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Papers: 8 Jan 2022 - 14 Jan 2022

Animal Studies

2022 Jan 06

Vet Res Commun

Administration of meloxicam to improve the welfare of mice in research: a systematic review (2000 – 2020).


Fonseca Brasil Antiorio A T, Alemán-Laporte J, de Freitas A P P, Yamamoto P K, Cintra L, Cabrera Mori C M
Vet Res Commun. 2022 Jan 06.
PMID: 34988874.


Although laboratory animals experience pain as a necessary component of the objectives of experimental protocols, the level of pain should be minimized through use of an adequate analgesic regimen. The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug meloxicam may be beneficial in alleviating post-operative pain in mice, although no regimen has been demonstrated as universally efficacious owing to differences in experimental protocols, strain, sex, and incomplete descriptions of methodology in the literature. The aim of this systematic literature review was to identify potential applications of meloxicam for pain management in experimental mice and to evaluate the general quality of study design. Searches of MEDLINE, Scopus and CAB Direct databases elicited 94 articles published between January 2000 and April 2020 that focused on the analgesic efficacy of meloxicam in the management of momentary or persistent pain in mice. The extracted data showed that most articles were deficient in descriptions of housing, husbandry, group size calculation and humane endpoint criteria, while few described adverse effects of the drug. A wide range of dosages of meloxicam was identified with analgesic efficiencies that varied considerably according to the different models or procedures studied. It was impossible to correlate the extracted data into a single meta-analysis because of the differences in experimental protocols and strains employed, the low representation of female mice in the studies, and incomplete descriptions of the methodology applied. We conclude that meloxicam has potential application for pain management in mice but that the dosage must be adjusted carefully according to the experimental procedures. Moreover, authors must take more care in designing their studies and in describing the methodology employed.