How Long Does Ultram Stay in Your System?

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Blood Test Can Detect Heavy Drinking. © Getty Images

Determining exactly how long Ultram (tramadol) is detectable in the body depends on many variables, including which kind of drug test is being used. Ultram, which is called tramadol in its generic form, is also known by its other brand names Ultracet, Conzip, Ryzolt, and Rybix.

The timetable for detecting Ultram in the system is dependent upon not only the type of test used, but also on each individual's metabolism, body mass, age, hydration level, physical activity, health condition, and other factors, making it almost impossible to determine an exact amount of time Ultram will show up on a drug test.

How Long Ultram Remains in Various Tests

The following is an estimated range of times, or detection windows, during which Ultram can be detected by various testing methods:

  • Ultram can be detected in a urine test from 2-4 days
  • A blood test can detect Ultram for approximately 12 hours
  • Ultram can be detected in a saliva test for 1-4 days
  • Ultram, like many other drugs, can be detected with a hair follicle drug test for up to 90 days

The Dangers of Ultram Use

Ultram is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics and therefore can be very addictive. If it's taken over a long period of time, Ultram can create a physical dependence. Even when taken in prescribed amounts, Ultram can cause seizures after it has been used over a long period of time.

Also, because Ultram is an opioid painkiller, there is a chance of overdose, especially when combined with other central nervous system depressants or alcohol.

Side Effects of Ultram

Even when taken as directed, Ultram, like other opioid painkillers, can cause serious side effects, some of which can be severe, including:

  • Seizures
  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Blisters
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Swelling of the eyes, face, throat, tongue, lips, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Hoarseness
  • Agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, confusion, fast heartbeat, shivering, severe muscle stiffness or twitching, loss of coordination
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, or dizziness
  • Inability to get or keep an erection
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Changes in heartbeat
  • Loss of consciousness

Symptoms of an Ultram Overdose

Symptoms of an Ultram overdose may include the following:

  • Decreased pupil size
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Muscle weakness
  • Cold, clammy skin

Danger of Drug Interactions With Ultram

There is a long list of medications that might produce negative reactions when taken along with Ultram. Some of those medications include:

  • Anticoagulants such as Coumadin (warfarin)
  • Wellbutrin (bupropion)
  • Certain medications for migraine headaches such as Axert (almotriptan), Relpax (eletriptan), Frova (frovatriptan), Amerge (naratriptan), Maxalt (rizatriptan), Imitrex (sumatriptan), and Zomig (zolmitriptan)
  • MAO inhibitors including Marplan (isocarboxazid), Nardil (phenelzine), Eldepryl (selegiline), and Parnate (tranylcypromine)
  • Muscle relaxants such as Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine), Phenergan (promethazine), and Rifadin (rifampin)
  • Sedatives and sleeping pills
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Celexa (citalopram), Prozac (fluoxetine), Luvox (fluvoxamine), Paxil (paroxetine), and Zoloft (sertraline)
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) such as Pristiq (desvenlafaxine), Cymbalta (duloxetine), and Effexor (venlafaxine)
  • Tranquilizers
  • Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline, amoxapine, Anafranil (clomipramine), Norpramin (desipramine), Silenor (doxepin), Tofranil (imipramine), Pamelor (nortriptyline), Vivactil (protriptyline), and Surmontil (trimipramine)

Be sure to tell your doctor about any and all prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbs, and supplements that you're taking.

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