Tramadol, sold under the brand name Ultram among others, is an opioid pain medication used to treat moderate to moderately severe pain. When taken by mouth in an immediate-release formulation, the onset of pain relief usually begins within an hour. It is also available by injection.
Effective 18 August 2014, tramadol has been placed into Schedule IV of the federal Controlled Substances Act in the United States. Before that, some US states had already classified tramadol as a Schedule IV controlled substance under their respective state laws.
Illicit use of the drug is thought to be a major factor in the success of the Boko Haram terrorist organization. When used at higher doses, the drug “can produce similar effects to heroin.