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Crohn's Disease Forum » Extra Intestinal Manifestations » Arthritis » Anybody prescribed Tramadol for pain?


12-05-2012, 01:03 AM   #1
FullM3lt
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Anybody prescribed Tramadol for pain?

My doctor gave me a small script for tramadol to dull my costochondritis pain earlier today. Pain is 9/10, but at least I got my diagnosis....

Anyways...I usually research a bit before taking any medication, but I trusted my doctor and took the pill after I got back from the pharmacy. 30 minutes later, I was in a full blown panic attack. Being in panic attack mode, I freaked out and made myself throw up the pill. Did some deep breathing exercises and calmed myself down (heart rate was through the roof). I was okay within 1 hour.

Got on the internet and found out that tramadol is a weak opioid with SNRI properties....my GP knows that I have anxiety issues. Why would she prescribe an SNRI medication? As far as I know, there is a definite link between norepinephrine increase within the brain and anxiety.

Have any of you had issues with tramadol and panic attacks/anxiety? I'm all for treating my costo with PT but during this flare the pain is debilitating. I called my doc and left her a message basically asking for another type of medication for the short term since the tramadol caused a panic attack. She is very understanding and has known me since I was a baby so she knows I'm not trying to abuse anything.

/rant over

Just had to vent a little bit and try to get some input. Wish I could just take some NSAID's for the inflammation but that's no good for the gut. No CB receptors in the rib cartilage so my "go to" medicine doesn't help either.
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12-05-2012, 01:17 AM   #2
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Hey FullM3lt! I have a panic disorder too and can definitely feel opioids when they come on and I do start to freak out a bit. I've had a lot of therapy to help get the panic attacks and anxiety under control though (the distraction method works best for me) and haven't gone into full blown panic mode in a while. I also take Klonopin or Xanax as needed (I have both because I was trying out Xanax to see if it worked better than the Klonpin, I don't notice anything special really) but don't take them often because simply having them around helps calm me down.

When I took Tramadol it mainly made me really sick the next day (was throwing up) so I didn't take it again. Its a synthetic opiate but works the same way. I switched to Tylenol 3s which are made from opium but found them to be much more mild than Tramadol.

For inflammation meds that have helped me (besides NSAIDs and other pain meds) were Entocort and Humira. I have osteoarthritis and both meds took away the joint pain entirely.

Dunno if that helps, just sharing.
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12-05-2012, 11:47 AM   #3
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Hey FullM3lt! I have a panic disorder too and can definitely feel opioids when they come on and I do start to freak out a bit. I've had a lot of therapy to help get the panic attacks and anxiety under control though (the distraction method works best for me) and haven't gone into full blown panic mode in a while. I also take Klonopin or Xanax as needed (I have both because I was trying out Xanax to see if it worked better than the Klonpin, I don't notice anything special really) but don't take them often because simply having them around helps calm me down.

When I took Tramadol it mainly made me really sick the next day (was throwing up) so I didn't take it again. Its a synthetic opiate but works the same way. I switched to Tylenol 3s which are made from opium but found them to be much more mild than Tramadol.

For inflammation meds that have helped me (besides NSAIDs and other pain meds) were Entocort and Humira. I have osteoarthritis and both meds took away the joint pain entirely.

Dunno if that helps, just sharing.
Thanks Crabby

I also take klonopin and go to therapy once a week....I haven't had a full blown panic attack in months, but the tramadol set me off for some reason.

I've only had painkillers twice in my life (broken ankle, broken hand) and both times I got vicodin and had zero side effects. Maybe tylenol 3 or vicodin will work since it's not a synthetic opioid or an SNRI. I've come to the conclusion that the SNRI properties caused the anxiety since the norepinephrine increase causes the "fight or flight" reflex

Maybe I'll just forget the painkillers and deal with it..although something would be nice this pain is worse than any abdominal pain i've ever had from my UC. Ice, heat and regular tylenol can only do so much though Starting PT soon. Costo SUCKS!

