Patented use of NK-1 receptor antagonists in Management of Visceral Pain in Canines


Available for Licensing

IP Status

US Utility Patent: US 9446029


Pedro Boscan
David Twedt

At A Glance

Researchers at Colorado State have developed a method of improving visceral analgesia during visceral canine surgery by administering a neurokinin 1 receptor (NK-1) antagonist drug and subsequently reducing the amount of general anesthesia required.

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Licensing Director

Steve Foster

Reference No.:  09-103


Volatile anesthetics are commonly used to achieve the appropriate plane of anesthesia in human and veterinary surgical patients.  Volatile anesthetics are however costly and have certain side effects such as reducing vascular resistance and resulting hypotension. It therefore can be desirable to reduce the amount, typically determined as minimum alveolar concentration or “MAC”, of the volatile anesthetic needed during painful procedures through use of a MAC reducing agent.  Known MAC reducing agents include opiates such as morphine and fentanyl, ketamine, lidocaine and dexmedetomidine.

Opioid compounds, in particular, are capable of dramatic MAC reductions of 50% and higher.  However, use of these substances incurs numerous disadvantages including being highly addictive and classification as controlled substances under DEA regulations.  Use of these substances requires a license from the DEA and are subject to additional strict control measures including secure storage under lock and key, and detailed logging of when and how each dose is used or disposed.  Routine maintenance of opioids in a clinic runs the risk of abuse.  Commonly, opioids used for pain management in veterinary medicine often induce undesirable mental and behavioral changes in certain animals, including, lethargy, dysphoria, decrease in gastrointestinal motility, and an increase in incidence of complications (constipation, increase in urinary retention and ultimate damage of the urinary tract, and depression of the respiratory or cardiovascular system).  A need therefore remains for improved methods for managing visceral pain during surgical procedures requiring general anesthesia and improved methods for MAC reduction.

  • Reduces anesthetic requirements
  • Improves pain management
  • Safety studies and data was evaluated in canine patients
  • No reported negative side effects
  • Pain reliever for ovarian pain or other visceral pain
  • Specific application in veterinary medicine

(2018) Effect of oral maropitant and omeprazole on emesis, appetite and anesthesia recovery quality in dogs. ACVIM abstract.

Marquez, M., et al. (2015) Comparison of NK-1 Receptor Antagonist (Maropitant) to Morphine as a Pre- Anaesthetic Agent for Canine Ovariohysterectomy. PLOS One.

Last updated: April 2022

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