Antinociceptive interactions of ketamine with morphine or methadone in mononeuropathic rats

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To study the antinociceptive synergy resulting from the combination of opioid receptor agonists and N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists on neuropathic pain, an isobolographic analysis of equianalgesic combinations of ketamine with methadone or morphine was performed in rats with mononeuropathy produced by placing four constrictive ligatures around the common sciatic nerve. Two weeks later, the antinociceptive effect of subcutaneous administration of the drugs alone or combined was evaluated by using the paw pressure test. Drugs and their combinations produced dose-dependent antinociception. Combinations produced synergy of a supra-additive nature in the neuropathic paw, but only additive antinociception in the normal paw. The ketamine/metadone combination was more effective to produce antinociception in the neuropathic paw than was the ketamine/morphine association, as revealed by the lower ED25. The results indicate supra-additive synergy between NMDA receptor antagonists and opioids, especially methadone, to produce antinociception in experimental neuropathy.

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