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August 2nd, 1pm-6pm, Berkeley CA
Tramadol
Legal Status
by Erowid
U.S. FEDERAL LAW #
Caution :   All legal information should be verified through other sources. [see below]
U.S. FEDERAL LEGAL SUMMARY
Tramadol
REGULATED
Yes
STATUS
Prescription Only
SCHEDULE
Un-Scheduled
(Schedule IV Proposed Nov 4, 2013)
Tramadol (Ultram) is unscheduled in the United States, but is available by prescription only. This means that sales and distribution are allowed only by those with a license and only to those with a prescription (according to FDA regulations). Possession is not illegal even without a prescription.

On Nov 4, 2013, the DEA published their "Notice of proposed rulemaking" to place Tramadol (and related isomers, salts, etc) into Schedule IV. The rule recognizes that the M1 metabolite is key to Tramadol's action and would include this in the list of controlled substances. See http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-11-04/html/2013-25933.htm. In July 2013, the DEA stated on their website that they were considering Tramadol for control. The Federal Register entry documents the path from original proposal to current near-Scheduled status. Web Archive:

U.S. STATE LAW #
Arkansas #
Arkansas Senate Bill 333 added any tramadol mixture, preparation, salt, or isomer to the state's list of Schedule IV controlled substances, making it legal to buy only with a prescription. (thanks O)
Florida #
Tramadol is classified as a prescription-only drug and possession without a prescription can be prosecuted under Title XXXIII : Chapter 499.03 : Possession of new drugs or legend drugs without prescriptions unlawful; exemptions and exceptions.. (thanks jd) (last updated May 31 2014)
Georgia #
Tramadol is classified as a "dangerous drug" and requires a prescription (see Georgia Title 16-13-71. (thanks NL)
Illinois #
Tramadol became a Schedule IV drug in 2011 through bill IL HB 2917 2011. (thanks scruff) (last updated March 17, 2013)
Kentucky #
Tramadol is in Schedule IV as of Dec 5, 2008. See Tramadol Scheduling Notification. (thanks GG) (last updated Aug 7, 2009)
Massachusetts #
Tramadol is a Class E controlled drug in Massachusetts. Possession by a person other then the prescription holder can result in arrest or criminal prosecution. Massachusetts includes all prescription drugs not in more restrictive classes into Class E. Mass State Law.
Oklahoma #
Tramadol was added to Schedule IV in the state of Oklahoma as of November 1, 2012. See http://www.ok.gov/OSBP/documents/MIN_20120426_WEB.pdf&sa=U&ei=5z7_ULuHCuXfigLc9IHYBg&ved=0CBEQFjAE&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNEBZT74UcQYrweyLecJRbNYIGsY0g. (last updated jan 22, 2013)
New York #
Tramadol appears to have been added to Schedule IV in New York State in 2013. See http://www.health.ny.gov/professionals/narcotic/laws_and_regulations/part_c-chapter_447-laws_of_2012-faq.htm. It appears that a bill is currently underway to make tramadol Schedule III (see http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S5880-2011. (thanks t) (last updated Mar 18, 2013)
Pennsylvania #
Tramadol is not scheduled in Pennsylvania. See PA Code : 028 Chapter 25.72. (thanks GG) (last updated Aug 7, 2009)
Wyoming #
Tramadol is Schedule IV as of July 1, 2011. This makes it illegal to possess without a prescription or license. See PDF of Law and National Association of Boards of Pharmacy news. (thanks b) (last updated Feb 6 2012)
If you have information about the legal status of this substance in any other U.S. state, please let us know.

INTERNATIONAL LAW #
Argentina #
Vistors report that although tramadol technically requires a prescription in Argentina, practically it can be purchased over the counter, without prescription, in many large and small pharmacies. Available in 50 and 100 mg dosage units and IV ampules also sold without prescription. (unconfirmed) (thanks ns, E) (last updated Jan 11, 2011)
Australia #
Tramadol is Schedule 4 in Australia and has required a prescription since 2001 (see official notice). (thanks FSTTS, MG)
Austria #
Tramadol is prescription only, but is sold in most pharmacies. Sold in 50, 100, and 150 mg dosages, produced by Gruenenthal. (unconfirmed) (thanks sg) (last updated Oct 23 2010)
Belarus #
Require prescription, category B. (unconfirmed) (thanks Z)
Bolivia #
One reader reports that Tramadol is sold in 50 mg IV ampules and 50 mg tablets over the counter without prescription in pharmacies in Bolivia. (unconfirmed) (thanks ns) (last updated Jan 11 2011)
Brazil #
Tramadol requires a prescription in Brazil. See http://portal.anvisa.gov.br/wps/portal/anvisa-ingles/anvisaingles and http://www.anvisa.gov.br/sngpc/rdc_7_260209.pdf. These Anvisa.gov.br pages say that Tramadol is in List A2, list of narcotic substances. (thanks F) (last updated Oct 9 2012)
Cambodia #
Visitors have reported that as of May 2010, tramadol is available from pharmacies without prescription, with typical cost around $1-2 USD for 10 capsules. (thanks jit, M) (last updated June 17, 2010)
Canada #
Tramadol is not listed in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Regulation nor does it require a prescription under Schedule F of the Food and Drugs Regulations at this time, though most pharmacies will not sell to anyone without a prescription. Tramadol is available as 'Tramacet' and Zytram (XL). Tramacet is a combination pill containing tramadol (37.5 mg) and acetaminophen (325 mg). (Perhaps identical to the 'Ultracet' combo pill available in the US.). See http://laws.justice.gc.ca/fra/reglements/C.R.C.,_ch._870/page-332.html#h-347. (thanks am) (last updated Oct 6 2011)

