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Comparing the subjective, psychomotor and physiological effects of intravenous butorphanol and morphine in healthy volunteers


, : Comparing the subjective, psychomotor and physiological effects of intravenous butorphanol and morphine in healthy volunteers. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 270(2): 579-588

The purposes of this study were to characterize the subjective, psychomotor and physiological effects of butorphanol in healthy nondrug-abusing volunteers and to compare and contrast the effects of butorphanol to those of morphine. Into an antecubital vein, the subjects (seven men and five women), who had no history of opiate dependence, were injected with 0, 0.5, 1.0 or 2.0 mg/70 kg of butorphanol or 10 mg/70 kg of morphine; a randomized, double-blind, crossover design was used. The subjective effects of butorphanol included increased scores on the Pentobarbital-Chlorpromazine-Alcohol Group scale and Lysergic Acid Diethylamide scale of the Addiction Research Center inventory; increased visual analog scale ratings of "sedated," "coasting or spaced out" and "difficulty concentrating;" increased adjective checklist ratings of "sweating," "skin itchy" and "sleepy;" and increased "feel drug effect" and drug-liking ratings. Morphine had some subjective effects of a magnitude similar to those of an equianalgesic dose of butorphanol (2 mg) (e.g., "strength of drug effect," "sedated," "heavy or sluggish feeling" and "high"). However, other effects of morphine were lesser in magnitude (e.g., "coasting or spaced out," "drunken" and "lightheaded") than those of butorphanol. Also, morphine did not affect a number of ratings that were affected by butorphanol (e.g., "confused," "dreamy," "stimulated," "difficulty concentrating," "floating" or "sweating"). The psychomotor impairing effects of butorphanol, as measured by the Maddox Wing test, an eye-hand coordination test, and the Digit Symbol Substitution Test, were dose related; in contrast, morphine had no effect on psychomotor functioning. Both butorphanol and morphine induced miosis. The results of the present study demonstrate that a clinically relevant dose of butorphanol produces a somewhat different profile of subjective effects and greater psychomotor impairment than does an equianalgesic dose of morphine.

US$29.90

PMID: 8071850


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