Article Type

Original Study


Objective The aim of the study was to assess the effect of tramadol on the testes of adult male albino rats and to elucidate the possible protective effect of vitamin C. Background Tramadol is an opioid pain medication used to treat mild to severe pain, both acute and chronic, and premature ejaculation and as an antidepressant. Materials and methods Sixty adult male albino rats were used in the present study. Animals were divided into four groups: group I, the control group; group II, which received 500 mg/kg/day vitamin C orally for 4 weeks; group III, which was divided into two subgroups, subgroup IIIa and subgroup IIIb (receiving 50 mg/kg/day tramadol orally for 4 weeks) and subgroup IIIb, which was left without treatment for another 4 weeks; and group IV, which received tramadol and vitamin C in the doses same as the previous ones. At the end of the experiment, the testes were excised and specimens were processed for light, electron microscopic, morphometric studies and statistical analyses. Results Tramadol-treated rats showed degeneration, irregularity of seminiferous tubules with disorganization and exfoliation of spermatogenic cells in the lumen, which showed absence of sperms. Vascular dilatation and congestion was present. In addition, there was collagen fiber deposition in the interstitium and around the blood vessels with thickening of tunica albuginea. Cessation of tramadol administration showed reversibility of the previous changes but not complete recovery. However, coadministration of vitamin C with tramadol showed improvement. Conclusion Tramadol has harmful effect on the testes of rats. This effect is reversible when tramadol administration is stopped but complete recovery is not achieved. Vitamin C and tramadol in combination revealed improvement.