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Type: Journal article
Title: Pharmacokinetics of tramadol after subcutaneous administration in a critically ill population and in a healthy cohort
Author: Dooney, N.
Sundararajan, K.
Ramkumar, T.
Somogyi, A.
Upton, R.
Ong, J.
O'Connor, S.
Chapman, M.
Ludbrook, G.
Citation: BMC Anesthesiology, 2014; 14(1):33-1-33-8
Publisher: BioMed Central
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 1471-2253
Statement of
Neil M Dooney, Krishnaswamy Sundararajan, Tharapriya Ramkumar, Andrew A Somogyi, Richard N Upton, Jennifer Ong, Stephanie N O, Connor, Marianne J Chapman and Guy L Ludbrook
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Tramadol is an atypical centrally acting analgesic agent available as both oral and parenteral preparations. For patients who are unable to take tramadol orally, the subcutaneous route of administration offers an easy alternative to intravenous or intramuscular routes. This study aimed to characterise the absorption pharmacokinetics of a single subcutaneous dose of tramadol in severely ill patients and in healthy subjects. METHODS/DESIGN: Blood samples (5 ml) taken at intervals from 2 minutes to 24 hours after a subcutaneous dose of tramadol (50 mg) in 15 patients (13 male, two female) and eight healthy male subjects were assayed using high performance liquid chromatography. Pharmacokinetic parameters were derived using a non-compartmental approach. RESULTS: There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups in the following parameters (mean ± SD): maximum venous concentration 0.44 ± 0.18 (patients) vs. 0.47 ± 0.13 (healthy volunteers) mcg/ml (p = 0.67); area under the plasma concentration-time curve 177 ± 109 (patients) vs. 175 ± 75 (healthy volunteers) mcg/ml*min (p = 0.96); time to maximum venous concentration 23.3 ± 2 (patients) vs. 20.6 ± 18.8 (healthy volunteers) minutes (p = 0.73) and mean residence time 463 ± 233 (patients) vs. 466 ± 224 (healthy volunteers) minutes (p = 0.97). CONCLUSIONS: The similar time to maximum venous concentration and mean residence time suggest similar absorption rates between the two groups. These results indicate that the same dosing regimens for subcutaneous tramadol administration may therefore be used in both healthy subjects and severely ill patients. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ACTRN12611001018909.
Keywords: Tramadol; Subcutaneous; Pharmacokinetics; Severely ill; Healthy subjects
Rights: © 2014 Dooney et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited.
RMID: 0030010498
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2253-14-33
Appears in Collections:Medical Sciences publications

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