Impact of Chronic Tramadol Intake on Reproductive Hormones and Related Histopathological Changes in Adult Albino Rats

Document Type : Original Article


1 Forensic Medicine and Clinical Toxicology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.

2 Histology Department. Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.


Background: Tramadol is a synthetic opioid analgesic, widely used in the treatment of osteoarthritis, back pain, sports injuries, and other musculo-skeletal conditions, rheumatological conditions, and headaches. Tramadol is a common prescription pain reliever as it is considered to possess a much better safety profile than other opioid analgesics. Aim of the Work: To examine the influence of chronic use of tramadol on reproductive hormones, and to outline the histopathological changes in ovaries, testes and pituitary glands of adult albino rats.Materials and Methods: A number of 90 male and female adult albino rats were used for this study. They were divided into three groups each comprising 30 rats (15 males and 15 females). Group one was the control group which received normal saline, group two was treated with low dose of tramadol (40 mg/kg) daily, while group three was treated with high dose of tramadol (80 mg/kg) daily for one month. Results: The present study revealed that there was a statistical significant decrease in serum LH, FSH, Estradiol among tramadol treated male and female groups when compared with control group. In addition, there was a significant decrease in serum testosterone level among tramadol treated male groups when compared to the control group. Furthermore, serum progesterone level showed a statistically significant decrease among the high dose tramadol treated female group when compared to both the low dose tramadol treated group and the control group but there was a statistically significant increase when comparing the low dose to the control group and the high dose group. While monitoring the effect of tramadol on serum prolactin level there was significant increase among tramadol treated male groups, while there was non significant change among tramadol treated female groups. By histopathological examination of ovaries and testes under light microscopy and pituitary glands by electron microscopy there were changes related to the hormonal changes. Conclusion: Chronic use of tramadol in rats even with its therapeutic doses has a passive effect on gonadal function affecting both males and females.