Researchers at Tulane University and Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System have developed a painkiller that is as strong as morphine but isn’t likely to be addictive and with fewer side effects, according to a new study in the journal Neuropharmacology.
Using rats, scientists compared several engineered variants of the neurochemical endomorphin, which is found naturally in the body, to morphine to measure their effectiveness and side effects. The peptide-based drugs target the same pain-relieving opioid receptor as morphine.
Opium-based drugs are the leading treatments for severe and chronic pain, but they can be highly addictive. Their abuse results in thousands of overdose deaths in the United States annually. They can cause motor impairment and potentially fatal respiratory depression. Patients also build up tolerance over time, increasing the risk for abuse and overdose.
“These side effects were absent or reduced with the new drug,” said lead investigator James Zadina, VA senior research career scientist and professor of medicine, pharmacology and neuroscience at Tulane University School of Medicine. “It’s unprecedented for a peptide to deliver such powerful pain relief with so few side effects.”
In the study, the new endomorphin drug produced longer pain relief without substantially slowing breathing in rats; a similarly potent dosage of morphine produced significant respiratory depression. Impairment of motor coordination, which can be of particular importance to older adults, was significant after morphine but not with the endomorphin drug.
The new drug produced far less tolerance than morphine and did not produce spinal glial cell activation, an inflammatory effect of morphine known to contribute to tolerance.
Scientists conducted several experiments to test whether the drug would be addictive. One showed that although rats would spend more time in a compartment where they had received morphine, the new drug did not affect this behavior. Another test showed that when the press of a bar produced an infusion of drug, the rats only increased efforts to obtain morphine and not the new drug. The tests are predictive of human drug abuse, Zadina said.
Researchers hope to begin human clinical trials of the new drug within the next two years.
The Latest on: Endomorphin
via Google News
The Latest on: Endomorphin
- Nonaddictive opioid in development at Tulane proves successful in early laboratory testingon June 1, 2019 at 4:25 pm
A key reason for ZH853's success is likely that it is an engineered variant of the neurochemical endomorphin, which is found naturally in the body and therefore does not trigger inflammation in ...
- Screening of 109 neuropeptides on ASICs reveals no direct agonists and dynorphin A, YFMRFamide and endomorphin-1 as modulatorson December 19, 2018 at 4:00 pm
endomorphin-1 as a modulator of ASIC3, which also slowed desensitization. With the exception of YFMRFamide, which, however, is not a mammalian neuropeptide, we identified no new modulator of ASICs.
- Scientists Develop Pain Killer As Strong As Morphine Minus the Side Effectson February 3, 2016 at 4:50 am
Researchers behind the project have managed to engineer variants of endomorphin, a naturally occurring chemical in the body, that can effectively kill pain, but doesn’t have the addictive side ...
- Non-addictive Painkiller, an Alternative To Morphine to Fight Drug Abuseon February 3, 2016 at 1:45 am
Using rats, scientists at Tulane University and Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System in US compared several engineered variants of the neurochemical endomorphin - found naturally in the ...
- Morphine substitute is just as strong, without side effects (in rats)on February 1, 2016 at 9:36 am
Morphine is a highly effective painkiller, but it comes at a price: not only is it notoriously addictive, it's also incredibly easy to build up a tolerance to the drug, meaning patients need ...
- New powerful, non-addictive painkiller developedon February 1, 2016 at 7:19 am
The new endomorphin drug produced longer pain relief without substantially slowing breathing in rats; a similarly potent dosage of morphine produced significant respiratory depression. Scientists ...
- New pain-relief drug shapes as less addictive alternative to morphineon January 28, 2016 at 4:00 pm
The pain relief offered by the endomorphin was equal to or greater than the morphine. "These side effects were absent or reduced with the new drug," says leader of the research James Zadina ...
- New drug could be safer, non-addictive alternative to morphineon January 27, 2016 at 3:59 pm
Using rats, scientists compared several engineered variants of the neurochemical endomorphin, which is found naturally in the body, to morphine to measure their effectiveness and side effects.
- Why both mind, body need looking afteron October 12, 2009 at 5:00 pm
the feelings of laughter increase endomorphin levels; anger and annoyance, raising the cholesterol level and blood pressure, increase the risk of fatal heart attacks or strokes, and there are many ...
- Endomorphin-2 and Endomorphin-1 Promote the Extracellular Amount of Accumbal Dopamine via Nonopioid and Mu-Opioid Receptors, Respectivelyon July 19, 2005 at 5:00 pm
Male Sprague–Dawley rats (NRC Haruna, Japan) weighing between 200 and 220 g at the start of the experiment were used. These were housed in a temperature-controlled environment on a 12-h light ...
via Bing News