McKenna, B. A., Weaver, H. L., Kim, J. et al. 2023. A pharmacokinetic and analgesic efficacy study of carprofen in female CD1 mice. JAALAS 62(6), 545–552.

The minimization of pain in research animals is a scientific and ethical necessity. Carprofen is commonly used for pain management in mice; however, some data suggest that the standard dosage of 5 mg/kg may not provide adequate analgesia after surgery. We hypothesized that a higher dose of carprofen in mice would reduce pain-associated behaviors and improve analgesia without toxic effects. A pharmacokinetic study was performed in mice given carprofen subcutaneously at 10 or 20 mg/kg. Plasma concentrations were measured at 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, 24, and 48 h after dosing (n = 3 per time point and treatment). At these doses, plasma levels were above the purported therapeutic level for at least 12 and 24 h, respectively, with respective half-lives of 14.9 and 10.2 h. For the efficacy study, 10 mice per group received anesthesia with or without an ovariectomy. Mice were then given 5 or 10 mg/kg of carprofen, or saline subcutaneously every 12 h. Orbital tightening, arched posture, wound licking, rearing, grooming, nesting behavior, and activity were assessed before surgery and at 4, 8, 12, 24, and 48 h after surgery. The von Frey responses were assessed before and at 4, 12, 24, and 48 h after surgery. The efficacy study showed that all surgery groups had significantly higher scores for orbital tightening, arched posture, and wound licking than did the anesthesia-only groups at 4, 8, 12, and 24-h time points. At the 8 h time point, the surgery groups treated with carprofen had significantly lower arched posture scores than did the surgery group treated with saline only. No significant differences were found between carprofen treatment groups for rearing, grooming, von Frey, activity, or nesting behavior at any time point. These results indicate that subcutaneous carprofen administered at these doses does not provide sufficient analgesia to alleviate postoperative pain in female CD1 mice.

Animal Type