Tramadol belongs to a class of drugs called opiate agonists and is used to relieve minor to severe pain. When taking tramadol, you should avoid drinking alcohol. The effects of mixing tramadol and alcohol are greater than the individual effects taken separately. Tramadol affects the pain receptors in the brain and ultimately inhibits the person’s sensation of pain, similar to morphine and other narcotic painkillers.

Drinking alcohol while taking tramadol increases the risk that you will experience serious, life-threatening side effects. It is important to understand that both tramadol and alcohol act as central nervous system depressants, meaning these substances impact the brain and slow it down. Worse, the substances can cause respiratory depression, which is manifested by a difficulty in breathing. Thus, people taking tramadol for pain relief are warned against consuming alcohol before or after taking the drug.

Drinking alcohol, taking prescription or nonprescription medications that contain alcohol, or using street drugs during your treatment with tramadol increases the risk that you will experience these serious, life-threatening side effects. Do not drink alcohol, take prescription or nonprescription medications that contain alcohol, or use street drugs during your treatment.

Side Effects Tramadol’s Interactions with Alcohol

You may experience the following side effects as a result of taking tramadol in conjunction with alcohol:

  • Anxiety.
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Breathing problems.
  • Severely low blood pressure.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Memory loss.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Seizures.
  • Dangerous behavior that can put multiple individuals at risk.

After taking tramadol, many patients observe that the effect of alcohol becomes even more pronounced. They notice they get readily intoxicated even with just a small amount of alcohol. This is the reason why this medication comes with a label indicating that those who are under the influence of alcohol should not take it until their body is free of alcohol.

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Withdrawal Symptoms and Warnings

Individuals who’ve developed a tolerance to tramadol and alcohol are cautioned against quitting use cold turkey without the assistance of a medical professional. People undergoing the process of alcohol withdrawal are explicitly instructed not to take tramadol altogether, in order to avoid the occurrence of seizures. Likewise, doing away with using tramadol suddenly will result in withdrawal symptoms in much the same way as with alcohol withdrawal.

Concerns of Mixing Alcohol with Other Opiates

Treatment Options

Treatment for addiction to tramadol and alcohol typically starts with talking to a healthcare provider. Patients who feel their alcohol use seriously affects their health conditions should notify their doctors at once. Because tramadol is a very powerful drug used in the treatment of acute pain, doctors admonish patients not to use the drug for reasons other than the intended use. Tramadol abuse can cause serious health problems and can take a huge toll on people’s lives and on those they love.

Hotline to Call

If you or someone you know is struggling from alcohol and tramadol addiction, check with your doctor as soon as possible to find out the safest way of taking this drug while making sure you avoid using alcohol completely. 

Should you need further information and help about dealing with the effects of mixing tramadol and alcohol, call us for free advice or to explore your options. This helpline is available 24/7 and makes sure all information you provide is kept confidential and secure.