Indian journal of experimental biology

Chronic spinal infusion of loperamide alleviates postsurgical pain in rats.

PMID 24772934


Plantar incision in rat generates spontaneous pain behaviour. The opioid drug, morphine used to treat postsurgical pain produces tolerance after long-term administration. Loperamide, a potent mu-opioid agonist, has documented analgesic action in various pain conditions. However, loperamide analgesia and associated tolerance following continuous spinal administration in postsurgical pain has not been reported. Chronic spinal infusion of drugs was achieved using intrathecal catheters connected to osmotic minipump. Coinciding with the onset of spinal infusion of loperamide or morphine, rats were subjected to plantar incision. Pain-related behaviour was assessed by Hargreaves apparatus (thermal hyperalgesia) and von Frey filaments (mechanical allodynia). Morphine and loperamide (0.5, 1 and 2 microL/h) induced analgesia was observed until 7th day post-plantar incision in Sprague-Dawley rats. Morphine and loperamide produced dose-dependent analgesia. Loperamide, in the highest dose, produced analgesia till 7th day. However, the highest dose of morphine produced inhibition of thermal hyperalgesia till 5th day and mechanical allodynia only till 3rd day post-plantar incision. Morphine and loperamide produced analgesia in postsurgical pain, which may be mediated through different mechanisms. Longer duration of analgesia with loperamide could probably be due sustained blockade of calcium channels.