Tramadol

Tramadol is an atypical opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain.  Because of its effects on serotonergic system, it has been suggested tramadol could be effective in treating anxiety, but at this time, the FDA has not given it a green light for use in treating anxiety or depression.

I came across tramadol on accident.  I purchased some because it is marketed as a pain killer, but upon taking it, I discovered not only were my OCD symptoms relieved quite a bit, but I was in a bit of a happier mood.  I took tramadol a few more times and got curious if there was any information on the internet in terms of tramadol being used for OCD, and as it turns out…

Tramadol has a half life of 5-7 hours.  I find that if I take it, I must do so in the morning because it will still be going strong (even at a small dose) till nightfall.  By the next day, I feel mostly back to normal.  The other reason I do not recommend taking it at night is because one side effect is insomnia and this was definitely the case with me.

Tramadol is not a miracle pill though.  Besides insomnia and other possible side effects, dependency is a risk.  The other drawback is the crash.  Sometimes I find my OCD spikes the following day after taking tramadol.  I take tramadol only on serious days, maybe once a month.  This drug should not be used with MAOI’s. Please use caution.

*UPDATE* 12/1/09

I thought I would take tramadol today because my OCD has been a bit annoying since I got back from my vacation. I don’t travel well and when I do, I usually have my OCD spike a bit.  It has spiked and tramadol seemed like a good idea, but I remember a couple times back my jaw tensed up and I couldn’t hear as well, and the last time I took it, my jaw locked a little and I got tinnitus (ringing in ears) that lasted about 18 hours.  I have since read that tramadol is ototoxic (can cause temporary or permanent damage to ears including tinnitus).  Because of this information, I have decided to not use tramadol anymore.  As much as I appreciated the drug, it’s not worth it to me.

Stay safe!

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