Can You Take Xanax with Tramadol?
Taking any medication requires a certain degree of caution, especially if you’re taking multiple. Regarding the many questions about certain drug interactions, a common one is: can you take Xanax with tramadol? Because these are two of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States, today we’re diving into the effects of mixing tramadol and Xanax.
What is Xanax?
Xanax is the brand name for a drug called alprazolam, which is a type of benzodiazepine (benzo) that’s commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and panic disorder. Like other benzos, Xanax reduces anxiety by attaching to a receptor in the brain called the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor.
GABA is an amino acid that functions as the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter for the central nervous system. GABA is located in various regions of the brain, including the hippocampus, thalamus, basal ganglia, hypothalamus, and brainstem.
GABA plays an important role in maintaining chemical balance in the brain. It works in tandem with another neurotransmitter called glutamate to maintain a healthy balance between inhibitory and excitatory neural transmission in the brain.
Common side effects of Xanax include:
- Drowsiness and sedation
- Impaired coordination
- Memory problems
- Muscle twitching
- Chest pain
- Blurred vision
The above is not a complete list of side effects. The severity of these symptoms depends on the dosage taken and the person’s tolerance to Xanax.
What is Tramadol?
Also known by brand names like Ultram and ConZip, tramadol is also a central nervous system depressant that’s part of the opioid drug class. Like Xanax, it reduces nerve activity in the central nervous system.
However, instead of reducing anxiety, tramadol is prescribed as a narcotic to alleviate moderate to severe pain. Similar to other prescription opioids, tramadol’s mechanism of action is attaching to opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, gut, and other areas of the body associated with pain.
Once the drug binds to these receptors, they block pain signaling from the body to the brain, alleviating the person’s symptoms. But with all medications comes side effects.
Common side effects of tramadol include:
- Muscle tightness
- Mood swings
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
Opioids are also notorious for being highly addictive. The nation is currently in the midst of an opioid epidemic that’s been ongoing since the 1990s.
Opioids can lead to physical dependence even when taken as directed by a doctor, so it’s important to speak to your physician if your prescribed doses no longer take effect or if you struggle to control your use.
Can You Take Tramadol And Xanax Together?
Although some healthcare professionals may prescribe this combination to certain patients, no, you cannot take tramadol and Xanax together, especially if it isn’t approved by your doctor. Because both are central nervous system depressants, common side effects of taking Xanax and tramadol together include extreme sedation, unresponsiveness, respiratory depression, coma, and death.
Both alprazolam and Tramadol are also highly addictive and can produce tolerance over time even when they’re taken as prescribed. If you take tramadol with Xanax without a prescription from a doctor, not only do you increase your risk of developing dependence, but you also place yourself at risk of overdosing.
Taking high doses of a drug or taking multiple of the same kinds of drugs (such as two different depressants) can flood the body with more than it can process and eliminate at a time. The combined side effects of depressants like tramadol and Xanax can slow down the central nervous system to the point where breathing becomes shallow and ineffective and your heart rate slows dramatically.
Benzos can increase the strength of opioids like Tramadol, further increasing the risk of a fatal overdose and addiction in cases of long-term abuse. Unfortunately, some people may mix these two drugs on purpose to experience sedation and a euphoric high, only to place themselves at risk of addiction and even death.
Treatment for Prescription Drug Addiction
Questions like, “can you take Xanax with tramadol?” are meant for prescribing doctors. It’s important to ask about any possible drug interactions when being prescribed any medication to avoid repercussions like addiction and fatal overdose.
For those who developed an addiction to their prescription medications, help is available. Unfortunately, drugs like tramadol and Xanax have a high potential for addiction, and many patients find themselves ensnared in this net.
If you or someone you care about has developed an addiction to their medication, our Clearbrook rehab in Pennsylvania can help. We usually start patients off with a medically monitored detox, during which they’re slowly weaned off of drugs and given medication (as needed) to alleviate their withdrawal symptoms.Following detox, patients can move onto our prescription drug addiction treatment, which addresses substance use disorders involving medications like opioids, benzos, and more. With the use of therapy and counseling, specialists at our Clearbrook manor in Wilkes Barre can help you live an addiction-free life.