Addendum 7/3/2014: Updated to include information on prescribing and recordkeeping requirements.*
Today the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) published its decision to schedule tramadol as a Schedule IV controlled substance. The rule becomes effective August 18 of this year. The DEA’s action was fairly swift, having published its proposal to schedule tramadol just eight months ago (see blog post from November 2013). Upon conducting its eight-step analysis, the DEA found that relative to Schedule III drugs, tramadol has a low potential for abuse and limited physical dependence, and coupled with tramadol’s medical legitimacy, DEA determined Schedule IV to be the most fitting for tramadol.