Tramadol recommendations

Useful drug resources

Tramadol warning in children – 2017

Please be aware that the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has released a warning in April 2017 that the narcotic agent Tramadol be used with the same precautions as codeine.  This is based on differing rates of metabolism of this drug causing an increased risk of severe side effects (namely respiratory depression) if a child is an ultra-fast metabolizer.

The warning states that:

  • Tramadol not be given to any children under 12 years of age
  • Tramadol not be given to children under 18 years of age to treat pain following surgery to remove the tonsils or adenoids.
  • Tramadol not be given to those aged 12 to 18 years who are obese, have obstructive sleep apnoea or have a weakened respiratory system.

Although Australia (the TGA) is yet to issue any such warning, this advice should be taken into consideration when prescribing tramadol to children.