Methadone effectively attenuates acute and long-term consequences of neonatal repetitive procedural pain in a rat model

Nynke J. van den Hoogen, Thomas J. de Geus, Jacob Patijn, Dick Tibboel, Elbert A. Joosten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background
Painful procedures in early life cause acute pain and can alter pain processing at a spinal level lasting into adulthood. Current methods of analgesia seem unable to prevent both acute and long-term hypersensitivity associated with neonatal pain. The current study aims to prevent acute and long-term hypersensitivity associated with neonatal procedural pain using methadone analgesia in rat pups.

Methods
Sprague–Dawley rat pups received either methadone (1 mg/kg) or saline prior to repetitive needle pricks into the left hind paw from the day of birth (postnatal day (P)0) to P7. Control littermates received a tactile stimulus. Mechanical sensitivity was assessed during the neonatal period (P0–P7), from weaning to adulthood (3–7 weeks) and following surgical re-injury of the same dermatome in adulthood.

Results
Methadone administration completely reversed acute hypersensitivity from P0 to P7. In addition, neonatal methadone analgesia prevented prolonged hypersensitivity after re-injury in adulthood, without affecting sensitivity from weaning to adulthood.

Conclusions
The current study shows that neonatal methadone analgesia can attenuate acute as well as long-term hypersensitivity associated with neonatal procedural pain in a rat model.

Impact
Methadone treatment attenuates acute and long-term hypersensitivity associated with neonatal pain in a rat model.

Clinical effectiveness studies are urgently warranted to assess acute and long-term analgesic effectivity of methadone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1681-1686
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Research
Volume89
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2021

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