- Medicine Information and Evidence for Policy > Monitoring and Evaluation
- Traditional Medicine > Traditional, Complementary and Herbal Medicine
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Acute Toxicity Test
Some regulatory agencies require that at least two species be used, one of them to be selected from rodents and the other from non-rodents.
In at least one of the species, males and females should be used.
Number of animals
In the case of rodents, each group should consist of at least five animals per sex. In the case of non-rodents, each group should consist of at least two animals per sex.
Route of administration
Ordinarily, the oral route is sufficient as this is the normal route of clinical administration. However, some regulatory agencies suggest in addition a parenteral route of administration.
In cases where it is proposed to administer the herbal preparation to a human subject by the parenteral route, it may be sufficient to use this route alone for animal testing.
A sufficient number of dose levels should be used in rodents to determine the approximate lethal dose. In non-rodents, sufficient dose levels should be used for the observation of overt toxic signs.
Frequency of administration
The test substance should be administered in one or more doses during a 24-hour period.
Toxic signs and the severity, onset, progression and reversibility of the signs should be observed and recorded in relation to dose and time. As a general rule, the animals should be observed for at least seven to fourteen days.
Animals dying during the observation period, as well as rodents surviving to the end of the observation period should be autopsied.
If necessary, a histopathological examination should be conducted on any organ or tissue showing macroscopic changes at autopsy.