Is Tramadol Safe During Pregnancy?

Tramadol During Pregnancy

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Pregnancy causes many symptoms; joint pain and headache are some common ones! But is your joint pain and headache more severe than usual? Has your doctor recommended the opioid Tramadol to ease your condition? Are you concerned about the safety of taking Tramadol during pregnancy? Put your doubts to rest! Read our post and get the answers here.

Pregnancy means that you are extra cautious and you probably read every medicine’s composition thrice before you take it. A medication can trigger adverse effects. Thus, speak to your doctor and learn how to keep your unborn baby safe from the adverse effects of medications.

Scroll down to get the right information about the intake of Tramadol while pregnant!

What Is Tramadol?

The medication acts as a narcotic pain reliever, to reduce the symptoms of severe to moderate pain. Tramadol belongs to the group of opioid analgesics. It acts on the central nervous system (CNS) and reduces the sensation of extreme pain.

Doctors prescribe the pain reliever to treat fibromyalgia, arthritis, and other chronic pain conditions. Even after surgical treatment, doctors recommend intake of Tramadol to treat the ongoing chronic pain. Long-term usage of Tramadol can lead to violent withdrawal symptoms (1).

Pain During Pregnancy:

Pregnancy is the harbinger of a myriad of hormonal and physical transformations. As your fetus grows, your body bears the increasing weight, and you experience a severe backache or nerve pain.

Some of the most common kinds of aches and pains during pregnancy are:

1. Headache:

  • The most common pain during pregnancy is a moderate or a severe headache.
  • The elevated blood pressure triggers preeclampsia, which can also lead to a headache during pregnancy.
  • Stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, dehydration, and many other factors raise the chances of a headache during pregnancy.

[ Read: Effects Of Anxiety During Pregnancy ]

2. Lower Abdomen Or Groin Pain:

  • Lower abdominal pain occurs during the 18thand 24th week of your pregnancy.
  • As your uterus grows, the ligaments around the uterus stretch and make you feel uncomfortable.
  • Excessive bloating or constipation triggers lower-abdominal pain (3).

[ Read: Natural Ways To Tackle Constipation During Pregnancy ]

3. Numbness and Tingling (Sciatic Nerve Pain):

  • Your uterus becomes heavier and exerts pressure on the nerves of your legs.
  • It triggers the condition of numbness and tingling in your legs and toes (4).

4. Backache:

  • The elevated level of hormones softens the bones around the pelvic region. The bone joints shift from their earlier position. The shifting and loosening of the ligaments exert enormous pressure on your back, and it results in a terrible backache.
  • Your center of gravity moves towards your growing uterus. It causes a change in your postures, which elevates the condition of a backache.
  • The additional weight of the growing fetus puts pressure on your back ribs (5).

5. Leg Cramps And Pain:

  • Leg cramps or pain mostly occurs during the last trimester of pregnancy.
  • The extra body weight imposes pressure on your legs, and you experience terrible leg cramps and pain (6).

Why Do You Need Pain Medication During Pregnancy?

The elevated hormonal levels can trigger many aches and pains during pregnancy. It becomes difficult for your body to battle against severe pain during pregnancy. There are some pain medications that effectively help in your pain management process. But, consult your gynecologist before you take any pain medication.

Some pain medications that you can take during pregnancy include:

1. Paracetamol:

The analgesic and antipyretic drug treats the condition of severe to moderate pain during pregnancy. Though the medication easily crosses the placenta and reaches up to the fetus, it does not increase the risk of birth defects. Moreover, Paracetamol does not trigger conditions of pregnancy or labor complexities.

2. Aspirin:

The medication treats the symptoms of mild pain and fever. A low dose of aspirin causes no harm to your growing fetus. Medical studies do not associate aspirin with risks of any congenital or birth complexities.

3. NSAIDs:

NSAIDs including Naproxen, Indomethacin, Ibuprofen, and Diclofenac treat the symptoms of moderate pain and fever. The particular medication acts as inhibitors of cyclo-oxygenase. An overdose of NSAIDs can increase the risk of premature closure of the pulmonary resistance vessels. NSAIDs don’t cause structural birth defects, preterm delivery or low birth weight.

4. Opioids:

Opioids like Morphine, Codeine, and Hydrocodone are often last resort painkillers for moderate and severe pain. Sometimes, your doctor may prescribe you a dose of opioids to curb persistent pain during pregnancy. However, seek professional guidance from your doctor, before you take such pain medications. Sometimes, taking alternative drugs such as tricyclic antidepressants controls the symptoms of persistent pain during pregnancy. It reduces opioid exposure and protects your body from the side effects (7).

