Compare Morphine Sulfate vs. tramadol

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

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Ultram (tramadol)

Prescription only
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.

3.5/ 5 average rating with 541 reviewsforMorphine Sulfate
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
  • 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
  • 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.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Oral solution
  • Liquid
  • Suppository
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
Price
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Reviews
541 reviews so far
55%
saidit'sworth it
43%
saiditworked well
20%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate)?

Leave a review
642 reviews so far
61%
saidit'sworth it
40%
saiditworked well
16%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Ultram (tramadol)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Ms Contin (Morphine Sulfate) 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)
    • 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
  • Death from overdose
    • Children age 18 and younger
  • Death in newborn babies from opioid withdrawal (Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome)
    • Long-term use during pregnancy
  • Tolerance, dependence, and addiction
    • Taking more than the prescribed dose
    • Long-term use
    • History of drug abuse
  • Driving impairment
    • Taking with alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • Age 65 or greater
  • Low blood pressure
    • Age 65 years or older
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