What Are The Differences Between Tramadol And Xanax?

Tramadol is one of the latest types of opioids to enter the United States. The Food and Drug Administration approved it in March 1995 as a non-schedule narcotic. However, due to reports of drug abuse and misuse, the FDA reclassified it as a Schedule IV drug on August 2014.

Xanax, a branded version of the drug alprazolam, is a potent benzodiazepine anxiolytic. It was patented in the United States as early as October 1969.

The Forbes magazine tagged Xanax as the 12th most prescribed medicine in the US in 2010. Authorities are worried by the widespread abuse of the drug due to its highly addictive nature. Similar to Tramadol, the drug is classified by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency as a Schedule IV drug. (1)

Uses Of Tramadol And Xanax

The uses of Tramadol and Xanax varies greatly in such a way that doctors prescribe Tramadol to treat varying degrees of pain, while doctors prescribe Xanax to patients suffering from several types of anxiety disorders.

Patients take Xanax to treat panic disorders, anxiety disorders, and chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting. Doctors in Australia, however, no longer recommended Xanaxi for the treatment of panic disorders due to studies indicating the drug’s high addiction and abuse potential.

Clinical studies have shown that using Xanax to treat anxiety is only effective for up to four months. Beyond this period, the patient may grow accustomed to the drug and its benefits may vanish. (2)

Tramadol has also been proven effective in treating post-anesthesia shivering. Patients that underwent surgery often experience post-anesthesia shivering. It happens more frequently to patients that received general anesthesia.

Also Read: Tramadol Vs Vicodin

Side Effects Of Tramadol And Xanax

Tramadol and Xanax are two very different drugs. Hence, they affect the body in two completely different ways. However, since the primary target of these drugs is the chemical composition of the brain, there would be some side effects that are present in both drugs.

Below is a table showing a comparison of the probabilities of certain side effects similar to both drugs: (3)(4)

  • Constipation: Tramadol’s 24% probability versus Xanax’s 10% probability
  • Nausea: Tramadol’s 24% probability versus Xanax’s 10% probability
  • Headache: Tramadol’s 18% probability versus Xanax’s 13% probability
  • Drowsiness: Tramadol’s 16% probability versus Xanax’s 41% probability

Note: The probabilities used for Xanax above are determined when the drug is used for anxiety only.

Effect On Pregnant Women

FDA has given Tramadol a grade C when it comes to its effects on unborn babies. A grade C means that there is enough evidence that the drug could significantly harm fetuses. On the other hand, Benzodiazepines like Xanax can affect infants during pregnancy and lactation adversely.

Researchers have shown that the use of Xanax during pregnancy can cause congenital physical disabilities among patients. A similar drug, diazepam, has also been shown to cause lethargy and weight-loss on children that breastfeed from mothers taking such medicine.

It is highly unadvisable for mothers to take the said drug during pregnancy and lactation periods. Consult your doctor for an alternative drug in case you plan to or already are pregnant. (5)

Price Of Tramadol And Xanax

You can buy Tramadol’s generic versions at an average price of $50 per 30 120 mg packs. However, its branded version, Ultram, is selling at $83 for the same amount. Patients can use their Medicare, or other insurances to pay for the Tramadol. Pharmacies sell Xanax in varying dosages. Additionally, one can purchase each dosage for different prices. (6)

Listed below are the various average prices of Xanax based on dosage:

  • 25 mg tablet is around $63.07 for a supply of 30 tablets
  • 5 mg tablet is around $77.17 for a supply of 30 tablets
  • 1 mg tablet is around $101.04 for a supply of 30 tablets

Tramadol And Xanax Interaction

There has been no formal research on the interaction between Tramadol and Xanax. Although, there have been claims of both negative and positive effects coming from combining both drugs. Nevertheless, it is advisable to consult your doctor first if you intend to mix both drugs.


“Drugs@FDA. FDA approved drug products (searchable database)”. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Retrieved 2009-03-30.

FDA package inserts for Ultram (tramadol). (n.d.). Retrieved August 2, 2017, from Iodine: http://www.iodine.com/drug/tramadol/fda-package-insert

“In Pictures: The Most Popular Prescription Drugs”. Forbes. Retrieved  4 August 2017.

“Alprazolam – Oral (Xanax) Side Effects, Medical Uses, and Drug Interactions”. Medicinenet.com. MedicineNet. July 2005

Xanax (Alprazolam). (n.d.). Retrieved August 4, 2017, from Iodine: http://www.iodine.com/drug/xanax

Xanax Price. (n.d.). Retrieved August 4, 2017, from TrueMedCost: http://www.truemedcost.com/xanax-price