Can You Take Tramadol During Pregnancy?

Doctors restrict pregnant mothers from taking too many analgesics or painkillers during pregnancy. Most painkillers restrict the blood supply to your growing fetus. The medications interfere with the umbilical vessels of the uterus and prevent the blood from reaching your baby. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs typically initiate such conditions in your body. They constrict your major blood vessels and restrict your child’s body from acquiring enough amounts of food, oxygen, and blood. They affect the nutritional requirement of your growing fetus and cause growth restrictions, which can also lead to sudden fetal death.

You may experience pains and aches during pregnancy, due to weakening of your nerves, ligaments, and bone joints. Pain medications or Tramadol cannot repair or strengthen your bone joints, as they act on your central nervous system. Hence, doctors restrict the intake of Tramadol during the phase of gestation.

According to the FDA classification of drugs, Tramadol falls under the category C. Doctors typically restrict the intake of category C drugs during pregnancy.

Some of the other reasons to restrict intake of Tramadol in pregnancy include:

  • Medical studies conclude that over dosage of Tramadol restricts in the development processes of the embryo and hampers the growth.
  • The addictive pain medication can lead to several physical withdrawals.
  • Tramadol administration during pregnancy elevates the risks of moderate respiratory depression and collapse in the fetus (8).

Common Side Effects Of Taking Tramadol While Pregnant:

Some of the most noticeable side effects of taking Tramadol during pregnancy are:

  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Agitation
  • Cough
  • Anxiety
  • Lower abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Mood swings
  • Feeling unusually cold
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches and pain
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Fever
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Skin itching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of body strength and weakness
  • Nervousness
  • Skin rashes
  • Sore throat
  • Excessive sweating
  • Loss of concentration
  • Stuffy Nose
  • Shivering (9)

[ Read: Home Remedies To Cure Heartburn During Pregnancy ]

Withdrawal Symptoms Of Tramadol During Pregnancy:

Regular consumption of Tramadol can turn you into an opium addict. Stopping the drug can lead to many withdrawal symptoms for you and your unborn baby. Some of the common withdrawal symptoms of Tramadol are:

  • Anxiety
  • Excessive sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • upper respiratory symptoms
  • Hallucinations
  • Rigors
  • Panic attacks
  • Paresthesias

Clinical experts suggest the opium addicts go through an Opioid therapy and slowly reduce the dosage of Tramadol. Suddenly stopping Tramadol can lead to many difficult consequences and withdrawal symptoms (10).

Tramadol And Pregnancy – Symptoms Of Overdose:

During pregnancy, doctors may restrict you from the intake of Tramadol or any other Opioid medications. For persistent or chronic pain conditions, the doctor prescribes Tramadol dosage of 50-100mg/day.

A Tramadol overdose can lead to many complications, which include:

  • Respiratory depression
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Seizures
  • Skeletal muscle flaccidity
  • Hypotension
  • Bradycardia
  • Constricted pupils
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Death (11)

Complications Of Taking Tramadol During Pregnancy:

Most of the Opioids, including Tramadol have harmful withdrawal symptoms. During your pregnancy, excess consumption of Tramadol can lead to complications for your unborn baby. Your growing fetus is at an elevated risk of suffering from the withdrawal symptoms of Tramadol. Most harmful withdrawal symptoms appear within 24 – 48 hours post-birth.

Some of the withdrawal symptoms of Tramadol consumption in your newborn baby are:

  • Respiratory issues
  • Constant high-pitched crying
  • Trembling
  • Hyper-reflexes
  • Low birth-weight
  • Bone deformities
  • Growth restrictions

Research concludes that excess intake of Tramadol (300 mg/day) during pregnancy, elevates the risks of withdrawal symptoms in your newborn baby. Due to such harsh symptoms your labor goes into tertiary phase and your baby experiences traumatic situations for the next 36 hours post- birth. An overdose of Tramadol during pregnancy elevates the complication of miscarriage and fetal anomalies in your growing embryo.

How Can You Take Tramadol While Pregnant?

