Published: 2017-02-24

Evaluation of antidepressant activity of tramadol in comparison with imipramine in Swiss albino mice

Chiranjeevi Bonda, Sudhir Pawar, Jaisen Lokhande


Background: The aim of the study was to evaluate the antidepressant effect of opioid analgesic tramadol using forced swim test and tail suspension test models.

Methods: The antidepressant effect was assessed by recording the immobility time in Forced swim test (FST) and Tail suspension test (TST). The mice were randomly divided into five groups. Mice belonging to group I was given normal saline (0.1ml/kg) which acted as control. Group II received imipramine (15mg/kg) considered as the standard drug tramadol was given in graded dose (10, 20 and 40 mg/kg) to mice of groups III, IV, V respectively. All drugs were administered intraperitoneally for seven successive days; test was done on 7th day.

Results: Tramadol and Imipramine showed antidepressant activity when compared to control. There is dose dependent increase in antidepressant activity of tramadol. The antidepressant activity of imipramine was significantly (P<0.05) more than tramadol at dose 10 and 20 mg/kg but antidepressant activity with tramadol 40mg/kg was comparable to imipramine treated mice.

Conclusions: The results of this study indicated the presence of antidepressant activity of tramadol at 40mg/kg.


Antidepressant, Forced swim test, Imipramine, Tail suspension test, Tramadol

Full Text:



Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed, Text Revision ed. Washington, DC American Psychiatric Association; 2013.

Rihmer Z, Angst J. Mood disorders: epidemiology, in Kaplan and Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatric, Sadock BJ and Sadocl VA; 2009.

DeBattista C, Antidepressant Agents: In Basic and Clinical Pharmacology, Bertram G. katzung, 11th ed, Tata McGraw Hill New Delhi; 2009:509-531.

Sevcik J, Nieber K, Driessen B, Illes P. Effects of the central analgesic tramadol and its main metabolite, O-desmethyltramadol, on rat locus coeruleus neurones. Br J Pharmacol. 1993;110:169-76.

Kiayias JA, Vlacchou ED, Lakka PE. Venlafaxine HCl in the treatment of painful peripheral diabetic neuropathy. Diabetes Care. 2000;23:699.

Rojas-Corrales MO, Berrocoso E, Gibert-Rahola J, Mico JA. Antidepressant-like effects of tramadol and other central analgesics with activity on monoamines reuptake, in helpless rats. Life Sci. 2002;72:143-52.

Porsolt RD, Bertin A, Jalfre M. Behavioral despair in mice: a primary screening test for antidepressants. Arch Int Pharmacodyn Ther. 1977;229(2):327-36.

Steru L, Chermat R, Thierry B, Simon P. The tail suspension test: a new method for screening antidepressants in mice. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1985;85(3):367-70.

World Health Organization. Depression. A Global Crisis. World Mental Health Day, Occoquan: World Federation for Mental Health; 2012:7.

Gagliese L, Gauthier LR, Rodin G. Cancer pain and depression: A systematic review of age-related patterns. PaiRes Manage. 2007;12(3):205-11.

Craig K. Emotions and psychobiology. In: Wall P, Melzack R, eds. Textbook of Pain. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone; 1999:331-344.

Baldessarini RJ. Drug therapy of depression and anxiety disorders.In: BruntonLL, Lazo JS, Parker KL, editors. Goodman and Gilman’s. The Pharrnacological Basis of Therapeutics. New York: McGraw Hill; 2006;431.

Lourdu A, Banupriya A, Meher Ali R. Antidepressant Effect of Tramadol on balb-c mice in Animal Models of Depression. Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences. 2013;4(2):1435-41.

Rojas-Corrales MO, Gibert-Rahola J, Mico JA. Tramadol induces antidepressant-type effects in mice. Life Sci. 1998;63:175-80.

Kalra BS, Tayal V, Chawala S. Antidepressant-like activity of tramadol in mice. Indian J Psychiatry. 2008;50(1):51-3.

Kumar A, Jayshree D, Rajshekar ST. Comparative efficacy of behavior despair models in depicting antidepressant like effect of tramadol. Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol. 2013;2(6):763-7.

Jesse CR, Bortolatto CF, Savegnago L, Rocha JBT, Nogueira CW. Involvement of L-arginine-nitric oxide-cyclic guanosine monophosphate pathway in the antidepressant-like effect of tramadol in the rat forced swimming test. Progress in neuropsychopharmacology and biological psychiatry. 2008;32(8):1838-43.

Jesse CR, Wilhelm EA, Barbosa NBV, Nogueira CW. Involvement of different types of potassium channels in the antidepressant like effect of tramadol in the mouse forced swimming test. European journal of pharmacology. 2009;613(1-3):74-8.