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Tramadol belongs to the opioid class of analgesics. It acts on the central nervous system to reduce pain, and is very effective for conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis. and other conditions that lead to chronic pain, as well as after surgery. However, long-term use can lead to addiction, and users who quit suddenly may go through a period of withdrawal. 

What Are The Risks Of Tramadol During Pregnancy?

Doctors would typically advise pregnancy patients to avoid Tramadol in situations where the risks of taking the medication outweigh its benefits, because Tramadol has been demonstrated to cross into the placenta, from which point onward your baby will be exposed to a slightly lower dose of Tramadol than the one you are taking.

The risks associated with Tramadol in pregnancy include developmental delays and growth restriction in your fetus, respiratory depression, and collapse. Babies who are exposed to Tramadol during pregnancy may also go through withdrawal upon birth. Withdrawal symptoms in infants include high-pitched crying, respiratory problems, a low birth weight, bone deformities, and hyper reflexes. However, the risk of withdrawal symptoms in your baby is associated with an intake of 300 mg of Tramadol daily, or more.

Doctors will typically prescribe a dose of 50 to 100 mg a day for chronic pain conditions. While risks are associated with lower doses as well, remember that doctors will sometimes prescribe lower doses, of less than 300 mg, to pregnant patients who cannot cope with chronic pain conditions. In these cases, the benefits are deemed to outweigh the potential risks. 

I've Been Taking Tramadol And I'm Pregnant, What Now?

If you have just found out that you are pregnant and you have been taking Tramadol, or if you are pregnant and addicted to the drug, the best thing you can do is to talk to your doctor immediately. Women who are taking higher doses of the drug should not quit "cold turkey" on their own, as this can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can include respiratory depression, seizures, hypertension, cardiac arrest, and in severe cases even death, so beware.

Higher doses of Tramadol should be tapered down gradually in accordance with your doctor's advice. 

What if you are suffering from a chronic pain condition for which you are taking Tramadol and you are pregnant or trying to conceive? Again, you need to be contacting your doctor immediately and discuss the risk vs benefit situation in your case. Always follow your doctor's advice, whether it comes to taking Tramadol or tapering your dosage down. Never overdose, especially not during pregnancy, even if you are still in pain.

A note to breastfeeding mothers: Tramadol also crosses into your breast milk, though in lower doses. Tramadol may also interfere with your ability to breastfeed. As such, it is best to avoid taking Tramadol while breastfeeding, and if you are dealing with chronic pain while nursing, discuss other options with your doctor. 

Ibuprofen, Tylenol, and Aspirin are all better pain relief options during pregnancy than Tramadol is. Tramadol should only ever be used as a last resort during pregnancy, and should be used with caution while breastfeeding.

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