Medicine & USMLE


Other Neuro Pharm
  1. Ramelteon
  2. Triptans
  3. Benzodiazepines - Function
  4. Zolpidem Zaleplon Eszopiclone
  5. Suvorexant
  6. Bromocriptine (Ergot Dopamine Agonists)
  7. Pramipexole, Ropinirole
  8. Amantadine
  9. Levodopa, Carbidopa
  10. Entacapone, Tolcapone
  11. Selegiline and Rasagiline
  12. Benztropine, Trihexyphenidyl
  13. Tetrabenazine
  14. Baclofen
  15. Memantine
  16. Riluzole
  17. Full Opioid Agonists
  18. Partial Opioid Agonists
  19. Dextromethorphan
  20. Tramadol
  21. Naloxone
  22. Naltrexone


Tramadol is an analgesic drug used to treat moderate to severe pain. Tramadol provides pain relief by acting as a weak agonist at mu opioid receptors, and also by inhibiting the reuptake of norepinephrine and serotonin at neuronal synapses. Side effects of tramadol include the classic constellation of side effects seen in all opioids, such as constipation, sedation, and miosis. However, specific and important side effects include seizures, as well as precipitation of serotonin syndrome, especially if tramadol is given with other serotonin-modulating drugs.

Key Points

  • Tramadol
    • Mechanism
      • Weak opioid agonist
      • Increases signaling by norepinephrine (NE) and serotonin (5-HT)
        • Via reuptake inhibition
    • Clinical Uses
      • Analgesia
    • Adverse Effects
      • Opioid-related effects
        • Includes constipation, miosis, respiratory depression, etc.
      • Decreases seizure threshold
      • Serotonin syndrome
        • Seen in any drug that modulates serotonin levels
        • Especially if used with other serotonergic drugs (e.g. TCAs, MAOIs, SSRIs)