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Review
. 2002 Apr;18(1):39-46, vi.
doi: 10.1016/s0749-0739(02)00004-4.

Alpha-2 Adrenergic Agonists as Analgesics in Horses

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Review

Alpha-2 Adrenergic Agonists as Analgesics in Horses

David A Daunt et al. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. .

Abstract

Administration of alpha-2 agonists to horses produces a variety of behavioral effects (sedation, somnolence, analgesia), and physiological effects. One of the most significant beneficial effects of administering alpha-2 agonists is the degree of analgesia they provide. Alpha-2 agonists have been the mainstay of analgesia for colic pain in horses since their introduction to clinical veterinary medicine. The increased potency of the more recently introduced alpha-2 agonists allows the provision of analgesia for conditions not previously relieved by other drugs. Unfortunately, there are significant side effects associated with alpha-2 agonist administration. Studies are underway to identify the physiologic effects associated with the stimulation of each alpha-2 receptor subtype, in hopes of developing subtype-specific alpha-2 agonists and antagonists.

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