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Nalbuphine, a non-controlled opioid analgesic, and its potential use in research mice

Lab Animal volume 44, pages 106110 (2015) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Nalbuphine is an inexpensive, non-controlled, opioid analgesic that has been in clinical use for decades. A kappa opioid receptor agonist and mu opioid receptor antagonist, nalbuphine causes fewer adverse effects than other opioid analgesics. The author reviews the characteristics of nalbuphine, analyzes studies of nalbuphine in mice and explores the potential use of nalbuphine to treat pain in research mice. In analgesiometric studies in mice, nalbuphine ameliorates both somatic and visceral pain. Nalbuphine seems to have a broad range of safe doses for subcutaneous administration in mice. Unlike non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, nalbuphine does not antagonize prostaglandins or impede labor in mice. Although additional study is needed before clinical use can be recommended, evidence presented here suggests that nalbuphine might be an effective analgesic for dystocia (or difficult birth) and other painful conditions in research mice.

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Affiliations

  1. Animal Health and Care Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD.

    • Heather Lyons Narver

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Competing interests

The author declares no competing financial interests.

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Correspondence to Heather Lyons Narver.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/laban.701