ULTRAM ER (Tramadol HCl) Extended-Release Tablets Now Available In USA for Chronic Pain

Moderate To Moderately-severe Chronic Pain – Once Daily ULTRAM® ER (Tramadol HCl) Extended-Release Tablets Now Available In USA

Main Category: Pain/Anesthetics News
Article Date: 27 Feb 2006 – 10:00am (UK)

A new prescription option is now available to the more than 50 million Americans who suffer from moderate to moderately severe chronic pain. Ortho-McNeil, Inc., and Biovail Corporation (NYSE, TSE: BVF) today announced that once-daily ULTRAM® ER (tramadol HCl) extended-release tablets are now available by prescription in the United States.

ULTRAM® ER is the first extended release tramadol product approved in the U.S. for relief of moderate to moderately severe chronic pain in adults who require around-the-clock treatment of their pain for an extended period of time. ULTRAM® ER is available in once-daily dosage strengths of 100 mg, 200 mg and 300 mg tablets.

The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ULTRAM® ER in September 2005 based on clinical and safety data obtained from four well-controlled clinical trials. More than 3,000 patients have been treated with ULTRAM® ER in clinical trials.

“Chronic pain affects a large segment of the U.S. population, with an estimated 45 percent of all Americans seeking care for persistent pain at least once during their lifetime,” said Dr. Warren A. Katz, clinical professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, director of the Osteoporosis Center and Rheumatology at the Rothman Institute. “ULTRAM® ER is an important new option for patients who suffer from moderate to moderately severe chronic pain, and for the physicians who treat them.”

Approximately one-third of all Americans have some element of chronic pain; many have been living with their pain for more than five years and experience pain almost six days a week. Up to 700 million work days are lost in the U.S. each year as a result of pain-related disabilities. Moreover, chronic pain has a significant economic impact, with estimated direct and indirect costs in the Unites States exceeding $100 billion annually.

Tramadol is a non-scheduled centrally-acting synthetic opioid analgesic that has been used in the treatment of moderate to moderately severe pain since its introduction in the United States in 1995. ULTRAM® ER uses Biovail’s innovative Smartcoat™ technology* to produce an extended-release tablet that provides appropriate patients effective pain control over a 24-hour period in a convenient once-daily form of tramadol. In contrast, patients may need to take immediate release tramadol tablets every four-six hours for pain relief.

“The development of a once-daily formulation of tramadol is indicative of how an innovative drug-delivery technology can overcome the most difficult formulation enhancement challenges,” said Douglas Squires, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Biovail Corporation.

For more information and full U.S. Prescribing Information about ULTRAM® ER, please visit www.ULTRAM-ER.com.

ULTRAM® ER is contraindicated in any situation where opioids are contraindicated, including in those patients with a history of anaphylactoid reactions to opioids.

Seizures have been reported in patients receiving tramadol. The risk of seizure is increased with doses of tramadol above the recommended range and in patients taking certain medications such as tricyclic antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or opioids. Administration of tramadol may enhance the seizure risk in patients taking MAO inhibitors, neuroleptics, other drugs that reduce the seizure threshold, or in patients with epilepsy, those with a history of seizures, or in patients with a recognized risk for seizure (such as head trauma, metabolic disorders, alcohol and drug withdrawal, CNS infections).

Tramadol, like other opioids used in analgesia, can be abused. ULTRAM® ER should not be used in patients who are suicidal or addiction-prone, or taken with alcohol-containing beverages.

In clinical trials the most frequently reported side effects associated with ULTRAM® ER were dizziness, nausea, constipation, somnolence and flushing.

ULTRAM® ER Extended Release Tablets are intended for oral use only and should be swallowed whole. The tablets should not be chewed, crushed or split.

ULTRAM® ER should not be administered at a dose exceeding 300 mg per day.

Ortho-McNeil, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company, is headquartered in Raritan, NJ, and provides innovative, high quality, prescription treatments for health care providers and their patients in primary care, hospitals and other care facilities. PriCara, Unit of Ortho-McNeil, Inc., is the only major health care organization in the United States solely dedicated to the needs of primary care providers who serve a vital role on the frontline of medicine. Ortho-McNeil, Inc., and PriCara provide medicines, education and resources in the areas of pain, gastrointestinal and infectious diseases. For more information about the company, please visit http://www.PriCara.com.

Biovail Corporation is a specialty pharmaceutical company, engaged in the formulation, clinical testing, registration, manufacture and commercialization of pharmaceutical products utilizing advanced drug-delivery technologies. For further information, please send inquiries to ir@biovail.com.

Smartcoat™ technology is a trademark of Biovail.


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3 thoughts on “ULTRAM ER (Tramadol HCl) Extended-Release Tablets Now Available In USA for Chronic Pain”

  1. Islebabe says:

    I cannot take Ultram because it increase my heart rate so fast you can’t count it.
    Do you have anything else to recommend?
    L & Huggles-Islebabe (member)
    Please & thank you

  2. jofms says:


    This is a great article. How would I go about getting Ultram ER in South Africa? Do you know if my doctor could write a prescription and fax it to obtain the product or if my chemist could order it? I currently take50mg per day of Tramadol but it wears off about 12 midday.



  3. Shannon.05 says:

    My Dr.just subscribed me this medication for my cronic pain in my back. So far the first dose did not effect me. How dose this med. work is it rapid release or over a period of time???

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