View Full Version : Lesser of Two Evils

08-01-2012, 03:25 PM
I take tramadol (50 mg 2x/day) and naproxen (500mg 2x/day) to control the leg pain I have. But tramadol gives me myoclonic jerks. Which sucks. And my stomach has been aching for weeks. Which sucks, too. So I'm trying not taking pain meds because of those side effects. But now my legs ache-- which also sucks.


08-01-2012, 03:30 PM
I know how you feel. Naproxen is the only thing that I can take for pain, and I can't use it too often, since it tears up my stomach.
Tramadol is just plain evil as far as I'm concerned. I reacted VERY violently to that stuff.

08-01-2012, 03:43 PM
Aww, Marla, I feel your pain (quite literally!). I have been taking 500mg naproxen pills twice daily for months. If I go more than 10-12 hrs without a dose, my pain rears up, without fail. So I think I have been pretty hard on my stomach, what with a full gram of naproxen going into it daily.

What happened for you with tramadol? I have this myoclonus problem with a number of drugs-- Lyrica, tramadol, hydrocodone. The jerks are mildest when I'm on tramadol, but even then, it's frustrating when I'm trying to work, and my hand keeps jerking the computer mouse in directions I didn't intend!

08-01-2012, 03:59 PM
I tried one pill of Tramadol on a day when I knew that I would be very active - Jeff and I had taken a group of ten students to State Contest for Latin.
I started out the day administering a mythology test. I kept feeling sicker and sicker. When the last kid left the room, I shoved the tests and scantrons at a runner, went to the nearest restroom and lost my breakfast.
I was flushed, shaky and vomiting the rest of the morning. I couldn't even keep crackers down at lunch time. My students were winning at the basketball competition, so they dragged me to the gym to watch them. I sat next to a garbage bin, since I kept getting dizzy and throwing up again and again. When one of the kids asked me if I had seen him make a basket, I replied that I saw him in triplicate. My vision was doing weird things.
When I reported this to my PCP, she wrote NO TRAMADOL in red letters on my records. Jeff looked it up and found that it is an opiate. I can't take those - I'm even allergic to poppy seeds. If I eat anything with them, I break out in a rash around my mouth and my throat feels constricted.
This means that most of the "big guns" pain relief is off-limits to me - Yay me!

08-01-2012, 09:31 PM
Hey Derrie, my dad is almost 87, still rather active, but his back has gone bad, and it affects his knees. He uses Tramadol ER twice a day, every day for it, and is able to move around when on it. I can't remember his dosage amount, but it's one pill 2x daily. "Fine motor skills" for him are still possible, though not "exact". He cannot do naproxen though (belly bomb). He always eats a decent breakfast at about 5:00am, then takes his tramadol. He does a snack about 1:30 or 2:00 (lunch is about 11), and does his afternoon dose. He cannot sleep if he goes beyond 2pm with the dose. Me, I can't take tramadol and even *think* about moving about, since everything else moves about me when I've taken it. It makes me way too "dizzy". Actually, dizzy doesn't quite describe it. "Variably wobbly" might be better. Anyway, I shake so much anymore anyway, that a reaction from a drug like that would compound things for me also. So I just do ibuprofen & aspirin (rot-gut stuff). I sure do miss the plaquenil effects... sigh

I'm sure you've already tried the 2 meds separately by themselves to see if you still get some relief from just one at a time. Have you tried a smaller naproxen dose more often (with food, of course), along with the tramadol, or is there even one available? Maybe do the tramadol similarly with more/smaller pills? Are you using the ER version? My dad's doc changed his dose down on the tramadol at the same time he went to the extended release, which he likes better (he still doesn't "like" the stuff). Check with your doc next time you visit, and see if you have any more options. Write it down though, else if you're like me, you'll forget. My wife has been coming with me to most of my doc visits anymore, and brings her "smart" phone along, which she has "written" notes in, and uses for scheduling, etc. Works *way* better than my brain (and fingers)... tic - good luck with it.

08-02-2012, 06:31 PM
Well. I guess now I at least know that naproxen and tramadol were working very well to control my pain. Because this sucks. Ugh.

But regardless, Jmail-- thanks for the input! My issue with tramadol is a strange one. I actually tolerate it very well. It doesn't interfere with my mental clarity or ability to work at all. It just gives me involuntary muscle jerks (which my neurologist calls "myoclonus"), which can become very annoying, and I'm paranoid about permanence.

Regarding dosages, I was at the lowest dose of naproxen and tramadol that were effective for me, and I was taking it with food. Two days off the stuff, and not a single stomach ache. So it has to be the naproxen killing my belly. I may check in about the extended-release tramadol, though. Maybe if the release is slower, it won't have as much of an impact on my nervous system.

