How Tramadol Works?

Tramadol is a powerful analgesic which is classified under a list of opioids. This med is a narcotic-like pain reliever and can treat any moderate to severe pain efficiently. However, not much is known about this drug regarding its mechanism of action in the body in relieving pain as it works differently from other narcotic analgesics like morphine. Tramadol is known to work in the body by changing the way the body feels and responds to pain. In this blog, you can learn about the working process of Tramadol and how effective it is in relieving pain.

Working mechanism of Tramadol

Tramadol MechanismUnlike most of the NSAIDs like some popular over the counter painkillers such as ibuprofen and aspirin that work by altering the production of inflammatory mediators, Tramadol is known to work by acting directly on the brain. The primary mode of action is believed to reduce the perception of pain in the brain. The NSAIDs are known to serve the same function in the body like the steroids that also work to relieve pain, redness, fever, and edema. On the other hand, the opioids are effective painkillers which are given as part of anesthesia or to relieve pain after surgery.

Tramadol is believed to have the different mechanism of actions. Studies and clinical trials on show that drug molecules exert their action by lowering the transmission of nerve signal that carries the pain sensation. There is some action of Tramadol on μ-opioid receptors. Yet, the effect of this medication is very mild when compared to other narcotic agents. This makes Tramadol of having the low risk with regards to addiction formation. Some scientists believe that the primary action of the drug is mediated by enhancing the turnover of dopamine on mu-opioid receptors.

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Action of Tramadol on mu-opioid receptors

Few researchers suggest that as the action of Tramadol on mu-opioid is very less, another mechanism of actions could be held responsible for its powerful analgesic effects. A series of experiments were carried out in rat brains and have identified that the active metabolism of Tramadol is O-desmethyltramadol. This can be responsible for the primary action of the parent medicine by preventing the uptake of norepinephrine.

Tramadol, opioid, and non-opioid theory

Scientists presented their model on rat brains after doing intense research on the exposure of Tramadol. They identified that the active chemicals in this pain relieving medication Tramadol have the low attraction for mu-opioid receptors. However, the analgesic i.e. the pain relieving effects is incomplete without the neurochemicals like the serotonin and epinephrine. They have found out that this drug blocks the uptake of serotonin and norepinephrine in order to exert the analgesic effects. Alteration or change in the level of serotonin can be responsible for the mood elevation effects that are noticed upon taking Tramadol. This can also be experienced by the development of withdrawal symptoms of Tramadol.