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Sustained Release (SR) or Extended Release (XR) Buprenorphine in Rodents

Dear Researchers approved to use long acting buprenorphine in rodents,

Two acquisition options exist for the long acting form of injectable buprenorphine in post-operative mice and rats.  This drug provides 48 to72 hours of post-operative analgesia in mice and rats.  Ideally, Buprenorphine SR or XR should be administered pre-emptively after the animal is anesthetized and before the surgery.  When this is not possible, Buprenorphine SR or XR should be administered as close to the time of surgery as possible, pre-operatively.

First time users of long acting buprenorphine occasionally observe respiratory depression intra-operatively in mice or rats.  Respiratory depression poses no challenge when using inhalation isoflurane given its wide margin of safety and ease of adjusting.  However, if using injectable anesthetics (e.g. ketamine-xylazine), be aware that you “may” need to reduce the xylazine component of the anesthetic dose or wait several hours after pre-emptive administration before performing surgery to avoid intra-operative respiratory depression.  

The Animal Resource provides free of charge isoflurane anesthetic vaporizers for your use in most rodent procedure rooms.  Research staff need to go through vaporizer training and purchase their own bottle of isoflurane to use this equipment.  Isoflurane vaporizers are also available to rent for a daily fee in research labs outside of the vivarium.  To purchase isoflurane, submit your order through the Animal Resource Website.   Request training by filling out a special request form and submitting it to the animal resource office. 

PI Request to Purchase Drugs/Supplies from DCM Online Submission   

DCM Training Request

Purchasing single-dose syringes if you do not want to purchase a $375 vial from SMH Pharmacy:

Research lab technicians may place on-line orders for individual dosages of sustained release buprenorphine (SR-BUP) and pick up the drugs up to three days before surgery from the Vivarium Office (G-6708).

Cost for Buprenorphine SR administration

Buprenorphine SR Lab Administration Form

Paying veterinary technicians to administer long acting buprenorphine SR:

If preferred, PIs may also continue to pay DCM technicians to administer the analgesic pre-emptively to rodents on the morning of surgery.   

 Buprenorphine SR DCM Administration Form

Purchasing a vial of extended release (XR) buprenorphine, Ethiqa™, from SMH Pharmacy:

E-mail Deanna (Dake) Ruetz (deanna_dake to learn more about documentation and storage requirements of a DEA controlled substance as well as how to place an order for a 3ml vial of Ethiqa™.  Please note that Ethiqa™ has a 28-day shelf once opened. Per manufacturer’s guidelines, a 3ml vial will dose ~20 rats or ~60 mice

Cost: $375.00 per vial

Buprenorphine SR or XR must be administered subcutaneously. You may contact DCM veterinary technicians for instructions on drawing the viscous solution from the vial as well as schedule training on the two techniques for administering subcutaneous injections in rodents. 

Mouse SQ injection handout

Postoperative Monitoring Documentation:

Please be certain to fully complete and insert a green post-op card, per usual practice, in each of the rodents’ cagecard holder. Even though the long acting buprenorphine affords 48 to 72 hours of analgesia, research staff must document daily observations on the green post-op cage card.   

Please call the Animal Resource with any questions.