TheLupusSite.com banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Brenda
Joined
·
369 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just got a letter from my insurance carrier that tramadol is now a class... um can't remember the number. But it is regulated the same way narcotics are and they are limiting prescriptions to .. well I don't remember to what. Man, I'm full of info, aren't I? Well I asked my pharmacist about it and he said someone on the fda has a family member who got addicted to it, so he lobbied for it to become a controlled substance. Have any of you heard of that? I'd like to know if it really is addictive. It is the only thing that seems to take the edge off my pain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,577 Posts
Christian,

If someone is looking to get high and they take enough tramadol they can get addicted to it. That being said it is extremely unlikely that you will get addicted to Tramadol or any other narcotic pain reliever. There is an article pinned at the top of this forum titled Dependence vs Addiction. Even someone who is a recovered alcoholic or addict is very unlikely to get addicted to pain relievers when taken to control pain.

I remember 5 years ago when I first came out of remission. I was trying not to take the tylenol with codeine tablets I was prescribed until the pain got really really bad. I was blessed to have a member of this site, who I was in chat with frequently, that got me to taking the pain tablets at the beginning of the pain. It is easier to control pain if medication is taken at the beginning versus chasing the pain. In fact you can end up taking more tablets chasing the pain than if you simply take them at the beginning.

I am now on 2 different Schedule II Narcotics. I am not addicted to them but I am definitely dependent on them. If I were able to stop taking pain medications I would have to very slowly wean myself off of them. The same is true of the Steroids we take if we are on them long term.

What I am not sure of is whether or not tramadol creates a dependence with regular long term use. It is a synthetic medication that has been marketed as not causing addiction. A brief google indicated that it does create a dependency which means to not stop taking it abruptly if you have been taking it daily for a an extended period. I am not providing the reference because I haven't verified that the source is credible.

I hope this helps.

Take care,
Karen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,835 Posts
Hi I take tremadol (Ultram) 2 tabs 3 times a day...I am definately dependent on the relief they give me, but I am not addicted to them.

I was taking the same number of Vicodin a day and was very concerned about physical addiction so had a discussion with both my Dr and Pharmacist and we switched to the Tremadol.

I have not heard anything from my insurer, I get 100 a month with no questions. I used to get the same number of Vicodin (they are controlled) without issue...so if you need them have your Dr fight for you to get them.

Good luck - Stephanie
 

·
Brenda
Joined
·
369 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
sorry...

Thank you for your responses. I am trying to get my insurance company to email me the article, as I have lost it. I will post it here when I do. I hope it wasn't irresponsible of me to post this question before I had that proof to show you. I hope I haven't caused anyone any undo concern.
Thanks!
Brenda :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,661 Posts
Hello Brenda
I think that if there had been any sort of problem with your post Karen would have removed it for the moderators to consider so I wouldn't worry about it.
It touches upon a very important issue that concerns many people here. The end result of such leglislation is that pain continues to be inadequately relieved for millions and family doctors become reluctant to prescribe. Meanwhile the whole issue of physical dependancy as opposed to psychological addiction becomes more and more clouded in the public perception and the fears of those who badly need pain relief are heightened unnecessarily.
As Karen mentioned the body becomes used to taking drugs and there are numerous examples of drugs that mustn't be stopped suddenly simply because the body needs time to adjust. Some anti depressants are obvious examples but even stopping Plaquenil suddenly can, although very rarely, cause an extreme reaction of flare type rheumatic symptoms. Nobody Prednisone for kicks or to get high. Some people abuse OTC pain killers and other medicines for example cough mixtures and of course all sorts of substances can be abused

I saw an advisory on RXList about gradual withdrawal from Tramadol which I forgot to note.
I couldn't see any mention online of the FDA upgrading Tramadol - it would be interesting to know about it though. It's possible that some people will be having problems. Maybe I didn't use the right search terms

Bye for now ((((Brenda)))))

Clare
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,577 Posts
Hello,

One more comment to make. In the past couple of years the FDA made a change to how they monitor controlled substances. The stronger opiad type, Schedule II, still require a brand new prescription every 30 days. The other medications like Vicodin, Hydrocodone, Darvocet and Tramadol can still be written with refills. They are monitored more closely by the FDA now than in the past. This is to catch the addicts and people going to multiple doctors to get the same medication and filling it at different pharmacies. Now the pharmacist can tell if a prescription has been filled for you on the same drug or a similar drug.

If your GP is balking at writing the prescription ask your rheumy to write it. As Clare mentioned GP's are unnecessarily spooked at writing pain medication prescriptions.

Take care,
Karen
 

·
Brenda
Joined
·
369 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I'm still working on getting the article. If I remember right, it may have only been in my state (Arkansas). They aren't balking at writing the prescription. The insurance company isn't letting me get it with refills. I remember that part now. My GP said it had something to do with someone in the FDA from Arkansas who had a family member supposedly get addicted to it. (My GP didn't buy the story). I have emailed the insurance company to get another copy of the new law in Arkansas... but they haven't answered yet. I may have to call them and ask for a case number or something so I can research it more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
Hi Brenda,

I remember a while back someone saying tramadol is a narcotic and can be addictive. I took tramadol and ultram er daily for my fibromyalga and back pain. Since it made me so sleepy I stopped taking it when my doctor gave me cymbalta for the fibromyalgia.

