Pain Relief

Osteoarthritis and Tramadol


Osteoarthritis is a condition of the cartilage in a joint. The cartilage clings the bone ends in the joint. In osteoarthritis the cartilage is affected, usually in the hip or knee.

This causes pain and stiffness. This makes it difficult for you to move around and have problems sleeping. The complaints can disappear or occasionally come back.


The symptoms can be reduced by moving the painful joint and training the muscles. But do not overload the joint.

Paracetamol is the best choice for pain. This has the least side effects and usually works well. If paracetamol is insufficient after two weeks, the doctor can also prescribe an anti-inflammatory analgesic such as ibuprofen, diclofenac or naproxen. If this does not work properly, your doctor may prescribe tramadol.


Tramadol ensures that the signal in the brain does not arrive or arrives less strongly. This makes you feel the pain less and you react more calmly.

With the regular tablets, effervescent tablets and drops you will notice that the pain decreases within 1 hour. The suppositories work within 2-3 hours.

The effect of suppositories and regular capsules is 6-8 hours. The modified-release tablets and capsules work for about 12 hours. The ‘Once Daily’ tablets work for about 24 hours.

Points of interest when using tramadol

Interactions with other medications

This medicine has interactions with other medications. The text below only lists the active ingredients of these medicines, not the brand names. Whether your medicine contains one of those active substances, you can check in your leaflet under the heading ‘composition’.

The medications with which the most important interactions occur are the following.

Other medications that reduce the responsiveness. A yellow warning sticker is often affixed to the packaging with these medicines. The effects on, for example, driving skills reinforce each other. Do not drive a car if you use two or more such drugs.

Medications for depression citalopram, escitalopram, phenelzine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline, tranylcypromine and venlafaxine. In combination with tramadol, there is a small chance of a serious side effect, serotonin syndrome. Discuss this with your doctor. If you use the combination pay attention to the symptoms, such as shaking, shaking, movement, muscle twitching, agitation, confusion, anxiety, fever, sweating, accelerated heartbeat and reduced consciousness. There is not always a serotonin syndrome in these symptoms. Some of these side effects may also be related to your illness or go away again. If in doubt, consult your doctor, because it is a serious side effect. Also tell people in your immediate environment about these side effects, because you may not always notice them due to confusion and reduced consciousness. They can then contact the GP.

Medication against HIV and AIDS, lopinavir and ritonavir. These drugs reduce the effect of tramadol. Your doctor will keep an extra eye on the efficacy of tramadol. These medications can also enhance the side effects of tramadol. Contact your doctor if you notice this.

Naltrexone. This is a medicine that counteracts the action of tramadol and other strong-acting morphine-like painkillers. It can be used precisely for this reason, in people who have received an overdose of tramadol. Naltrexone is also used in people who are alcohol addicts. People who use it for that reason have to take into account that morphine-like painkillers are less effective in them. If you are already using tramadol and you are given naltrexone, you may experience withdrawal symptoms.

Pentazocine, buprenorphine, nalmefene and nalbuphine are painkillers that counter the effects of tramadol. If you use tramadol and you receive one of these medicines, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Discuss this with your doctor.

Do you doubt whether one of the above interactions is important to you? Then contact your pharmacist or doctor.