Take Tramadol and Oxycodone together?

Take Tramadol and Oxycodone together?

Tramadol and oxycodone


Tramadol (ConZip) and oxycodone (OxyContin) are both opioid medications. They are specialized in treating pain ranging from acute to severe. Individually, opioid medications can have complications if not used properly. Taking tramadol and oxycodone together can lead to central nervous system depression, respiratory depression and extreme sedation. These are all life-threatening. Therefore, tramadol and oxycodone should not be taken together without the prescription of a qualified doctor.  

Tramadol and oxycodone are opioids, and they share a similar mechanism of action. Interaction between them could potentially increase their adverse effects and result in overdosing. It is always essential to adhere to the medication schedule doctors recommend. They formulate a plan after analyzing your current symptoms, medical history, and body’s reaction to the medicine. They weigh the risks & benefits to determine the appropriate amount of dosage. 

Opioids are effective in curing acute pain, like after injury or surgery, and chronic pain, like cancer-related pain. However, their potential for abuse and addiction has resulted in negative implications because of their high potency. Over the years, there has been an epidemic of opioid abuse in many regions. For example, the United States has seen a significant rise in opioid-related overdoses and deaths. The everyday dangers include addiction, overdose, transition to heroin use, respiratory issues and eventually death.

What is tramadol?


Like other opioids, tramadol is used to treat acute and severe pain. Its basic function is to combine with opioid receptors in the brain or spinal cord, reducing the perception of pain. It comes in two forms: immediate release (IR) and Extended release (ER).

Pharmacology and Mechanism of Action:

Tramadol is famous for its dual mechanism of action. First, it binds to the opioid receptors in the spinal cord and brain to reduce the sensation of pain. Second, it also inhibits the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine, which are responsible for regulating moods, anxiety, and pain. As a result, this enhances its effect of pain relief. So, it works on both opioid and non-opioid pathways to achieve better results. However, there is also an increase in the chances of side effects.


Tramadol belongs to a class of medications that are commonly known as opioid analgesics. Following are some of the uses of tramadol:

  • Tramadol is prescribed for various kinds of pain like post-operative pain, muscular pain, dental pain and pain associated with conditions like arthritis, neuropathy, etc.
  • Tramadol is sometimes also used to treat pain in individuals who are suffering from cancer. It works to cure acute and severe pain when other medications fail.
  • When other non-opioid medications fail to treat chronic pain effectively, that’s where tramadol comes in to treat chronic pain effectively.

Side effects:

It can cause side effects ranging from standard to severe if not used properly. Here are some of the common side effects of tramadol:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue

It can also cause some severe side effects like:

  • Seizures
  • Addiction
  • Respiratory depression (slowed breathing)
  • Serotonin syndrome (excessive serotonin in the brain)

What is oxycodone?


Oxycodone is also an opioid analgesic that is used to cure pain ranging from acute to severe. It works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain, just like tramadol, to reduce the perception of pain. It has two formulations, i.e. immediate release (IR) and extended-release (ER). Oxycodone is prescribed for acute pain like post-operation or surgery and also chronic pain like cancer-related.

Pharmacology and mechanism of action:

Oxycodone interacts with mu-opioid receptors in the brain and regulates pain. After binding to the receptors, oxycodone inhibits the travelling of signals and alters the perception of pain. This mechanism also triggers the release of other neurotransmitters like dopamine, which leads to euphoria and sedation. The effect of oxycodone is practical as it reduces pain sensation and increases pain tolerance. However, if you use it for long durations, it can cause dependence and addiction. 


Oxycodone is a potent drug useful in various conditions where other medicines fail. Some common uses of oxycodone are:

  • Oxycodone is often prescribed for relief in acute pain resulting from surgery or injury. 
  • It is also used for chronic pain management in conditions like cancer-relation pain, arthritis and neuropathy. 
  • Oxycodone can also be used for breakthrough pain. This situation occurs when pain happens between episodes despite ongoing treatment with other pain medications.
  • It can also be used in palliative care, where individuals suffer from terminal illnesses and end-of-life conditions, to alleviate their pain so that they can improve their quality of life.

Side Effects:

Oxycodone can cause various side effects if used for longer durations or not used carefully. Common side effects of using oxycodone include:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Drowsiness 
  • Dizziness
  • Respiratory depression
  • Rash skin
  • Itching
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating

These are the most common, but individuals may experience effects as well. In case of any side effects after using oxycodone, report it to the healthcare professionals. Misuse or abuse of oxycodone can also lead to coma or death. It is necessary to use it with the guidance of qualified doctors. 

