Short-term mortality following tramadol poisonings in Denmark

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Tramadol is a commonly used opioid with a potential of addiction and abuse. Using Danish nationwide registers, we aimed to (1) characterise opioid poisonings; (2) assess the 30-day mortality following morphine, oxycodone, and mixed poisonings compared to tramadol poisonings; and (3) assess the development in tramadol poisonings during a 12-year period. Poisonings were identified from 2006 to 2017. A Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) along with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for 30-day mortality following morphine, oxycodone or mixed poisonings compared to tramadol poisonings. We identified 7718 opioid poisonings among 6365 patients. The patients with a tramadol poisoning were younger and had less comorbidities than the patients with a morphine, oxycodone or mixed poisoning. Within 30 days, a total of 205 patients died. The 30-day mortality risk was higher following morphine (aHR 3.2, 95% CI 2.0-5.1), oxycodone (aHR 2.1, 95% CI 1.2-3.6) and mixed poisonings (aHR 1.6, 95% CI 1.0-2.7) compared to tramadol poisonings. The annual number of tramadol poisonings increased from 233 in 2006 to 501 in 2013 and declined to 348 in 2017. In conclusion, despite a lower mortality risk compared to other opioid poisonings, physicians should consider the poisoning and abuse risks when prescribing tramadol.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBasic & clinical pharmacology & toxicology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)83-92
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Authors. Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Nordic Association for the Publication of BCPT (former Nordic Pharmacological Society).

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