UK - Tramadol faces reclassification after surge in deaths

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koobis

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Well, we all knew it would happen at some point. Right now, this is in the UK only. It's only a matter of time before the US is on board.

Tramadol faces reclassification after surge in deaths
By Julia Gregory

Tramadol could be reclassified as a class C drug under government plans to tackle a surge in deaths involving the prescription painkiller.

The move would see the drug placed in schedule 3 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, making it "consistent" with the scheduling of other opioids for treating moderate to severe pain, the Home Office said in a consultation launched on Monday (July 22).

The drug would still be available on prescription for patients who need it, but the rescheduling would mean access "will be appropriately restricted," it said.

Tramadol's move to schedule 3 should mean no extra costs to pharmacists as they have safes to store controlled drugs already, the Home Office said, adding that it would mean patients having to physically take the prescription to a pharmacy for dispensing.

The Home Office launched the 12-week consultation in response to an investigation by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD).

In February, the ACMD called for tramadol to be placed under tighter control because it found the number of deaths involving the analgesic had almost doubled from 83 in 2008 to 154 in 2011. The drug was widely available online, easily obtainable without a prescription and most tramadol-related deaths occurred when the drug was obtained through non-prescribed means, it found.

In the same consultation, which runs until October 11, the Home Office has also proposed plans to remove restrictions on prescriptions for the widely misused temazepam.

Temazepam will remain in schedule 3, but the requirement for a handwritten signature will be removed. This option would "provide an appropriate level of control for temazepam without introducing excessive burdens on the prescribers", it said.

This would align temazepam with recent changes allowing prescriptions for schedule 3 drugs to be computer generated, the Home Office added.

Tramadol faces reclassification after surge in deaths - Chemist + Druggist

It has also been reported in The Guardian: Tramadol painkiller could be banned from public sale, say ministers | Science | guardian.co.uk

Blame this guy, Jeremy Browne: Jeremy Browne?s consultation on Tramadol
 

Sickpearl

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Hmmmm, I'm real curious to know what else was involved in those deaths. Did you see any info on that? I seriously think these things are worse news than the regular opiate painkillers, percocet, hydrocodone, etc. I wish I would've never taken one. I had been on methadone maintenance for five years and tapered down over a period of time from 140mg to 1mg. Took the last dose of methadone, still had withdrawals one week after and couldn't handle it. Realized I had this "tramadol" stuff in the cabinet and starting researching to see if it could help curb withdrawal symptoms since they are "NON-NARCOTIC" (yeah ok). Well I took two of those things and felt like a million bucks. It was all downhill from there. I want off of them, they're bad news.
 

koobis

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So far, these are the only news stories I've seen on this. I get Google Alerts for news stories and websites that have the word "tramadol" in them for this very reason - to keep up with any legal stuff regarding it. (I also do Google Alerts for "online pharmacy" and "online pharmacies.")
I'm sure more stories will be published about this, and I will keep everyone updated if any of them give additional info.

So far all I can glean from this is that they noticed all or most of the deaths had to do with people getting the drug via online pharmacies or on the street, and thus they weren't restricted in how many they could take in a day/hour/etc. They could have just been ODing, or if they got meds that were stronger than advertised, this could have also been a factor. It's interesting that their response is to tighten controls on tram by scheduling it and making prescription standards stricter, but they aren't going after OPs/IOPs. Odd, if you ask me, since the deaths had nothing to do with legit prescriptions.

On the other hand, @Sickpearl, I totally understand what you are saying. They are terribly addictive and insanely difficult to get off of.
 
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alumni

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Hmmmm, I'm real curious to know what else was involved in those deaths. Did you see any info on that? I seriously think these things are worse news than the regular opiate painkillers, percocet, hydrocodone, etc. I wish I would've never taken one. I had been on methadone maintenance for five years and tapered down over a period of time from 140mg to 1mg. Took the last dose of methadone, still had withdrawals one week after and couldn't handle it. Realized I had this "tramadol" stuff in the cabinet and starting researching to see if it could help curb withdrawal symptoms since they are "NON-NARCOTIC" (yeah ok). Well I took two of those things and felt like a million bucks. It was all downhill from there. I want off of them, they're bad news.

If you were able to reduce methadone from 140 mg to 1 mg, you can certainly taper off of tramadol.
In my experience, the lingering acute withdrawal symptoms from discontinuing methadone are much more problematic than those with tramadol.
If you really "want off of them" set up a taper schedule and stick with it.
I don't know many long-term methadone maintenance patients who have been able to accomplish what you did.
 

Sickpearl

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If you were able to reduce methadone from 140 mg to 1 mg, you can certainly taper off of tramadol.
In my experience, the lingering acute withdrawal symptoms from discontinuing methadone are much more problematic than those with tramadol.
If you really "want off of them" set up a taper schedule and stick with it.
I don't know many long-term methadone maintenance patients who have been able to accomplish what you did.

