We evaluated the nature of the pharmacologic interaction after concurrent administration of 5-HT–gabapentin and 5-HT–adenosine at the spinal level. Intrathecal catheters were placed in the subarachnoid space of male Sprague-Dawley rats. Nociception was induced by subcutaneous injection of formalin solution (5%, 50 µl) into the hind paw. A fixed dose analysis and an isobolographic analysis were used to determine the properties of interaction. Intrathecal 5-HT dose-dependently suppressed the flinching response during phase 1 of the formalin test, while neither gabapentin nor adenosine affected the phase-1 flinching response. All three intrathecal drugs attenuated the phase-2 flinching response in a dose-dependent manner. The intrathecal combination of 5-HT with a fixed dose of gabapentin or adenosine in phase 1 had little effect or increased the antinociception of 5-HT alone. Isobolographic analysis in phase 2 revealed an additive or a synergistic interaction after intrathecal delivery of 5-HT–gabapentin or 5-HT–adenosine mixture. Taken together, the combination of 5-HT with either gabapentin or adenosine may offer a potential remedy in the treatment of the facilitated state as well as acute pain in the spinal cord.

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