Antinociceptive effect of three common analgesic drugs on peripheral neuropathy induced by paclitaxel in rats.
Nowadays, there are no validated drugs to control the neuropathic pain induced by paclitaxel, one of the most effective antineoplastic drugs. The aim was to study the involvement of opioid and NMDA receptor on established paclitaxel-induced pain, testing three common analgesics drugs morphine, ketamine and methadone. Animals received four intraperitoneal (i.p.) injections on alternate days of paclitaxel (1 mg/kg). Three weeks later, animals showed a mechanical and heat allodynia/hyperalgesia. Morphine (1, 2.5, 5 and 10 mg/kg) abolished the reduction in the mechanical and thermal withdrawal thresholds in a dose dependent manner. This effect was blocked by naloxone. Only highest dose of ketamine (50 mg/kg) was able to increase the mechanical and thermal threshold and returned to basal values. Subanalgesic doses of morphine (1 mg/kg) and ketamine (12.5 mg/kg) produced an additive effect on heat hyperalgesia reaching an antinociceptive effect. This combination did not induce any change on tactile allodynia. Methadone (2.5 and 5 mg/kg) produced an analgesic effect that was completely antagonized by naloxone in both tests. Our results confirm that: the activation of opioids receptor produced analgesia; the blockade of NMDA receptors produce antinociception but at high doses with motor impairments and low doses of ketamine enhancing the effect of opioids.