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Tramadol becoming a controlled substance!

  • By Lukesmom

    As a chronic migraineur, I am highly upset that tramadol or ultram is becoming a controlled substance later this month. My Neuro is very picky about pain meds and I’m glad she is but I’m worried that now that tramadol has become a controlled substance she won’t prescribe it to me any longer. She does prescribe maxalt but I run out of it before I can get it refilled again so I have to fall back on other drugs to get me through the month. People that misuse the drug have caused this because they have used more than prescribed and have become addicted. If she won’t prescribe it to me any longer I’ll have to depend on lower degree pain relievers like muscle relaxers, etc. I am highly upset because I have never misused tramadol!!

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Lukesmom,

    Yes, tramadol is becoming a schedule IV medication, you can read more about that here from MedPage; http://www.medpagetoday.com/EmergencyMedicine/EmergencyMedicine/46717.
    While it’s true you may not be overusing this medication, many others are and unfortunately those of us who take it responsibly pay the price for those who don’t.

    I do want to mention that Tramadol is not a medication many migraine specialists like to prescribe. In fact at a medical conference I attended a few years ago, one such doctor was adamant that he would NOT prescribe this medication for migraine. We do have information on why migraine specialists are not found of prescribing medications like this here; https://migraine.com/blog/the-confusion-about-codeineopioids-and-migraine/.

    It’s not a bad thing abortive medications are restricted to nine pills a month. Here’s why; if we take migraine medications (like Maxalt) and/or pain relievers, whether they are over-the-counter or prescription, more than two to three days a week we run the risk of getting another problem called medication overuse headache or moh. If we have moh, our migraines will be MORE difficult to treat and we will end up in an endless cycle of pain that too is hard to break. Here is more information on this topic; https://migraine.com/blog/help-how-can-i-not-overuse-migraine-medications/.

    Have you discussed migraine prevention medication with your doctor? Anyone who has three or more severe attacks a month should probably be on a preventive medication. Have you seen this information; https://migraine.com/blog/migraine-management-essential-4-preventive-treatment/

    Hang in there,
    Nancy

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