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Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science : JAALAS

Efficacy of Common Analgesics for Postsurgical Pain in Rats.


PMID 26224443

Abstract

Each year, millions of rats undergo surgery for research purposes and receive analgesics to alleviate pain. We sought to evaluate the efficacy of common analgesics in tests of hot-plate nociception and postsurgical pain by using the Rat Grimace Scale. Rats received a single dose of one of several drug-dose combinations and were tested by using the hot-plate test (acute pain) or after laparotomy (with either prophylactic or intraoperative analgesic). The efficacy of analgesics for hot-plate pain was generally not predictive of efficacy for surgical pain. Carprofen and ketoprofen were rarely effective in any of the conditions tested. With the exception of the opioid buprenorphine, several of the drugs we tested required higher-than-recommended doses to alleviate pain. Taken together, our data suggest that current analgesic use frequently is insufficient, and many rats may experience significant postsurgical pain even when analgesics are used in commonly recommended doses.