Pharmacology of narcotic analgesics in the horse: selective blockade of narcotic-induced locomotor activity

Am J Vet Res. 1981 May;42(5):716-21.


The locomotor responses of horses given morphine and fentanyl were blocked or lessened by administration of naloxone or acepromazine. Naloxone given at the dosage of 0.015 mg/kg completely blocked the locomotor activity induced in horses given fentanyl (0.020 mg/kg of body weight). The locomotor stimulation produced by morphine given at the dosage of 2.4 mg/kg was reduced by 75% of naloxone (0.020 mg/kg). Acepromazine partially blocked the locomotor responses to fentanyl and morphine. This blockade activity reached its peak about 30 minutes after acepromazine was given (IV) and lasted more than 6 hours. Simultaneous administration of acepromazine and morphine was associated with substantial respiratory depression for more than 4 hours after administration of both drugs. In other experiments, fentanyl did not add to the partial locomotor response observed after large doses of pentazocine were given--this being consistent with the concept that pentazocine possesses both antagonist and agonist actions at the narcotic receptor. Furosemide and phenylbutazone, given at usually used clinical doses, had no effect on the locomotor response to fentanyl, indicating that the usual clinical dosages of neither drug exerted stimulant or depressant actions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acepromazine / pharmacology
  • Analgesics, Opioid / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Analgesics, Opioid / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Fentanyl / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Fentanyl / pharmacology
  • Furosemide / pharmacology
  • Horses / physiology*
  • Morphine / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Morphine / pharmacology
  • Motor Activity / drug effects*
  • Naloxone / pharmacology
  • Phenylbutazone / pharmacology


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Naloxone
  • Acepromazine
  • Morphine
  • Furosemide
  • Phenylbutazone
  • Fentanyl