Tramadol hydrochloride tablets are a centrally acting analgesic. The chemical name for tramadol hydrochloride is (±)cis-2-[(Dimethylamino)methyl]-1-(3-methoxyphenyl)cyclohexanol hydrochloride. Its structural formula is:
Molecular formula: C16H25NO2• HCl Molecular weight: 299.84
Tramadol hydrochloride is a white, bitter, crystalline and odorless powder. It is readily soluble in water and ethanol and has a pKa of 9.41. The n-octanol/water log partition coefficient (logP) is 1.35 at pH 7. Each tablet, for oral administration contains 50 mg of tramadol hydrochloride and is white in color. In addition, each tablet contains the following inactive ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate, pregelatinized starch and titanium dioxide.
Tramadol hydrochloride is a centrally acting synthetic opioid analgesic. Although its mode of action is not completely understood, from animal tests, at least two complementary mechanisms appear applicable: binding of parent and M1 metabolite to μ-opioid receptors and weak inhibition of reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin.
Opioid activity is due to both low affinity binding of the parent compound and higher affinity binding of the O-demethylated metabolite M1 to μ-opioid receptors. In animal models, M1 is up to 6 times more potent than tramadol in producing analgesia and 200 times more potent in μ-opioid binding. Tramadol-induced analgesia is only partially antagonized by the opiate antagonist naloxone in several animal tests. The relative contribution of both tramadol and M1 to human analgesia is dependent upon the plasma concentrations of each compound (seeCLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY, PHARMACOKINETICS).
Tramadol has been shown to inhibit reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin in vitro, as have some other opioid analgesics. These mechanisms may contribute independently to the overall analgesic profile of tramadol hydrochloride. Analgesia in humans begins approximately within one hour after administration and reaches a peak in approximately two to three hours.
Apart from analgesia, tramadol hydrochloride administration may produce a constellation of symptoms (including dizziness, somnolence, nausea, constipation, sweating and pruritus) similar to that of other opioids. In contrast to morphine, tramadol has not been shown to cause histamine release. At therapeutic doses, tramadol hydrochloride has no effect on heart rate, left-ventricular function or cardiac index. Orthostatic hypotension has been observed.