DG Journal Club
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES Tramadol is commonly prescribed to manage chronic pain in older patients. However, there is a gap in the literature describing the pharmacokinetic parameters for tramadol and its active metabolite (O-desmethyltramadol [ODT]) in this population. The objective of this study was to develop and evaluate a population pharmacokinetic model for tramadol and ODT in older patients.
METHODS Twenty-one patients who received an extended-release oral tramadol dose (25-100B mg) were recruited. Tramadol and ODT concentrations were determined using a validated liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry method. A population pharmacokinetic model was developed using non-linear mixed-effects modelling. The performance of the model was assessed by visual predictive check.
RESULTS A two-compartment, first-order absorption model with linear elimination best described the tramadol concentration data. The absorption rate constant was 2.96/h (between-subject variability [BSV] 37.8%), apparent volume of distribution for the central compartment (V 1 /F) was 0.373B l (73.8%), apparent volume of distribution for the peripheral compartment (V 2 /F) was 0.379B l (97.4%), inter-compartmental clearance (Q) was 0.0426B l/h (2.19%) and apparent clearance (CL/F) was 0.00604B l/h (6.61%). The apparent rate of metabolism of tramadol to ODT (k t ) was 0.0492B l/h (78.5%) and apparent clearance for ODT (CL m ) was 0.143B l/h (21.6%). Identification of Seniors at Risk score (ISAR) and creatinine clearance (CrCL) were the only covariates included in the final model, where a higher value for the ISAR increased the maximum concentration (C max ) of tramadol and reduced the BSV in Q from 4.71 to 2.19%. A higher value of CrCL reduced tramadol C max and half-life (T 1/2 ) and reduced the BSV in V 2 /F (fromB 148B toB 97.4%) and in CL/F (fromB 78.9B toB 6.61%).
CONCLUSION Exposure to tramadol increased with increased frailty and reduced CrCL. Prescribers should consider patients frailty status and CrCL to minimise the risk of tramadol toxicity in such cohort of patients.