With millions of drugs available today, drug categorization can be a bit confusing. Categorizing a drug as an opiate agonist, an opiate or any other class of drugs generally can be a hard nut to crack. That said, for some unknown reason opiate drug Tramadol is often a misunderstood and overlooked drug. Even pharmacists and doctors are not sure about some features of the drug and to which class of narcotics it belongs. To help you separate the wheat from the chaff, here is a guide on whether Tramadol 50 mg is a narcotic or opiate.
Is Tramadol an addictive Narcotic also known as an Opiate?
Sold under the brand name Ultram, Dromodol or Ralivia, Tramadol is a synthetic analgesic prescription drug used to alleviate moderate to severe pain. Like opiates it works by changing the way your central nervous system functions and responds to pain. It has various applications including countering restless legs syndrome, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and motor neurone.
Around 20 percent of Tramadol’s painkilling features come from opioids while 80 percent of its features come from ingredients that inhibit production of norepinephrine and trigger serotonin release, 2 main hormones in the brain responsible for pain and mood. Most doctors view tramadol as a safer option to pain killers like hydrocodone, oxydone and morphine because it has less opioid content.
Another difference between opioids and tramadol is that unlike other opioid pain killers like morphine which are natural, tramadol is synthetic. This typically means that it is created in chemical labs as a result of various chemical reactions. It is not a natural drug. But most people often refer to it as an opioid because it’s chemical structure and effects on the body. It closely resembles a stripped down opioid. In addition the word opiate’ generally refers to products that contain alkaloids of the poppy plant. But depending on different classification systems drugs such as Tramadol whose ingredients are obtained from opium poppy are usually considered as opiates. Also tramadol is not scheduled as a controlled drug by the United states DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration).
So is Tramadol for Opiate Withdrawal or is it an Addictive Opioid?
The answer is both yes and no. Why? Although it does not have all the features of an opiate completely, Tramadol acts on the body in the same way as opiates. So it is not an opiate in taxonomy, but in action it is. Typically this means that for all purposes and intents you can consider Tramadol as an opiate. It is a great pain reliever in a clinical environment, but very addictive if abused or used in high doses in a non-prescription environment. Just like other opiates, it is highly addictive and can easily lead to withdrawal symptoms and physical dependence. Nonetheless for simplicity’s sake, you can refer to it as a semi synthetic opioid.
Although the above information might not mean a lot to many people, what is essential is that Tramadol is a good pain killer. It is also even more essential to note that the substance can cause addition if abused. Addiction signs include obsessive and compulsive use and loss of control over using the drug.