The antinociceptive effect of the combination of spinal morphine with systemic morphine or buprenorphine

Alexander Nemirovsky, Lianhua Chen, Vladimir Zelman, Ilmar Jurna

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67 Citations (SciVal)


We sought to analyze the mode of interaction of spinal morphine with systemic morphine or buprenorphine, administered in a wide range of antinociceptive doses. The study was performed on Sprague-Dawley rats by using a plantar stimulation test and isobolographic and fractional analyses of drug interaction. The isobolographic and fractional analyses demonstrated that intrathecal morphine interacted with subcutaneous morphine in a synergistic manner while producing a 50% or 75% antinociceptive effect. The sum of D75 fractions was more than that for 50% antinociception, suggesting a less dramatic interaction. The combination with a maximal relative dose of systemic morphine (0.66:1) showed a maximal degree of supraadditivity. The interaction between spinal morphine and systemic buprenorphine was similar to that of morphine/morphine, although the supra-additivity was not as pronounced. For the doses that produced a 50% antinociceptive effect, a synergistic interaction was observed only for the combination with a morphine/buprenorphine ratio of 1.33:1. When the relative amount of intrathecal morphine was decreased or increased, the effect became additive. At the doses that produced 75% antinociception, both combinations of morphine and buprenorphine demonstrated supraadditive interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-203
Number of pages7
JournalAnesthesia and Analgesia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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