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Journal of Drug Policy Analysis

A Journal of Substance Abuse Control Policy

Ed. by Kleiman, Mark / Kilmer, Beau

CiteScore 2018: 0.29

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.416
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.120

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Higher Regulatory Control of Tramadol to Prevent its Abuse and Dependence

Sahba Jalali / Dixon Thomas / Padma Shetty / Jason C. Cooper
Published Online: 2017-08-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jdpa-2016-0008


Tramadol abuse potential is not well studied. While some studies claim low abuse potential, others signal significant public health risks associated with tramadol abuse. This is a review on the abuse and dependence potential of tramadol. Tramadol was originally approved as non-controlled drug, but there is a trend to recognize tramadol as a controlled substance by regulators in many countries. Several factors contribute to abuse of tramadol. The leading reasons include history of drug abuse, geographical variation, and lessened regulatory controls. Tramadol abuse can cause increases in seizures and suicidal ideations. Abusers experience withdrawal symptoms and worsening of depression. Higher regulatory control of tramadol is warranted to avoid its misuse.

Keywords: tramadol; controlled substance; abuse; dependence; depression; regulatory control


  • Tramadol abuse and dependence are growing global health concerns.

  • Many regulators tightened the control of tramadol in the recent past.

  • History of drug abuse, imperfections in regional healthcare delivery, and lesser regulatory controls are there reasons identified to increase tramadol abuse.


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About the article

Published Online: 2017-08-29

Citation Information: Journal of Drug Policy Analysis, Volume 10, Issue 2, 20160008, ISSN (Online) 1941-2851, ISSN (Print) 2194-6337, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jdpa-2016-0008.

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