• BRAND NAME: ULTRAM AVAILABLE IN 50 mg TABLETS BACKGROUND: The search for the relief of pain has existed for centuries if not millenia. It has long been known that the opiates are able to produce excellent analgesia as well as feelings of euphoria. Unfortunately, they are also habit forming, cause respiratory depression, sedation, and hallucinations. As science has examined the brain, several types of opiate receptors have been found such that stimulation of different receptors is responsible for the different effects of the opiates. For example, the “mu” and “delta” receptors account for analgesia (pain relief), euphoria, addiction, dropped heart rate and respiratory depression. The “kappa” receptors cause dysphoria (unpleasant feelings), constricted pupils, and sedation. The “sigma” receptors account for hallucinations. In the laboratory, it is possible to create opiates that stimulate only some receptors and not others. With delicacy it is possible to create a drug that creates analgesia and euphoria without being addictive or sedating. Tramadol represents such a drug. In veterinary medicine there has been a recent explosion in the development of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications for the control of animal pain, particularly canine arthritis. These medications act by inhibiting cyclo-oxygenase, an enzyme that creates assorted inflammatory biochemicals. Unfortunately, cyclo-oxygenase also creates some much needed biochemicals as well and there are different forms of cyclo-oxygenase with different functions. These medications are virtually never safe for feline use (except in as one-time doses as in the control of pain associated with surgery). Further, occasionally, a dog will develop a reaction to one of the so-called COX-inhibiting anti-inflammatories. For these patients, a “mu” agonist like tramadol may be just the ticket. HOW THIS MEDICATION IS USED: Tramadol can be used for pain relief in both dogs and cats. (Most non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are dangerous for feline use so this provides a nice choice for cats with chronic pain issues). Tramadol is given two to three times daily. SIDE EFFECTS: If a pet develops apparent sedation or bizarre behavior, the tramadol dose should be reduced. Upset stomach is occasionally observed with tramadol. Pupil constriction and panting may occur with this medication Decreased heart rate may result but should not be problematic Constipation may be a side effect Overdose may manifest as seizures, pinpoint pupils, and mental alterations. Seek veterinary assistance at once should this occur Side effects are generally considered rare. INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER DRUGS: The beauty of this pain reliever is that it is compatible with all the COX inhibiting non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It is also compatible with all the joint pain nutriceuticals such as glucosamine, MSM, etc. Tramadol is NOT compatible with Deprenyl. Animals taking deprenyl either to control Cushing’s Syndrome or to control senility may not take any sort of narcotic agonist medication including tramadol. Similarly, tramadol is not compatible with other psychoactive drugs such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors. If you are not sure if your pet is on one of these medications, check with your veterinarian. CONCERNS AND CAUTIONS: Tramadol is not passed to nursing young and should be an acceptable pain reliever for a lactating mother. Tramadol is removed from the body by the liver (70%) as well as via kidney excretion (30%). Should disease be present in either of these systems, a dose reduction may be necessary A human product called “Ultracet®” is available. It contains acetaminophen in addition to tramadol. This product is NOT safe for use in pets.
  • no!!! not safe. its used to treat pain. not safe for the pups

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