Prescription painkiller Tramadol ‘claiming more lives than any other drug’ in Northern Ireland

22 November 2016
Prescription painkiller Tramadol ‘claiming more lives than any other drug’ in Northern Ireland

Prescription painkiller Tramadol, taken by thousands of people every day, is claiming more lives than any other drug – including heroin and cocaine – according to Northern Ireland’s top pathologist. Last year, 33 deaths in Northern Ireland were linked to Tramadol.

The painkiller doesn’t cause harm if taken correctly, but the danger rises when users mix it with other drugs or alcohol.

Professor Jack Crane, Stat Pathologist for Northern Ireland has said, “I don't think that people realise how potentially risky taking Tramadol is. I think it’s because it’s a prescription drug - people assume it’s safe”.

The opiate-based drug used to treat moderate or severe pain should only be available on prescription – it was reclassified in 2014 making it an illegal Class C drug without prescription. But anti-drug campaigners say more and more people are turning to the black market.

Professor Jack Crane has spoken out to say he fears more people will die unless urgent action is taken and he is calling for a crackdown on the illegal market. He wants Tramadol to be upgraded again, this time to Class A. Professor Crane is now set to meet Northern Ireland's Chief Medical Officer later this month to push for change.

Randox Toxicology offer a range of drug testing solutions for the screening of Tramadol, with an ELISA kit and a range of Biochip Array Panels including:

-Evidence MultiSTAT whole blood, urine and oral fluid panels

-DoA IV which can simultaneously detect 13 target compounds including tramadol.

-DoA ULTRA which can simultaneously detect 20 target compounds including tramadol.

Read more at ITV News.

UK: +44 (0)28 9442 2413
USA: +1 304 728 2890