Fatal overdose after ingestion of a transdermal fentanyl patch in two non-human primates
Article first published online: 13 JUL 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia. © 2012 Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists and the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists
Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia
Volume 39, Issue 6, pages 653–656, November 2012
How to Cite
Deschamps, J.-Y., Gaulier, J.-M., Podevin, G., Cherel, Y., Ferry, N. and Roux, F. A. (2012), Fatal overdose after ingestion of a transdermal fentanyl patch in two non-human primates. Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia, 39: 653–656. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-2995.2012.00749.x
- Issue published online: 5 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 13 JUL 2012
- Received 15 January 2012; accepted 12 March 2012.
- fentanyl patch;
- opioids non human primate
Case history and presentation Two non-human primates (Macaca fascicularis), weight 3.5 kg, enrolled in an experimental protocol received a 25 μg hour−1 transdermal fentanyl patch for postoperative analgesia. The following day both animals were clinically normal, but after a new induction of anaesthesia with ketamine, they developed severe and prolonged respiratory distress, profound coma and myosis.
Management and follow-up Attempted reversal with naloxone was ineffective. After several hours of ventilation, both primates eventually died, 7 and 15 hours after ketamine injection, respectively. In both cases, the patch was discovered in the animal’s cheek pouch. Subsequent fentanyl serum concentration measurements (8.29 and 14.80 μg L−1) confirmed fentanyl overdose.
Conclusions This report of two fatal intoxications in non-human primates secondary to ingestion of a transdermal fentanyl patch demonstrates that this method of analgesia is inappropriate for non-human primates, because of their tendency to chew almost anything they can reach.