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Anyone take tramadol as AD?

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I took tramadol short term for an athletic injury at 50 mg qid and it also worked as an AD on me.  My pcp told me what I already knew about it being a centrally acting SNRI but not an AD but kinda close to  venlafaxine.  When I asked him if he would rx it for AD he said that was too off label for him.  I asked my pdoc and he said maybe at some point but not now and that there were studies underway to determine if tramadol has AD effects in all or only a fluke in some.


I did find a pdoc prescribing tramadol off label as AD but he doesn't take my insurance.  Anyone here have any experience taking tramadol as AD?   Tramadol had a venlafaxine type effect on me but only it worked and without SE which is why I can't take venlafaxine.



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It is chemically similar to Effexor, and Tramadol is prescribed off-label by certain psychiatrists as an antidepressant and for anxiety. I, like you, received Tramadol for non-psychiatric reasons and found out just how great it was for depression and anxiety. Doctors are much more open to prescribing Tramadol, versus an opiate, because of the reduced risk for addiction. This doesn't however mean you can't become dependent on it, and rarely addicted. Of course you would have to bring this up with your psychiatrist. Tramadol is a semi-sythetic opiod (this is over simplification, chemically it is not technically an opiod , however it has potential agonist effects at the "μ-opioid receptor").  It is NOT a narcotic pain reliever. It usual indication is for moderate to severe pain, as you already know. You could however take the financial "hit" and see the psychiatrist and explain to him how Tramadol has worked well for you, for depression, and use refills. Sometimes psychiatrists are willing to work on appointment costs if you are willing to pay out of pocket. Of course you could first present your findings and experiences to a psychiatrist that your insurance already accepts. 


I absolutely despise opiates, but Tramadol and I work well together. So the person saying that Tramdol just gets you high, it does have the potential to be abused, but it doesn't work like traditional narcotic painkillers providing an instantaneous and blunt effect on mood. It works very similarly to antidepressants.


The idea of antidepressants having positive effects on pain isn't anything new, think Cymbalta, and it has been known that opiates, and medicines like it have antidepressant effects. Although be it rare. Many people are against opiate use, I however am not (even though I personally detest them), in many studies I've read a moderate dose of morphine after a traumatic event has been shown to drastically reduce the chances of developing PTSD (a debilitating disorder). 


But I do second the idea, that you could explore other antidepressants before considering Tramadol, especially if you have a history of abuse).

Edited by Forbidden91
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According to rxlist.com (http://www.rxlist.com/ultram-drug/clinical-pharmacology.htm), 

ULTRAM® (tramadol hcl) contains tramadol, a centrally acting synthetic opioid analgesic. Although its mode of action is not completely understood, from animal tests, at least two complementary mechanisms appear applicable: binding of parent and M1 metabolite to μ-opioid receptors and weak inhibition of reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin.


From other reading I've done, it sounds like it would barely make any difference as an AD. You'd be far better off with a TCA from what I've been reading.


I've known people that have become addicted to Tramadol. If you're needing an AD, there are so many other medications that are better than Tramadol.

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I was addicted to tramadol among other things.

it's horrible.


edit:it works GREAT in the beginning.

then,as with every opiate(synthetic opioid analgesic),you build TOLERANCE.

I needed more and more and more.

it can certainly make you an addict if you're not one already.

painkiller addiction is hell.

Edited by whendovescry
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