Profiling the subjective, psychomotor, and physiological effects
of tramadol in recreational drug users

Zacny JP.
Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care,
University of Chicago,
5841 S. Maryland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
Drug Alcohol Depend. 2005 Jul 5


Tramadol is a mu opioid agonist that also inhibits the reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin. Because non-medical use of prescription opioids, including tramadol, has increased in the U.S. over the last several years, we sought to profile its subjective, psychomotor, and physiological effects in recreational drug users. Twenty-two subjects received placebo, 50 or 100mg tramadol, morphine, or 2mg lorazepam in a randomized, crossover, double-blind design. The last 12 subjects in the study received 25mg morphine, a dose that is putatively equianalgesic to 100mg tramadol. In these subjects, morphine induced miosis and several other mu agonist subjective effects; 100mg tramadol increased "feel drug effect" and drug liking ratings, and decreased pupil size, but the miotic effect was not statistically significant. Lorazepam, but neither tramadol nor morphine, impaired psychomotor performance. When the placebo, tramadol, and lorazepam data from all 22 subjects were analyzed, 100mg tramadol induced miosis, and several subjective effects were increased significantly, including ratings of drug liking and "want to take again." The present results indicating that a clinically-prescribed dose of oral tramadol has abuse liability-related effects in recreational drug users suggest the need for further abuse liability testing of the oral formulation in opioid abusers.
Tramadol (Ultram)
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Tramadol and analgesia
Tramadol and acute pain
Tramadol and osteoarthritis
Tramadol as an antidepressant
Discriminative stimulus effects
Tramadol: risk/benefit analysis
Tramadol versus buprenorphine
Tramadol, morphine and the mouse

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