Difference Between Ultram and Tramadol

Painkillers or analgesics are given to patients suffering from unbearable pain. There are different varieties of painkillers. Depending on the type of pain felt by the patient, doctors prescribe particular painkiller medications.


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Painkillers aim to ease the suffering of the patients and increase their quality of life.

Key Takeaways

  1. Ultram is a brand name for the generic drug tramadol.
  2. Both Ultram and tramadol are used to treat moderate to severe pain.
  3. There is no significant difference in the effectiveness of Ultram and tramadol, as they are the same medication.

Ultram vs Tramadol

Ultram is the brand name of tramadol, which Janssen Pharmaceuticals markets. It is available in different forms. Tramadol is a Schedule IV controlled substance in the United States, which means it has a lower potential for abuse and dependence compared to other opioid medications.

Ultram vs Tramadol

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Ultram is the brand name of the painkiller doctors normally prescribe. The generic name of the compound present in Ultram is Tramadol HCl. Ultram is used alone or with other medications.

It has not been proven to be safe for usage under 17 years. It causes some side effects. Tramadol is an opioid painkiller used as a medication. It can be taken through pills or by injection.

When taken by mouth, it has immediate effect. The effect is shown within one hour of intake. As an injection, it can be taken by intravenous or intramuscular shots. The effect lasts for about 6 hours.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonUltramTramadol
Composition Tramadol Hydrochloride and Paracetamol/ Acetaminophen Tramadol
Definition Ultram is the brand name of a painkiller containing TramadolTramadol is the generic name of an analgesic.
UseUsed to treat mild to moderate painUsed as a painkiller
Side effects Constipation, nausea, stomach pain, drowsiness, etcSleepiness, nervousness, headache, irritability, and mood swings
Produced byOrtho McNeil Janssen PharmaceuticalsManufactured under many names by various brands

What is Ultram?

Ultram is the pain killer manufactured and marketed by Ortho McNeil Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Its composition is tramadol hydrochloride. It is used in pain management.

It can be administered orally or by injections. It is available in the form of tablets and medicine. It is usually given along with paracetamol.

It is metabolized by liver-mediated demethylation. The metabolites are O-desmethyl tramadol and N-desmethyl tramadol. It acts within one hour and is excreted in the urine.

It has some side effects. Side effects include itchiness, nausea, and constipation. It is not recommended for pregnant women and children under 17 years. It can be given to breastfeeding women but only at a small dosage.

Its action is on the central nervous system. Ultram is not given to people with breathing problems, blocks in the intestine, alcohol, or taking sedatives or tranquillizers.

Misusing Ultram can cause addiction, overdose, or even death. It can also have teratogenic effects on pregnant women.

Ultram has also caused seizures in some people. The risk of getting a seizure is high in people who have had a head injury, epilepsy, or any other metabolic disorder.

People who are depressed and have suicidal thoughts should not be prescribed Ultram. It should not be taken with other opioid medicines. Intake of other opioids must be stopped once you start to intake Ultram.

What is Tramadol?

Tramadol is an opioid chemical used as a pain killer. It is marked under many names. Some of the common Tramadol painkillers are Ultram, Zytram, Qdolo, etc. The molecular formula of Tramadol is C16H25NO2.

It had a melting point of 180 to 181 degrees Celsius. Tramadol taken using injection or pills is converted into desmetramadol. This desmetramadol has a stronger affinity to an opioid receptor. Tramadol also has serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor ability.

Tramadol was first marketed under the name Tramal in 1977 by a German pharmaceutical company. It was later accepted for use in the USA and UK. Tramadol is a generic medicine marketed by many companies under many names.

Tramadol has one by the tenth effect of the famous drug morphine. Doctors also prescribe tramadol as sleep medicine in some cases. Tramadol sometimes doesn’t provide efficient pain relief for people with a specific genetic condition.

Tramadol causes miscarriage in pregnant women. Though, there was no evidence to show the ill effects of tramadol on children breastfed by mothers taking tramadol.

It is not generally advised for breastfeeding women. It is administered with caution for people with liver and kidney failure.

Tramadol overdose can lead to death. Naloxone is given to treat Tramadol overdose. However, treating Tramadol overdose with Naloxone can cause seizures.

Main Differences Between Ultram and Tramadol

  1. Tramadol is the generic name of a painkiller, while Ultram is the brand name of a tramadol-containing painkiller.
  2. Ultram is the name of the Tramadol pain killer synthesized by Ortho McNeil Janssen Pharmaceuticals, while tramadol is available in many brand names like ConZip, Enova RX, etc.
  3. Tramadol is a single opioid chemical that is used as a generic medicine or as Tramadol HCl, while Ultram has other chemical compounds like ethylcellulose, dibutyl sebacate, sodium stearyl fumarate, colloidal silicon dioxide, and polyvinyl alcohol in addition to Tramadol.
  4. Both are analgesics and are used as painkillers. But, the opioid-like effect is provided by tramadol either individually or in the form of Ultram.
  5. Tramadol tablets sometimes have paracetamol but, Ultram has paracetamol or acetaminophen.
Difference Between Ultram and Tramadol
  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J069v25n02_08
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00498250110113230

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