Most people don’t like to opioid drugs orally. As a result, they end up taking it with other substances – such as fruit juices, alcohol, soft drinks, etc. – which levels the alcohol taste. Although the drug taste is minimized, most people fail to realize that alcohol has adverse effects when taken with drugs, especially with Tramadol.
Scientifically, Tramadol acts as a painkiller (analgesic) and is referred to as Tramadol Hydrochloride and affects the patient’s central nervous system. Tramadol goes by different brand names: Ultracet and Ultram. On the other hand, alcohol is a depressant to a person’s central nervous system. This means abusing either substance is dangerous, particularly when abused together. The medical complications can be severe when tramadol and alcohol combine together resulting in the formation of a new dangerous compound in the body.
As a pain reliever, this medication may bring about sedation and euphoric feelings. As a result, most people mix the drug with alcohol so as to enhance the euphoric effects (feeling high) of the drug. The common alcohol and Tramadol side effects are relaxation, drowsiness, numbness, euphoria and hallucinations.
Though the euphoric effects are severe when taken along with alcohol, several users have reported frightening and negative effects as well. Alcohol reacts with the drug chemically leaving an additive effect when combined. That is to say, the pain relieving and depressant effects are intensified when both are taken together. This can cause the nervous system to slow down resulting in a potential overdose.
Dangers of taking Tramadol with Alcohol
The likelihood of experiencing dangerous side effects are extremely high when both are administered together. This is because the normal functioning of both substances is intensified in a patient’s central nervous system. The most serious effects observed in the body are:
- impaired coordination
- slowed heartbeat
- shallow breathing
Impact in the central nervous system
Both alcohol and tramadol depress the nervous system causing cardiac arrest, seizures, and floppy muscles. When taken together, there’s a likelihood of addictive effects. That is to say, the normal effects of taking either are increased. Therefore, avoid drinking, if possible.
The painkiller when taken along with alcohol negatively impact the breathing abilities thereby causing depression your brain centers that necessitate breathing. As a result, patients experience slow and shallow breathing. Larger doses may stop breathing altogether.
Both the substance have a high potential for dependency. This might cause alcohol addiction and development of drug dependency among users, as well. Similar to alcohol, abrupt stoppage of consuming both substances leads to withdrawal symptoms. Stopping the combined consumption of both also has life-threatening withdrawal symptoms like tingling, numbness, confusion, agitation, panic attacks, paranoia, and hallucination.
Note: the addictive effect works in both ways – when taking Tramadol, the alcohol effects are also enhanced. Alcohol causes lightheadedness, sleepiness, and drowsy feelings. That’s the reason why taking the drug with alcohol can cause slow down the reaction time of the medication. Moreover, the drug increases the intoxication effect of alcohol. This increases the possibility of alcohol poisoning and is potentially deadly. In fact, you will be required to simultaneously take Tramadol in order to tolerate the normal alcohol amount, you consume safely.
Avoiding Serious Tramadol and Alcohol Risks
The interaction forms a toxic combination. However, the risks are effectively minimized through:
- Avoid the use of prescription pain relief pills in alcohol addicts and in those battling other forms of abuses.
- Quitting drinking or seeking alternative therapy when on Ultram therapy, especially for regular alcohol consumers
- Weaning off Ultram intake for individuals with the drug and alcohol joint consumption history (beyond 4 weeks)
- Avoid serious activities, particularly those requiring total CNS control (for example, undertaking delicate tasks, managing heavy machinery, driving, etc.) – when you’ve consumed both substances simultaneously.