Tramadol vs Oxycodone:

Both of these medications are opioids, so they do share some common effects, but there are also some differences between them. It is essential to know both of them before taking them together. Following are the differences between tramadol and oxycodone:

Drug NameTramadolOxycodone
Drug TypeOpioidOpioid
Prescription requiredYesYes
Risk of overdoseYesYes
Risk of side effectsYes if it is misusedYes if it is misused
Can it cause dependence?Yes if used for long durationsYes if used for long durations
Brand NamesConZip, UltramOxycontin, Oxaydo
Common UsesTreats mild to moderate painTreats moderate to severe pain
Immediate or extended dosagesBoth forms are availableBoth forms are available
DosageShort dosage is 50-100mgLong dosage is 100-300mgShort dosage is 5-30mgLong dosage is upto 80mg
Does it interact with other drugs?YesYes
Drug Schedule or StatusIVII
How long does it take to start working?Within one hourShort dosage starts working in 15 minutes but long dosage time is unclear
Duration of effectShort dosage is 4-6 hoursLong dosage is 24 hoursShort dosage is 4-6 hoursLong dosage is 12 hours

They also have some common side effects:

Tramadol Side EffectsOxycodone Side Effects
Dry mouth

They are highly effective but have different reactions in the body. Therefore, they need to be recommended by the doctors so you can start considering taking them together. Otherwise, you would be putting yourself in harm’s way.

Can you take tramadol and oxycodone together?

Scientific explanation:

Tramadol and oxycodone are both opioid analgesics. They act on the central nervous system to cure mild to severe pain. They both have similar mechanisms of action of binding to the opioid receptors in the brain or spinal cord. This alters the perception of pain. They can increase opioid activity in the body, resulting in high potency to achieve better pain management. However, they also have the potential to increase side effects. 

One of the major concerns is that the two medications can cause respiratory depression. This means shallow and slowed breathing. It can be highly deadly. Other complications can also occur, such as impaired cognitive function. In this situation, a person cannot operate any machinery.

Common and rare side effects:

Common side effects of taking tramadol and oxycodone are:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Itching
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

Following are the rare side effects of taking these medications together:

  • Serotonin syndrome
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory depression
  • Low blood pressure
  • Liver toxicity
  • Allergic reactions

Risks of taking them together:

Taking tramadol and oxycodone together can create severe complications and potential risks for overall health. Here are some of them:

  • Both of these medicines can cause sedation and drowsiness, so the chances of excessive sleepiness and sedation increase significantly. 
  • Both of these medications can have adverse effects on the respiratory system. Combining them increases the risk of respiratory depression, which could be life-threatening. 
  • When you combine tramadol and oxycodone, it increases the risk of seizures, especially in people who have a history of seizures. 
  • Both of these drugs have dependency issues, and both of them are also opioids. This is a dangerous combination as people could develop an addiction. 
  • Tramadol and oxycodone increase the serotonin level in the brain. They could potentially develop serotonin syndrome if taken together. Common symptoms are agitation, fast heartbeat, fever, stiffness, and sometimes coma. 

Should it be taken only if prescribed by your doctor?

You must follow the doctor’s guidelines while taking tramadol and oxycodone. They determine the appropriate dosages after examining your medical history, current condition and your tolerance to drugs. So, the safer way to take these medications is only by the recommendation of a qualified doctor. If you feel any side effects, report them to your doctor immediately. 

Alternatives to tramadol and oxycodone:

There are plenty of non-opioid options for the management of pain. These alternatives also have fewer risks associated with them. Firstly, Non-opioid medications like NSAIDs (naproxen or ibuprofen) can help relieve pain by reducing inflammation. Acetaminophen can also help in relieving pain. Secondly, physical therapy can also come in handy to ease pain after exercises, stretches, etc. There is also cognitive-behavioural therapy, where thoughts are modified to cope with pain and develop tolerance. 

Last but not least, there is also massage therapy, meditation, and TENS. It is extremely important to discuss these with your health provider. After analyzing several factors, they will recommend the best option. They can help create an appropriate schedule and dosages for your needs. Their plan needs to be followed. This point is crucial and must be stressed. The doctors are actually qualified enough to recommend a better plan. 

Tips for Safe Opioid Use:

Essential tips to remember while using opioids are:

  1. Carefully follow the doctor’s instructions and stick to the prescribed schedule.
  2. Don’t share your medicines with anyone.
  3. Store the medications where children and pets can’t reach them. 
  4. Get rid of unused medications properly.
  5. You need to be aware of the interactions opioids can have with other medications. Tell your doctors about all the drugs that you are currently taking. 
  6. Avoid drinking alcohol and any other substance of this kind. 

For those who are suffering from opioid abuse in the USA, the following are some of the resources where you can get some help:

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a national helpline (1-800-662-HELP). This helpline offers support, treatment and other options to help people. 
  • Attend local support groups to connect with other people and receive some help.
  • Reach out to healthcare centres and professionals to get some help.

Seeking help is the first step towards recovery. These resources also observe privacy and confidentiality, so feel free to reach out if you need assistance. 


In conclusion, it is essential to consider all the options, like non-opioid medications and treatment-like therapies. If they are not helpful enough, then you can go tramadol and oxycodone combination. However, they come with their risks because of their high potency. Their interaction can cause seizures, respiratory depression and even death. Therefore, these should be taken under the guidance of a qualified doctor. 

Opioid abuse is on the rise significantly in certain regions, especially the USA. Organizations like SAMHSA provide a helpline to help individuals suffering from this. Moreover, local support groups, healthcare professionals, and treatment centres can assist people in any way they can. For instance, people get therapy, medicated treatment, and counselling here. 

People need to be more aware of the opioid misuse and consider other options to cure their pain. If opioid medications are necessary, then doctors should be involved before using them. Because they can be incredibly deadly if not used carefully.