The antinociceptive effects of the selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor antidepressant reboxetine and its interaction with various opioid and noradrenaline receptor subtypes were evaluated. Reboxetine (i.p.) induced a weak dose-dependent antinociceptive effect in acute pain, using the hotplate model. The reboxetine-induced antinociception was significantly inhibited by the opioid receptor antagonists naloxone, nor-BNI, naltrindole and b-FNA, implying a non-selective role for the opioid receptors in the reboxetine's antinociceptive effect. The adrenergic antagonists yohimbine and phentolamine attenuated to some extent the reboxetine-induced antinociception, implying a minor adrenergic mechanism of antinociception. The addition of opioid or α2 agonists, did not potentiate the antinociception effect of reboxetine. Thus, it seems that reboxetine possesses a weak antinociceptive effect, mediated by non-selective opioid receptors and influenced somewhat by noradrenaline α2 receptors. These results suggest that reboxetine as monotherapy does not have sufficient efficacy in the management of acute pain. However, further research is needed in order to establish its possible use alone or in combination with other antidepressants or analgesics in the amelioration of chronic pain disorders.
- Opioid receptor subtypes