Safety of 28-day oral Trazodone HCl administration in rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

Trazodone HCl (TZN) is a selective serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitor that is commonly used to treat human depression and anxiety. In a study performed in 2016, TZN was found to be effective in providing sedation and improving handling in laboratory rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Despite its efficacy the safety of repeated treatment of TZN in rabbits had not been established. To identify the systemic effects of repeated TZN administration in rabbits, New Zealand white laboratory rabbits (n = 12) were orally given 40 mg/kg TZN every 12 hours (±1 hour) for 28 days. A physical examination was performed by a veterinarian every 7 days. Blood was collected for cell counts and serum chemistry analysis prior to and every 14 days during the TZN treatment. Despite some fluctuations in serum liver and kidney values, preliminary results suggest all physical exam parameters and blood values remained within expected reference ranges for the entire 28-day TZN treatment.