Continuous intrathecal clonidine and tizanidine in conscious dogs: Analgesic and hemodynamic effects

Jeffrey S. Kroin*, Robert J. McCarthy, Richard D. Penn, Timothy J. Lubenow, Anthony D. Ivankovich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Alpha-2-adrenergic agonists, such as clonidine, produce antinociception in animal pain models after intrathecal administration. However, clinical usage is limited by cardiovascular side effects. To investigate alternative α2adrenergic agonists as analgesics, we implanted six dogs with an intrathecal catheter and infusion pump. After baseline saline infusion, animals received clonidine or tizanidine (crossover study) each week at escalating doses of 125-750 μg/h. Analgesia, blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, sedation, and coordination were evaluated. A 28-day safety study was performed with another nine dogs receiving intrathecal tizanidine (3 or 6 mg/d) or saline. Equal doses of clonidine and tizanidine produce the same antinociception in thermal withdrawal tests. Blood pressure was reduced with 125-500 μg/h of clonidine, but not with tizanidine at any dose. Clonidine 250 μg/h reduced heart rate by 45.8%, and five of six animals had bradyarrhythmias (marked bradycardia), whereas tizanidine decreased heart rate by 15.1% without arrhythmias, even at the largest dose. Respiratory rate decreased with 250 μg/h of clonidine and larger doses. Sedation or incoordination occurred only at the largest dose for either drug. The safety study indicated that 3 mg/d of tizanidine in dogs produced no side effects or histopathologic changes. Tizanidine may be a useful alternative in patients experiencing cardiovascular side effects with intrathecal infusion of clonidine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)776-782
Number of pages7
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Volume96
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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