Medication Information Leaflet

What is this medication for?

Tramadol is used for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. Tramadol acts on the brain and spinal cord to reduce the amount of pain you experience. 

How should I take/use this medication?

  • Your doctor will prescribe a suitable dose of tramadol for you according to the intensity of your pain. 
  • Tramadol should be taken with or after food to prevent stomach upset.

What should I do if I forget to take/use this medication?

  • Tramadol is generally taken on an as needed basis. Take them regularly only when directed by the doctor.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. Then, take your next dose at the usual time. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed dose.

What precautions should I take?

Inform your healthcare professional if: 
  • You are allergic to this medication, any of the other ingredients of this medication or opioid pain medication such as Codeine, Morphine or Fentanyl.
  • You have a history of 
    • Kidney condition
    • Liver condition
    • Seizures (fits)
    • Heart condition
    • Lung condition
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. 
  • You are taking any other medications, including supplements, traditional medications and herbal remedies. 

What are some common side-effects of this medication?

  • Nausea
    • May occur when you start to take this medication but will become less as you continue to take the medication. Take the medication after food to reduce nausea.
  • Constipation
    • Drink more water if your doctor did not tell you to restrict fluid intake and take more food that contains fibre.
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache 
  • Dizziness
    • Avoid driving or engaging in activities that require concentration. Get up slowly from a sitting or lying down position.
  • Drowsiness
    • Avoid driving or engaging in activities that require concentration.

What are some rare but serious side-effects that I need to seek medical advice immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following: 
  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should stop your medication and see your healthcare professional immediately.

Very rarely, a condition known as serotonin syndrome may happen when tramadol is taken with certain medications such as those used in treating depression. This can cause serious health problems that may sometimes be life-threatening. Consult a doctor immediately if you feel unusually unsettled, or experience hallucinations, muscle stiffness, very bad diarrhea or headaches.

What food or medication should I avoid when I take this medication?

Avoid taking alcohol with tramadol as it may cause excessive drowsiness. If you are taking Ultracet, which is a combination of tramadol and paracetamol, do not take more paracetamol-containing products.
Avoid taking tramadol with other medications that may cause drowsiness e.g. sleeping pills without checking with your doctor first.      

How should I store this medication?

Store in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Keep this medication away from children. 

How should I throw away this medication safely?

Pack this medication into a black trash bag and seal it tightly before throwing into the rubbish chute or bin. 

If you take more than the recommended dose, please seek medical advice immediately. The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on Sept 2021

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