Hestehave, S., Munro, G., Brønnum Pedersen, T. et al. 2017. Antinociceptive effects of voluntarily ingested buprenorphine in the hot-plate test in laboratory rats. Laboratory Animals 51(3), 264-272.
Researchers performing experiments on animals should always strive towards the refinement of experiments, minimization of stress and provision of better animal welfare. An adequate analgesic strategy is important to improve post-operative recovery and welfare in laboratory rats and mice. In addition, it is desirable to provide post-operative analgesia using methods that are minimally invasive and stressful. This study investigated the antinociceptive effects of orally administered buprenorphine ingested in Nutella in comparison with subcutaneous buprenorphine administration. By exposing the animal to a thermal stimulus using a hot plate, significant antinociceptive effects of voluntarily ingested buprenorphine administered in Nutella were demonstrated. This was evident at doses of 1.0 mg/kg 60 and 120 min post administration (P < 0.01), although antinociceptive effects were not as marked as with subcutaneous administration, and had a later onset. It is advised to administer the oral formulation of buprenorphine in Nutella in a 10-fold higher dose, as well as approximately 60 min earlier, than with the more commonly employed subcutaneous route of administration.