Prescription Painkiller Tramadol ‘claiming more lives than any other drug’

Prescription painkiller tramadol, taken by thousands of people every day, is claiming more lives than any other drug – including heroin and cocaine – according to Northern Ireland’s top pathologist.

The painkiller doesn’t cause harm if taken correctly, but the danger rises when users mix it with other drugs or alcohol. Last year, 33 deaths in Northern Ireland were linked to tramadol.

Among them were a 16-year-old girl and a pensioner in his 70s.

“I don’t think that people realise how potentially risky taking tramadol is.

I think it’s because it’s a prescription drug – people assume it’s safe.”


The opiate-based drug used to treat moderate or severe pain should only be available on prescription – it was reclassified in 2014 making it an illegal Class C drug without prescription.

But anti-drug campaigners say more and more people are turning to the black market.

Professor Jack Crane has spoken out to say he fears more people will die unless urgent action is taken and he is calling for a crackdown on the illegal market.

He wants tramadol to be upgraded again, this time to Class A.

Professor Crane is now set to meet Northern Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer later this month to push for change.

Please share this so very important news with everyone else as it may possibly save a life. let us and others know your experiences with this drug and drop us a comment here or on our Facebook page. We always love to hear from you.

18 Comments on “Prescription Painkiller Tramadol ‘claiming more lives than any other drug’

  1. You said if it is taken correctly it will not cause any harm. How should it be taken?

  2. Take it as prescribed by your Doctor. My prescription say’s, “1 tablet every 6 hrs as need for pain”. Some times I might take 2 (depending on the pain level) but, I never take more than the 4 prescribed in a 24 hour period. I’ve been taking them since 2012. This is also the 1st time I’ve heard it referred to as “opiate based”! My Doctors know I don’t take narcotics and when I’m not taking it I don’t go through withdrawals!

  3. thanks for informing me of this information,, i know of someone who takes tramodol with alcohol. beer or evening while they indulge in smoking crack…

  4. I have been taking it for 8 years. I am 72 years old. Before tramadol l lived on Advil and ibuprofen and was in hospital at least once a year with intestinal bleeding all total 17 times. Have not had this problem since.

  5. Ill tell my partner about it coz he always hv a back pain in sholder arm

  6. I do not think that 33 (obviously unfortunate) deaths from a population of millions quite indicative of an ‘epidemic’….as compared to easy-to-obtain alcohol, cigarettes etc….for many people this medication enables a quality of life otherwise unattainable, especially regarding mobility. If ADDICTS are finding this medication a cheaper, more viable option…then wouldn’t said ADDICTS be otherwise using other, potentially dangerous substances? ADDICTS will ALWAYS find something to use; such is the nature of their illness. As prescribed, these tablets pose no threat to anyone.

  7. I only took it once- I had a very bad reaction from it. I will never take it again, Won’t give it to my dog either.

  8. I just wonder why you have not explained what you mean. Are you saying tramadol will kill if you take ten with pint glass of gin. OR are you saying two at bedtime with two lyrica will kill.

  9. You are just scaring many people i take Tramadol when i need to if taken correctly they pose no risk

  10. I’ve been taking Tramodol since 2001, no more than 4 a day during recovery from back surgery. Then I taper off to two a day. There are some withdrawal
    Symptoms, nervous, insomnia, short temper and some itching. My wife will say your off pain meds again aren’t ya.
    As with all opioid types of medication It’s a slippery slope, the user most always be aware of this trap of addiction.

  11. iv been prescribe these by my doctor for my illness and after iv read this im scared to take them now and in servear pain right now

  12. Always read the patient information leaflet, it can kill with alcohol.

  13. I take one to two Tramadol a day for back pain, otherwise I would not make through a shift at work. i don’t take any on weekends unless I know I’m going to be on my feet, like at the store for a while, then I’ll take one.
    Many meds can kill if you abuse them.

  14. I have been taking tramadol for several years. I tried to avoid using it by taking Ibuprofen, but ended up in the hospital with kidney failure. I was told by the doctors that tramadol would not harm my kidneys further. I have severe back pain from advanced stenosis, but I only use tramadol occasionally. It’s not that effective for me. I only use it when I’m in considerable pain. I would love to have something more effective, but doctors these days have been intimidated by all the bruhaha over opioids, so they won’t prescribe anything more effective. I’m stuck with tramadol, and as a result, can’t be very active, even to the point of not being able to do basic cleaning and cooking. Enough with the scare tactics about opioids. People who need them and can use them responsibly should not have to suffer because there are people who abuse them. To use a time-worn analogy, why is alcohol still legal in the face of all the people who become addicted, put a burden on the health care system, and may cause accidents harming innocent people, while people in serious pain have to suffer for the sake of those who can’t use restraint?

  15. Lisa Tracy(above) said it all. The Tramadol itself is is not dangerous–it is as dangerous as the person using it if they don’t follow directions or purposely mix with other substances. This is the go-to prescription for elderly or people who are intolerant to hydro codons. Why punish the people who need it and use it correctly by giving it a bad rap and scaring innocent people into not taking anything at all and being in constant pain that decreases their quality of life. If a person is in constant intolerable pain, they may contemplate suicide, and that will add to the death toll!!

  16. I have been on Tramadol for over 2 yrs & am trying to wean myself off them, I Had back surgery over a year ago & have been trying the weaning off!!!! on & off for nearly a week now & the withdrawal symptoms I,m having are horrendous, bad enough that I want to go back to taking the dashed things again, l keep saying I will persevere but it’s so frustrating. I was a nurse for 34yrs & just took over the counter pain killers when my back played up, I am now 75 & once I,m off Tramadol I will stick to paracetamol for my aches & pains ( hopefully)

  17. I mixed this drug with alcohol, end up very confused, woke up the next day feeling sick with Tinnitus which is now permanent. Panic attacks followed and counselling. I’m much better now but the whole bad experience has changed things for me. Wish I had never taken this drug and I would advise anyone else to steer clear and choose something else if you can.

  18. I read responses from people drinking alcohol or taking excessive
    doses every day. Sorry, but you can’t fix stupid. If they read AND followed the instructions on the label, they wouldn’t have a problem. Any drug is dangerous if mis-used, which is what I see in many of the responses.

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