Compare Morphine Sulfate vs. Tramadol

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Ms Contin
(morphine sulfate)

Ultram
(tramadol)

Treats severe pain. Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) provides good long-term pain control without the need to take medicine frequently, but watch out for constipation.Treats moderate to severe pain. Ultram (tramadol) works well for pain. Although it's a little weaker than other opioids, it can still be addictive.
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Coupons for Morphine Sulfate
Best available price for 120 (15mg) tablets of morphine
Coupons for Tramadol
Best available price for 120 (50mg) tablets of tramadol
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.79Morphine Sulfate
Reviews for Morphine Sulfate
55%
of people (All ages) say Morphine Sulfate is worth it
43%
say it works well
20%
say it's a big hassle
541 reviews
Have you used Ms Contin (morphine sulfate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Tramadol
61%
-6% worse vs. Morphine Sulfate
40%
+3% better vs. Morphine Sulfate
16%
-4% worse vs. Morphine Sulfate
642 reviews
Have you used Ultram (tramadol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Morphine SulfateTramadol

The Morphine Sulfate FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Morphine Sulfate side effects »
  • Dizziness 26%
  • Constipation 24%
  • Nausea 24%
  • Headache 18%
  • Sleepiness 16%
  • Vomiting 9%
  • Itching 8%
  • Cns stimulation 7%
  • Muscle weakness 6%
  • Sweating 6%
More Tramadol side effects »
How it works
Morphine SulfateTramadol
Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) is an opioid medicine that works in the brain to lower pain perception.Ultram (tramadol) is an opioid pain reliever. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it alters certain brain chemicals to lower pain perception and improve mood.
Type of medication
Morphine SulfateTramadol
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
Morphine SulfateTramadol
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
Used for
Morphine SulfateTramadol
Risk factors for serious side effects
Morphine SulfateTramadol
  • Current use of medicine that affects liver enzyme CYP 3A4
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Higher dose
  • People with not enough thyroid hormones
  • History of lung problems
Detailed Ms Contin (morphine sulfate) risks & warnings »
  • Pregnancy
  • Age 65 or greater
  • Overdose
  • Using alcohol, benzodiazepines or other medicines that slow breathing
  • Taking more than the prescribed dose
Detailed Ultram (tramadol) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Interactions
Morphine SulfateTramadol
No interactions related info.
  • Ultram (tramadol) can interact with your other medicines, which can change how it affects your pain. Stopping these medicines while taking Ultram (tramadol) can make you more likely to have serious, life threatening side effects. Make sure your doctor and pharmacist know all the medicines you're taking, and let them know of any changes.
Food
Morphine SulfateTramadol
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
  • Take Ultram (tramadol) with food to avoid an upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
Morphine SulfateTramadol
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • There are different doses for people who are older or who have liver or kidney disease, so work with your doctor to get the right dose.
Pain
Morphine SulfateTramadol
  • Good for chronic pain that requires around-the-clock relief.
  • Doesn't work for as-needed or quick pain relief.
  • Relieves moderate to severe pain. It has been shown to work as well as other opioid pain medications.
  • The extended release version of Ultram (tramadol) should only be used for severe pain that requires daily, around-the-clock treatment once alternative treatments haven't worked.
Sleep
Morphine SulfateTramadol
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
No sleep related info.
Upsides and benefits
Morphine SulfateTramadol
  • Provides longer relieve for moderate to severe pain to improve quality of life.
  • Good for chronic pain that requires around-the-clock relief.
  • Might have fewer side effects than other opioid pain relievers.
  • Relieves moderate to severe pain. It has been shown to work as well as other opioid pain medications.
  • Compared to typical opioids, it provides unique pain relief and effects on your mood when taken regularly.
  • Has a lower chance of causing breathing problems compared to other typical opioids.
  • Doesn't cause as much constipation as other opioid pain medicines. Staying hydrated and taking laxatives can help treat this side effect.
Downsides and risks
Morphine SulfateTramadol
  • Doesn't work for as-needed or quick pain relief.
  • Dizziness and drowsiness is common, but your body may adjust.
  • Everyone will get constipation - always stay hydrated and take stool softener or stimulant on days you're taking Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) if you need.
  • Long term use will likely cause physical dependence.
  • Must be weaned slowly off the medicine after use longer than 2 weeks.
  • Some people think it's weaker than other opioid pain medications. It can also cause more upset stomach.
  • Like other opioid pain relievers, Ultram (tramadol) has a high risk of addiction, abuse, misuse, overdose, and death.
  • The extended release version of Ultram (tramadol) should only be used for severe pain that requires daily, around-the-clock treatment once alternative treatments haven't worked.
  • It's a controlled substance regulated by the federal government. This means that your use of Ultram (tramadol) will be tracked to prevent potential prescription abuse.
  • Like all opioids, don't use when pregnant, since the baby can become dependent on it and have withdrawal symptoms after birth.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Morphine SulfateTramadol
  • Opioid pain medicine that provides longer pain relief—up to 12 hours.
  • Works best when taken regularly instead of as-needed.
  • Especially useful for people with chronic pain problems.
  • May not be the best choice for people who have never taken an opioid pain medicine because it lasts so long.
  • Swallow it whole. Don't crush, chew, or split the medicine.
  • Can make you dizzy or drowsy.
  • Avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how it affects you.
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
  • Constipation is common and may not go away while you're taking this medicine. Drinking lots of water and taking laxatives can help.
  • Talk to your doctor if it doesn't help enough for your pain, or if the side effects are really bad.
  • Starts working in one hour and works best if you take it regularly.
  • Can make you dizzy or drowsy, so avoid activities that need you to be fully alert until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • Take Ultram (tramadol) with food to avoid an upset stomach.
  • There are different doses for people who are older or who have liver or kidney disease, so work with your doctor to get the right dose.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablets whole. They're designed to release the drug slowly and breaking, crushing, or chewing them could cause a serious overdose.
  • Take the extended-release tablets exactly as your doctor and pharmacist tell you. If you forget, take it as soon as you remember. Don't take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
Learn more
More about Morphine SulfateSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ms Contin (morphine sulfate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about TramadolSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Ultram (tramadol)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it