Tramadol is an opioid medication prescribed for moderate to severe pain including for conditions like osteoarthritis or following surgery.
It’s newer to the pain medicine spectrum, being approved in 1995, but by 2014 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decided to label it a controlled substance because it carried the potential for abuse and even addiction. (It’s considered less problematic than other substances like Oxycontin, but experts still advise caution.)
Tramadol works on the central nervous system (CNS) to provide pain relief. Too much can lead to loss of consciousness, trouble breathing, pinpoint pupils, and a slowed or irregular heartbeat. Paired with other substances (like alcohol or benzodiazepines) there is an elevated risk of overdose and even death.
Common side effects include constipation, dry mouth, headaches, drowsiness, or stomach pain. Tramadol comes in tablet and liquid forms. Extended-release options are available in tablet and capsule forms. Tramadol is the generic version, but brand names include Conzip, FusePaq Synapryn, Rybix OTD, Ultram, and Ultram ER. Some may no longer be on the market while others are being added. Tramadol is also combined with acetaminophen and sold under the name Ultracet. While there is a risk of dependence, tramadol tends to be viewed as a safer option among people who need pain management. Strengths range from 50 mg to 300mg.
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Tramadol comes in tablet and liquid forms. Extended-release options are available in tablet and capsule forms.
Tramadol is the generic version, but brand names include Conzip, FusePaq Synapryn, Rybix OTD, Ultram, and Ultram ER. Some may no longer be on the market while others are being added.
Tramadol is also combined with acetaminophen and sold under the name Ultracet.
While there is a risk of dependence, tramadol tends to be viewed as a safer option among people who need pain management. Strengths range from 50 mg to 300mg.
How to Identify Tramadol
What does tramadol look like? There’s no quick answer for tramadol’s colors due to it coming in different shapes and shades, and even in liquid form.
WebPoisonControl is a website and app with 24 poison-control centers from around the United States contributing to the effort. Site visitors can search the Pill Identifier by the name of the medicine or other identifying characteristics (imprint code, shape, and color) to find answers.
Searching for tramadol alone yields dozens of results.
Tramadol’s physical appearance tends to be round or oblong in shape, and mostly in white. Rarely is it yellow.
Usually numbers or letters are printed on one side. Sometimes the number gives a clue to its strength. The imprint APO TR 50 points to it being 50 mg, for example. The letters and numbers (or words) also give clues to the manufacturer and active ingredients.
Knowing the specific imprint on a pill (MP 717, NO24, or 101 OUYI, are just three examples of 50 mg tramadols) can help provide confirmation on what a tablet or capsule may be.
An unmarked pill might mean it’s a vitamin, counterfeit, or illegal drug.
Brand-name tramadols are mostly white, but shapes vary:
- Conzip: White and oblong
- FusePaq Synapryn: Liquid suspension
- Rybix OTD: Round, white
- Ryzolt and Ryzolt ER: Round and white
- Ultram: White and oblong; and Ultram ER: Round and white
Tramadol-acetaminophen combinations tend to vary more in appearance, ranging in color from white to yellow to orange to tan. It comes primarily in oblong shapes. An imprint number like 37.5-325 might indicate it has 37.5 mg of tramadol and 325 mg of acetaminophen, but that’s only one imprint of many.
- health.harvard.edu – Is tramadol a risky pain medication?
- mayoclinic.org – Tramadol (Oral Route)
- ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – Co-prescription of opioids with benzodiazepine and other co-medications among opioid users: differential in opioid doses
- medlineplus.gov – Tramadol
- pill-id.webpoisoncontrol.org – Pill Identifier
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