Send to

Choose Destination
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1994 Dec;49(4):1017-23.

A comparison of the antinociceptive effects of opioid agonists in neonatal and adult rats in phasic and tonic nociceptive tests.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298.


Changes in the attitudes about neonatal pain and pain management have recently resulted in increases in the administration of opioids to neonates. Little is known, however, about the relative potencies of the various opioid agonists employed, especially in comparison to adult responses. The first objective in the present study was to compare the antinociceptive potency of four clinically relevant opioids in neonatal and adult rats. The second objective was to compare and contrast these agents in two different types of nociceptive tests: tonic (formalin-induced inflammation) and phasic (tail flick and hot plate). Our results indicate that the opioid agonists morphine, meperidine, and fentanyl, and the mixed agonist buprenorphine were all effective antinociceptive agents in both neonates and adults in each of the three tests employed, and that the relative potencies of these agents appeared to be similar in neonates and adults. In general, the pups were more sensitive to the antinociceptive agents when tested in the phasic nociceptive tests, and the drugs were more potent in the tonic test than either of the phasic tests.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center