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Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2009 Dec;18(12):1192-8. doi: 10.1002/pds.1838.

Tramadol dependence: a survey of spontaneously reported cases in Sweden.

Author information

1
Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden. micaela.tjaderborn@liu.se

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Tramadol is a weak opioid analgesic, which is generally considered to be safe. However, conflicting data exist on the dependence potential of tramadol.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to investigate occurrence of tramadol dependence and associated risk factors using spontaneously reported adverse drug reactions.

METHODS:

The Swedish database for spontaneously reported adverse drug reactions, Swedish Drug Information System (SweDIS), was searched for reports on tramadol dependence from 1 January 1995 until 31 December 2006. Selection was conducted based on the DSM-IV definition of dependence. Available information was scrutinised and registered and then presented descriptively.

RESULTS:

A total of 104 reports of tramadol dependence were identified, of which 60 (58%) concerned women. The median age (range) was 45 (15-84) years. Information on a history of substance abuse was present in 31 patients (30%) and 41 patients (39%) had a documented past or current use of a drug of abuse. Prescribed doses of tramadol ranged between 50-800 mg/day, and ingested doses between 50-4000 mg/day. Time of onset ranged from some weeks up to 4 years. In 72 (69%) cases the reaction was classified as serious, mainly due to hospitalisations for detoxification or discontinuation of tramadol.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is an occurrence of tramadol dependence in association with analgesic treatment within the recommended dose range. In susceptible patients a severe and serious dependence syndrome may develop. A history of abuse or use of a drug of abuse seems to be an important risk factor.

PMID:
19827010
DOI:
10.1002/pds.1838
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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