I don't do well with steroids, but I might have to try that option since I can't take regular nsaids. David also mentioned something about prolotherapy, I might ask my doc about that too.
12-05-2012, 12:03 PM   #4
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I don't do well with steroids, but I might have to try that option since I can't take regular nsaids. David also mentioned something about prolotherapy, I might ask my doc about that too.
"Normal" MDs don't do it. You'd have to find an MD in your area that does. Though I'd be curious what your regular MD says.
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12-05-2012, 12:18 PM   #5
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"Normal" MDs don't do it. You'd have to find an MD in your area that does. Though I'd be curious what your regular MD says.
She is pretty open minded....I'll ask her about it. If not, I'll try to find another doctor in the area if the pain doesn't subside.
12-05-2012, 12:20 PM   #6
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Why would she prescribe an SNRI medication? As far as I know, there is a definite link between norepinephrine increase within the brain and anxiety.
Negligent. Good reason to research meds for sensitivities before you take them, eh?

I've taken Tramadol and had dizzi spells in the am and off and throughout next day.
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12-06-2012, 01:42 PM   #7
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Negligent. Good reason to research meds for sensitivities before you take them, eh?

I've taken Tramadol and had dizzi spells in the am and off and throughout next day.
My doctor knows about my anxiety. It's very unlike me to not research a chemical I put into my body, but I was/am in serious pain. Costo is no fun. I asked my doctor face to face if it would cause any anxiety issues and she boldly said "no."

I just didn't know that tramadol was an SNRI. I will admit it was VERY negligent of me not to research it before I took the medication. Very unlike me since I don't trust doctors to begin with. I left her a message and she gave me something else for the pain. Kinda pissed that I paid for 30 tramadol and now 29 of them are just sitting in a cabinet My fault.

Anyways, now I know and I will not make that mistake again. The good news is that my UC is doing much better now it's just the costo that's killing me. Seems like PT is the best option. I can deal with the pain, it's just uncomfortable. Just glad to know it's the costo that's causing the pain.
12-06-2012, 02:11 PM   #8
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I will admit it was VERY negligent of me not to research it before I took the medication.
Negligent - for the doc - not you. That's the thing you have to rely on them for good decisions when you vulnerable. Finding someone you can trust is difficult I find. Feel better!
12-06-2012, 02:20 PM   #9
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Negligent - for the doc - not you. That's the thing you have to rely on them for good decisions when you vulnerable. Finding someone you can trust is difficult I find. Feel better!
Thanks Sparkle

I still think it was negligent of me not to check first I am feeling much better. Costo + UC flare is no fun but my UC is calming down so now I can focus on one thing at a time
12-06-2012, 10:19 PM   #10
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Well at least I know it wasn't the opiate part of the drug causing anxiety....1/2 a 5/500 Vicodin brought my pain from 8/10 to 3/10. Woo hoo, I might be able to get to sleep without the constant sharp pain in my chest

Never touching tramadol again! Or any other SNRI! Glad I have an understanding doctor.

Gonna save these vicodin though. I'd rather solve this problem with PT....save the pills for the days when the pain is the worst.
12-07-2012, 01:16 AM   #11
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I thought that Tramadol/Ultram only had mild SNRI properties, and then only if you took it regularly over time.

I have a panic disorder and anxiety, and I can take Tramadol PRN (just as needed once in a while). I tend to have anxiety any time I start a new medicine since I have had so many bad reactions to meds. I guess you could say I have trust issues with pharmaceuticals lol.
12-08-2012, 11:08 AM   #12
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Tramadol keeps me awake 22 hours a day, don't work as painkiller and just alters my mind. I only take it if i have too.
12-08-2012, 11:17 AM   #13
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I've been on Tramadol for about a year.It's part of my daily tabs and to be honest i ain't had anything from it.Had no pain relief or side affects from it.In fact,in times of trouble i turn to over the counter pain killers.I'm also on fentanyl patches and gabapentin for pain as well and nothing helps a flare up.sleep is all i do to get through it
12-08-2012, 12:35 PM   #14
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Tramadol just makes me feel like I drank 5 cups of coffee....on edge and panicky. Dunno why....it just does

Anyways...I solved this problem with my doc. Hydrocodone PRN for those extra painful days and exercises/PT to try and solve the problem at hand. Ice and heat daily...although icing the chest area is rather uncomfortable.

I thought that Tramadol/Ultram only had mild SNRI properties, and then only if you took it regularly over time.
Tramadol has an almost identical chemical structure to Effexor lol. From what i've read, starting any SNRI drug can cause anxiety in people prone to it.
12-09-2012, 06:32 PM   #15
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I cant tolerate Tramadol at all and it makes me feel like I am off this planet and also makes me feel really sick.

I am lucky as my Dr as now prescribed me with a transdermal pain patch which I change every seven days called BuTrans.

