The effects of different dosages of methadone on respiration were determined by evaluating arterial blood pCO2, pO2 and pH in naive and opioid-addicted animals. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were treated (i.p.), acutely or chronically, with either 2.5, 5.0 or 7.5 mg/kg of dl-methadone hydrochloride; appropriate saline controls were utilized. Blood was sampled from the tail artery before injection and 15, 30, 60, 120, 180 and 240 min postinjection. Animals exposed to methadone in acute experiments exhibited a respiratory depression that involved hypoxemia, hypercapnia and/or acidosis. In addition, the magnitude of this respiratory depressant action was dose-dependent and reached a maximal point 15 to 30 min after drug administration. Rats receiving chronic methadone exposure showed few alterations from control blood gas concentrations and pH. This study demonstrates that acute methadone administration is associated with respiratory depression, with the extent of reductions in pCO2, pO2 and pH related to drug dosage. In addition, chronic methadone treatment confers a substantial tolerance to the respiratory depressant action of methadone.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1979|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine