Tramadol hydrochloride (Ultram®) is a prescription pain medication. Depending on who you ask (and how you define the word “narcotic”), tramadol may or may not be considered a narcotic.

What Is a Narcotic?

The word “narcotic” means different things in different situations (and to different people). From a medical standpoint, narcotics are medications that cause drowsiness and dulling of the senses and are usually used in reference to opioids (morphine and other similar drugs such as heroin). However, most law enforcement officials (and most of the general public) use the word “narcotic” to describe any addictive medication or illegal substance, such as cocaine or marijuana, even if they are actually stimulants.