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What does it do?

Tramadol is used to relieve moderate to severe pain.

How should you take it?

Take tramadol as directed with a glass of water.
Swallow the slow release tablets whole.
Measure the liquid carefully with an oral syringe or measuring spoon.

What if you forget a dose?

If tramadol is taken regularly, take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with tramadol including:

  • sedating antihistamines (e.g. Phenergan®)
  • cough suppressants (e.g. Duro-Tuss®, Benadryl Dry Forte®)
  • pain relief medicines containing codeine (e.g. Panadeine®)
  • some migraine medicines, such as sumatriptan (e.g. Sumagran Active®) or zolmitriptan (e.g. Zomig®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. valerian) or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Muscle twitching or shaking you can’t control, confusion, heavy sweating, fever

Slow or shallow breathing, hard to wake up

Change in heartbeat

Seizures

Tell your doctor immediately

Constipation

Dizziness, agitation, hallucinations, mood swings, trouble sleeping

Tell your doctor

Drowsiness, weakness, headache

Nausea, vomiting, stomach upset

Dry mouth or throat, changes in vision, trouble peeing

Swollen feet or legs

Flushing

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have liver, lung, kidney, bladder, bowel or heart problems, if you have depression, have ever had a seizure, or have had a recent head injury.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Tramadol can be taken regularly or when required. If tramadol is not relieving your pain contact your health professional.
  • Tramadol may make you dizzy or sleepy and make it dangerous to drive, operate machinery or do other activities that require you to be alert. Limit alcohol intake because it can increase these effects.
  • Tramadol may be addictive with long-term use.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. January 2018

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed