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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2017 Jul;362(1):45-52. doi: 10.1124/jpet.117.241083. Epub 2017 Apr 25.

Ethanol Reversal of Tolerance to the Antinociceptive Effects of Oxycodone and Hydrocodone.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia- (J.C.J., J.L.P., H.I.A., W.L.D.); and School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom (G.H.).
2
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia- (J.C.J., J.L.P., H.I.A., W.L.D.); and School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom (G.H.) william.dewey@vcuhealth.org.

Abstract

This study compared the development of tolerance to two orally bioavailable prescription opioids, oxycodone and hydrocodone, to that of morphine, and the reversal of this tolerance by ethanol. Oxycodone (s.c.) was significantly more potent in the mouse tail-withdrawal assay than either morphine or hydrocodone. Oxycodone was also significantly more potent in this assay than hydrocodone when administered orally. Tolerance was seen following chronic subcutaneous administration of each of the three drugs and by the chronic administration of oral oxycodone, but not following the chronic oral administration of hydrocodone. Ethanol (1 g/kg i.p.) significantly reversed the tolerance to the subcutaneous administration of each of the three opioids that developed when given 30 minutes prior to challenge doses. It took twice as much ethanol, when given orally, to reverse the tolerance to oxycodone. We investigated whether the observed tolerance to oxycodone and its reversal by ethanol were due to biodispositional changes or reflected a true neuronal tolerance. As expected, a relationship between brain oxycodone concentrations and activity in the tail-immersion test existed following administration of acute oral oxycodone. Following chronic treatment, brain oxycodone concentrations were significantly lower than acute concentrations. Oral ethanol (2 g/kg) reversed the tolerance to chronic oxycodone, but did not alter brain concentrations of either acute or chronic oxycodone. These studies show that there is a metabolic component of tolerance to oxycodone; however, the reversal of that tolerance by ethanol is not due to an alteration of the biodisposition of oxycodone, but rather is neuronal in nature.

PMID:
28442580
PMCID:
PMC5454589
DOI:
10.1124/jpet.117.241083
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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