Tramadol withdrawal is similar to other opiate withdrawals, but there are key differences. In this guide we’ll look at the Tramadol withdrawal timeline, while also discussing symptoms, detox tips and other ways that you can help yourself kick the addiction.
Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms
Tramadol withdrawal symptoms are very similar to opiate withdrawal symptoms. You can see what we have to say about these in our Opiate Withdrawal Timeline, as well as our pieces on codeine withdrawal. However, there are a few differences. To give you a better idea of what we mean, we have listed a number of Tramadol withdrawal symptoms below and have also included a rough Tramadol withdrawal timeline below that.
This timeline was taken from a couple of long-term opiate and opioid users who are friends of the site, as opposed to from any textbooks. We always find it best to get info direct from the horse’s mouth, as only they know what the symptoms really felt like, how long they really last and just how difficult they are to get through.
List of Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms
The withdrawal simpletons associated with Tramadol can include:
- Intense Cravings
- Mood Swings
- Inability to Concentrate (“Brain Fog”)
- Short-Term Memory Loss
- Flu-Like Symptoms (Runny Nose, Excess Mucous, Aching Joints, etc.,)
- Excessive Yawning
- A Feeling of Being Uncomfortable in Own Skin
Tramadol Withdrawal Timeline
As mentioned above, this tramadol withdrawal timeline is taken from people who have experience using and withdrawing from this drug and other opiates. They know how to compare and they can understand just how different Tramadol is
Unless you have been using large doses of Tramadol for an extended period of time, you will not feel much on the first day. It will take a little over 24 hours for the main symptoms to kick in, but you will have cravings and you may feel sick. You will also likely feel cold symptoms, such as a runny nose.
Excessive yawning and watery eyes are also very common at this stage and indeed throughout the Tramadol withdrawal timeline. Other drugs can cause strong symptoms at this stage and they care common in heroin withdrawal, but less so with tramadol withdrawal.
Day 2 to 5:
Typically, the worst opiate withdrawals begin on day three and are over by day five. Such is the case with drugs like codeine and dihydrocodeine. However, with Tramadol it seems to be a different story. The reports we have heard from long-term users and addicts suggest that the peak begins earlier and lasts for longer.
So, by day 2 you will start to feel aches and pains. It will feel like your very bones are aching and that you just can’t get comfortable in your own skin. You might not like being touched or feeling your clothes against your skin. You will experience hot and cold flushes, your libido will increase but you will have little control over your orgasms and excitement, and you will feel a great deal of digressive discomfort.
Typically, anyone entering Tramadol withdrawal is still suffering from the constipation that is caused by addiction. By day 2 they have started to feel pain in their abdomen and may also be suffering from wind. Between the end of day 2 and the end of day 3 this has typically translated into violent diarrhea. It can feel like you have taken a handful of laxatives and it doesn’t let up for a couple days.
Day 6 to Day 10:
This is the part where many other opiates would let-up and leave you with the bitter end of the withdrawals. They would leave you with strong cravings and anhedonia, which is a difficulty to derive pleasure from anything.
This is true of Tramadol as well, but there is more. Many addicts also suffer from strong emotional symptoms, from strong mood swings to extreme anxiety and a general inability to control their feelings. They will also continue to struggle with insomnia and general malaise.
The Tramadol withdrawal symptoms described above may continue to be felt for as long as 2 or even 3 weeks, but after that they should fade away. Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, whereby the addict continues to feel the remnants of withdrawal for many months or years, is not as common with Tramadol as it is with other drugs, but it can happen.
If this happens to you, just try to keep your mind off the drug and look to sort other issues out in your life. Once you do this then the cravings and the anhedonia may gradually fade away. Or at least that’s the advice that we have had from people who have been through Tramadol withdrawal and have emerged successfully at the other end.
Help with Tramadol Withdrawal
It is never easy to get through Tramadol withdrawal or any opiate withdrawal, but with persistence you will make it. It’s also good if you know what to expect, which is why the Tramadol withdrawal timeline above can come in handy.
You should look to join addiction groups on Facebook or message boards. Find people who are going through the same thing and people who have gone through it. They can give you advice, they can provide support. And it also helps to know that there are people who have been there and done that.
Also, there is always someone out there who had it worse than you did, someone who used for longer, used more or used a stronger drug. When you read those stories and read about how they managed to get through withdrawal and make it to the other side, it can provide a boost like no other.
Don’t invest too much hope in Tramadol detox and opiate detox products. Just like we discussed with Marijuana detox products, they just don’t work. You should also avoid the temptation to get involved with one of these fast or extreme detoxes. They are not advised at the best of time, but when you’re going through Tramadol withdrawal they can be dangerous.
Tramadol Overdose Symptoms
A Tramadol overdose can present with a list of symptoms, some of which also occur during regular use, albeit it to a lesser extent. You may feel a very strong all-over itch and “flushing” feeling,. much more so than you wold from a recreational dose. Seizures and coma can also occur in extreme situations, but dizziness and nausea are more common.
If you suspect that you are someone you know has taken a Tramadol overdo then you should see medical assistant immediately. You will likely not get in trouble because Tramadol is a precipitin drug and is classified as Schedule IV, and you could be saving a life.
Death by drug overdose and misadventure is one of the main causes of death in the United States (see here for the stats) once you rule out disease. So, don’t become a number.
Does Tramadol Help with Opiate Withdrawal?
Tramadol has been used in place of other opiates and opioids as a way of tapering off those drugs. However, if you do that then you’re merely swapping one addiction for another. This may be recommend by a rehab expert or doctor, but it is unlikely that it would be recommended if the opiate you are addicted to is something like codeine, which may actually be considered to be a “lesser” drug than Tramadol.
The truth is that Tramadol withdrawal is very uncomfortable, often much more so than other opioids. So, this is not advised unless under strict guidance and unless it is being used to taper from a drug like heroin, where the dose can be hard to regulate.
You also have to consider that drugs like Tramadol will still activate the opiate receptor and rather than stopping your opiate addiction it will prolong it. For instance, let’s assume that you have been addicted to codeine for several years and then stop it. For a week, you take Tramadol instead. At the end of the week, your withdrawals from codeine should be over and because you only used Tramadol for a week, you won’t experience any Tramadol withdrawals, right?
We have actually spoken to a former addict who tried this method, only to discover that the withdrawals were much worse than expected when they stopped the Tramadol. Because of this, they decided to continue using Tramadol and to interchange with codeine to decrease tolerance. After a year they realized that their addiction, and the withdrawal symptoms it triggered, was much worse than it had ever been with codeine.