I have been on it for 3 years. It took me 3 months of research to have the courage to take it. First, only on special occasions, like B-days or celebrations and then gradually worked myself up to the recommended dose of 50 mg 2 x a day.
Before Tramadol I was depressed and on disability because of the pain. With Tramadol I was able to turn my life around. I went back to school and got my BA degree. Wrote tons of papers on FM, sharing my experience and researching peer reviewed articles, which was so therapeutic. I found a job that works really well with my life style. I exercise daily, take dance classes, Yoga, swimming, walking, jogging. I am more active and fit than most people without any health problems, which is exactly how I used to be before FM.
The major concern of this drug is its potential for abuse and I am angry that most HMO doctors allow the abusers to discredit a perfectly safe alternative for the patients who use it responsibly.
I am too smart and strong willed to abuse a drug that works so well for me and gave me back my life.
According to the doctor who prescribed it to me (private practice) and my own research this drug is perfectly fine if you use it for treating chronic pain ONLY. There is a difference between dependence and addiction. If you use it recreationally and up the dose, OF COURSE you will get addicted to it. I have FM. I can’t afford to be stupid. I am an educated and well informed FM survivor and have made a pact with myself that I will change treatment modalities when the current dosage at some point does not work for me anymore.
I had recently a new HMO PCP who tried to convince me that the 3 approved FM drugs are better choices which is why he would never prescribe Tramadol to me and he doesn’t understand how ANY doctor would. He dismissed my doctor and made me feel horrible as if we committed a crime.