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Lecaniodiscus cupanioides is a medicinal plant that is widely used in folk medicine in West Africa. In Nigeria, the aqueous root extract of Lecaniodiscus cupanioides (LC) is reported to be effective against various ailments, including inflammatory conditions and hepatomegaly. Moreover, there are claims by herbal medical practitioners in Nigeria that LC is useful against acute and chronic pain, and that it is safe. This study reports the analgesic action of LC. The analgesic effect of LC (100 Š 400mg/kg, p.o.) was investigated in rodents using various pain models such as hot plate, formalin-induced pain, tail immersion, tail clip and writhing tests in mice, as well as tail flick test in rats. The results showed that LC produced a significant (P<0.05) prolongation of the reaction times in the hot-plate, tail immersion, tail flick and tail clip tests and significantly and dose-dependently produced an increased pain threshold in both the first and second phases of the formalin pain test. In the writhing test, LC significantly inhibited writhing frequency. In all these models, with exception of tail clip and the first phase of formalin-induced pain tests, LC (400mg/kg) produced effects comparable (P<0.05, t-test) to the standard reference drugs, aspirin or morphine. The results indicate that LC has a potent analgesic action, mediated centrally and peripherally, justifying its use in the management of pain in traditional African medicine.
Keywords: Lecaniodiscus cupanioides, Analgesic activity, rodents
West African Journal of Pharmacology and Drug Research Vol. 20(1&2) 2005: 10-14