Definitions for etorphine
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word etorphine
A particular narcotic painkiller.
Etorphine is a semi-synthetic opioid possessing an analgesic potency approximately 1,000-3,000 times that of morphine. It was first prepared in 1960 from oripavine, which does not generally occur in opium poppy extract but rather in "poppy straw" and in the related plants Papaver orientale and Papaver bracteatum. It was later reproduced in 1963 by a research group at MacFarlan Smith in Gorgie, Edinburgh, led by Professor Kenneth Bentley. It can also be produced from thebaine. Etorphine is often used to immobilize elephants and other large mammals. Etorphine is available legally only for veterinary use and is strictly governed by law. Diprenorphine, also known as Revivon, is an opioid receptor antagonist that can be administered in proportion to the amount of etorphine used to reverse its effects. Veterinary-strength etorphine is fatal to humans. For this reason the package as supplied to vets always includes the human antidote as well as Etorphine. One of its main advantages in general veterinary work is its speed of operation and, more importantly, the speed with which diprenorphine reverses the effects. For example, operations on valuable animals such as racehorses, using alternative anaesthetics risks the animal injuring itself as the anesthetic wears off. The rapid action of etorphine and diprenorphine means the animal can be back on its feet within a relatively short time and aware of its surroundings more quickly, thus reducing any tendency to panic and move around rapidly while still partially under the influence of the anesthetic. For this reason, its use is popular with many vets.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
A narcotic analgesic morphinan used as a sedative in veterinary practice.
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