I have an appointment with my internist on Tuesday, but I am thinking of canceling because I don't know if it would be much good. I already know what is causing my stomach ache. I know that if I stop the meds it goes away. And I know that if I stop the meds, my leg pain skyrockets (and I can feel my damn ovarian cyst again, ugh ugh ugh). I also know most other NSAIDs have failed me. Oh well, wah wah wah, right? Not a whole lot I can do about it.

So it goes.

08-03-2012, 10:42 AM
The internist would be good to consult with though, so I'd go.

My dad's legs don't "talk" with his back very well (bad lumbar disks), so that might be why he doesn't notice any leg jerking... lol - I've got the same thing, so I'm allowed to laugh *with* my dad on that one. 'Sides, he's my dad. He's a funny guy.

08-08-2012, 08:20 PM
I am rather new to this site. Today I have been reading about alot of meds I never heard of. Tramadol and Naproxen are two I'm not familiar with. You mentioned leg pain....do you have Lupus that causes leg pain?

08-08-2012, 08:31 PM
Hi jmail, I read your reply to Derrie. I have no previous history about you, but it sounds like you once took Plaquenil and now you don't? What happened? I think I will be taken off Plaquenil also. I have previous retina problems (starts of macular degeneration since age 25....I'm 61 now). My eye doc doesn't think I should stay on a drug that could weaken my retina. Plus, with all the stuff going on in my eyes, toxicity probably couldn't be detected! I don't know what is going to happen because I can't go back on the prednisone....makes me diabetic and will worsen the arthersclorosis it already started!. Whoops...sorry, I got carried away. So why did you go off Plaquenil? Do you have SLE?

08-08-2012, 10:31 PM
I am rather new to this site. Today I have been reading about alot of meds I never heard of. Tramadol and Naproxen are two I'm not familiar with. You mentioned leg pain....do you have Lupus that causes leg pain?

Tramadol is the generic name for Ultram, which is a pain reliever for moderate pain. I like it because, unlike narcotics, it doesn't cloud my mind. Naproxen is the generic of Naprosyn, which is really just beefed-up prescription-strength Aleve. So, it's a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID).

Lupus can cause all kinds of pain, though I don't have a specific diagnosis of SLE. I have what my doctors call Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease (UCTD), which is essentially you-have-AI-disease-we-just-don't-have-a-name-for-it-yet. My disease gives me really terrible leg (muscle?) pain and a weird, urticarial rash on my torso and thighs. Because my bloodwork and biopsies indicated immune-mediated disease, I'm on Plaquenil to try to keep things in check.

08-10-2012, 08:23 PM
Hey there, Ive taken Celebrex for 2+ years and noticed my tummy starting to get effected so I complained to my rheumy and he pulled me off it daily and asked me to use it only as needed and rxed Nexium to heal the stomach ulcer stuff that was happening. It has made a huge difference...one less thing that hurts!!

08-25-2012, 04:32 PM
Thankyou for the explaination Derrie! I'm beginning to get the idea that most of the meds mentioned on this site are pain related except for Plaquenil, prednisone, Celcept, Imaran and another one with a Be in it. It is really unbelievable how many auto-immune diseases we humans are coming up with. It does sound so Lupus like with pain and rashes. I am fortunate not to have pain right now, but if I ever do, there would be so many pain relievers that I could not take because of my kidney (No NSAIDs for me!) I hope your Plaquenil is working for you. I think it may have been the reason Ihad no pain for the past 2-3 years. I'll soon find out since my Doc took me off it on Aug 13th.............no other replacement since I've been doing well and my ADNA had been at 7.5. We'll see what happens!!

08-25-2012, 06:27 PM
Although there are many different pain meds there are many more mentioned here that are not for pain. Methotrexate, tegratol and the list goes on and on. The meds for each person is different because, except for the basics, we all take different meds depending on what area of our body is being attacked. I personally take seizure
Meds and meds for AI Colitis just to name a few. It really all depends on what type of issues the person is having

08-26-2012, 04:54 AM
I'm sorry to hear Bout the bad reactions to tramadol. I don't take naproxsin any more cause it stopped working. I only take the tramadol (no bad effects) when I can take the pain anymore. Mari is right though we all take different meds for different reasons a d we all react differently.

09-05-2012, 09:32 AM
I was prescribed tramadol recently and whe I went to pick it up, the pharmacist told me that I shouldn't take it with Paxil, the antidepressant I am on. This would also be true for any SSRI ( Zoloft, Prozac, etc..) as it can cause a "serotonin reaction.". That was enough to stop me as I had a serotonin reaction with Paxil and an antibiotic I was put on ( the infectious disease doc told me these reactions "just never happen." well,I ended up in the ER with a high heart rate, agitation/confusion, inability to walk, and body practically jerking off the table. It was awful! So I am wondering if anyone who is having these jerking type reactions with their tramadol might be having an interaction with an antidepressent?