Yeah, most people on methadone maintenance remain on it for life, it really sucks. It took about six months to taper and it was almost painless as we did it really slowly. The last day I walked out of that clinic, I remember thinking "yay, I'm done with this shit". I wish I could've stuck it out. It's so hard to have anything take any energy away from you when you have kids, are a full-time student, wife, etc. etc. etc. and that's why I caved. I really do want off of these tramadols. I take an insanely stupid amount of them. You really just instilled some confidence making me realize that I can do this if I was able to come down from methadone like that. I'm going to TRY TRY TRY. THANK YOU, that post made me feel good.:D
 

lttlmrmade

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Thanks a lot koobis, I love any and all news relating to the pill epidemic. It really makes no sense to me why they think rescheduling Tram will diminish the problem, especially when they openly admitted that most of the people that died did not have a legal prescription for it anyway.

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Hmmmm, I'm real curious to know what else was involved in those deaths. Did you see any info on that? I seriously think these things are worse news than the regular opiate painkillers, percocet, hydrocodone, etc. I wish I would've never taken one. I had been on methadone maintenance for five years and tapered down over a period of time from 140mg to 1mg. Took the last dose of methadone, still had withdrawals one week after and couldn't handle it. Realized I had this "tramadol" stuff in the cabinet and starting researching to see if it could help curb withdrawal symptoms since they are "NON-NARCOTIC" (yeah ok). Well I took two of those things and felt like a million bucks. It was all downhill from there. I want off of them, they're bad news.

I completely agree with alumni. If you were able to taper from 140mg to 1mg, tramadol should be a piece of cake for you. But only if that's what you really want to do!! Good luck Sickpearl!!
 

Sickpearl

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Thanks a lot koobis, I love any and all news relating to the pill epidemic. It really makes no sense to me why they think rescheduling Tram will diminish the problem, especially when they openly admitted that most of the people that died did not have a legal prescription for it anyway.

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I completely agree with alumni. If you were able to taper from 140mg to 1mg, tramadol should be a piece of cake for you. But only if that's what you really want to do!! Good luck Sickpearl!!


Thanks so much. Definitely feeling a little more confident. I think ima do it. ;)
 

Stevo2

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@koobis - very interesting articles. Thanks! And you're right, it's probably only a matter of time before trams are scheduled in the US federally as well. More and more states going that way, DEA limiting supplier quantities, busting OPs, and then....making it controlled comes next. Luckily - anything with the federal government takes years to accomplish - so who knows when it will actually happen :)
@Sickpearl - you absolutely have the power to get off the trams, and you're right that they are the devil in disguise. It might be painful (even if you taper), but you will get through it. I'm hit hard when I stop, but the worst is over in 3-4 days, even when going cold turkey (which I'm not recommending) from 400mgs per day after months that way. It's like getting a bad flu. Make sure you're able to take time off work if possible, and tell the family you're sick with the flu (or better yet, tell them the truth if you can, but with kids, etc, maybe the flu is a better story). Then just try to keep busy/entertained, exercise and rest when you can, hot baths, and all the other great advice that's out here on PR for WDs. You might have to sacrifice half a week of your life to get off them, but it will be worth it if you value having your 'freedom' back. Also - you may want to try 'Natural Nights' (from Unisom) for the insomnia. It's just vitamins and some melatonin. Helps a bit. Good luck - and keep us informed if/when you take the plunge.
 

Sickpearl

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@koobis - very interesting articles. Thanks! And you're right, it's probably only a matter of time before trams are scheduled in the US federally as well. More and more states going that way, DEA limiting supplier quantities, busting OPs, and then....making it controlled comes next. Luckily - anything with the federal government takes years to accomplish - so who knows when it will actually happen :)

@Sickpearl - you absolutely have the power to get off the trams, and you're right that they are the devil in disguise. It might be painful (even if you taper), but you will get through it. I'm hit hard when I stop, but the worst is over in 3-4 days, even when going cold turkey (which I'm not recommending) from 400mgs per day after months that way. It's like getting a bad flu. Make sure you're able to take time off work if possible, and tell the family you're sick with the flu (or better yet, tell them the truth if you can, but with kids, etc, maybe the flu is a better story). Then just try to keep busy/entertained, exercise and rest when you can, hot baths, and all the other great advice that's out here on PR for WDs. You might have to sacrifice half a week of your life to get off them, but it will be worth it if you value having your 'freedom' back. Also - you may want to try 'Natural Nights' (from Unisom) for the insomnia. It's just vitamins and some melatonin. Helps a bit. Good luck - and keep us informed if/when you take the plunge.

Will do. Thanks for the tips. Yeah I've been through withdrawals many times before and have always caved. This time I am going to try to stick to a taper to see if that works. The withdrawals from the tramadol are the most disturbing I've ever experienced. I think it's due to the SSRI in them. I get these weird brain zap/dizzy spells that I've never gotten from traditional opiates. So far this morning so good. Typically I take 7 or 8 when I wake up...before anyone reams me for that...yes I do know how ridiculous, dangerous and bad that is. This morning I only took three and will go from here. Typically what makes me cave is the yawning and lethargy I get when starting to withdraw. This time I have some adderall and I think that is going to be the trick. Now before I get criticized for that, I know adderall are highly addictive and it's not good to trade one drug for another. However, I know I can put down adderall with ease. Opiates I've been stuck on for over 10 years. 12 I think. Anyway, maybe ill start a thread to document everything. I'm doing it this time damnit!!!!
 

