Alere is now Abbott



Tramadol is a synthetic opioid, prescription only medicine, used for moderate to severe pain relief. The drug is available as tablets (Zamadol) and capsules (Zydol) 50mg. There are also 12 and 24 hour modified release preparations available.

Tramadol differs from an opiate because it is not derived from the opium plant. The drug shares many of the same effects as heroin and it is addictive and subject to misuse. Tolerance can build up, meaning that users need to take more of the drug to get the same effects or to avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Tramadol is prescribed short term and with intermittent use to avoid dependency, therefore its use needs to be carefully considered for patients who have a history of addiction. Mixing tramadol and alcohol can have serious consequences, an overdose is more likely and this can lead to coma or respiratory failure and death.



Eaten in tablet or capsule form.



Tablets are crushed and snorted.

  • Pin point pupils
  • Depression of heart rate and respiration
  • Suppression of cough reflex
  • Constipation
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Addiction
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Respiratory depression
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Overdose
  • Death
Tramadol tablets


Molecular structure of tramadol

Street Names


Legal Status

Class C Substance

Possession of the drug can lead to up to two years in jail, an unlimited fine or both. Supplying the drug can lead to up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.

For more information about drug classifications and the associated penalties visit the Home Office website.