Combining alcohol and tramadol increases the pleasurable effects of both drugs. People often become addicted to tramadol and alcohol because they develop a tolerance for the effects of alcohol. Tramadol affects brain chemistry in users, reducing the body’s tolerance to drinking alcohol. Therefore, it’s very easy to underestimate the effects of mixing alcohol and tramadol, leading to addiction or a possible overdose.
Common Tramadol Precautions
“Tramadol affects brain chemistry in users.”-Projectknow.com
People who are prescribed tramadol are advised to avoid or stop drinking alcohol while taking the drug. Even if the person is not an alcoholic, mixing alcohol and tramadol can lead to depression of the central nervous system. For this reason, no one taking tramadol and drinking alcohol should ever drive a car or do other things that require motor coordination or mental alertness. Even taking tramadol can affect common activities, so most doctors advise that patients limit their activities when using tramadol. Regularly mixing alcohol and tramadol greatly increases the risk of harming yourself or others.
Side Effects of Mixing with Alcohol
Both alcohol and tramadol affect the body in similar ways. For this reason, any adverse affects that a person might experience when taking either of these drugs are compounded when the two are combined. One of the largest dangers of mixing tramadol with alcohol is its ability to depress the central nervous system, which can result in:
- Muscle flaccidity
- Cardiac arrest
- Slowed heartbeat
- Respiratory depression
- Loss of consciousness
“…most doctors advise that patients limit their activities when using tramadol.”-Projectknow.com
Even a prescribed dose of tramadol combined with alcohol can lead to the above symptoms. Larger dosages can also cause fatalities. The presence of any of these symptoms could indicate a possible overdose, so seek medical attention immediately if you are affected.
Increased Risk of Suicide
If you’ve ever had a mood disorder like depression, mixing alcohol and tramadol can be fatal. Both drugs can alter the mood of the person taking them. If there is a predisposition to suicidal thoughts, the combination can cause someone to act on those thoughts. Death by suicide has been linked to combining alcohol and tramadol. Most doctors will avoid prescribing tramadol to people who have ever been depressed or suicidal, even if the patient does not consume alcohol. Instead, they will prescribe a non-narcotic analgesic.
Respiratory Depression in Addicts
Tramadol and alcohol are both drugs that can affect your body’s ability to breathe. Combined, the drugs can greatly affect the brain’s nervous system and prevent it from prompting your body to breathe. Drug addicts may find that they will breathe more slowly and not fully fill their lungs with each breath. Large dosages of both drugs can cause an addict to stop breathing altogether, leading to death.
Overcoming Dependence and Addiction
One of the largest dangers of mixing tramadol with alcohol is that you may become addicted to the combination. Regular use of tramadol or alcohol both carry risks of dependence. People predisposed to addiction, like many alcoholics, are particularly at risk for developing an addiction to tramadol as well.
Overcoming tramadol and alcohol dependency requires medical intervention. Symptoms of withdrawal can be overcome, but addicts should carefully be monitored due to the effects of detoxification on the central nervous system. A report in 2003’s Drug and Alcohol Dependence indicates that almost 33 percent of people who undergo tramadol withdrawal have some detoxification symptoms relating to the central nervous system. Mixing tramadol and alcohol over long periods of time can lead to these symptoms during withdrawal:
- Panic attacks
- Numbness and tingling of the skin