drug interactions

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 846
   Posted 12/19/2009 9:53 AM (GMT -6)   
I was trying to dig up some stuff on the Tramacet that my doctor prescribed for my facial pain. I had to take some again, and remembered that it was supposed to be for short term use, mainly 5 days. I still have some left, as I didn't need the 4/ day. I was prescribed it beginning of November, I think it was.

So I discovered that tramacet is a low dose Tramadol mixed with acetaminophen.
Then I learned that Tramadol was addictive, and there were risk of seizures when stopping it, among it's withdrawal symptoms.
There is also a risk of serotonin toxicity, especially when used in conjunction with tryciclic antidepressants, and SSRI.
(here is a link to seratonin syndrome)

I assume I'm ok, b/c I don't take it often, and tramacet, if I got this right, is a smaller dose.
But this got me to thinking... how much do you trust your doctor? Do you research every drug prescribed to you, or take it blindly? Do you trust your pharmacist to catch drug interactions? When you are hurting, you just want to feel better. When do the risks outweigh the benefits?

I'm a little more leery of taking pills since my bleeding ulcer taking the Naproxen. I realized that any kind of medication can do some scary damage. Even just OTC meds (I think my ulcer started b/c I was taking too many Advil). But I get so confused if I research this stuff, there are so many variables. Yet I feel like I'm irresponsible if I don't know what it is I'm putting into my body.
fibromyalgia and possible trigeminal neuralgia
50 mgs amitriptyline daily, T3s for facial pain (really not appropriate med) and now tramacet

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2854
   Posted 12/19/2009 10:47 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi...I have learned the hard way.  I know I have posted this before, but I was put on Lexapro for Fibro.  I was given sample packs with no inserts of anykind in the blister packages.  Took it...got blurred vision, didn't help with the pain and weaned off over the course of 4 months.  My doctor gave me no instructions when he handed me this drug.  If I hadn't checked the Internet, I wouldn't have even known that you can't stop an SSRI abruptly.  However...I stopped at 2.5mgs and after three months still have brain zaps and headaches.  I didn't know you were supposed to taper down 1/10 of dosage over the course of a year. (found that on the Lexapro site).  I also did not know that you are not supposed to take NSAID's with Lexapro...intestinal and stomach bleeding...which I was treated to also.  I will never ever take another drug without researching it first.  Doctors only know what the drug rep tells them.   This withdrawal is worse than any fibro pain I have ever had.  My doctor is shocked that I am having symptoms...then added 'These drugs are a  life time committment."  So to answer your question...yes...I research everything I am prescribed now.  And unfortunately, I rely on  my pharmacist for answers now more than I do my doctor!


fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: valium Advil

confused Okie
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 12/19/2009 10:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Just my view on it......
I ask my dr each time he adds something, do I keep taking (insert all meds here)
I ask the pharmacist if all the meds are ok even OTC (I get all of my meds at the same place)
I also look them up online

Now with that said, I do realize that the pharmacuticl companies must list everything, just like this bag is not a toy or do not ride this bike in the dark with no lights on it.

I take any new med on a day that someone is around and I do not have to drive or anything.
I also only start one new med at a time.
I also know that some meds start out giving you mild side effects that go away after a little bit. Just like stopping one, you may have some effects, getting off of Effexor and Paxi (different times and with dr advice) was horrible.

I have not had any problems with this system, I have had meds that I could not take. Plaquinel (a DMARD) made me sick for a whole month, but it helped so much I thought I would give it more time. I lost 15 lbs that month, so it wasnt' all bad :)

Any time we put something in our bodies to combat an illness or condition it has effects on us (anti infalmmatory, pain killer etc.), otherwise there would be no point in taking it. I read about narcotics and chronic pain for instance, when someone who is not in pain takes a pain killer they get high, but if a person in chronic pain takes the same thing it treats the pain.

If you don't trust your dr, you should find a new dr. If you do, then yes be cautious. But, remember we all react differently to meds and some people do have adverse reactions. Any time a med is bad, the FDA removes it, therefore I am in favor of relying on the older meds that have been taken by many opposed to the newest med that comes out. I know they have trials, but sometimes the bad things only happen after long term use.

I have researched tramadol (did nothing for me) and it seems as though very few have actually had any adverse reactions or trouble quitting. I have also looked at the seretonin syndrome. In my opinion drs hand out anti d's way to quick, maybe our seretonin levels are fineto begin with and then added meds raises that level more. That is just my opinion.......sometimes we are down because we are in constant pain, not depressed. I think they should try helping the pain first and see how the patient does, but then again they say depression causes pain. So you can see the delima the drs are in. We do what we need to do, I took lortabs for 4 yrs and then had to stop cold turkey, I did not have a problem. Addiction is a very individual thing, some people cannot gamble without getting addicted and that is body chemistry, not an outside influence like medication.

Didn't mean for this to get this long, sorry....
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you won't.
I may not do things like other people, but I get things done in my own way, in my own time.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 12/19/2009 11:11 AM (GMT -6)   


I was concerned about the serotonin syndrome too. Ask your Dr about it, and what their concerns are.

My Pain Management Dr. told me he had no wories about it even with the amounts of medications I am taking. You can see below that I am taking the whole enchilada when it comes to "Fibro Meds".

I understand your feelings of being confused/iresponsible when it comes to researcing the meds or not. My take is that in doing the research, I am doing due diligence and am letting the Dr's know I am insisting on being involved in my treatment. Even if the Dr tells me I shouldn't be concerned about something, He is seeing that I am taking responsibility for my treatment.

