Introduction

History of the Drug

Tramadol, as with any other drug, has its beginnings, though it does have a particularly interesting contribution to the history of the pharmaceutical industry. The drug carries with it an active ingredient that can also be found in many other products that have been formulated to alleviate pain.
Grünenthal GmbH, a large pharmaceutical company, was posed to help suffering patients in their battle against pain. Its administrators knew that coming up with a drug such as Tramadol will help out millions of people.

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The corporation was family-owned by the Wirtzes and was established in 1946 in Germany. The primary aim of Grünenthal GmbH was to provide medications for the impoverished people living in Germany during the time of its establishment, as many have suffered the onslaught of the Second World War. The Wirtzes opted to make use of medicinal herbs that they were planting on the land they were leasing. Their efforts were rewarded not too long after. In 1948, Grünenthal GmbH was able to achieve something monumental – bringing the very first penicillin to the pharmaceutical market.

The company continued to seek expansion through a wider product range, by cooperating with other pharmaceuticals. It was also able to put itself forward by being able to conduct its own medical research. It is through medical research that a pharmaceutical can achieve something groundbreaking.
In 1962, the company came up with Tramadol. 15 years later, the trademark name, Tramal was launched. The double action mechanism offered by the drug was what made it new and revolutionary in a world where there are obviously and understandably already existing painkillers. Tramadol was not a miracle drug but it was able to help change how human bodies receive pain.

Grünenthal GmbH continues to follow the Wirtz family tradition and concern, but improves with its new modern take. The pharmaceutical now follows a new philosophy for both the managers and the employees. Grünenthal GmbH is on the way to becoming a symbol of modernity and professionalism, as well as of reliability.
Today, Tramadol is available all over the world under various brand and generic names. This is because the company that developed it finds it more efficient to battle pain by signing licensing agreements with other pharmaceuticals, such as Takeda and Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical. The other pharmaceuticals also conduct their own research so that they can develop reliable medication that can be sold in many other countries. Tramadol soon began being distributed not just under various names but also in various forms. Generally, the drug has been improved for it to be able to combat pain faster. Patients, after all, are always looking for ways to relieve their pain just at a more rapid pace.

So, what is in the future of Tramadol? This will all depend on the medical research conducted by each pharmaceutical involved. Research can deliver new ways of improving a drug.

The drug substance, Tramadol, is now helping millions of suffering patients receive some fast relief. Grünenthal GmbH continues to bank on science and the latest technology to deliver the best types of drugs. If development continues, you may see a better and faster-acting drug in the future, hopefully one that no longer poses risks, such as serious side effects and the possibility of becoming habit-forming.

Introduction to the drug

Tramadol hydrochloride is a drug developed by Grünenthal GmbH, a pharmaceutical company, to relieve mild to severe pain by targeting the central nervous system itself. It is available in pharmacies under brand names, such as Tramal and Ultram. In a nutshell, the drug can treat particularly painful conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. It can also treat restless legs syndrome.

As a weak µ-opioid receptor agonist, Tramadol enables serotonin to be released. Serotonin is known to promote feelings of happiness and overall well-being. It is actually used as an ingredient in anti-depressant drugs.

Tramadol is not just about releasing hormones. It also prevents the reuptake of norepinephrine, which is a hormone-neurotransmitter. This way, Tramadol inhibits the flow of pain impulses. It is also in this way that Tramadol is more like anti-depressants, which also inhibit norepinephrine uptake. As compared to other opioids, Tramadol comes with receptor subtype selectivity.

As with other strong pain relievers, such as codeine, Tramadol is used to treat mild to severe pain. For some people who have not yet experienced excruciating pain, they may not be familiar with the strength of codeine and Tramadol. Codeine is pretty strong but Tramadol is even stronger. The two do both come with the same type of SNRI and antinociceptive effects. Tramadol and the stripped-down form of codeine have similar structures. They have the 3-methyl ether cluster. The two medications follow one hepatic pathway, which means that the two are enacted by the same enzyme from the liver.

Even with the similarities mentioned between codeine and Tramadol, the latter is closest to Tapentadol. Tapentadol, however, is weaker than the other two drugs when it comes to its opioid effect. It also does not have an ether cluster, being instead a phenol.

Despite the fact that Tramadol can alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms, as well as some phobias, physicians do not recommend it to be used as a psychiatric drug. Physicians believe that the prescription of drugs to treat emotional imbalances should be given out by licensed psychiatrists. They still believe that there is a drug that is specifically designed for a particular ailment.

Controversies

The United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) sent Johnson & Johnson a warning back in May 2009 regarding the pharmaceutical’s/consumer goods manufacturer’s promotional website. According to the USFDA, the website had “overstated” Tramadol’s “efficacy” and has even downplayed the drug’s possible risks, which can be pretty serious. German pharmaceutical company, Grünenthal GmbH, is deemed responsible for “minimizing” the emphasis on Tramadol’s habit-forming nature.

Despite these controversies, preliminary tests reveal that the pharmaceutical has little abuse liability in the case of Tramadol. The pharmaceutical did learn from all the warnings, becoming more cautious, especially after a 2010 warning from the Physicians Desk Reference. As a result, there is a stronger emphasis on the drug’s habituating nature. Side effects have also been added to Tramadol’s description. One such example is the possibility of breathing difficulties. Further warnings declare that the drug cannot be taken as an opiate medication for addicts who are being treated. Moreover, the drug should not be taken for recreation purposes. Though Tramadol is usually marketed as a pain reliever with mere weak narcotic effect, it can actually be abused. More recent studies reveal that it actually works like morphine and that there have been actual reports of abuse.