Antidepressant-like effect of tramadol and its enantiomers in reserpinized mice: comparative study with desipramine, fluvoxamine, venlaine and opiates. study was to test tramadol and its enantiomers in the reserpine test in mice, a classical observational test widely used in the screening of antidepressant drugs.
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(-)-Methadone showed slight effects regarding reserpine-induced ptosis, morphine and levorphanol had no effect. These results show that tramadol has an effect comparable to clinically effective antidepressants in a test predictive of antidepressant activity, without behavioural implications. The aim of the present study was to test tramadol and its enantiomers in the reserpine test in mice, a classical observational test widely used in the screening of antidepressant drugs. Racemic tramadol, (-)-tramadol, desipramine and venlaine reversed the reserpine syndrome (rectal temperature and ptosis), whereas(+)-tramadol and fluvoxamine only antagonized the reserpine-induced ptosis, without any effect on temperature. This test is a non-behavioural method where only objective parameters such as rectal temperature and palprebral ptosis are considered. Several studies have suggested that tramadol could play a role in mood improvement. Opiates did not reverse reserpine-induced hypothermia. Moreover, we compared the effects of tramadol and its enantiomers with those of antidepressants (desipramine, fluvoxamine and venlaine) and opiates. Together with other clinical and experimental data, this suggests that tramadol has an inherent antidepressant-like (mood improving) activity, and that this effect could have clinical repercussions on the affective component of pain. Tramadol is a centrally acting analgesic that demonstrates opioid and monoaminergic properties. Moreover, it has previously been shown that tramadol is effective in the forced swimming test in mice and the learned helplessness model in rats, two behavioural models predictive of antidepressant activity.