Meloxicam, a Specific COX-2 Inhibitor, Does Not Enhance the Isoflurane Minimum Alveolar Concentration Reduction Produced by Morphine in the Rat

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A synergistic effect of nonselective cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors on morphine-induced decrease of isoflurane minimum alveolar concentration (MACISO) has been observed in the rat. We studied the influence of specific COX-2 inhibitors on this decrease of MAC. Sixty-four female rats were anesthetized with isoflurane in oxygen. The animals were grouped into saline solution, aspirin (30 mg/kg), morphine (1 mg/kg), morphine (1 mg/kg) + aspirin (30 mg/kg), meloxicam (1 and 3 mg/kg), and morphine (1 mg/kg) + meloxicam (1 and 3 mg/kg). Then the MACISO was determined from alveolar gas samples at the time of tail clamp. The groups treated with saline solution, aspirin, and 1 and 3 mg/kg meloxicam did not express any statistically relevant changes among them. The administration of morphine + meloxicam 1 or 3 mg/kg significantly reduced the MACISO just as in the group where only morphine was administered (morphine 1.35% ± 0.07%, morphine + 1 mg/kg meloxicam 1.36% ± 0.04%, and morphine + 3 mg/kg meloxicam 1.37% ± 0.08%). The greatest reduction of MACISO was after administration of morphine + aspirin (1.19% ± 0.05%). The administration of meloxicam does not potentiate the morphine-induced decrease of MACISO in the rat.

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