Cardiovascular and respiratory effects of tiletamine-zolazepam

Ronald P. Wilson, Ian S. Zagon, David R. Larach, C. Max Lang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The combination of tiletamine and zolazepam is an important dissociative anesthetic-tranquilizer. However, little is known about the effects of this combination on the heart and respiration in rats. Adult, male rats anesthetized with tiletamine-zolazepam alone or tiletamine-zolazepam combined with xylazine or butorphanol were evaluated for changes in heart rate, mean arterial blood pressure, arterial blood pH, and blood gases during a 75-min period of anesthesia. Rats anesthetized with tiletamine-zolazepam had increased mean arterial blood pressure and less respiratory depression than did rats anesthetized with sodium pentobarbital. Tiletamine-zolazepam combined with xylazine at either dose produced bradycardia and a marked hypotension that persisted throughout the 75-min period. This combination produced respiratory depression comparable to tiletamine-zolazepam alone. The addition of butorphanol to tiletamine-zolazepam caused a transient hypotension and bradycardia. Tiletamine-zolazepam plus butorphanol produced a mild to severe respiratory depression that was dose and time dependent. These results demonstrate that: a) Tiletamine-zolazepam is cardiostimulatory, a property consistent with the known cardiovascular effects of other dissociative anesthetics; b) xylaxine plus tiletamine-zolazepam is a potent cardiovascular depressant combination; and c) tiletamine-zolazepam plus butorphanol at specific doses is an anesthetic-analgesic combination with minimal effects on cardiovascular and respiratory function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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