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Take tramadol exactly as prescribed. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Tramadol can slow or stop your breathing, especially when you start using this medicine or whenever your dose is changed. Never take this medicine in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.

Tramadol may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Never share this medicine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. MISUSE OF PAIN MEDICATION CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.

Stop taking all other around-the-clock narcotic pain medications when you start taking tramadol.

Tramadol can be taken with or without food, but take it the same way each time.

Do not crush, break, or open an extended-release tablet or capsule (ConZip, Ultram ER). Swallow it whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose.

Never crush or break a tablet inhale the powder or mix it into a liquid to inject the drug into your vein. This practice has resulted in death.

If you use the tramadol extended-release tablet, the tablet shell may pass into your stools (bowel movements). This is normal and does not mean that you are not receiving enough of the medicine.

Do not stop using this medicine suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using this medicine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep track of your medicine. Tramadol is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

Do not keep leftover opioid medication. Just one dose can cause death in someone using this medicine accidentally or improperly. Ask your pharmacist where to locate a drug take-back disposal program. If there is no take-back program, mix the leftover medicine with cat litter or coffee grounds in a sealed plastic bag and throw the bag in the trash.