I was prescribed it for chronic pain before I knew I had Crohns as I only got diagnosed a few weeks ago.

The pain patch has less side effects then the tablets and for me they are a god send.

My gastro specialist is happy for me to stay on them as like codeine they have a slight constipating effect as well.

Unfortunately I am only one them for 4 weeks then off a week to try and avoid addiction and that week off is atrocious. The other month when I was off the patch I lost 4lbs in one week I now know that was more then likely a CD flare and not a withdrawal from the patch.

The other problem is I dont know how long I can stay on them for but I have tried all other NSAID and nothing works
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12-17-2012, 04:01 PM   #16
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I am so sorry you had a bad reaction to the tramadol FullM3lt. Out of curiousity did you experience any allergic - type side effects such as: itchy throat or skin, hives or welts on the skin, or difficulty breathing?

Now that you are aware of your reaction to tramadol, it might be beneficial to print a small card to place in your wallet with your disease, current medications (with dosage and how often taken), PLUS your adverse reaction to the Tramadol.

Since you have had an adverse reaction to Tramadol, you probably should not take Ultram or Ultracet either. They are brand names with the same or very similar formulations to the Tramadol.
12-17-2012, 04:20 PM   #17
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The Tramadol Wiki has a link to the Tramadol product monograph. It does list possible adverse reactions similar to what you experienced. However, it occurs in a very low percentage of people and typically in those that have been using Tramadol for a long time and quit "cold turkey" or in persons that are abusing the drug and have an extremely high dose.

Here is the link. It is reference #4.
Tramadol Wiki Reference #4

Your physician probably prescribed it not expecting you would have these effects since they are only seen in such a small percentage of people who take the drug (typically 1% or less).

So sorry you were one of the unlucky few.
12-17-2012, 07:08 PM   #18
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I am so sorry you had a bad reaction to the tramadol FullM3lt. Out of curiousity did you experience any allergic - type side effects such as: itchy throat or skin, hives or welts on the skin, or difficulty breathing?

Now that you are aware of your reaction to tramadol, it might be beneficial to print a small card to place in your wallet with your disease, current medications (with dosage and how often taken), PLUS your adverse reaction to the Tramadol.

Since you have had an adverse reaction to Tramadol, you probably should not take Ultram or Ultracet either. They are brand names with the same or very similar formulations to the Tramadol.
I didn't experience any type of allergic reaction, just a bad panic attack and I felt very on edge after that attack subsided. I blame the SNRI properties of the medication....but I'm not a doctor so I can't say that for sure.

I saw my GP today for a follow up and made sure to tell her about my adverse reaction, so it's in my charts.

I'm not a fan of pain medication but this costochondritis is very painful. My GP was kind enough to give me a small prescription of hydrocodone/apap to take as needed and I have no adverse reactions to that medication.

Thanks for the link to the Tramadol product monograph Although I'm pretty sure I wont be taking anything chemically similar to tramadol anytime soon! I read something about effexor (venlafaxine) being almost chemically identical to tramdol, which I thought was odd....
12-17-2012, 07:48 PM   #19
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I hate tramadol with a passion. It gives me headaches, it causes jerking spells in my arms at night when lying down, nausea, the whole gamut. I can tolerate other pain meds just fine, haven't noticed any panic attacks afterwards (I do have a past history of Panic Disorder/Agoraphobia, been unmedicated for years though as they have all but went away). I just cannot tolerate tramadol, period.
12-17-2012, 08:18 PM   #20
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I used tramadol and several other pain killers. Never had any particular problem with any of them. They all worked to one degree or another, but plain old aspirin worked the best.

I know we are not supposed to take this especially when flared, but when the pain was too much to take, I would take some.

Acupuncture is supposed to work quite well for pain. I do not know how long it lasts, but it may be an option if you have limited choices.

Dan
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12-17-2012, 11:31 PM   #21
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I have been taking tramadol for about 10 years. I have the same problem as most, and find that pain killers act like anphtemines in my system. I like tramadol because it is less addictive than some of the other pain killers and it is easier on my intestines. But, I still only take it for a few days at a time.

As for the SNRI effects, I feel I probably benifit to a certain extent becasue I had some issues that were attributed to IBS, and SNRI can be a help with IBS. I have found if a take a few pills in a day my face will feel numb, and they can make me depressed if I take it for a long period of time, which is another reason I only take for several days at a time. They can also mess with my vision as well.

I have Crohn's and Crohn's arthritis so I really don't know what I would do with out tramadol.

