paralytic agents, Urethane- advice sought

k.jeffery at k.jeffery at
Mon Dec 4 04:56:13 EST 1995

greggt at (Thomas R. Gregg) wrote:
>2 projects in our lab:
>1) recording cortical auditory evoked potentials.  We want to record from
>awake rats, but we need to keep them very still, to avoid changes in
>stimulus volume (etc.) as the rats move.  We want to find a paralytic drug
>(such as Flaxedil, curare, methocarbamol) which does not cross blood-brain
>barrier, that will reduce the rat's movements but not increase its
>stress/arousal level.  Would methocarbamol be good for this?  References
>are appreciated. 
>2)  recording rat hippocampal AEPs.  any problems with using urethane 
>Please reply via email.  Thank you.
>Tom Gregg
>greggt at

I would think twice about using paralytic agents in awake animals: it's 
banned here in Britain, and quite a few journals won't publish papers in 
which the experimental protocol violated ethical principles. Humanitarian 
considerations aside, it's also *extremely* stressful and would probably 
mess up your results. It isn't an easy problem to solve. Rats can be 
trained to do some quite odd things with patience and the right reward. 

Good luck,

Kate Jeffery
k.jeffery at

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