Lack of local anaesthetic efficacy of fentanyl in the abaxial sesamoid block model

J. Daniel Harkins, T. Tobin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Fentanyl and other opioid drugs have their effect in the central nervous system; however, activity at peripheral sites has also been demonstrated. Pain-suppression activity at peripheral sites raises the possibility of skilled individuals producing local anaesthetic effects with small doses of opioid drugs that would be difficult to detect forensically and could be used to affect the outcome of a race. Therefore, the local pain-suppression effect (peripheral nerve inhibition) of fentanyl was tested using an abaxial sesamoid block/hoof withdrawal model. With this model, fentanyl did not produce significant anaesthesia when tested in eight Thoroughbred horses. This suggests that fentanyl at this or lower doses is unlikely to reduce pain perception when applied directly to sensory neurons. However, the effect of fentanyl and other opioids on joint pain perception of horses, especially inflamed joints, is unknown.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-55
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • General Veterinary


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