Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and analgesic effects of morphine after rectal, intramuscular, and intravenous administration in dogs

Matthew D. Barnhart Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.
Present address is MedVet Associates Inc, 5747 Cleveland Ave, Columbus, OH 43231.

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 DVM, MS
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John A. E. Hubbell Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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William W. Muir Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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Richard A. Sams Analytical Toxicology Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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Richard M. Bednarski Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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Abstract

Objective—To compare systemic bioavailability and duration for therapeutic plasma concentrations and cardiovascular, respiratory, and analgesic effects of morphine administered per rectum, compared with IV and IM administration in dogs.

Animals—6 healthy Beagles.

Procedure—In a randomized study, each dog received the following: morphine IV (0.5 mg/kg of body weight), morphine per rectum (1, 2, and 5 mg/kg as a suppository and 2 mg/kg as a solution), and a control treatment. Intramuscular administration of morphine (1 mg/kg) was evaluated separately. Heart and respiratory rates, systolic, diastolic, and mean blood pressures, adverse effects, and plasma morphine concentrations were measured. Analgesia was defined as an increase in response threshold, compared with baseline values, to applications of noxious mechanical (pressure) and thermal (heat) stimuli. Data were evaluated, using Friedman repeated-measures ANOVA on ranks and Student-Newman-Keuls post-hoc t-tests.

Results—Significant differences were not found in cardiovascular, respiratory, or analgesia values between control and morphine groups. Overall systemic bioavailability of morphine administered per rectum was 19.6%. Plasma morphine concentration after administration of the highest dose (5 mg/kg) as a suppository was significantly higher than concentrations 60 and 360 minutes after IV and IM administration, respectively. A single route of administration did not consistently fulfill our criteria for providing analgesia.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Rectal administration of morphine did not increase bioavailability above that reported for oral administration of morphine in dogs. Low bioavailability and plasma concentrations limit the clinical usefulness of morphine administered per rectum in dogs. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:24–28)

Abstract

Objective—To compare systemic bioavailability and duration for therapeutic plasma concentrations and cardiovascular, respiratory, and analgesic effects of morphine administered per rectum, compared with IV and IM administration in dogs.

Animals—6 healthy Beagles.

Procedure—In a randomized study, each dog received the following: morphine IV (0.5 mg/kg of body weight), morphine per rectum (1, 2, and 5 mg/kg as a suppository and 2 mg/kg as a solution), and a control treatment. Intramuscular administration of morphine (1 mg/kg) was evaluated separately. Heart and respiratory rates, systolic, diastolic, and mean blood pressures, adverse effects, and plasma morphine concentrations were measured. Analgesia was defined as an increase in response threshold, compared with baseline values, to applications of noxious mechanical (pressure) and thermal (heat) stimuli. Data were evaluated, using Friedman repeated-measures ANOVA on ranks and Student-Newman-Keuls post-hoc t-tests.

Results—Significant differences were not found in cardiovascular, respiratory, or analgesia values between control and morphine groups. Overall systemic bioavailability of morphine administered per rectum was 19.6%. Plasma morphine concentration after administration of the highest dose (5 mg/kg) as a suppository was significantly higher than concentrations 60 and 360 minutes after IV and IM administration, respectively. A single route of administration did not consistently fulfill our criteria for providing analgesia.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Rectal administration of morphine did not increase bioavailability above that reported for oral administration of morphine in dogs. Low bioavailability and plasma concentrations limit the clinical usefulness of morphine administered per rectum in dogs. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:24–28)

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