Tramadol Withdrawal and Detox

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Updated 12/22/2022

Tramadol is a synthetic opioid pain reliever. Tramadol is one of the less-potent opioids, but misuse of the drug still occurs. Tramadol can be habit-forming and physical dependence can develop aswell. If dependence develops, when a person stops using tramadol suddenly, they may experience tramadol withdrawal symptoms.

Tramadol Withdrawal

Since tramadol is an opioid, it activates opioid receptors in the brain and central nervous system. This activation helps relieve pain temporarily. The activation of opioid receptors can also cause unnatural feelings of euphoria. When someone experiences such pleasure, their brain’s reward response may be triggered. 

Physical dependence occurs because the brain and body change how they function in response to ongoing exposure to tramadol. For example, tramadol is a central nervous system depressant. When someone stops using the drug after dependence has formed, their brain may struggle to calm its activity, since the tramadol helped with that.

When people develop a dependence, they often have to taper off their dosage slowly to minimize withdrawal effects.

Side effects of tramadol withdrawal include:

  • Sweating
  • Muscle aches
  • Bone pain
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Changes in mood
  • Agitation
  • Rapid heart rate and breathing
  • Hypertension
  • Chills
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Dilated pupils
  • Problems concentrating
  • Cravings for opioids

Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms

What determines how severe tramadol withdrawal symptoms are? There are a few factors that influence tramadol withdrawal symptoms.

How long someone used tramadol or other opioids is relevant, as is the dose the person was using regularly. A person’s history with opioids and their overall health can affect tramadol withdrawal symptoms.

Certain medications may be prescribed for opioid withdrawal. These include:

  • Methadone: This medicine is sometimes used to treat opioid withdrawal and opioid dependence. It’s a long-term maintenance medication.
  • Buprenorphine: Available as brand-name Subutex, this medication can shorten how long it takes someone to go through opioid withdrawal.
  • Clonidine: This is a generic medication used to treat a wide variety of withdrawal symptoms including muscle aches, runny nose and cramping.
  • Naltrexone: As a relapse prevention drug, naltrexone helps reduce opioid cravings.

Tramadol Withdrawal Timeline

The tramadol withdrawal timeline can vary between individuals. Tramadol has a relatively short half-life as well. This brevity means the tramadol withdrawal timeline can begin relatively quickly compared to other opioids.

The following is an example of what the tramadol withdrawal timeline might look like:

  • Within one to three days, people dependent on tramadol may start to experience symptoms of withdrawal. Symptoms may include anxiety, cravings, sweating, nausea and palpitations.
  • From days four to seven symptoms may include insomnia, confusion and changes in vision
  • By the end of the first week, most people will see their symptoms of tramadol withdrawal start to subside, although symptoms like depression or anxiety may persist

Tramadol Detox

With a professional tramadol detox program, patients go through withdrawal under the care and supervision of medical professionals. Then, once detox is complete, they can begin addiction treatment.

To learn more about medical detox and other addiction treatment programs, contact The Recovery Village Columbus to speak with a Recovery Advocate about how our individualized treatment plans can work for you. Start your healthier future today.

View Sources

MedlinePlus. “Tramadol.” January 5, 2019. Accessed March 18, 2019.

MedlinePlus. “Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal.” May 5, 2018. Accessed March 18, 2019.

Case-Lo, Christine. “Withdrawing from Opiates and Opioids.” Healthline. July 26, 2017. Accessed March 18, 2019.


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