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Ultracet is a combination drug that contains an opioid pain reliever and a pain reliever and fever reducer commonly found in over-the-counter products. This prescription drug, which is approved to treat short-term pain, comes in tablet form and is taken every four to six hours as needed for pain. Potential side effects of Ultracet include nausea, diarrhea, and drowsiness.

What Is Ultracet?

Ultracet® (tramadol/acetaminophen) is a prescription pain medication approved for the short-term treatment of pain. This means that it should be used for only a short period of time (five days or fewer). The drug is a controlled substance in the United States, since it has some potential to be abused.
 
(Click Ultracet Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

How Does It Work?

Ultracet contains two different medications: acetaminophen and tramadol hydrochloride. Tramadol is an opioid pain reliever. It is not entirely clear how tramadol works to relieve pain. One of the metabolites of Ultracet can bind to opioid receptors (much like morphine) and may also have effects on serotonin and norepinephrine (important brain chemicals).
 
Acetaminophen ("APAP") is a pain reliever and fever reducer commonly found in non-prescription medications such as Tylenol®. "APAP" is an acronym for one of the chemical names for acetaminophen. Combining tramadol with acetaminophen helps improve Ultracet's effectiveness at relieving pain.
 

Who Makes Ultracet?

Brand-name Ultracet is made by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc. and Janssen Ortho, LLC. Generic versions are made by several different manufacturers.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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