Gender difference in the antinociceptive effect of tramadol and gabapentin (alone or in combination) were investigated in mice. For investigation of acute antinociceptive effect, tramadol and gabapentin were administered to mice by intraperitoneal injection and per os, respectively, and antinociceptive activity was measured by the tail-flick test 30 min after drug administration. For investigation of the development of antinociceptive tolerance to analgesics, mice were injected with tramadol (60 mg/kg), alone or in combination with gabapentin (75 mg/kg), twice daily for seven consecutive days and the tail-flicks were tested on experimental days 1, 3, 5 and 7. Results showed there was a lower ED50 value of tramadol antinociception in males than in females, indicating that females were less sensitive to the drug. Gabapentin produces a limited antinociception in both males and females. The combination of gabapentin and tramadol produced synergistic effect without gender difference. Repeated administration of tramadol produced antinociceptive tolerance in both genders. Gabapentin produced synergistic effect in tramadol-tolerant mice and repeated administration of gabapentin did not alter the synergistic effect in tramadol-tolerant mice. Because females show a higher overall prevalence of pain and less sensitivity to opioids, our finding may suggest a clinical significance of combined use of the two drugs.
- Opioid receptor