This medication is used to help relieve moderate to moderately severe pain. Tramadol is similar to opioid (narcotic) analgesics. It works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain.
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually every 4 to 6 hours as needed for pain relief. You may take this drug with or without food. If you have nausea, it may help to take this drug with food. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other ways to decrease nausea (such as lying down for 1 to 2 hours with as little head movement as possible). The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. To reduce your risk of side effects, your doctor may direct you to start this medication at a low dose and gradually increase your dose. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. The maximum recommended dose is 400 milligrams per day. If you are older than 75 years, the maximum recommended dose is 300 milligrams per day. Do not increase your dose, take the medication more frequently, or take it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed. Pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur. If you wait until the pain has worsened, the medication may not work as well. If you have ongoing pain (such as due to arthritis), your doctor may direct you to also take long-acting opioid medications.
Nausea, vomiting, constipation, lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness, or headache may occur. Some of these side effects may decrease after you have been using this medication for a while. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. To prevent constipation, eat dietary fiber, drink enough water, and exercise. You may also need to take a laxative. Ask your pharmacist which type of laxative is right for you. To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.