Tramadol becomes controlled substance

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The Drug Enforcement Administration has designated tramadol as a controlled substance, effective Aug. 18.

U.S. Department of Justice logoIn a July 2 final rule designating tramadol as a schedule IV controlled substance, the DEA recognized the use of tramadol and tramadol-containing products for management of moderate to moderately severe pain. The DEA classified tramadol as an opioid because of the agency’s findings that tramadol’s pharmacological effects are similar to those of other opioids. In veterinary medicine, tramadol has been administered for pain control, especially in dogs and cats.

In comments on the proposal to classify tramadol as a schedule IV substance and in previous correspondence on opioid issues, the AVMA recognized public health concerns regarding drug abuse and misuse while also underscoring the importance of such products in veterinary practice. In line with federal findings, the AVMA emphasized how little diversion of drugs is associated with veterinary medicine.

The American Veterinary Distributors Association supported designation of tramadol as a controlled substance because variations in state laws covering tramadol have been logistically challenging for veterinary distributors.

Members of the AVMA can go here to learn more about “Veterinary Compliance with the Controlled Substances Act and the DEA.”