See: http://www.jnj.com/news/jnj_news/20050725_120712.htm and http://www.nlpb.ca/Documents/Apothecary/Apothecary0607.pdf (page 3: "Tramacet abuse reported"). (thanks CP)

In July 2007 an amendment was proposed that would add tramadol to Schedule I of Canada's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. As of January 2008 it has not been put into effect. (see Canada Gazette text of the proposal) (thanks A)
China #
We have conflicting reports about availability of tramadol in China. In July 2010, a visitor described that pharmacies in Beijing simply do not carry tramadol. Previously, w were told that Tramadol is available in mainland China without a prescription and is available at most pharmacies over-the-counter. (unconfirmed) (thanks dn, MF2) (last updated July 2010)
Colombia #
One visitor reported that tramadal, codeine with acetaminophen, hydrocodone with ibuprofen (5/200), and dihydrocodeine by itself can be purchased in Colombia over the counter in any drug store. (unconfirmed) (thanks p) (last updated Jun 12 2013)
Costa Rica #
We have been told that tramadol is available in a small portion of pharmacies without prescription in Costa Rica, though most pharmacies require prescription to dispense. Sold in 50mg Gruenethal green and yellow capsules and extended release 50 and 100mg round white tablets. (unconfirmed) (thanks NG) (last updated July 25 2011)
Egypt #
Listed since Oct 2002 as controlled. Requires prescription. Although we have also received one report that a visitor walked into a pharmacy in Alexandria, Egypt and purchased tramadol without a prescription. (unconfirmed) (thanks YMK, K)
Ethiopia #
One visitor reports: "Tramadol is regularly sold OTC here. I don't know what its official legal status is, but one can buy it from most of the fair-sized pharmacies in Addis Ababa, the capital city." (Unconfirmed) (thanks b) (last updated Apr 24, 2012)
Germany #
Tramadol is available by prescription only in Germany. (thanks P)
Indonesia #
Tramadol is reportedly available over the counter without a prescription in Indonesia, though pharmacies supposedly charge tourists more than locals. (unconfirmed) (thanks j) (last updated Feb 12, 2013)
Iran #
A visitor writes that: Tramadol was widely available over-the-counter in Iran without a prescription (particulary major cities) until late 2009, but its sale was prohibited by the Ministery of Health. Tramadol is widely available with prescription in pharmacies. Tramadol is manufactured in Iran under a range of different brand names by up to 10 Iranian pharmaceutical companies, and is also imported from one or two foreign companies, mainly from Germany, the UK, and India. Most common now are 100 mg/50 mg tablets, 100 mg Extended release tablets and 50 mg/100 mg capsules. Sometimes 50 mg and 100 mg ampules are also available (all with a prescription). (unconfirmed) (thanks AFB) (Last updated Mar 16, 2010)
Ireland #
Tramadol is available by prescription only in Ireland (see S.I. No. 540/2003. (thanks R, A)
Japan #
A visitor described that Tramadol is likely to be reclassified as controlled in Japan in 2012, though as of May 2012, it is legal to import up to a 60 day supply for personal use as long as one has a simplified license to import: "I have recently imported tramadol for the treatment of Migraines to Japan and it got stopped at customs. I was forced to apply for a license in order to continue to delivery. In previous years I was able to receive the delivery normally. It's only now that it has been put up for review that it has become difficult. The license is easy enough to acquire , it consists of a few questions about your health and an agreement that the medicine is for personal use only. Also, if you import under 2 months worth of medicine. In the case of Tramadol this is 19,200mg (in other words 50mg caps x 384) in total then you can avoid the additional paperwork and signatures of qualified medical personnel." (unconfirmed) (thanks r) (last updated May 12, 2012)
Kuwait #
We are told as of 2003, tramadol was available over-the-counter in Kuwait. 50 mg and 100 mg capsules were available. (unconfirmed) (thanks Z)
Lithuania #
Multiple visitors report that Tramadol is controlled as a narcotic in a group with most opiates and requires a specialized prescription to acquire legally. Sold in forms: Tramadol Krka and Tramadol Lannacher, 50, 100, 150, 200 mg controlled release tablets and 100mg/2ml IV dosage. (unverified) (thanks vn, rk) (last updated Jul 11 2011)
Mexico #
We have received conflicting reports, one saying that tramadol (50 mg units) are available in Mexico without a prescription (thanks Peter, DME,jf) as Velodrol and Tramal, but another writer says that the bottles are clearly marked for prescription-sale only. Although many Mexican pharmacies will sell it without a prescription, one can be detained, arrested, or forced to pay a bribe if found in possession of tramadol without a proper prescription. (unconfirmed) (thanks WVR)

Bluestem writes in Mar 2007: "I have been using tramadol for years for chronic pain & depression. It is easy & cheap to obtain in Tiajuana, and I even showed it to customs & they said my 4 bottles of 50 mg tramadol tablets were perfectly legal to bring back into the U.S. I found the cheapest prices in the tourist areas, with 'real' pharmacies being quite a bit more expensive. A generic, very effective, is known as Citra 50 Tramadol. 100 ct 50 mg tablets run $40-$45."