I had no problems quitting.

good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
comment////i currently take percocet for pain, twice daily. Curious on how the med prof. thinks of this. I take it for pain relief, do they think it's because I'm addicted? I've tryed hypnotherapy, physio, yoga,pool therapy, mental therapy, nothing help except that will help. Am I addicted? I dont' know, but it sure help subdue the pain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

·
Brenda
Joined
·
369 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Well, if you are in pain and the medication is helping your pain I don't think it really matters. My concern isn't that they think it is addictive, it is that I can't get as many pills as I need BECAUSE they have changed it's control status.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,661 Posts
Hi Brenda

So the difference is not that you need a new prescription each time ?

Clare
 

·
Brenda
Joined
·
369 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Sorry Clare, not sure I understand the question. Then again, I've been off antiinflammatories for 4 days in preparation of surgery and I'm flaring like crazy :rotfl:

The problem is my insurance (I'm a disabled dependent so I get military insurance from my father) has said the fda has changed the status of tramadol, but only in Arkansas (my state). You can only get a prescription for a certain amount of them a month. A new prescription doesn't help because it is the pharmacy that is limiting it. I can't believe they won't send me that article and have taken it down. My pharmacist has heard about it but my rhuematologist hasn't and he wanted me to fax him the article.

I hope that answers what you were asking me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,661 Posts
Hello again Brenda

Good luck for the surgery ! It must be awful going without the pain relief. Will you get some Pred afterwards?

You can only get a prescription for a certain amount of them a month.
That does answer my question thank you. I am astonished that they can limit the actual amount, that is, stop the doctor prescribing what he thinks is right for the patient. I have heard of people having problems if they exceeded the prescribed amount per month, and can't get more until the month is up. Or if the pills have been lost or stolen, or even when the right amount wasn't counted out in the pharmacy hence recommendation to count them or get them counted again when you get them.

All the best

Clare
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,152 Posts
Hi Brenda

I did a bit of searching and came up with this article from the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy which has a small article at the end of it saying that
...all prescription products containing the active ingredient Tramadol will become Schedule IV controlled substances per Act 558 of 2007 sponsored by representative Tommy Dickinson and Act 585 sponsored by representative Percy Malone
http://www.state.ar.us/asbp/pdf/newsletters/07/AR052007.pdf

I dont know if this is any use to you as a reference?

(((((Hugs))))) on the flare. I hope you get through all this okay.

Luv n stuff
Joan:rose:
 

·
Brenda
Joined
·
369 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Oh Joan! Thank you SOOO much, that is a HUGE help!!!! :woohoo:

It's kind of funny it took someone in Dublin, Ireland to find an Arkansas law. LOL thanks again :)

I'm sure the flare will be better when I can start my silidfil again (spelling?). I am having an endoscopic plantar fasciotomy. In english that means there is a tight ligament in the arch of my foot that has caused a bone spur and they are going to cut the ligament to stretch it out. I had to stop the antiinflammatory (will I ever know how to spell that?) because of the risk of bleeding. I have been taking tramadol like crazy to make up for it. I have some saved up from when I was diagnosed with the compression fracture in my back. But I think I have pleurisy again from the inflammation.

Thank's ya'll for all the well wishes. Thanks for finding me this info Joan, I will send that to my doctor.

Clare: I can't take steroids unless an absolute emergency anymore. I've taken so many that I know get steroid psychosis.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,577 Posts
I want to make another statement in general about quantity limits on medication. Generally in the USA it is the insurance company that sets these arbitrary limits on medications, not just pain medications. I had trouble 2 years ago with the nifedipine I take for Raynauds. My doctor got around it by writing me 2 different prescriptions for different dosages, 30mg on one and 60mg on the other.

However in general your doctor can write to your insurance company requesting they approve additional pills for you. With the Schedule II or IV ( I get confused as to what is what) some doctors will not prescribe more than the max that the FDA has on their guidelines out of fear of being investigated. That is a subject that can get political real quick so I will just leave it that pain patients have a hard time getting adequate pain management sometimes.

Brenda what is the max on the tramadol? Erenae the informed medical professionals will view you as a patient who deals with extreme daily pain. I am like you. I have fentanyl patches and I take methadone every single day. For either of us we couldn't just stop the medication because our bodies are dependent on it. Read the article pinned in this forum on the subject of addiction vs dependency.

Brenda I think you have had your surgery by now. I hope your rheumy will take adequate measures to get your lupus back under control.

Take care,
Karen
 

·
The vortex of insanity!
Joined
·
154 Posts
I have a prescription for tramadol but my mother hid it because she thinks i will get addicted. I didn't feel myself getting dependent even when I was post-op, but yeah. It's not technically a narcotic, I don't think, but it's kind of a toned-down vicodin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
My husband was on tramodol for a back injury & he said it controlled his pain well. He didn't get addicted but he was very very very moody. In fact he was a right nutter. Pleased the operation worked. He won't even take a panadol now. So if you're lucky you'll only end up mad not addicted.

Seriously - best of luck with getting your pain under control.

Jodie.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,577 Posts
Applesauce,

Why don't you print out the article on dependence vs addiction that is pinned at the top of this forum (medications) and let your mom read it. If you are in pain getting adequate pain relief is important for your overall wellbeing.

Take care,
Karen
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top