Zude, B. P., Jampachaisri, K., Pacharinsak, C. 2020. Use of flavored tablets of gabapentin and carprofen to attenuate postoperative hypersensitivity in an incisional pain model in rats (Rattus norvegicus). JAALAS 59(2), 163–169.
Providing postoperative analgesia to rats by oral administration, compared with injections, reduces stress from frequent handling and is technically easier for investigators. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether bacon-flavored tablets containing gabapentin, carprofen or a combination of both drugs effectively attenuates postoperative mechanical and thermal hypersensitivity in a rat model of incisional pain. Forty-eight Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly assigned to 1 of 5 treatment groups: placebo tablet; a single, subcutaneous injection of buprenorphine sustained release at 1.2 mg/kg; gabapentin 90 mg/tablet; carprofen 5 mg/tablet; gabapentin 90 mg and carprofen 5 mg/tablet (gabapentin/carprofen). Tablets were given to rats on days -3, -2, -1, 0 (surgery), 1, and 2. Rats were anesthetized using isoflurane. A 1 cm skin incision was made aseptically on the plantar surface of the left hindpaw and closed by using suture. Mechanical (von Frey monofilament) and thermal (Hargreaves method) hypersensitivity were tested daily, and analyzed on days -1, 1, 2, and 3. The amount of tablet consumed was recorded daily; postoperatively rats consumed 101 to 133 mg/kg of gabapentin, 5.5 to 5.8 mg/kg of carprofen, and 86-137/1.9-3 mg/kg of gabapentin/carprofen, respectively. Both the gabapentin and carprofen groups displayed attenuated mechanical hypersensitivity on all 3 postsurgical days and decreased thermal hypersensitivity on Day 3. The gabapentin/carprofen group showed attenuated mechanical hypersensitivity on Day 2 and 3, but no significant reduction of thermal hypersensitivity. These data suggest that both gabapentin and carprofen, given orally by flavored tablet, effectively attenuate postoperative mechanical hypersensitivity for 3 d after surgery in a rat model of incisional pain.