How to use Tramadol
Your doctor will stress the importance of using this medication as directed. As with the taking of any medication, this drug also carries some risk of side-effects during treatment and for a period of time following discontinuation.
It is very important that you do not take doses that are higher than your doctor has prescribed, more frequently than recommended or for a longer period of time than your doctor has authorised. It is also very important that you do not share this medication with anyone else. Dosages must be specifically recommended by a licenced medical practitioner following a thorough medical assessment (on an individual basis). A recommended treatment programme may work for you but not for another.
The medication leaflet or guide does list standard doses which are recommended as a result of extensive clinical studies. Your recommended dosages may differ from this. It is very important that you do not assume that your dosage is incorrect and change it on your own. There are specific reasons why your doctor has given you certain doses. If you are unsure, consult your doctor before commencing treatment and discuss any concerns as soon as possible. He or she will provide as much clarity as you need in order to use the medication as safely as possible for your required purpose.
The number of daily doses may vary as well, and largely depends on the strength of the medication. Your specific medical condition will also determine the number of required daily doses, the time period between doses and the length of time necessary for treatment.
It may take a period of time before the medication will appear to take effect. You doctor will advise you to take the medication exactly as directed even if it takes some time for you to start feeling better. Do not assume that you need a higher dose for the medication to take effect. Any dosage changes must be made by your doctor only. He or she will also advise that you do not discontinue use of the medication on your own, especially once it becomes apparent that it is working for your condition. It is not advisable to use the medication on a ‘stop and start again’ basis.
For the management of chronic pain, a doctor may prescribe the following average doses:
- Extended-release tablets: Adults may be recommended to take 100 milligrams (mg) a day to start treatment. Doses may be gradually increased by a doctor as needed, but will generally not exceed 300 mg a day. Extra caution will be taken with prescribing doses for children and may depend on medication strength and the condition being treated.
- Oral dosage tablets: Teenagers (16 years of age and over) and adults may be prescribed 50 to 100 mg every 4 to 6 hours to begin a treatment period. Doses may gradually be increased as needed, but will usually not exceed 400 mg a day. A doctor will prescribe doses for children under the age of 16 with caution and taking into account the medical condition being treated.
For the management of moderate to severe pain, a doctor may prescribe the following average doses:
- Oral dosage disintegrating tablets: Adults and teenagers older than 16 years of age may be recommended to take between 50 and 100 milligrams (mg) every 4 to 6 hours to start treatment. Doses may be gradually increased by a doctor as needed, but will generally not exceed 400 mg a day. Extra caution will be taken with prescribing doses for children under the age of 16 and may depend on medication strength and the condition being treated.
- Oral dosage tablets: Teenagers (16 years of age and over) and adults may be prescribed 25 mg at the beginning of a treatment period, to be taken each day in the morning. Doses may gradually be increased as needed, but will usually not exceed 400 mg a day. A doctor will prescribe doses for children under the age of 16 with caution and taking into account the medical condition being treated.
*These average dosages may vary according to multiple factors your doctor determines as necessary for your specific condition and those which best benefit you for effective treatment.
How to take your medication correctly
Your doctor will also advise the best ways to take your medication before your treatment commences. Some instructions your doctor may give you include:
- Ensure that your hands are dry when handling / taking disintegrating tablets.
- Ensure to only open a blister pack of tablets when you are ready to start taking your medication.
- Try not to push the tablet through the foil of the blister pack. It is better to peel back the foil, exposing one table at a time, to be taken as needed.
- Ensure that you do not chew, break or crush your tablets when taking the medication. They are to be swallowed whole. Disintegrating tablets should dissolve quickly once placed on the tongue inside your mouth. Once it melts away, sip water and swallow.
- Extended – release tablets should be swallowed whole with liquid (not broken, emptied of contents, crushed or chewed). The medication is also intended for oral use only (by mouth) and should not be inhaled, injected or diluted. Taken in these ways can lead to life-threatening side-effects, complications or overdose.
- If you miss a dose, you must take care not to double dose as this can lead to adverse side-effects. If the missed dose is close to the time it should have been taken, ensure to take your medication. If the missed dose is closer to the time of the next one, it is advisable to skip it and assume your regular schedule.
- You should store your medication in a closed, dry container or cupboard away from any light, moisture or heat. This medication is best stored at room temperature and should never be frozen. Your doctor may also strongly advise that you take care to store out of reach of others, particularly children and pets.
- No medication should be kept beyond the treatment period. Your doctor will advise all authorised doses and assist you with safely discontinuing the medication. Any medication left over (or expired) should not be stored, shared with anyone else or used (without your doctor’s recommended permission). Your doctor can advise the best ways to dispose of any unused or expired medication.