Crushing Tramadol

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not it is safe to crush tramadol.

Jul 21, 2018

Betsy asked

I was prescribed tramadol and wondering if it could be crushed?

At a glance

  • Immediate-release tramadol tablets can safely be split and crushed. Extended-release forms, such as tramadol ER and Ryzolt, cannot however.


Tramadol immediate-release tablets can safely be cut, split or crushed. However, tramadol is available in several other dosage forms, including all extended-release products, which should not be crushed. Below are the tramadol products which should not be crushed:

  • Conzip (tramadol extended-release capsule)
  • Tramadol ER capsule
  • Rybix (tramadol orally disintegrating tablet)
  • Ryzolt (tramadol extended-release tablet)
  • Ultram ER (tramadol extended-release tablet)
  • Tramadol ER tablet

Again, the only tramadol product that can be crushed is the immediate release tablet (brand name Ultram).

Crushing a medication that has an extended release mechanism is dangerous and should not be done. Doing so can ruin the extended-release properties of the dosage form, delivering the entire dose at once. This can increase the risk of side effects and overdose.

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