Later...
12-18-2012, 12:09 AM   #22
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I have an appointment with a rheumatologist next week so hopefully I can get some help that isn't in the form of a pill Painkillers are useful for a short time but it's not a long term solution in my opinion.

I've had arthritis related to my IBD for several years but this costochondritis is horrible. Wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I'll try acupuncture, physical therapy, prolotherapy...anything!

I just want to get back to work and this chest pain makes it damn near impossible to do anything. Thank you for all the responses!
12-18-2012, 12:18 AM   #23
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Fullm3lt: is costo something that is related generally to IBD? I had never heard of it - just looked it up. Anything having to do with the rib cage is known to be very painful.
12-18-2012, 12:33 AM   #24
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I have an appointment with a rheumatologist next week so hopefully I can get some help that isn't in the form of a pill Painkillers are useful for a short time but it's not a long term solution in my opinion.

I've had arthritis related to my IBD for several years but this costochondritis is horrible. Wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I'll try acupuncture, physical therapy, prolotherapy...anything!

I just want to get back to work and this chest pain makes it damn near impossible to do anything. Thank you for all the responses!
I had it in my chest and collar bone for years. It finally moved on, but it left me with a lot hardened lymphnodes across my collar bones.

Prednisone always seems to help me, but it is hard to get them to give prednesone to you once you used it for over 10 years, I use budesonide and it has really helped out a lot. But, I have negitive reactions to all the more prevelent drugs they use for crohn's. I wouldn't know what to do if I didn't have pain in my joints, I have just learned to live with it, but I can't work or do anything for any extended time with out just starting to flare in a major way. I just take each day as it comes. Luckily I had good health/disibility insurance when I got sick.

Hope you feel better soon.

Later..
12-18-2012, 01:52 PM   #25
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Fullm3lt: is costo something that is related generally to IBD? I had never heard of it - just looked it up. Anything having to do with the rib cage is known to be very painful.
Not exclusively, but it's more common in people with inflammatory diseases from what i've been told. I know a few people here have it, it's extremely painful but it's a benign condition. It can come and go or it can be a chronic thing...I hope mine isn't chronic!

It just feels like Mike Tyson punched me in the sternum 10 times. All day, every day.


I had it in my chest and collar bone for years. It finally moved on, but it left me with a lot hardened lymphnodes across my collar bones.

Prednisone always seems to help me, but it is hard to get them to give prednesone to you once you used it for over 10 years, I use budesonide and it has really helped out a lot. But, I have negitive reactions to all the more prevelent drugs they use for crohn's. I wouldn't know what to do if I didn't have pain in my joints, I have just learned to live with it, but I can't work or do anything for any extended time with out just starting to flare in a major way. I just take each day as it comes. Luckily I had good health/disibility insurance when I got sick.

Hope you feel better soon.

Later..
Thanks bud. My doctor knows I can't take NSAIDS and she really wants me to try prednisone....but I took it a lot as a teen and the side effects were not good for me. I'm trying to avoid steroids at all cost, but if the rheumatologist deems my case bad enough I might have to go down that road again. Maybe a short burst of steroids wont cause the negative effects that long term use caused me.
12-18-2012, 09:43 PM   #26
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FullM3lt,

That is what the budesonide is, it is a lower does streroidal that I have been taking for 10 years. Helps with inflamation and does not have all the bad side effects of prednisone.

Good luck with reumatology. Went to them for about 13 years and they finally realized that all their meds did was crank up my crohn's. You can't treat crohns arthritis like regular arthritis.

Good luck.

Later..
12-19-2012, 01:02 PM   #27
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FullM3lt,

That is what the budesonide is, it is a lower does streroidal that I have been taking for 10 years. Helps with inflamation and does not have all the bad side effects of prednisone.

Good luck with reumatology. Went to them for about 13 years and they finally realized that all their meds did was crank up my crohn's. You can't treat crohns arthritis like regular arthritis.

Good luck.

Later..
Thanks for the tip bud, I'll make sure to ask about it! Prednisone is a great anti inflammatory it just had terrible side effects for me. If budesonide has fewer side effects I'm willing to give it a try. Ice and tylenol are not doing much for me....
12-19-2012, 10:07 PM   #28
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. Ice and tylenol are not doing much for me....
I feel you. I always tell people that they are just distractions and really do nothing to aleiviate the pain. Heat helps the most, but then again it is still mostly a distraction.

Later....
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