Is Tramadol an NSAID?

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drug facts labelPeople mistakenly think that Tramadol is an NSAID but it is not. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are also pain relievers but are very different from Tramadol. The pain medication Tramadol or Ultram is commonly prescribed as it is highly potent and has a relatively better safety profile than other pain medications. In fact, the healthcare provider may prescribe Tramadol as an alternative to typical NSAIDs in some patient groups.

Taking mild dosage of Tramadol is very effective in managing pain conditions, but it is also a very misunderstood drug. The prescription medication can lead to addiction and abuse with long-term use, and some even take the drug recreationally. For those with genuine pain conditions, Tramadol is the ideal one to take and is almost always effective. People with conditions like arthritis, requiring relief from chronic pain, would be better able to manage the health problem with Tramadol than NSAIDs as the latter cannot be safely used long-term. Knowing a little more about Tramadol may help in understanding how the drug works differently from NSAIDs.

What is Tramadol exactly?

Tramadol is considered as a synthetic opioid that works as a centrally acting analgesic. In fact, Tramadol is different from other opioid medications. The drug does not possess any anti-inflammatory properties like NSAIDs and has a different mechanism of action altogether. Standard NSAIDs work by blocking the enzyme that causes the inflammation. Whether taking a prescription dose or over-the-counter dose, NSAIDs should be taken only at the lowest effective dose for a short term only. Tramadol works by blocking the communication of pain signals and also by improving the body’s pain threshold. The medication can be taken safely for long-term pain relief especially when it is chronic or when recovering from surgery.

Can Tramadol be used as an alternative to NSAIDs?

In many cases, patients buy Tramadol as an alternative to NSAIDs. The latter is one of the commonly used medications for patients with arthritis. Controlling the inflammation and pain on a continuous basis is required for patients with this condition. However, NSAIDs cannot be used long-term and can lead to cardiac problems or stroke. The better alternative is Tramadol, which can be used for months together without any real problems. The doctor usually switches the patient to other pain medications when Tramadol tolerance develops.

Tramadol may be used as an alternative to NSAIDs but it should be done only with the help of the physician. Pain management is important for certain health conditions to improve the quality of one’s life. However, the user should ensure that it is done right without increasing the risk of side effects or any harmful reactions. Tramadol may not be an NSAID but it can definitely be used for the same pain relief purposes.