Question: What exactly is Ultram, and is it addictive?
Answer: Ultram—also known as Tramadol—is not your normal everyday opiate pain reliever. While it does act on the same receptors as morphine (MS Contin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab), and while it may produce additional pain-relieving effects by acting on a few other receptors, compared to those powerful opiates, it’s not terribly strong.
In short, the answer to your question is “Yes, Ultram is addictive.” However, most regard its addictive potential as much lower than other opiates. One reason for this may be that the body must metabolize Ultram before the medication becomes most active—a delay that might cause less of the action-reward type behavior associated with addiction.
While the majority of people will not develop dependence on or addiction to Ultram. But be safe: as with any drug or medicine, use Ultram only as prescribed and talk to your doctor if you feel you need more pain medication.