This information is provided by DAN 24/7 the All Wales Drug And Alcohol Helpline. Freephone 0808 808 2234      Click to Print This Page

Tramadol information from DAN 24/7

Common Names

Tramal, Ultram

Scientific Names


Generic Name

Tramadol Hydrochloride

Effects Of Tramadol

Desired Effects:

Relaxation, sleepiness, pain relief, mild euphoria, warmth & well-being.


Dizziness, nausea, constipation, dry mouth, headaches, sleepiness, sweating, tiredness, vomiting.



Interaction with other medicines such as anti-depressants and other pain killers - get medical advice if you have taken this drug with other medicines. Risks also include respiratory depression, convulsions, accidents, confusion and overdose. There has been an increase in Tramadol related deaths.


Tolerance, physical and psychological dependence, withdrawal symptoms, increased risk of adverse effects in overdose due to its anti-depressant elements.

What it looks like

Usually white pills, tablets or coloured capsules, although liquid forms are produced.

How does it work?

Synthetic opioid chemically similar to codeine, and anti-depressant. Central nervous system Depressant, Analgesic, cough suppressant, sedative.

Legal status

Prescription only medicine. However, The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs advises that tramadol should be controlled as a class C substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

How Is It Taken?

Tablets and capsules are swallowed orally.



Medical uses

Prescribed by a doctor to treat moderate to severe pain.

Where does it come from?

This is a pharmaceutical drug which is sometimes diverted from manufacturers, pharmacies or GPs prescriptions.

Helping services

Tramadol users can access support from 'street agencies' or projects, sometimes called community drug services or community drug teams, which offer a range of services including information and advice, counselling, detoxification and prescribing for opiate users, needle exchanges and sometimes support groups and other services such as acupuncture. Some may have extended opening hours and may be open at weekends. GPs and hospitals can make referrals to specialist drug services like Drug Dependency Units (DDUs). These are usually located in or adjacent to a hospital and specialise in helping problem drug users, especially people who are physically dependent. They provide counselling, detoxification, substitute prescribing and other treatments. Residential services offer treatment programmes for heavily dependent drug users who are trying to give up. Residents must usually be drug free on admission which means they usually have to undergo detoxification before entry. Programmes usually last 3-6 months, but some 12 steps programmes last longer. The types of programmes vary. Self help groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) co-ordinate local support groups for problem drug users around the country. Families Anonymous run similar groups for the families of drug users.

Parents & other relatives

Drug agencies also provide lots of advice and support to parents of young people using these drugs. Many street agencies can provide relative support groups or counselling for family members, partners etc.

If you would like to talk about Tramadol problems then please call the DAN 24/7 Helpline on:

0808 808 2234

This information is provided by DAN 24/7 the All Wales Drug And Alcohol Helpline. Freephone 0808 808 2234      Click to Print This Page