Tramadol & Weight Loss

Updated April 17, 2017

Tramadol is a synthetic analgesic, a narcotic-like drug that relieves pain. Tramadol comes in 50 and 100 mg dose tablets and is sold under the brand name of Ultram. It is also available in an extended-release formula (Tramadol HCL, Ultram ER) and a pill that includes acetaminophen (Ultracet) for added pain relief. Weight loss is a possible side effect of tramadol, though it is not sold as a weight loss drug nor recommended for that purpose.


Among the possible side effects of tramadol are nausea, vomiting, constipation and diarrhoea. The medication can also cause a loss of appetite. The lack of appetite and increase in gastrointestinal problems may lead to a loss of body weight in some of those taking the drug.


Tramadol is a generic drug and is fairly inexpensive. Tramadol is given for the relief of pain under the care of a health professional. It is only dispensed with a doctor's prescription and should be taken exactly as prescribed. The maximum dose of tramadol is 400 mg a day.

Expert Insight

It is possible that the gastrointestinal side effects of tramadol may cause weight loss. However, it has not been proven that weight loss occurs as a result of taking the medication. Tramadol is not sold as a drug taken to lose weight. It has been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for chronic pain. It is most used for neuropathic, myofascial, back and osteoarthritis pain, as well as in treating the pain of fibromyalgia.


While tramadol is considered relatively safe, there are possible side effects. Skin rashes (red, peeling or blistering) are possible. It can cause a weak pulse and shallow breathing. Other side effects from tramadol include flushing, insomnia, dizziness, drowsiness, weakness and blurred vision. It is used for chronic pain under the care of a medical professional.


Tramadol can increase your risk of having a seizure. It should be used with caution in anyone who has a history of seizures, a metabolic disorder or has had a head injury. It can also cause problems when mixed with some medications, including sleeping pills, muscle relaxers and antidepressants. Tramadol should be used with caution in anyone who has had a prior addiction to drugs or alcohol as it can be habit-forming.

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About the Author

Marcia Frost is a writer covering travel, food, wine/spirits, and health. She writes for many on and offline publications, including The Daily Meal, Girls Getaway, Travelhoppers, and Princess Cruises.She also has a popular blog, Wine And SpiritsTravel. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Long Island University.