Local Anesthetic Effect of Tramadol, Metoclopramide, and Lidocaine Following Intradermal Injection

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Background and Objectives.

We observed clinically that tramadol and metoclopramide appear to have local anesthetic action. Tramadol is a central-acting analgesic. Metoclopramide is a commonly used antiemetic. The local anesthetic effect of tramadol in reducing propofol injection pain has never been mentioned, although it was speculated with metoclopramide.


We conducted a double-blind, placebocontrolled study by injecting tramadol or metoclopramide intradermally in 10 healthy volunteers (5 men, 5 women; age 25-56 years). Each subject received 0.5 mL of four solutions in random order on the volar side of the forearm. These solutions were 25 mg tramadol, 5 mg metoclopramide, 5 mg lidocaine, and 0.5 mL normal saline. Pain on injections and the degree of local anesthesia (tested by pinprick, light touch, and cold) at each site was reported on a 0-3 scale at designed time intervals.


Like 1% lidocaine, tramadol and metoclopramide demonstrated loss of sensation for pinprick, light touch, and cold for 15 minutes after intradermal injection (P < .01).


Intradermal tramadol or metoclopramide can produce local anesthetic effect.

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