Kim, J., Cannon, B. A., Freeman, L. E. et al. 2023. High-dose meloxicam provides improved analgesia in female CD1 mice: A pharmacokinetic and efficacy study. JAALAS 62(1), 74–80.

Meloxicam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory analgesic drug that is often used in mice. However, doses of 1 to 5 mg/kg given twice daily were recently reported to provide inadequate analgesia. Some studies suggest that doses of up to 20 mg/kg may be necessary for adequate pain management. We investigated the analgesia provided by a high-dose of meloxicam in female CD1 mice. Pharmacokinetic analyses demonstrated that a subcutaneous injection of 10 mg/kg or 20 mg/kg of meloxicam produced therapeutic plasma concentrations for at least 12 h. Ovariectomies via ventral laparotomy were performed to assess analgesic efficacy. Mice were treated immediately before surgery with a high-dose of 10 mg/kg, a low-dose of 2.5 mg/kg, or saline, followed by every 12 h for 36 h. At 3, 6, 12, 24, and 48 h after surgery, mice were assessed for pain based on the following behaviors: distance traveled, time mobile, grooming, rearing, hunched posture, orbital tightening, and von Frey. Initially, some mice received a 20-mg/kg loading dose followed by 10 mg/kg every 12 h. This regimen caused severe morbidity and mortality in 2 mice. Subsequently, this regimen was abandoned, and mice assigned to the high-dose group received 10 mg/kg every 12 h. Mice that received the 10-mg/kg dose after surgery showed less orbital tightening between 3 to 6 h and reduced frequency of hunched posture for 48 h compared with mice that received either the low-dose or saline. However, mice were significantly less mobile for 6 to 12 h after surgery regardless of treatment. These data indicate that a meloxicam dose of 10 mg/kg every 12 h provides better analgesia than a 2.5-mg/kg dose but does not completely alleviate pain.

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