Synergistic Antinociceptive Effects of Ketamine and Morphine in the Orofacial Capsaicin Test in the Rat
The clinical efficacy of the noncompetitive Nmethyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist ketamine for treating orofacial pain has already been reported. Side effects related to psychotomimetic disturbances, however, limit ketamine use as an analgesic. Theoretically, this limitation could be minimized by using low doses of ketamine in combination with other analgesics. In the present study, the potential synergistic antinociceptive interaction between ketamine and morphine in the orofacial capsaicin
... est in rats was investigated. Methods: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subcutaneously injected with solvent, ketamine, morphine, or combination of both drugs. Thirty minutes later, the orofacial capsaicin test was performed by injecting of 1.5 g/25 l of a capsaicin solution into the vibrissa pad. Animal behavior was recorded on videotape and analyzed off-line. The total time spent on rubbingscratching nociceptive behavior during a period of 42 min was measured. Results: Subcutaneously administered ketamine (0.4, 1.25, 4, 12.5 mg/kg), morphine (0.5, 1, 2, 4 mg/kg) and ketamine ؉ morphine (0. 20 ؉ 0.12, 0.40 ؉ 0.24, 0.80 ؉ 0.49, 1.61 ؉ 0.97, 3 .21 ؉ 1.94 mg/kg) reduced the rat facial rubbing-scratching behavior in a dose-dependent manner. Isobolographic analysis showed that the ketamine ؉ morphine association inhibited the studied behavior in a superadditive manner. Conclusions: These results indicate that ketamine and morphine have antinociceptive effects on the orofacial capsaicin test. Furthermore, their combination produces synergistic antinociception. It is therefore suggested that, used together, ketamine and morphine might be clinically efficient at lower doses than those currently used when administered separately. This could provide a useful strategy for the clinical management of orofacial pain.