Tramadol is a unique antidepressant. In addition to functioning like classic serotonin-based medications, Tramadol works on the opioid receptors. For some, this is helpful, but others find it problematic and find themselves searching for the closest antidepressant to Tramadol.
Being so unique, there aren’t a lot of antidepressants similar to Tramadol. This is due to the fact that Tramadol is mainly an opioid painkilling medication. This makes it more addictive and risky to use than other antidepressants.
In this article, we’ll tell you a bit about Tramadol and what makes it so unique. The information we’ll provide should help you when you go to tell your doctor that you’re looking for the closest antidepressant to Tramadol.
What Is Tramadol?
Tramadol is a synthetic opioid medication. Opioids are generally used to kill pain. Tramadol is comparable in strength to codeine, which is one of the weaker opioids.
Opioids can be effective for managing depression, but this is usually just because they blunt a person’s feelings. In addition, they are extremely addictive and can lead to dangerous overdoses and withdrawal symptoms. This is why opioids aren’t usually prescribed for depression.
However, Tramadol has some unique properties. Tramadol works as a reuptake inhibitor for norepinephrine and serotonin.
What does this mean?
Reuptake is a process that’s happening in your brain cells all the time. After your brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) do their job by ‘activating’ a ‘receptor,’ they are flushed out of the brain cell. Afterwards, they can be re-absorbed to do their job again. This process is called reuptake.
Drugs that inhibit reuptake basically prevent the chemicals from being flushed out of your brain cell. This means that they can hang around and activate the receptor over and over again. This is how reuptake inhibitor antidepressants work.
Tramadol does this with serotonin and norepinephrine. These compounds are involved with mood, energy, memory, and other mental processes. By increasing the amount available to your brain, reuptake inhibitors can fight depression.
The Closest Antidepressant to Tramadol
In addition to being a reuptake inhibitor, however, Tramadol is an opiate. As such, it can be very addictive. Many people are interested in finding alternative medications that are less dangerous.
There are a few medications that share the dual action of Tramadol without its addictive opioid properties.
- Mirtazipine (Remeron)
- Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
- Venlafaxine (Effexor)
All of these drugs are dual reuptake inhibitors for both serotonin and norepinephrine. That means that they can produce similar effects without causing you to develop the debilitating physical withdrawal symptoms of opioids.
However, it’s important to remember that any psychoactive meds can lead to withdrawal symptoms.
These drugs, including Tramadol, are revered for their fast action. Many antidepressants, including the popular SSRIs, tend to take weeks to take effect.
Tramadol may be an effective antidepressant, but it is also very addictive. Many people prefer to use antidepressants that don’t share the addictive properties of Tramadol.
Ask your doctor to switch you onto the closest antidepressant to Tramadol if you’re having problems. In the meantime, take steps to improve your mental health and reduce stress naturally.