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Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the effects of codeine administration on some haematological and biochemical indices in rats.
Materials and Methods: Therapeutic dose (5 mg/kg/day), high dose (25 mg/kg/day) and extreme dose (50 mg/kg/day) of codeine were administered orally to rats for 28 days. Twenty-four hours after the last codeine administration, blood, liver and kidney were removed from the animals after an overnight fast and analysed for their haematological and biochemical parameters.
Results: Results obtained revealed that codeine administration significantly reduced the levels of white blood cells (WBC), red blood cell (RBC) and platelet count (PLT) and increased the levels of mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) and mean corpuscular volume (MCV)while it resulted in non-significant changes in other haematological parameters examined when compared with control rats. Codeine intake significantly increased plasma levels of alkaline phosphatase (ALP), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), creatinine and urea while its reduced total protein levels. Hepatic and renal thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) levels were significantly increased by codeine administration while levels of endogenous antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and reduced glutathione (GSH) were reduced.
Conclusions: This study confirmed the risk of increased oxidative stress, haematoxicity, hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity due to codeine administration. Although codeine is reported to be effective in pain management, its toxicity should be kept in mind.