Haematological changes in buprenorphine-treated mice
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Studies were carried out in adult male Swiss mice to determine whether different haematological parameters like total counts of red and white blood cells, differential counts of white blood cells, haematocrit value and blood haemoglobin level were affected by the synthetic opioid analgesic, buprenorphine, which has currently been known to be abused in several countries by the heroin addicts as a cheap substitute for heroin. The mice were daily given an intraperitoneal injection of buprenorphine (300 mug/kg) for 60 consecutive days. A severe leucopenia accompanied by decreases in lymphocyte and monocyte counts, an increase in neutrophil count, a decrease in haematocrit value, a rossette-like adherence of red blood cells to a few neutrophils and platelet satellitism were observed at the advanced stages of treatment. The abnormalities, however, reverted to normal within 45 days following withdrawal of the drug. The necessity of periodic monitoring of the blood picture in human abusers of the drug is suggested.
Publication order reference
D.Banerjee, Haematology Unit, Postgraduate Department of Zoology, Presidency College, 86/1 College Street, Calcutta - 700 073, West Bengal, India.