In Nov 2007 VH adds: "No prescription needed - I did take bottle for the border just in case. There were no problems. This was Tijuana."

In August, 2009, jf writes: "I've found most local pharmacies (not large chain stores) will sell tramadol without even throwing the customer a weary eye. These pharmacies sell 10 packs of 50 mg a pill for the equivalent of around 3.50 US dollars per pack. I only ever travel to southern Mexico."
Norway #
One visitor writes that tramadol (sold as Tramagetic and Tramadol) is a prescrption only drug, but is not scheduled in Norway as of May 2010. (unconfirmed) (thanks O) (last updated May 11 2010)
Poland #
Tramadol is not scheduled as a narcotic, but is a prescription-only medication in Poland. See http://talk.hyperreal.info/ustawa-przeciwdzia-aniu-narkomanii-ustawy-pokrewne-t30408.html. (unconfirmed) (thanks k) (last updated Aug 2 2011)
Romania #
We have been told that tramadol is available by prescription only. (unconfirmed) (thanks A)
Rwanda #
We have been told that tramadol is widely available over-the-counter in Rwanda. Tramadol HCL is sold in 50 mg capsules as "Tramasec", manufatured by SKS Laboratories, India. (unconfirmed) (thanks B)
Spain #
Multiple visitors have reported that tramadol is available over-the-counter. (unconfirmed) (thanks z, CB77, CD) (last updated Mar 26, 2013)
Singapore #
We have been told that tramadol is not available over-the-counter in Singapore and that it is controlled under poison legislation but not as a drug. (unconfirmed)(thanks M, DK2)
Sweden #
Tramadol is a controlled drug in Sweden (as of Dec 1, 2007). Svensk Foerteckning III (List/Schedule III). See http://www.lakemedelsverket.se/upload/lvfs/konsoliderade/LVFS_1997_12_konsoliderad_tom_2010_1.pdf. (thanks O) (last updated Nov 28 2012)
Thailand #
As of May 2014, tramadol (50 mg and 100 mg oral units) is available in Thailand without prescription. Prices reported by visitors range 25 to 70 baht for ten 50 mg capsules. Sold as "Tramagesic". One visitor said a pharmacy refused to sell it to them in Bangkok in 2007. (thanks p, jit, DB, D, M, DME) (last updated May 13, 2014)
United Arab Emirates (UAE) #
One visitor reminds us that countries like the UAE have EXTREMELY harsh penalties for violating their drug laws, especially around opioids. Googling UAE and opium or poppy will find news stories documenting years of prison for trivial amounts of accidentally "imported" opioids by visitors. They write : "Tramadolt is prescription only and regulated by the government. This means that only specialists in medicine (surgeons) can prescribe a 4 week supply (only 4 weeks at a time) and the government reviews each and every prescription (as in, count every capsule) as well as the patient and doctor prescribing it. Non-surgeons such as internists, can only prescribe for 2 weeks (nurses cannot) and at A&E, only 2 days can be given when discharged. Tramadol is regulated highly and is the strongest opiate available (morphine and codeine are banned and treated as illegal). Having tramadol without prescription or giving it to someone can result in 4 years in prison. Quite likely the same for importing for personal use but I didn't dare to buy some from overseas. Also, acquiring tramadol via a doctor is very difficult, you must have a serious pain condition to get even 200mgs/day prescribed. Not worth the effort and there are a lot of horror stories surrounding this country and expats bringing in controlled drugs." See http://www.grapeshisha.com/plan-your-trip/banned-drugs-in-dubai-and-abu-dhabi.html (thanks fj) (last updated May 2 2012)
United Kingdom (U.K., UK, Great Britain) #
As of June 10, 2014, Tramadol is a Class C drug. See http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/1106/pdfs/uksi_20141106_en.pdf. Previously, tramadol was a prescription only medicine (see The Prescription Only Medicines (Human Use) Order 1997). (thanks jh) (last updated May 22 2014)

If you have information about the legal status of this substance in any other country, please let us know.

CAUTION & DISCLAIMER #
Erowid legal information is a summary of data gathered from site visitors, government documents, websites, and other resources. We are not lawyers and can not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided here. We do our best to keep this information correct and up-to-date, but laws are complex and constantly changing. Laws may also vary from one jurisdiction to another (county, state, country, etc)...this list is not comprehensive.