You can take Tramadol for a relatively long term with less of the typical opioid symptoms. Probably because of the slight serotonin reup take inhibition. Which is something to discuss with your pain management specialist. Thus is usually a chronic pain choice. But for some a good choice post – op for less major surgeries. It works in about an hour, holds for about 4 then tapers slowly for a total of 12 hours or so and half life about 6. Taking it once you get a more immediate peak of the opioid effect by about 45 minutes but then a delayed by 45 minute effect of the property that gives it the long half life and antidepressant effect, in comparison to taking it 4x/ day for a month or so. It has a quality of less dependence they say. It may kind of act like a MAOI as well which has some specific dangers inherent in the use. like eating aged meats and cheeses can cause death. So it is wise to discuss with your doctor.