The Effects of Tramadol and Morphine on Immune Responses and Pain After Surgery in Cancer Patients

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Recent studies suggest that opioids can have an adverse impact on the immune system. Because surgical stress also induces immune dysfunction, the search for analgesic drugs devoid of immunosuppressive effects is of import. This study compared the effects on immune responses of morphine and of the atypical opioid analgesic, tramadol, given for postoperative pain to gynecological cancer patients. Tramadol and morphine showed comparable analgesic activity; however, tramadol, in contrast to morphine, induced an improvement of postoperative immunosuppression and, therefore, may be preferred to morphine for the treatment of postoperative pain.

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