Objective: Tramadol is a weak opioid used as a step 2 analgesic, approved in France for moderate to severe pain. After dextropropoxyphene withdrawal, a national pharmacovigilance follow-up of tramadol was decided by the French Drug Agency.
Methods: All Serious Adverse Drug Reactions (SADR) notified with tramadol to the French PharmacoVigilance Centres (CRPV) and pharmaceutical companies between August 1(st), 2010 and July 31(th), 2011 were analyzed.
Results: During the study period, 296 cases of SADR were notified to CRPV and 59 to pharmaceutical companies. Apart from opiate-related SADR, tramadol induced serotoninergic SADR, including seizures or serotoninergic syndromes. Several « unlabelled » SADR were also identified: some of them, like hyponatremia or hypoglycemia, are poorly known by health professionals. Other were never published: peripheral edema or pancreatitis.
Conclusion: This study shows that besides well-known opioid or serotoninergic ADR, tramadol can also induce 2 other relatively unknown ADR: hypoglycemia and hyponatremia.
© 2013 Société Française de Pharmacologie et de Thérapeutique.