The use of midazolam as an appetite stimulant and anxiolytic in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus)

Jessica Ann Herrod, Janelle Arcey Avelino, Kayla Marie Schonvisky, Jessica Kay Lynch, Eric Kenneth Hutchinson, Jessica Marie Izzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Food avoidance secondary to disease or stress can lead to weight loss and rapid deterioration of clinical condition in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). Currently, there are no data supporting the use of any pharmaceuticals as an appetite stimulant in this species; however, benzodiazepines are frequently used for this purpose in other species. Methods: Six marmosets were used in a crossover study design to evaluate the benzodiazepine midazolam as an appetite stimulant and anxiolytic. Total food intake (TFI) and latency to eat (LTE) were measured following administration of oral and injectable midazolam in non-anxious and anxious states. Results: Injectable midazolam increased TFI and decreased LTE in anxious marmosets, but had no effect in non-anxious animals. Oral midazolam had no effect on appetite in either state. Conclusions: Injectable midazolam may be an effective treatment for anxiety-induced inappetence in marmosets. Individual response to both oral and injectable midazolam may vary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-258
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of medical primatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • benzodiazepine
  • hyperphagia
  • inappetence
  • non-human primate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Veterinary


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