For a safer pregnancy, you can follow these useful tips and avoid complexities of a Tramadol overdose:

  • To get adequate relief from the severe pains and aches in pregnancy, take the pain medications after consulting your medical practitioner.
  • For best results and uneventful pregnancy complexities, you need to avoid intake of Tramadol during our sensitive phase.
  • If your chronic pain persists for a longer span of time, inform your doctor. A smaller dosage of Tramadol does not increase risks of fetal deformities or miscarriage.
  • Even during an emergency, maintain the dosage limit of Tramadol within 50 to 100 mg/day. Avoid overdosage of Tramadol during pregnancy.
  • Co-existence of other medical conditions interferes in the effectiveness of Tramadol in the body. Inform your doctor about your medical history and any recent medications that you take regularly. The combination of such medications elevates the risks of pregnancy complexities.
  • If you are addicted or become habituated to Tramadol consult your doctor immediately. Avoid getting addicted during pregnancy (12).

Is Tramadol Suitable For You?

Intake of Tramadol is not preferable for every human body. Doctors prescribe this pain medication, after knowing completely about your medical history and chronic health disorders.

Some of the conditions, for which you need to avoid intake of Tramadol:

  • Allergies to the active ingredients of Tramadol
  • Allergies or sensitive to opiates in your medical history
  • In state of mental depression
  • Intoxicated with alcohol
  • Head injuries
  • Kidney disorder or going through the diagnostic medical procedure of Dialysis
  • Liver problems
  • Medical history of Epilepsy or prone to seizures
  • Having history of drug addiction or dependence
  • Taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors recently
  • High intracranial pressure
  • Respiratory issues (13)

[ Read: Is It Safe To Take Hydrocodone During Pregnancy ]

Dosage Of Tramadol During Pregnancy:

You need to take the prescribed dosage of Tramadol. Tramadol comes in a variety of forms such as tablets, capsules, chewable tablets, effervescent tablets, and oral drops. The most popular form includes regular or extended-release tablets.

For intravenous or intramuscular administration, doctors prescribe intake of Tramadol in the form of a sterile solution in ampoules. Doctors also prescribe intake of tramadol along with the combination of Aspirin, Paracetamol or Aspirin for higher effectiveness.

The standard dosage of tramadol during pregnancy is between 50-100 mg/day. In case of moderate pain, doctors prescribe an initial dosage of 25mg/day. If your body responds to some other pain medications during pregnancy, doctors may prevent you from taking Tramadol (14).

What Special Precautions Should You Follow?

Before Tramadol use during pregnancy, follow the precautions mentioned below:

  1. Inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to any of the active ingredients of Tramadol. Read the label carefully to go through the list of indigents.
  1. Tell your doctor about all the prescribed and non-prescribed medications you take regularly. Medications including anticoagulant, antidepressant interacts with Tramadol and hampers your health conditions.
  1. Inform your doctor about the herbal supplements and prenatal vitamins.
  1. Inform your doctor about your chronic health conditions including diabetes, asthma, breathing disorder or lung infections.
  1. Inform your doctor about your medical history of all surgical treatment including cancers and tumors.
  1. Tramadol makes you feel drowsy. Do not drive cars after you take tramadol (15).

Effective Ways To Manage Pain During Pregnancy:

During pregnancy, you can practice simple and effective home remedies to manage the symptoms of pains and aches during pregnancy. Pain medications impose harmful health discomforts on both you and your growing fetus. The most convenient way to reduce pains during pregnancy is following some easy pain management remedies.

1. Prenatal Yoga:

Prenatal Yoga is movement based flexibility and strength boosting exercising technique.

  • Prenatal yoga helps to reduce the symptoms of pains and aches during pregnancy. If you experience terrible discomfort from the conditions of muscle, joint, back or nerve pain during pregnancy you can try prenatal yoga.
  • It is the best exercising posture to reduce the alleviating pains. Prenatal yoga helps to improve your body posture and tones your body muscles.
  • It helps you to tackle your ongoing stress, tension and relaxes your mind and body.
  • The effective breathing technique of prenatal yoga balances your emotions and makes you feel better (16).

2. Acupuncture:

Acupuncture is he pain relieving technique of East Asia. The medical process helps to manage body pain and aches during pregnancy.

  • The procedure involves insertion of fine needles into the specific pressure points of your body. The procedure helps to remove blood blockages and enhance smooth flow of blood throughout your body parts.
  • By stimulating the acupuncture points, the technique helps to improve your digestion, migraine headache and back pains. Acupuncture reduces the symptoms of morning sickness.
  • Always get the acupuncture treatment from a certified and experienced acupuncturist. With proper methodology, the professional helps you to deal with depression and anxiety in pregnancy (17).

3. Meditation:

Meditation helps to keep you mind relaxed and reduces symptoms of anxiety, pain, and tension.

