Compare tramadol vs. fentanyl

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

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Ultram (tramadol)

Prescription only

Duragesic (fentanyl)

Prescription only
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
Treats severe pain.

Duragesic (fentanyl) is an excellent pain reliever, but should only be used by people who've tried other opioid pain medications and still need more relief.

4.2/ 5 average rating with 84 reviewsforfentanyl
Upsides
  • 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.
  • Duragesic (fentanyl) is stronger than morphine, works quickly, and doesn't cause as many stomach problems.
  • It's available in many dosage forms, including a patch, injection, film, nasal spray, and lollipop.
  • The Duragesic (fentanyl) patch provides long-term pain relief and lowers the number of times you need to take pain medications each day.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • Duragesic (fentanyl) isn't for everyone. It's a really strong pain medication and taking too much can be deadly.
  • The patch doesn't provide quick pain relief.
  • Often causes drowsiness and constipation. If taking long-term, use a stool softener.
  • Shouldn't be used by people with breathing problems (like asthma and COPD), a slow heart rate, or are elderly.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Extended release
  • Extended release capsule
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Patch
  • Dissolving tablet
  • Mouth spray
  • Lozenge
  • Buccal tablet
  • Nasal spray
Price
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Reviews
642 reviews so far
61%
saidit'sworth it
40%
saiditworked well
16%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Ultram (tramadol)?

Leave a review
84 reviews so far
79%
saidit'sworth it
70%
saiditworked well
14%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Duragesic (fentanyl)?

Leave a review
Side effects
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
34possible side effects
  • Vomiting
    34%
  • Nausea
    24%
  • Dizziness
    17%
  • Drowsiness
    17%
  • Headache
    16%
  • Constipation
    13%
  • Diarrhea
    13%
  • Itchy skin
    13%
  • Weakness
    9%
  • Abdominal pain
    9%
  • Difficulty sleeping
    6%
  • Rash
    6%
  • Swelling in the limbs
    5%
  • Confusion
    4%
  • Difficulty breathing
    4%
  • Upper abdominal pain
    4%
  • Loss of appetite
    4%
  • Anxiety
    4%
  • Tremor
    3%
  • Hypersensitivity
    3%
  • Urinary retention
    3%
  • Sweating
    3%
  • Accidental injury
    2%
  • Abnormal gait
    2%
  • Dry mouth
    2%
  • Nervousness
    2%
  • Dilation of blood vessels
    2%
  • Abnormal vision
    2%
  • Burning/pricking sensation
    2%
  • Confusional state
    2%
  • Fatigue
    2%
  • Muscle spasms
    2%
  • Depression
    2%
  • Hallucination
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • Slowed breathing (respiratory depression)
    • Taking other medicines that interact with Duragesic (fentanyl)
    • Age 65 or greater
    • Taking benzodiazepines, other opioids, and/or alcohol
    • Asthma or COPD
  • Death from overdose
    • Children age 18 and younger
  • Death in newborn babies from opioid withdrawal
    • Long-term use of Duragesic (fentanyl) 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
  • Medication errors
See more detailed risks and warnings