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Gabapentin vs Tramadol: Similarities and Differences in Two Pain Medications

Gabapentin Vs Tramadol

People experience pain due to reasons like injury, arthritis, cancer, or other health complications. They want to cure it as soon as possible because it is a very uncomfortable and emotional feeling. People use medications like Gabapentin and Tramadol to manage pain. But there are some Gabapentin vs Tramadol differences in some cases.

Tramadol is an opioid, and it is recommended for acute pain, whereas Gabapentin is often prescribed for neuropathic pain.

In this blog, you are going to learn about these two different drugs, Gabapentin and Tramadol with their uses, dosage strengths, side effects, and precautions.

What is Gabapentin Drug?

Gabapentin is a generic drug that is used to treat postherpetic neuralgia and partial-onset seizures.

This drug is used with other medications that control seizures. It belongs to the anticonvulsants drug class. Patients can only purchase Gabapentin drugs with a prescription. Neurontin is the branded variant of this medication.

What is Tramadol Medication?

Tramadol is a strong pain relief medication. It is used to treat moderate to severe pain in patients, a doctor can recommend tramadol when pain is not relieved from other drugs.

This is a synthetic opioid, and it directly acts in the brain and central nervous system (CNS), which helps in reducing pain.

FDA-approved the Tramadol drug for the treatment of moderate to severe pain in adults. This drug belongs to the opioid analgesics group of medicines. It is a generic drug, and it is available as a brand-name Ultram.

Comparison of Both medicines: Gabapentin vs Tramadol


Tramadol works immediately on opioid receptors in the central nervous system (CNS). It helps in reducing the feelings of pain by break the way nerves signal pain between the brain and the body.

Gabapentin plays an important role in releasing the mono-amine neurotransmitters in the brain. With the help of this activity, medication provides instant relief from the pain to the patient.

Uses of Gabapentin and Tramadol Drug:

Healthcare experts can recommend tramadol and gabapentin for various reasons that are as follows-

  • Doctors can advise tramadol drugs for treating moderate to severe pain, nerve related pain of individuals. Whereas gabapentin is used to relieve the pain of PHN(Postherpetic neuralgia), RLS(Restless legs syndrome), POS (Pelvic outlet syndrome) etc.
  • Tramadol is used to treat pain after surgery in children below the age of 18 years. Individuals can use Gabapentin to prevent and control partial seizures in adults and children aged 3 and older.
  • Both medications are used off-label for various diseases like anxiety, depression, PTSD, etc.

Dose & Dosage: Gabapentin vs Tramadol

Forms and Strengths of Tramadol Drug:

Generic: Tramadol
  • Form: ER (Extended-Release) oral tablet
  • Strengths: Tramadol 200 mg, 100 mg and 300 mg.
Brand: Ultram
  • Form: immediate-release oral tablet
  • Strength: Tramadol 50 mg

Dosages of Tramadol Drug:

IR (Immediate-release) tablet for Moderate to Severe pain-

Adults (age 18 to 64 years):-

If the patient can tolerate it, then the doctor can increase the dose to 50 mg every 3 days to reach 200 mg per day. A healthcare expert can recommend a dose of 50 mg 4 times a day. The maintenance dose will be 50 – 100 mg. 400 mg per day is the highest dose.

Children (age 17 years):-

Children of this age group can consume a dose of 50 mg 4 times per day. In this case, the doctor can increase the dose to 50 mg every 3 days to reach 200 mg regularly. If the Patient can tolerate these doses then the fixed dose will be 50 – 100 mg. 400 mg per day is the maximum dose of this pain relief drug.

Children (age 0 to 17 years): This age group of children cannot take this drug

Senior patients (65 years & above):- Patients are advised to a lower dose because it can lead to severe health problems in the patients. But for patients above 75 years, the maximum dosage of the (IR) tablet is 300 mg every day.

Extended-release (ER) tablets & Capsules

Adults (age 18 to 64 years):- A dose of 100 mg once per day, but a doctor can increase the dose by 100 mg. 300 mg is the maximal dose.

Child Dosage (0 to 17 years):- People of this age group cannot use this drug because it is not safe and effective for individuals younger than 18 years.

Oral Solution

Adults: 50 – 100 mg every 4 – 6 hours as suggested by a doctor for pain relief.

Children over 12 years old: 25 – 50 mg every 4 – 6 hours as needed for pain relief recommended by a healthcare professional.

Forms and Strengths of Gabapentin Medication:

Forms:- Gabapentin is available as Immediate-Release oral tablets, Extended-Release oral tablets, capsules and oral solutions.

Gabapentin drug strengths are as follows-

IR and ER oral tablets:-

Oral IR capsules:-

ER oral capsules:-

  • gabapentin 300 mg
  • gabapentin 600 mg
  • Gabapentin 800 mg

Oral solutions:- 250 mg/5 mL.

Dosages of Gabapentin medication:
  • For Postherpetic Neuralgia patients

A doctor can recommend 300 mg of gabapentin on the first day. On the second day, a dose of 300 mg given twice. And on day three, a 300 mg dose will be given three times a day.

The maximum dosage for postherpetic neuralgia is 1800 mg per day.

  • For Partial Onset Seizures

Patients ages 12 – 64 years:- The initial dose is 900 mg per day (300 mg three times). A healthcare expert may increase the dose up to 3600 mg per day after observation of the patient.

For Children ages 3 – 11 years:- The starting dose is 10 – 15 mg/kg/day, depending on the body weight.

Side Effects of Gabapentin and Tramadol Drugs:

Common Side Effects of Both Drugs

  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Headache

Serious Side Effects of Gabapentin and Tramadol Medications

  • Allergic reactions
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Breathing problems
  • Sedation
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Precautions for Both Medications:

  • Patients should tell their doctor about any allergies from both medications.
  • Store these medications at room temperature. Combining these medications can increase the risk of overdose and serious adverse effects.
  • Without crushing, chewing, or breaking the medicines people can swallow them whole.


In conclusion, we have understood that Gabapentin and Tramadol are used in various pain management. Generally, people use gabapentin to treat nerve pain. Also, It treats Seizure in people. On the other hand, Tramadol is used to treat moderate to severe pain in adults. If the patient faces any side effects consult with a health specialist immediately.

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