Gender difference in analgesic response to the kappa-opioid pentazocine

Neurosci Lett. 1996 Mar 1;205(3):207-9. doi: 10.1016/0304-3940(96)12402-2.


Gender difference in analgesia produced by the kappa-opiate pentazocine was investigated in a model of post-operative dental pain. In a recent study [Gordon et al., Neuroscience, 69 (1995) 345-349.] evaluating interaction between the GABAB agonist baclofen and opiates with respect to postoperative analgesia we found that females receiving pentazocine for the treatment of postoperative pain showed better analgesia than did males receiving similar treatment. To follow-up this result, we evaluated for the effect of gender on analgesia produced by pentazocine administered to participants not receiving another experimental medication. The analgesic response to pentazocine in ten females was compared to that in eight males. All participants were administered pentazocine after undergoing surgery for the removal of impacted third molars. We confirm our previous finding that pentazocine produces significantly greater analgesia in females than in males; no significant difference was observed in analgesia among females in different phases of the menstrual cycle.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesics, Opioid / pharmacology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Menstrual Cycle / drug effects
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy*
  • Pentazocine / pharmacology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Receptors, Opioid, kappa / agonists*
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Tooth / surgery


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Receptors, Opioid, kappa
  • Pentazocine