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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 91-92  

Can we use Tramadol as an anti-shivering agent?

Department of Anaesthesiology, SN Medical College and HSK Hospital, Bagalkot, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication29-Feb-2012

Correspondence Address:
Chhaya Joshi
Department of Anaesthesiology, SN Medical College and HSK Hospital, Bagalkot, Karnataka 587 101
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5049.93359

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How to cite this article:
Joshi C, Ambi U, Mirji P. Can we use Tramadol as an anti-shivering agent?. Indian J Anaesth 2012;56:91-2

How to cite this URL:
Joshi C, Ambi U, Mirji P. Can we use Tramadol as an anti-shivering agent?. Indian J Anaesth [serial online] 2012 [cited 2021 Feb 25];56:91-2. Available from: https://www.ijaweb.org/text.asp?2012/56/1/91/93359


Tramadol seems to have the best combination of anti-shivering and analgesic efficacy without causing too much sedation in the post-operative period. Seizures have been reported in patients receiving the drug in overdose and, rarely, at the recommended dose unless it is taken by the patients with history of epilepsy or taken with other drugs that reduce seizure threshold. [1]

We report a case of a 45-year-old, ASA Grade I, female patient, weighing 52 kg electively posted for vaginal hysterectomy. The patient had no family history of epilepsy and was not on any other medication.

Subarachnoid anaesthesia was instituted at the L3-4 interspace using hyperbaric 0.5% Bupivacaine. Towards the end of the procedure, the patient complained of shivering, and intravenous Tramadol 100 mg was administered slowly over 2-3 min. After 2 min, the patient had generalized tonic-clonic seizures. The patient was given 100% oxygenation using Bain's circuit, and intravenous Midazolam 2 mg was administered. The convulsions subsided. The patient was awake but confused and disoriented. She got better after 30 min. Other neurological examinations were normal. Serum electrolytes, blood sugar and computed tomography of the brain were normal. The patient was followed-up for the next 15 days, and there was no recurrence of seizure.

After searching the literature, we found few Tramadol- induced seizure reports at therapeutic doses in non operative setting.

Talaie and others concluded in their study that Tramadol intake does not differ between patients with and without seizures, and the most common dose range in those with seizures is 500-1000 mg, with the incidence of seizure with Tramadol not being dose-dependent. [2]

Jick et al. found that there was no increased risk of idiopathic incident seizures associated with exposure to Tramadol alone. The seizures seem rarely attributable to the agent. [3]

Gasse et al. also suggested that the risk of idiopathic seizures was elevated in each analgesic exposure category compared with non-users, suggesting that the risk for patients taking Tramadol was not increased compared with other analgesics. [4]

Massoud Mehrpour reported two cases of intravenous Tramadol-induced seizure at therapeutic doses prescribed for headache, and opined that Tramadol can induce seizure and even status epilepticus, especially in intravenous prescription, which could be due to serotonergic effects. [5]

In our case, administration of other epileptogenic drugs was ruled out and we ruled out all possible secondary causes like electrolyte imbalance, undiagnosed cerebral pathology, hypoglycemia etc.

In conclusion, though intravenous Tramadol, in therapeutic doses, has proven antishivering as well as analgesic actions in the peri operative setting, utmost caution should be exercised while using the drug.

   References Top

1.Kahn LH, Alderfer RJ, Graham DJ. Seizures reported with tramadol. JAMA 1997;278:1661.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Talaie H, Panahandeh R, Fayaznouri M, Asadi Z, Abdollahi M. Dose-independent occurrence of seizure with tramadol. J Med Toxicol 2009;5:63-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Jick H, Derby LE, Vasilakis C, Fife D. The risk of seizures associated with tramadol. Pharmacotherapy 1998;18:607-11.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Gasse C, Derby L, Vasilakis-Scaramozza C, Jick H. Incidence of first-time idiopathic seizures in users of tramadol. Pharmacotherapy 2000;20:629-34.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Mehrpour M. Intravenous Tramadol-Induced seizure: Two Case Reports. Iranian J Pharmacol Therap 2005;4:146-7.  Back to cited text no. 5

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