Tramadol is an opioid pain relief drug taken orally.
It is a prescription medicine that goes by many trade names.
Ultracet and Ultram are two of the more popular and widely prescribed brand names.
Tramadol is prescribed by doctors for moderate and moderately severe pain.
It is used to address chronic and acute conditions.
The drug has also been approved to treat cancer pain for a period not exceeding 3 months.
History of Tramadol
Unlike most pain medications, Tramadol is fairly new in the market. It is a product of Gruenenthal GmbH, a pharmaceutical company based in Stolberg, Germany.
The company launched the oral pain-relief formulation in 1977 as Tramal. Many other companies across the world soon released their own tramadol hydrochloride formulations under different brand names.
How Does Tramadol Differ from Other Opiates?
Research shows that patients who take Tramadol exhibit lower risk of abuse, tolerance, and dependence compared to patients taking other similar opiates.
However, Tramadol also shows a comparatively lower clinical value than most of these drugs. For example, Tramadol contains merely one-tenth of the pain relief capability that morphine has.
Compared to other opiates, Tramadol shows the following marked differences:
- Tramadol is completely synthetic.
It is a product of the laboratory. Codeine and morphine are derivatives from the opium poppy; they are natural opiates. Oxycodone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone are semi-synthetic. Although manufactured in a laboratory, they have a number of natural qualities.
- Tramadol has an unusual, dual-acting advantage.
Tramadol performs like most opiates do; it manages the patient’s sensitivity to pain.
Serotonin influences a host of functions including mood and sleep. Norepinephrine helps to increase concentration.
The increased availability of both serotonin and norepinephrine helps the patient to better able manage pain.