8. Nontraditional Analgesic Agents

  1. Christine M. Egger,
  2. Lydia Love and
  3. Tom Doherty
  1. Lydia Love and
  2. Dave Thompson

Published Online: 18 JUL 2014

DOI: 10.1002/9781118999196.ch8

Pain Management in Veterinary Practice

Pain Management in Veterinary Practice

How to Cite

Love, L. and Thompson, D. (2013) Nontraditional Analgesic Agents, in Pain Management in Veterinary Practice (eds C. M. Egger, L. Love and T. Doherty), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118999196.ch8

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 JUL 2014
  2. Published Print: 20 DEC 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780813812243

Online ISBN: 9781118999196



  • antiepileptic drugs (AEDs);
  • gabapentinoids;
  • ketamine;
  • N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor;
  • nontraditional analgesic agents;
  • norepinephrine (NE);
  • serotonin


The pharmacological mechanisms of nontraditional analgesic agents are diverse and are the focus of much current research activity. This chapter reviews nontraditional analgesics, and is arranged according to currently accepted pharmacological mechanisms. Since the 1960s, antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), including carbamazepine, gabapentin, and pregabalin, have been used to manage neuropathic pain in human patients. Gabapentin has received the most attention as a nontraditional analgesic in veterinary medicine, and the chapter focuses on the gabapentinoids. There are many drugs in current use that have antagonist activity at the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, including ketamine and tiletamine, amantadine, dextromethorphan, nitrous oxide, xenon, and some opioids, including methadone. The chapter discusses ketamine and the oral NMDA antagonist amantadine, The neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine (NE) are fundamental to many central nervous system activities, including vigilance, hunger, mood, and nociception. Mounting evidence indicates that NE systems may influence analgesia to a greater degree than serotonin pathways.