Abuse potential and pharmacological comparison of tramadol and morphine

Kenzie L. Preston, Donald R. Jasinski, Margaret Testa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

207 Scopus citations


The purpose of the study was to assess the abuse potential of the opioid analgesic tramadol. Tramadol (75, 150 and 300 mg), morphine (15 and 30 mg) and placebo were tested intramuscularly in volunteer non-dependent opiate abusers. Subjective, behavioral and miotic changes were assessed prior to dosing and intermittently for 12 h after drug administration. Morphine produced typical subjective effects, opiate identifications and miosis. Tramadol 75 and 150 mg were not different from placebo. Although tramadol 300 mg was identified as an opiate, it produced no other morphine-like effects. These findings suggest that tramadol has a low abuse potential by the parenteral route.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-17
Number of pages11
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1991


  • abuse liability
  • human subjects
  • morphine
  • tramadol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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