IV tramadol: A novel option for US patients with acute pain—A review of its pharmacokinetics, abuse potential and clinical safety record


  • Lucy Lu, MD
  • Mark Harnett, MS
  • Scott A. Reines, MD, PhD




intravenous tramadol, post-surgical pain, pharmacokinetics, abuse potential, safety, Vigibase


Tramadol is a centrally acting dual-mechanism (opioid and monoamine reuptake inhibition) analgesic that has been noted to have a lower risk of abuse compared to conventional opioids such as morphine. Oral tramadol has been approved in the United States since 1995 and intravenous (IV) tramadol has been widely prescribed outside the United States (OUS); nevertheless, IV tramadol has not yet been approved for use in the United States. This paper provides a review of the pharmacokinetics (PK) of the IV tramadol dosing regimen being developed in the United States, its abuse potential as documented in the literature, and its safety record in clinical practice, and discusses how IV tramadol may become a useful option for patients in the United States with acute pain.

Author Biographies

Lucy Lu, MD

Avenue Therapeutics, Inc., New York

Mark Harnett, MS

Avenue Therapeutics, Inc., New York

Scott A. Reines, MD, PhD

Avenue Therapeutics, Inc., New York


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How to Cite

Lu, MD, L., M. Harnett, MS, and S. A. Reines, MD, PhD. “IV Tramadol: A Novel Option for US Patients With Acute pain—A Review of Its Pharmacokinetics, Abuse Potential and Clinical Safety Record”. Journal of Opioid Management, vol. 16, no. 4, July 2020, pp. 297-06, doi:10.5055/jom.2020.0584.



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