Tramadol is a popular opioid pain medicine that’s sold in the States under the name Ultram. It’s typically used to treat pain ranging from the moderate to the severe and is sometimes given to treat chronic pain. Tramadol usually takes about an hour to take effect when taken in tablet or suppository form and just minutes when injected directly into the bloodstream. When compared dose-by-dose to morphine it’s about one-fifth the potency, which puts it roughly on par with codeine. Tramadol is frequently combined with acetaminophen to enhance its efficacy.
A Brief Introduction to Tramadol
In 2017, Tramadol celebrated 40 years on the market. It was first launched in Germany in 1977 by the pharma company Grunenthal BmbH under the name “Tramal” and enjoyed widespread success. So much so that 20 years later it was licensed in Australia, the UK, and the US under a variety of names; including “Tramadol” in America. Tramadol is a manmade pain reliever and as such not a true opiate, but rather an opioid.
Like many pain medications, its exact mechanism is not fully understood although it is generally believed to be similar to morphine in that it binds to opioid receptors in the brain effectively cutting off pain signals and providing relief. While the drug has many champions in the medical community it’s not without its share of side effects, some of them serious. Those side effects include but are not necessarily limited to constipation, nausea, itchy skin and reduced alertness.
Some patients dealing with depression have also alleged that Tramadol increased suicidal feelings and large doses may complicate existing liver conditions. The drug is also not recommended for use by the elderly as there seems to be an increased risk of respiratory issues, cognitive impairment and adverse effects on balance. Breastfeeding women should also consider alternatives to Tramadol. Although Tramadol is not considered as addictive as say morphine, it is nonetheless abused by opioid addicts. Street names include Ultras, Chill pills and Oxycontin lite.
Why do Companies Test for Opioids like Tramadol?
In the past companies saw little reason to check employees for drugs like Tramadol. They were considered to be fairly low brow, and meek versions of hardcore painkillers like morphine and their addictive qualities were largely dismissed.
That has all changed in recent years as more and more people have succumbed to opioid addiction. High profile stories have chronicled mothers passed out behind the wheel of their car after overdosing on opioids while their young children sat helplessly in the backseat unaware what was going on and otherwise professional looking men lying unconscious on city streets. As a result, the Federal Government has recently declared an opioid crisis in the US and if companies weren’t on the testing bandwagon before they are now.
Will Tramadol Show Up My Urine?
The standard 5-panel drug test given by many employers looks for opiates, not opioids like Tramadol. As such you shouldn’t worry too much about the drug showing up on your results. However – and this is important – opioids are commonly looked for on 10 and 12-panel drug tests and an increasing number of companies are instituting the more thorough screening regime in the face of the growing opioid crisis.
So, even if your company gave you a 5-panel test last time and you passed with no problem it doesn’t mean they won’t change to a 10-panel test this time. In fact, with the recent declaration of a national opioid crisis, you can be sure more comprehensive screenings are on the way for just about everyone.
Read More: How Long Do Opioids Stay in Your System?
How Can I Pass a Urine Drug Test For It?
Tramadol has a half-life of about 6.5 hours and will typically take anywhere from 2 to 4 days to clear your system to the point that it’s undetectable in a urine sample. As such anyone undergoing a urinalysis for opioids on short notice is going to be in a very tight spot. While there aren’t any miraculous procedures you can go through that will flush Tramadol from your system at an accelerated rate there are some steps you can take that may increase your odds of passing a drug test:
- Stop using – Easier said than done most of the time we know but if you want to keep your job, it’s the only surefire way to go. Many companies have policies that explicitly state the amount of lead time they have to provide before a drug screening. With some, it can be as much as a week. If your company is good enough to provide you sufficient warning you’d be wise to stop as soon as you learn drug tests are coming. With as much as a week clean before the screening, you stand a better than even chance of passing it.
- Secure a substitute sample – Some people unwilling to stop in the days leading up to a test turn instead to others to provide a substitute urine sample they can submit as their own. While this may seem like a good idea, in fact, it’s extremely risky because you can never actually be sure what someone else has in their system.
- Use synthetic urine – For many people the only reasonably dependable way to pass a drug screening they’re otherwise sure they’ll fail is to submit a synthetic urine sample. Synthetic urine is available through a number of online outlets and is virtually indistinguishable from real human pee. However, the preparation of synthetic urine takes a lot of time and must be carefully carried out. In case you fall short on either the two, prepare for trouble.
- Take detox drinks – If you are given a week to clear your system, then detox drinks may be one thing to consider taking as they can effectively reduce the amount of Tramadol and other urine-based drugs given that you follow the procedures. If the testing is on short notice, detox drinks can still be helpful in flushing out the toxins out of your system quickly and may give you a higher chance of passing the test.
My Main Takeaway
The sound of implementing a 10- or 12-panel drug test for opioids like Tramadol makes anxiety for some people worse as their career is what’s mostly at stake. But, it shouldn’t be the end of your hopes for your career yet.
