Tramadol is a very welcome pain reliever for those who experience pain that may be acute or chronic. The prescription pain medication is preferred over other painkillers as it has a low potential for abuse. Even long-term management of pain can be done safely with little risk of developing drug dependence. There are cases where it is abused severely but this is usually among those who have a history of drug abuse, take more than recommended dose, and those who use the drug recreationally. There is also another danger and that is the use of Tramadol while also drinking alcohol regularly. This Tramadol drug interaction can be dangerous and that is what is explained below.
What happens when Tramadol and alcohol interact?
Tramadol works by directly modifying certain chemical compositions in the brain. The central nervous system (CNS) is affected in such a way that it produces central analgesic effects. Alcohol works along similar lines too and it acts as a depressant of the CNS. Taking Tramadol and alcohol at the same time can result in some very detrimental effects to one’s health. In extreme cases, there can result in an abnormal slowing down of CNS activity with effects like excessive drowsiness, coma, severe depression of brain activity, and even death. Some of the documented effects of Tramadol-alcohol consumption include:
Increased risk of depression
Nausea and vomiting
Lack of coordination
Changes in the functioning of nerves
Trouble with memory
Increased risk of liver damage
Acute alcohol toxicity
Increase in intracranial pressure
Severe stomach pain
Increased risk of potential substance
Decrease in seizure threshold
Is there a way to avoid Tramadol-alcohol interactions?
The toxicity of interaction between Tramadol and alcohol can be reduced by taking suitable precautions. If the person has a history of alcohol addiction issues then it is recommended to refrain from prescribing Tramadol. The person can ask the doctor to prescribe a painkiller that does not interact with alcohol or quit drinking only during the course of the drug therapy. If you have already been taking the drug for some time with alcohol, then ask the doctor to taper the doses to stop the medication. Avoid excess consumption of alcohol as the tolerance level will decrease with Tramadol use. You can try any of these options to avoid Tramadol-alcohol toxicity.
Who is at risk of Tramadol-alcohol interactions?
Any individual who takes alcohol and Tramadol at the same time is at high risk of toxicity. The combination can be all the more dangerous for someone who is above the age of sixty, has breathing related conditions like asthma, or has a history of kidney or liver disease. For any suspected symptoms of toxicity get medical help immediately.