  • To practice meditation, select a quiet and peaceful place. Sit down quietly; close your eyes and try inhaling and exhaling deeply.
  • Meditation stimulates the brain limit the release of stress hormones in your body. Regular practice of meditation increases your pain tolerance level and helps you to cope with back pain and headache during pregnancy.
  • Meditation helps you to stay more focused and deal with your labor and delivery pain smoothly (18).

4. Swimming:

Swimming is one of the most effective forms of prenatal exercises for the pregnant women. When your body suspends in the water, gravity has no effect on your body. You feel completely weightless in water. It helps in decompressing your spines and tones your back, legs, arms and core muscles.

  • It improves your muscle elasticity, and you can manage your increasing body weight efficiently. Swimming helps to relax your body muscles and keeps you energetic.
  • Practicing breaststroke during pregnancy strengthens your chest and back muscles. But avoid swimming during the last trimester of pregnancy (19).

5. Practice Pelvic Tilts (For Abdominal Muscles):

  • The exercising postures of pelvic tilts strengthen your lower abdominal muscles and reduce the symptoms of exaggerating pain.
  • Pelvic tilts stretch the ribs, spines, pelvic, buttock and thigh muscles of your body. It improves your muscle elasticity and helps you get rid of back and lower abdominal pain during pregnancy (20).

6. Keep Your Weight Under Control:

  • Keep your weight under tight control. Try to have a well-balanced diet comprising of all the vital nutrients in appropriate proportions.
  • Excessively oily or junk food increases the risk of obesity. Obesity triggers back pain during pregnancy. Pay attention to your diet and keep the weight gain under control.

7. Practice Correct Posture:

  • As your fetus grows, the center of gravity shifts slightly forward. It induces excess strain on your back muscles, and you may feel like you are falling forward. Reduce the excess strain on your back ribs and muscles by practicing few good postures in your daily life.
  • Always stand up straight and never bent down unnecessarily. Try to hold your chest high and keep your shoulder relaxed and stress-free.
  • To avoid unnecessary strain on your pelvic region, never lock your knees while sitting on a chair.
  • Never stand without support for a too long period. You can take the support of the wall or rest you one foot on top of a low step stool.
  • Correct posture also means sitting habits as well. Choose a straight wooden chair and sit straight with our back supported properly. Place a small pillow behind the lower back portion, to offer extra support to your pelvic region (21).

[ Read: Tips For Maintaining Good Posture During Pregnancy ]

8. Sleep Well:

  • Lack of sleep or insomnia triggers the condition of stress in your body.
  • Sleeplessness induces a condition of severe to a moderate headache and makes you feel a bit clumsy and irritated.
  • Practice good sleep habits, to avoid such pain or health discomforts during pregnancy.

[ Read: Tips To Minimize Insomnia During Pregnancy ]

9. Wearing A Maternity Belt:

  • A maternity belt acts as a supportive undergarment, to offer extra support to hold your growing fetus properly.
  • The belt holds up your belly and prevents excess strain on your pelvic girdle and lower back. It greatly reduces the excess strain on your lower back portion and eliminates the symptoms of back pain during pregnancy.
  • In case of severe or persistent back pain, doctor advice usage of maternity belts from last trimester of your pregnancy period (22).

10. Wearing Proper Shoes:

  • Wearing high heels during pregnancy elevates the symptoms of back and lower abdominal pain. High heels enhance the curvature of your back portion and impose traumatic pressure on your back ribs. The excess weight of your belly falls directly on you hip joint and lower spines. Your weight shifts and the center of gravity changes in such circumstances.
  • A flat shoe can neither eradicate the symptoms of back pain during pregnancy. For proper pain management, you should choose a low-heeled shoe with a comfortable sole. The slight rise of your low heel shoe helps in distributing your body weight evenly. It makes your legs more stable and helps you get rid of leg cramps.

With such effective pain management tips, you can easily manage symptoms of pains and aches in your pregnancy phase. In case of severe pain or other health discomforts, consult with the medical practitioner immediately.

Pain medications (low dosage of Tramadol) help you to deal with the exaggerating or chronic pain during pregnancy. But an overdose of Tramadol induces harsh side effects for both you and your baby. Regular intake of Tramadol increases the risks making you dependent, and your newborn baby becomes prone to experience the withdrawal symptoms. If you experience moderate pain during pregnancy, try the above natural pain relieving tips.

Were you a victim of severe pain and aches during your pregnancy phase? Did your doctor recommend you Tramadol when pregnant? What side effects did you experience?

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