To pass a random urine drug test, you need to stop taking the drugs first. Do self-rehabilitation then regularly take detox drinks such as Rescue Cleanse to help you reclaim your drug-free system. Detox drinks can surely be one of the most dependable options when it comes to staying in your current job position and keeping your body fit and healthy.
About The Author
Lisa is a content writer, blogger, and entrepreneur. When she is not managing her business, Colonial Stores, Lisa spends most of her time researching about synthetic urine products to review. She loves sharing her learnings in a form of blogging that’s why she built a website to connect with many people. You can read more about me here.
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Tramadol is detectable in urine for 1-4 days after last use, in hair for 4-6 months, in saliva for up to 48 hours, and in blood for about 12-24 hours. When used as directed, tramadol can be a safe and effective medication for people suffering from moderate levels of pain.How is tramadol cleared from the body? ›
Tramadol and its metabolites are mainly excreted via the kidneys. The mean elimination half-life is about 6 hours. The O-demethylation of tramadol to M1, the main analgesic effective metabolite, is catalysed by cytochrome P450 (CYP) 2D6, whereas N-demethylation to M2 is catalysed by CYP2B6 and CYP3A4.Can tramadol cause false positive urine? ›
On the other hand, false positive results for tramadol were reported in the literature for venlafaxine; an antidepressant medication of the serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor class.What is the half life of tramadol 50mg? ›
. They demonstrated the half life of Tramadol in healthy humans to be approximately 7 hours.What class of drug is tramadol? ›
Tramadol is an FDA-approved medication for pain relief. It has specific indications for moderate to severe pain. It is considered a class IV drug by the FDA and has been since July 7th, 2014.What organ does tramadol damage? ›
Tramadol is an opioid analgesic used for the therapy of mild-to-moderate pain. Tramadol overdose can cause acute liver failure.Does tramadol have codeine in it? ›
Is there codeine in tramadol? No, there is no codeine in tramadol. Although codeine and tramadol are similar drugs, they are not equivalent.Why am I testing positive for tramadol? ›
Tramadol is an opioid medication that treats pain. Your drug screen could become positive for methadone or PCP with large doses of tramadol.What is the most common false-positive drug test? ›
Amphetamine (more on this below) and methamphetamine are the most commonly reported false positive.What drugs can cause a false-positive on a urine test? ›
Clinically, a false positive urine drug screen can be due to numerous xenobiotics: dextromethorphan, diphenhydramine, doxylamine, ibuprofen, imipramine, ketamine, meperidine, venlafaxine, buproprion, methylenedioxpyrolvalerone (MDPV), and tramadol.
Important. Do not take medicines called monoamine oxidase inhibitors or MAOIs (which are used to treat depression) with tramadol. The combination can cause significant side effects such as anxiety, confusion and hallucinations.Can I take 2 tramadol 50mg at once? ›
In general the lowest pain-relieving dose should be taken. You should usually swallow one or two capsules at a time. Do not take them more often than every four hours and do not take more than eight capsules in any 24 hours unless your doctor tells you to.What happens if I take 2 50mg tramadol at once? ›
It's important not to take more than your prescribed dose, even if you think it's not enough to relieve your pain. Speak to your doctor first if you think you need a different dose. Taking too much tramadol can be dangerous. If you've taken too much, you may feel very sleepy, sick or dizzy.Is tramadol stronger than hydrocodone? ›
Tramadol is an opioid medication that treats pain that can't be relieved by non-opioid medications. It's a controlled substance (Schedule 4), so it has a risk of causing dependence and misuse. But it's weaker than other opioids like hydrocodone (a Schedule 2 drug), so it's considered less likely to cause these issues.Why is tramadol a controlled substance? ›
Tramadol is a schedule IV controlled substance. It has a higher potential for dependence and addiction than non-controlled medications. A tramadol prescription can be refilled a maximum of five times within 6 months. After 6 months or five refills, a new prescription is needed.Is tramadol 50 mg considered a narcotic? ›
Tramadol is a specific type of narcotic medicine called an opioid that is approved to treat moderate to moderately severe pain in adults.What is the pain killing ingredient in tramadol? ›
Tramadol hydrochloride - the active substance in Tramadol - is a painkiller belonging to the class of opioids that acts on the central nervous system. It relieves pain by acting on specific nerve cells of the spinal cord and brain.Does tramadol affect urine flow? ›
Tramadol is an opioid agonist, however, and morphine is known to increase the tonus of the bladder sphincter and to cause urinary retention.What happens if I take tramadol everyday? ›
Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. If too much of this medicine is taken for a long time, it may become habit-forming (causing mental or physical dependence) or cause an overdose.What medication is similar to tramadol? ›
Tramadol and hydrocodone are two types of potent pain relievers called opioid analgesics. They're often used to treat moderate to severe pain, such as long-term pain related to cancer or other chronic conditions. They can also treat pain from an injury or surgery.
