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Eur J Pharmacol. 2012 Feb 15;676(1-3):75-80. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2011.12.002. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

Effect of tramadol on pain-related behaviors and bladder overactivity in rodent cystitis models.

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Discovery Research Laboratories, Nippon Shinyaku Co., Ltd., 14, Nishinosho-monguchi-cho, Kisshoin, Minami-ku, Kyoto 601-8550, Japan.


Tramadol is a widely used analgesic that stimulates the μ opioid receptor and inhibits serotonin and noradrenalin reuptake. There have been studies on the analgesic effects of tramadol based on the tail-flick test, the formalin test, and the induction of allodynia by sciatic-nerve ligation. However, the effects of tramadol on behaviors related to bladder pain and bladder overactivity induced by cystitis have not been reported. To investigate the usefulness of tramadol for patients with cystitis, we investigated these effects of tramadol in rodent cystitis models. Intraperitoneal injection of cyclophosphamide caused bladder-specific inflammation and increases in pain-related behaviors, the number of voids and bladder weight in mice. Tramadol suppressed the cyclophosphamide-induced pain-related behaviors but did not affect the number of voids or the bladder weight. During continuous-infusion cystometrograms in anesthetized rats, cyclophosphamide shortened the intercontraction interval, indicating bladder overactivity. Tramadol significantly prolonged the intercontraction interval, and the effect was partially blocked by the opioid antagonist naloxone. This finding indicates that μ opioid receptors may be involved in the action of tramadol. In conclusion, tramadol ameliorated cyclophosphamide-induced bladder-pain-related behaviors and bladder overactivity in rodents. These findings suggest that tramadol might be a treatment option for cystitis-induced bladder pain and bladder overactivity.

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