Unlike many other opioid analgesics, the popular painkiller tramadol is not scheduled as a controlled substance at the moment by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. However, that looks set to change. Tramdaol might face reclassification this year, when it might be added to the list of schedule IV drugs, according to a DEA statement released in November 2013: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/fed_regs/rules/2013/fr1104.htm This might go into effect by June 2014. The DEA appears to be planning to follow the pattern set by several states where tramadol is currently controlled. Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, New Mexico, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Wyoming, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and the US military also classify Tramadol as a schedule IV controlled substance.
That means that Tramadol will no longer be widely available online at US-based sites like http://www.RxMegastore.com, or over the counter in the US and UK without a prescription. It might still be available online at international online pharmacies such as http://www.ehealthrx.com, but importing a controlled susbstance without a valid prescription would be illegal so buying tramadol in this way would be risky.
The trend to put tighter controls on Tramadol has been gathering pace for some years now in other countries and it appears to be reaching the tipping point in the USA (and the UK) right now where it will soon be much harder to get.
The change is definitely bad news for many genuine pain sufferers who cannot afford insurance, but need the medicine nevertheless. However, the only solution is ordering Tramadol in higher amounts while it is available.
Change in status of Tramadol is not being done just to upset people. In 2012, in the UK, in England and Wales alone, there were 175 deaths involving Tramadol, although not necessarily as the main cause. (see the link to the discussion on PR’s forum below.) Statistics show that the number of deaths involving Tramadol is on the rise. There are also many other reasons why Tramadol is not a medicine to be taken lightly – it is addictive with withdrawal symptoms possible, it also potentially affects digestion, like any opioid painkiller, and can induce drowsiness.
Genuine pain-sufferers who seriously need to continue using Tramadol might want to look into buying higher amounts of bulk Tramadol before it is too late. There have been shortages of Tramadol in 2013, too, so every day counts for those wanting to buy it.
There has been an interesting discussion on reclassification of Tramadol on the Pharmacy Reviewer forum:
Pharmacy Reviewer (UK – Tramadol faces reclassification after surge in deaths).