The drug contains a synthetic opioid that is metabolized into an opioid in the body and acts on the opioid centers of the brain, just like other opioids. Tramadol's effect is not as readily apparent as that of stronger opioid medications, but it is still real and significant.What does a 10 panel drug test test for? ›
|Amphetamines||Methamphetamines, meth, speed, ecstasy|
|THC||Cannabinoids, marijuana, hash|
|Opiates||Heroin, opium, codeine, morphine|
|Phencyclidine||PCP, angel dust|
The potency of tramadol is reported to be 1/10 (one tenth) to 1/6 (one sixth) that of morphine.What does a 12 panel drug test test for? ›
This panel contains the following components: Amphetamine, Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, Cocaine, Methadone, Methamphetamine, Opiates, Oxycodone, Phencyclidine, Propoxyphene, Cannabinoids (THC), and Tricyclic Antidepressants or their metabolites.How far back does a lab urine test go? ›
A: Urine drug testing typically detects recent drug use in the previous 24 to 72 hours.Can you argue a positive drug test? ›
Generally, there's nothing to stop an employer from rescinding a job offer as a result of a false positive. They are not generally required to allow you to fight your case or opt for a re-test.What drug test shows the most? ›
Urine drug testing (UDT): This is the most common drug test. It requires a sample of your urine (pee). Urine drug tests are most commonly used to detect alcohol, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, opiates/opioids, cocaine and marijuana (THC).How do you get a false negative on a urine drug test? ›
False-negatives can occur when the urine drug concentration is below the threshold level set by the laboratory performing the test. Dilute urine, the duration of time between ingestion of the drug and time of testing, and the quantity of the drug ingested may affect the occurrence of false-negatives.Can over the counter medicine give you a false positive drug test? ›
You could fail a drug test for taking medications such as: Antihistamines, such as Benadryl: Diphenhydramine, the active ingredient in these medications, helps treat itching, allergies, and cold symptoms; but it may also trigger a positive result for opioids, opiates, or PCP on a drug test.What is the chance of false positive drug test? ›
In other words, even though there's only a 1% overall error rate – which seems pretty good – 50% of the positive tests are false positives. That doesn't sound like a very high probability for violating your client's probation or supervised release and putting him or her in prison.
Using amphetamines along with tramadol increases the effects of opioids within the body. Amphetamines are also stimulants, which can counteract the sleepiness and lethargy that opioids can induce.Is tramadol stronger than codeine? ›
Both tramadol and codeine are prescription painkillers, and they seem to be equally effective in terms of pain relief. There is no evidence that tramadol is any stronger than codeine at relieving pain.Why can't you take tramadol? ›
Tramadol can raise digoxin levels in the body and cause digoxin toxicity. Reports of this are rare, but symptoms include vision problems and gastrointestinal side effects. Serious toxicity can cause life-threatening heart problems. If you take digoxin, your healthcare provider may recommend avoiding tramadol.What is the strongest pain killer? ›
The most powerful pain relievers are opioids. They are very effective, but they can sometimes have serious side effects. There is also a risk of addiction. Because of the risks, you must use them only under a doctor's supervision.Can you take 800 mg ibuprofen with 50 mg tramadol? ›
Yes, you can take these medications together. Tramadol is safe to take with ibuprofen and may be used to provide additional pain relief.Is it OK to take 200 mg of tramadol at once? ›
Typically, the maximum recommended dosage is 400 mg per day. Most people are not even prescribed this much; they are usually prescribed 200 mg per day or less. Often, an overdose occurs when tramadol is mixed with a different kind of drug or alcohol.What's the strongest milligram for tramadol? ›
Adults—At first, 100 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 300 mg per day. Children 12 years of age and older—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.How long does tramadol take to kick in? ›
Tramadol injections and drops, along with some types of tablets and capsules, are fast-acting. They start working in 30 to 60 minutes. Their effects wear off within 4 to 6 hours. Fast-acting tramadol comes in doses of 50 to 100 milligrams (mg).Can I take 3 tramadol 50mg at once? ›
How Much Tramadol Is Too Much? Doctors recommend that patients take no more than 50 mg of short-acting tramadol every six hours as needed, or 100 mg of long-acting tramadol per day when starting out. This amount may be increased as tolerances do.Is tramadol excreted by the kidneys? ›
Analgesic efficacy of tramadol requires metabolism to its active metabolite, O-desmethyltramadol (M1), by the liver in a similar fashion as codeine. Failure of excretion of this metabolite through the kidney can lead to accumulation causing serious side effects such as sedation and seizure activity.
Tramadol is generally safe to use, but in some cases — such as overdose or prolonged use — it may damage the liver. A 2015 study found that there was a risk of increased liver and kidney damage due to the long-term use of tramadol.Can tramadol affect urine output? ›
In normal human subjects, tramadol at the recommended analgesic dosage (150 mg daily) can cause urinary retention (11).Is tramadol hard on your kidneys? ›
Tramadol is not directly toxic to your kidneys, but it can be dangerous for people with chronic kidney disease. Tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease. They may choose a different medication for you, or they may give you a lower dose or space out your doses.