On the antinociceptive effect of fluoxetine,
a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor

Singh VP, Jain NK, Kulkarni SK.
Pharmacology Division,
University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences,
Panjab University, 160 014,
Chandigarh, India
Brain Res 2001 Oct 12;915(2):218-26


Antidepressant drugs are reported to be used as co-analgesics in clinical management of migraine and neuropathic pain. The mechanism through which they alleviate pain remains unknown. The present study explores the possible mechanism of a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) fluoxetine-induced antinociception in animals. Acetic acid-induced writhing, hot plate and tail-flick test were used to assess fluoxetine-induced antinociception. Fluoxetine (5-20 mg kg(-1), i.p.) produced a significant and dose-dependent antinociceptive effect against acetic acid-induced writhing in mice. Fluoxetine (20 mg kg(-1)) also exhibited antinociceptive effect in tail flick as well as hot plate assays. Further, i.c.v. administration of fluoxetine showed significant antinociception against writhing test in rats. However, fluoxetine (1 &mgr;g/10 &mgr;l/rat, i.c.v.) did not exhibit any antinociceptive effect in serotonin-depleted animals. Further, pindolol (10 mg kg(-1), i.p.) enhanced fluoxetine-induced antinociceptive effect. The antinociceptive effect of fluoxetine was sensitive to blockade by naloxone (5 mg kg(-1), i.p.) and naltrexone (5 mg kg(-1), i.p.). These data suggest that fluoxetine-induced antinociception involves both central opioid and the serotoninergic pathways.
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