Compare methadone vs. tramadol

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

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Methadose (methadone)

Prescription only

Ultram (tramadol)

Prescription only
Treats severe pain or drug dependence.

Methadose (methadone) is a cheap and effective treatment for severe chronic pain, but has serious risks for fatal overdose and drug dependence.

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.

3.4/ 5 average rating with 642 reviewsfortramadol
Upsides
  • Available as a cheap, generic version.
  • One of the stronger opioid medicines for treatment of severe pain.
  • Can also be used to treat opioid dependence as part of a complete recovery program.
  • 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
  • Methadose (methadone) can cause slowed breathing, coma, and death from overdose, especially if mixed with alcohol, sleeping pills, or muscle relaxants.
  • Constipation is a common side effect of Methadose (methadone) and you might need laxatives or stool softeners.
  • Not a good option for short-term pain relief.
  • 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
Price
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Reviews
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642 reviews so far
61%
saidit'sworth it
40%
saiditworked well
16%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
The Methadose (methadone) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
13possible side effects
  • Dizziness
    26%
  • Nausea
    24%
  • Constipation
    24%
  • Headache
    18%
  • Sleepiness
    16%
  • Vomiting
    9%
  • Pruritus
    8%
  • CNS Stimulation
    7%
  • Asthenia
    6%
  • Sweating
    6%
  • Dyspepsia
    5%
  • Dry Mouth
    5%
  • Diarrhea
    5%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Death from lack of oxygen to the body (respiratory depression)
    • Start of treatment
    • Age 65 or greater
    • Dose changes and higher doses
  • Heart problems (arrhythmia)
    • History of cardiovascular disease
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking Methadose (methadone) with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Death from overdose
    • Children age 18 and younger
    • Taking more than prescribed dose
    • Mixing with alcohol or drugs that interact with Methadose (methadone)
  • Abuse, tolerance, and addiction
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Long-term use
    • History of drug abuse or mental illness
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Breathing problems
    • Age 65 or greater
    • Overdose
    • Using alcohol, benzodiazepines or other medicines that slow breathing
  • Addiction, abuse, and overdose
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Taking with alcohol or benzodiazepines
    • Stopping Ultram (tramadol) suddenly
  • Interactions with other drugs
  • Withdrawal in newborns
    • Pregnancy
  • Accidental ingestion
    • Children can reach medication
See more detailed risks and warnings