Reference : Quantification in postmortem blood and identification in urine of tramadol and its tw...
Scientific journals : Article
Human health sciences : Pharmacy, pharmacology & toxicology
Quantification in postmortem blood and identification in urine of tramadol and its two main metabolites in two cases of lethal tramadol intoxication
De Backer, Benjamin mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > Département de pharmacie > Chimie toxicologique >]
Renardy, Françoise mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > Département des sciences de la santé publique > Médecine légale - Criminalistique >]
Denooz, Raphaël mailto [Université de Liège - ULg > Département de pharmacie > Département de pharmacie >]
CHARLIER, Corinne mailto [Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Liège - CHU > > Toxicologie clinique >]
Journal of Analytical Toxicology
Preston Publications Inc
Yes (verified by ORBi)
[en] tramadol ; fatal intoxication ; HPLC
[en] Tramadol has been extensively prescribed for two decades. It is an opioid analgesic considered to induce fewer side effects than other compounds of this class. However, serious complications may occur in case of intoxication. We report here two cases of fatal intoxication due to tramadol ingestion. Tramadol, O-desmethyltramadol (ODT) and N-desmethyltramadol (NDT) were quantitatively and qualitatively determined in postmortem blood and urine, respectively. An HPLC method coupled with fluorescence detection was validated using total error approach for the analysis of tramadol, ODT, and NDT in blood. In case1, concentrations of tramadol and its metabolites were 7.7 mg/L (tramadol), 1.33 mg/L (ODT), and 0.6mg/L (NDT). In case 2, concentrations found were 48.34 mg/L (tramadol), 2.43 mg/L (ODT), and 10.09 mg/L (NDT). Opposite ratios of ODT/NDT concentrations observed in different cases were suggested to be useful for the evaluation of the delay between ingestion and death. However, the changes in metabolites levels may also be explained by pharmacokinetic interactions and quantitative differences in the activity of the cytochrome-P450 2D6. Interestingly, norfluoxetine was detected in sub-therapeutic levels in case 2. Most of these aspects in tramadol-related fatalities are reviewed in this paper, and an overview of fatal intoxications due to tramadol is presented.
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