Comparison of analgesic efficacy and fetal effects between transdermal administration of fentanyl and intramuscular administration of buprenorphine in pregnant sheep. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To compare analgesic efficacy and fetal effects between transdermal administration of fentanyl and IM administration of buprenorphine in pregnant sheep. ANIMALS: 12 healthy pregnant ewes. PROCEDURES: Before study initiation, each ewe was confirmed pregnant with a single fetus between 113 and 117 days of gestation. Ewes were randomly assigned to receive buprenorphine (0.01 mg/kg, IM, q 8 h for 48 hours beginning 1 hour before anesthesia induction; n = 6) or fentanyl (a combination of transdermal fentanyl patches sufficient to deliver a dose of 2 μg of fentanyl/kg/h applied between the dorsal borders of the scapulae 24 hours before anesthesia induction; 6). Ewes were anesthetized and underwent a surgical procedure to instrument the fetus with an arterial catheter and place a catheter in utero for collection of amniotic fluid samples. Physiologic variables and behavioral changes indicative of pain were assessed, and amniotic fluid and blood samples from ewes and fetuses were collected for determination of drug concentrations at predetermined times. RESULTS: Both protocols provided acceptable postoperative analgesia with no adverse effects observed in the ewes or fetuses. Compared with the buprenorphine protocol, the fentanyl protocol induced more profound analgesia, decreased the requirement for isoflurane during surgery, and was associated with a shorter anesthesia recovery time. Fetal indices did not differ significantly between the 2 analgesic protocols. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results indicated that both protocols provided acceptable analgesia. However, the fentanyl protocol was superior in regard to the extent of analgesia induced, inhalant-sparing effects, and anesthesia recovery time.

published proceedings

  • Am J Vet Res

altmetric score

  • 2.7

author list (cited authors)

  • Padgett, A. L., Lepiz, M. L., Mackay, E. E., Driskill, A. J., Ivanov, I. V., Fajt, V. R., ... Washburn, S. E.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Padgett, Ashley L||Lepiz, Mauricio L||Mackay, Evelyn E||Driskill, Austin J||Ivanov, Ivan V||Fajt, Virginia R||Konarik, Megan M||Mays, Travis P||Washburn, Shannon E

publication date

  • July 2020