Pain that occurs from any major health problem can severely hamper your life and prevent you from doing any task with ease. Even the act of getting out of bed can feel troublesome if the pain is chronic or recurring in nature. There are many pain medications that are currently available and it is easy to get lost in a sea of choices. Tramadol and Vicodin are two popular drugs that are highly effective in relieving pain. Both these drugs are prescribed by many doctors worldwide but some persons may be undecided as to choosing one over the other. Taking a brief look into Tramadol and Vicodin individually and then comparing them can help in deciding which pain relieving drug to take.


This drug is available under different brand names like Ultram and Tramal. Tramadol is a narcotic-like opioid analgesic that works to relieve pain in two ways. First, the drug inhibits the reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin. Secondly, the drug modifies the brain’s perception of pain and hence expands the threshold of pain felt by a person. These two analgesic effects make it a highly potent drug. While taking Tramadol, one must watch out for side effects, drug tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms. The drug is classified as Schedule IV and should be taken only as indicated in the prescription. Although the drug is fast-acting, multiple doses may be required in a day in order to have longer lasting relief from pain, or one could just take the extended release variants.


Vicodin is a combination of hydrocodone and acetaminophen, the former being an opioid and the latter a non-opioid analgesic. This combined form of Vicodin is highly effective in relieving moderate to severe pain especially as acetaminophen boosts the effects of hydrocodone. The drug works by changing the brain’s response to the sensation of pain. Vicodin is known to have the potential for abuse and it can become addictive if taking unregulated doses. It is classified as a Schedule II drug and can be bought only with a valid prescription. If the condition where pain experienced is severe then a couple of Vicodin doses taken at regular intervals would suffice.

Choosing between Tramadol and Vicodin – which drug is better?

The formulation of Vicodin is such that it is more efficient in relieving pain than Tramadol. Before deciding on which opioid analgesic to take, one must weigh the pros and cons of both like side effects and how many doses you may need to take in a day. Tramadol being generic, it is generally cheaper than Vicodin. Moreover, doctors will not easily prescribe Vicodin due to its schedule class and come under the scrutiny of the DEA. The nature of both the drugs is that it can become habit-forming and several withdrawal symptoms can occur if it is not tapered properly with the help of the doctor. You could try either Vicodin or Tramadol to see which one works better for you but avoid taking them together and by allowing the effects of one drug to wear off before trying the other.