Stop taking all other around-the-clock narcotic pain medications when you start taking tramadol. Tramadol can be taken with or without food, but take it the same way each time. Do not crush, break, or open an extended-release tablet or capsule (ConZip, Ultram ER). Swallow it whole to avoid exposure to a. WebMD provides information about which foods to avoid while taking Tramadol Oral. Can Shipping.