate policy bombshell. Physicians are making life threatening decisions on their patients wellbeing. People should be allowed to take what they want. Especially if it offers relief from physical or mental pain. Within reason of course. This strong arm bullying/threatening to pull license method is not working for our country. I do think under the physicians code of ethics it’s says something about empathy, sympathy when treating patients. The more dr’s that write off people’s pains. The less faith people will have in their system. Your physician should have tapered you off or offered a substitute. This complete disregard for your well being. Regardless if it was from fear of battling the DEA or just being spiteful. That is a form of malpractice , I would also go as far to claim it as a form of neglect. Tramadol can be just as dangerous as aspirin or any compund for that matter. I would rather take tramadol than hydrocodone or methadone or Xanax or heroin! I really hope you get to feeling better soon and get get sorted out by a physician with a heart and brain for that matter. Good luck and chin up✊️

  • Hi to everyone who is going thru tramal detox ! I had been takeing it 2x 200 mil s/r for 20 yrs now after breaking my neck c1 n 2 in car accident and it carnt be fixed by surgery ! Well lm on day 5 of withdrawl and s**t its no easy rd this ! Was really comfoting to read everyones stories and know lm not alone ,these drs that just decide our fate like this have no idea what we have to go thru obviously ! I can hardly see writeing this as vision is so blurred,no sleep for days ! Tummy upsets ! Depression which l already suffer from anyway without this terrible run ! Im also on fentyl patches which doc hasnt mentioned which is the drug l.thought most concerning but they apparently are the experts ! Bloody quaks more like it ! They need to realise how bad this drugs dependencey is and withdrawl symtoms and weigh up if they should even be prescribed ! After l get thru this (if l do ha) i will never want to hear the word tramol ! My headaches,jumping feet mainly along with servere sweating /chills its impossible to sleep so ontop you feel so anxious and depressed its crazy ! Im getting over surgery from complete hysterectomy from cancer tumor being found so god feel like a truck has hit me ! Im thinking of all you people out there going thru this also ! We are not alone ! But doesnt really help the symtoms and sleepless nights ! Love to all ,keep strong and keep looking ahead knowing it can only get better from here

  • I had taken 400mg of tramadol every day for years, (8 X 50mg each day). Following double hip replacement, I didn’t need them any more, so 3 months ago, I stopped, (cold turkey),and am still suffering from withdrawal symptoms, flu like condition, lack of sleep, hallucinations (weird shapes in my vision), constant sneezing, and the worst of all which I controlled with anti-histamines……unbearable itching. Beginning to think i’ll be like this for ever.

  • I’m on day 10 , my hubs and I are doing it together, he is already feeling good, maybe its cause I’m not working at the moment, but I’m very happy he is feeling as normal as can without the physical symptoms. ME I’m really struggling, I dont want the drug and no cravings, but physically, I feel head trails all the time, I cry at a drop of a hat, I feel weak..we took for 7+years 100mg 20x a day sneezing all the time, anxiety, fast heart beat..I just want to know how long will this last? I want/need to feel “normal”

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