The effects of tramadol on repetitively elicited action potentials were studied in rat sciatic nerve, using the sucrose gap method. Tramadol's local anesthetic-like effects were compared with lidocaine and benzocaine at single or 10, 40, and 100 Hz stimulations. Tramadol and lidocaine both produced approximately the same level of conduction block. The depolarization time of the compound action potentials (CAP) measured from the beginning to the peak of the CAPs, was extended by lidocaine and tramadol, but benzocaine had no effect in this respect. Tramadol extended half width of CAP more than lidocaine. Lidocaine and tramadol produced similar conduction-block patterns, which were different from benzocaine. The results suggested that tramadol enhanced the nerve conduction block like lidocaine, and extended the duration of the compound action potential more than lidocaine. However, their frequency-dependent block patterns were similar. It was concluded that tramadol may block the Na+ channels following the hydrophilic pathway like lidocaine and block K+ channels more than lidocaine. These may accounted for the local anesthetic-like effects of tramadol.