trublu

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Will do. Thanks for the tips. Yeah I've been through withdrawals many times before and have always caved. This time I am going to try to stick to a taper to see if that works. The withdrawals from the tramadol are the most disturbing I've ever experienced. I think it's due to the SSRI in them. I get these weird brain zap/dizzy spells that I've never gotten from traditional opiates. So far this morning so good. Typically I take 7 or 8 when I wake up...before anyone reams me for that...yes I do know how ridiculous, dangerous and bad that is. This morning I only took three and will go from here. Typically what makes me cave is the yawning and lethargy I get when starting to withdraw. This time I have some adderall and I think that is going to be the trick. Now before I get criticized for that, I know adderall are highly addictive and it's not good to trade one drug for another. However, I know I can put down adderall with ease. Opiates I've been stuck on for over 10 years. 12 I think. Anyway, maybe ill start a thread to document everything. I'm doing it this time damnit!!!!

Good stuff.
hopefully you can rid your affliction.

Pain killers never did anything for me, guess I never had pain problem :)

seems in the us pain meds are handed out like candy, then once addiction sets in people are left to the streets.
 

Sickpearl

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Good stuff.
hopefully you can rid your affliction.

Pain killers never did anything for me, guess I never had pain problem :)

seems in the us pain meds are handed out like candy, then once addiction sets in people are left to the streets.


That's exactly what happens. Never in a million years when I started taking painkillers did I think my body would end up having to have them to even be normal. When people talked about them being addictive I just lumped that in with like a cocaine addiction or something, all in your head you can get over it if that happens you know? My head is way stronger than my body!!! And so many people sit in my shoes with these things running their lives after one small injury or pain they initially begin to take them for. It's so sad.
 

Stevo2

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@Sickpearl - I am NOT judging you or reaming you. But - I hadn't realized your doses were that high. Knowing that - please do not take my suggestion of going cold turkey. I think stopping abruptly when taking that much can be very dangerous. Just FYI. I have never had 'major problems' doing CT from 400mgs per day. But - it sounds like you're doing much more than that, so I wouldn't recommend CT. Stick with a long taper plan, and good luck.
 

trublu

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That's exactly what happens. Never in a million years when I started taking painkillers did I think my body would end up having to have them to even be normal. When people talked about them being addictive I just lumped that in with like a cocaine addiction or something, all in your head you can get over it if that happens you know? My head is way stronger than my body!!! And so many people sit in my shoes with these things running their lives after one small injury or pain they initially begin to take them for. It's so sad.

Sounds horrible!
would honestly not wish a pain med (or any) addiction on my worst enemy ( and all I know is from a vice documentary ).

out of curiosity, what happens if your source / stash runs out for a week or two

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and im not saying you are abusing, just chit chat
 

Sickpearl

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@Sickpearl - I am NOT judging you or reaming you. But - I hadn't realized your doses were that high. Knowing that - please do not take my suggestion of going cold turkey. I think stopping abruptly when taking that much can be very dangerous. Just FYI. I have never had 'major problems' doing CT from 400mgs per day. But - it sounds like you're doing much more than that, so I wouldn't recommend CT. Stick with a long taper plan, and good luck.

Yeah my doses are that high and up to about four times a day. Oh yes it's way out of control. So yeah, no way ill be going CT! I would cave in three hours. Thanks again for the advice. : )

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Sounds horrible!
would honestly not wish a pain med (or any) addiction on my worst enemy ( and all I know is from a vice documentary ).

out of curiosity, what happens if your source / stash runs out for a week or two

- - - Updated - - -

and im not saying you are abusing, just chit chat

Oh no I'm definitely abusing. I have many many sources so the only time I am ever out is for like a day on occasion when I've been EXTRA stupid. And that day is hell on earth.
 

trublu

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Shit bro that's ****ed.

can you get some lesser evil drug to ween you off? or at least replace the addiction with a benzo or something?
 

Blues

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The DR throws Tramadol at me. Do you think he wants to do me in ?
i.e kill me
 

CPer

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Oh no I'm definitely abusing. I have many many sources so the only time I am ever out is for like a day on occasion when I've been EXTRA stupid. And that day is hell on earth.


Your honesty is refreshing, and that Methadone kick is impressive.

Wishing you the best.
 

Sickpearl

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Shit bro that's ****ed.

can you get some lesser evil drug to ween you off? or at least replace the addiction with a benzo or something?

I do go to the doc on Monday so I am going to ask him if I can switch to something else. My whole thing is I need energy, so I don't EVER take benzos. I am an undergrad in a Biomedical Sciences program, two kids, etc etc so I have to be on top of my game at all times. Benzos just make me want to sleep!

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The DR throws Tramadol at me. Do you think he wants to do me in ?
i.e kill me

Yes, I do think he is trying to kill you. Haha, nah, the docs think they can give out tramadol instead of having to put people on "narcotics". Yeah...right. Great idea.

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Your honesty is refreshing, and that Methadone kick is impressive.

Wishing you the best.

Aww, that's nice. Thank you!
 
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