Injection-free pain relief for rodents
Buprenorphine delivered orally by self-administration is a convenient and effective pain management strategy following surgery in rats and mice. But, the reformulation of injectable preparations for oral use is an inefficient method, owing to the inherent bitterness of the opioid compounds.
The solution to the problem - Flavoured jelly that is palatable to rats and mice, made from the oral formulation of buprenorphine designed for sublingual dosing in humans. The animals are conditioned by being introduced to non-medicated jelly in the pre-experimental period.
After surgery, a measured quantity of medicated jelly is presented to each animal. The technique, including the method of reformulating the sublingual tablets into a flavoured jelly that is acceptable to rodents and delivers the correct dose of buprenorphine, has been published in:
Volker D, Bate M, Gentle R, Garg M. 2000. Oral buprenorphine is anti-inflammatory and modulates the pathogenesis of streptococcal cell wall polymer-induced arthritis in the Lew/SNN rat. Laboratory Animals. 34: 423-429.