Developed a potent analgesic that does not cause addiction

Chemists from Wake forest University have developed an experimental anesthetic drug is much stronger than morphine, but completely non-addictive and other dangerous side effects. Press release scientists was published by the website EurekAlert.

Scientists developed the drug hope the tool will help to reduce the number of deaths caused by dependence on pain medications and their overuse. According to statistics, in 2012 only in the USA due to the use of opioid analgesics killed more than 16 thousand people.

The researchers explain that the new facility AT 121 acts on the Μ-opioid receptors (MOR) and nociceptin receptors — protein molecules in the neurons of the brain.

The test of the drug in the laboratory on a macaque-a rhesus monkey showed that AT-121 has the same strong analgesic effect as morphine, but at concentrations 100 times lower. In addition, when the drug was given to animals with dependence on opioid oxycodone, it lowered the level. This suggests that AT-121 is able to help patients get rid of dependence on other pain relief medicines. The team also noted that even large doses of the drug did not cause respiratory complications or problems with the cardiovascular system.

“In the study we found that vehicle AT-121 is completely safe, absolutely not addictive, but it is very effectively cope with its main task – anesthesia,” explains pharmacologist Mei-Chuan Ko from Baptist medical center at Wake forest University.

“In addition, the compound was effective in preventing potential misuse of prescription opioids, like buprenorphine is used in substitution therapy in heroin addiction. We hope that it can be used in the treatment of both pain and opioid dependence”.

Test the drug on humans had been done, scientists are not yet ready to give any guarantees of the efficiency of the means for a person, but find it will only be possible with further research.

“The fact that we received data from Primate close to the human species, it is also very important because it showed that compounds such AT-121 have the translational potential to be an effective alternative or substitution prescription of opioids,” added Ko.

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