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind.
DX: Fibromyalgia, Multiple Herniated/Desicated Discs, Multiple Neuropathies, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Nystagmus, IBS, Migrains, Atypical Tremor, Low D, Low T, High CSF Protien, Depression, Gluten Intolerance.
RX: Cymbalta 60mg, Lyrica 450mg, Savella 100mg, Zanaflex 4-8mg, Trazodone 50mg, Testostorone 75mg, Epidural Steriod Injections. OTC: D3 5-6000IU, Magnesium/Malic Acid, Calcium, B-12, GNC MegaMen Energy Vitapack.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 817
   Posted 12/19/2009 5:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a serious reaction to lisinopril (for high blood pressure).  My doctor couldn't figure out what caused the reaction-put me on a steroid for a month.  After I stopped that I had a very serious reaction the next day.  Hives, chest pain, indigestion and trouble swallowing.  This started after I took the lisinopril and not eating anything.  I called my doctor and said what I thought was causing the problem, so he gave me a different prescription.  I talked to the pharmacist when I picked up the new meds.  I told her about my reaction to lisinopril and she said, you must be allergic to sulfa.  I am and have always told my doctors and pharmacists this.  Knowing this 2 different doctors prescribed it anyway, one dr in the Midwest and one in Ca.  I always look up every drug now and double check. 
Fibromyalgia, arthritis in spine and hips, IBS, Raynaud's syndrome, hypertension
On the eighth day God created Golden Retrievers.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4620
   Posted 12/19/2009 9:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Tramadol is said by most docs to not be addicting. You also don't keep needing higher and higher doses like taking Vicodin. It doesn't cause seratonin syndrome unless you are taking something like Zofran along with it. I prefer plain tramadol because acetominphen doesn't do anything for me. It won't cause stomach ulcers like Naproxen. I've been on tramadol (50mg) for a long time, stopped it with no withdrawal problem. It's only good for about 4 hours, but stops the pain so I can function and I can get along on 3 a day or less.

I also take Neurontin 100 mg TID. It helps me sleep. I started just at night, went to BID after 3 weeks, TID after another 3 weeks. I don't feel any need to up the dose. Originally I was Rx'd 300 mg at night, but that knocked me cold. I think docs don't understand how sensitive some of us fibros are. I generally take half a dose of anything to try it out. I carry a typed page of meds, and another of OTC meds, that I react to and how I react - don't tolerate any heart meds except the lowest dose of Toprol, and that has to be the extended release formula.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 12/19/2009 11:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Some docs may say tramadol isn't addicting but I know it is. If it gives you a high, it can be addicting. I've been on it for about 1 1/2 years now and it still gives me a bit of a high sometimes. I also need to take between 75 & 100 mg/day now but I only needed between 25 & 50 mg/day when I first started. I get withdrawal symptoms if I don't take it.

If you have a history of addiction or if addiction runs in your family, I think that tramadol can be as dangerous as any narcotic.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 12/20/2009 12:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Do not use your bare hands to pick up the lawnmower while it is running . . .

I cannot get addicted to Tramadol, then. It makes me nauseaus. I get into the most trouble with my zanaflex. doc says it is a mild muscle relaxer. Sometimes I have very strange dreams and do things like try to spank my hubby (or like I did last night - try to save him from being strangled by an extension cord and knee him in the groin in the process). Sometimes it seems to wear off quickly and other times it takes longer. So I am very careful!


Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 447
   Posted 12/20/2009 4:15 PM (GMT -6)   
You need to have a good relationship with your Doctor y new one listens to what I have to say and has the list of the drugs I can not take in red.
On my trip to the er for my knee which turned out to be only a fibro thing any how they have the list of what I can not take in big red letters on my file [hard copy] the doctor and nurse say this and hard a red bangle on me as soon as I was WHEELED IN I could not stand on my right leg as the pain in my knee was so bad. They tried to give me a tablet I was allergic two twice over. I was not told the common name for the drug but still refused it. As I told them I only wanted to find out how much damage I had done to my knee.
The drug wold of put me into hospital my allergy is that bad. But still they tried to give it too me. Why? When another nurse looked at my file she ws shocked that they had even tried.
I do not trust Doctors and am glad I do not every drug I take my Chemist will check out first. They have a list of drugs that I am alergic too.
So if the Doctor misses it they catch it. I have been going to this chemist for 10 plus years so they have seen my allergies first hand.
One drug had me susasidle another can have me too sick to get out of bed and pain killers DO NOT WORK FOR ME AT ALL. Or I have to take huge doses to get them to work.
As for addiction I was addicted to morphine never again it took me a year to break that it is painful but I DID IT WHY TAKE SOMETHNG that does not Work.

FMS. CFS, IBS, Migraine plus others

Baclofen [works wonders for me and I don't need painkillers] migraine meds and Endep

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 846
   Posted 12/21/2009 9:49 PM (GMT -6)   
thank you so much everyone. I guess the moral is you need to trust your doctor, but they are only human. A little research is a good thing.
I just hope I never have to get to the point that I have to take a cocktail, that's some scary stuff. I actually think twice now before taking Advil or Tylenol too. I used to take them, hoping to take the edge off the pain, but they didn't work. I gotten more accustomed to riding it out instead of pumping chemicals into my body, especially if they don't work.
fibromyalgia and possible trigeminal neuralgia
50 mgs amitriptyline daily, T3s for facial pain (really not appropriate med) and now tramacet

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