Azaperone and azaperone-ketamine as a neuroleptic sedative and anesthetic in rats and mice

Olson, M.E.; Renchko, P.

Laboratory Animal Science 38(3): 299-304


Azaperone alone and combined with ketamine were evaluated as sedative and anesthetic agents in outbred rats and mice. Using azaperone alone the duration of immobility was 1.9 to 10.8 hours for mice and 0.9 to 2.4 hours for rats. The withdrawal reflex was not eliminated from mice receiving azaperone alone; however, the withdrawal reflex was eliminated from 0.9 to 2.4 hours in rats receiving azaperone. Azaperone produced a tachypnea in rats and male mice while a depressed respiratory rate was observed in female mice. Using azaperone combined with ketamine, the duration of immobilization was 1.1 to 8.8 hours for mice and 1.3 to 6.0 hours for rats. The duration loss of the withdrawal reflex, which was used as an indication of surgical anesthesia, was 0.9 to 1.8 hours for mice and 1.0 to 6.0 hours for rats. An increase in respiratory rate was observed in rats given the combination while mice given the combination showed transient tachypnea followed by bradypnea. Overall, azaperone alone was shown to provide sedation in mice as compared to a dose dependent anesthesia in rats. The azaperone-ketamine combination produced a surgical plane of anesthesia in both rats and mice. Azaperone and the azaperone-ketamine combination appear to be a suitable alternative to sedatives and anesthetics currently used in rats and mice.