Developed a potent analgesic, non-addictive
Wake Forest University chemists have developed an experimental analgesic drug is much more potent than morphine, but it is not addictive and other dangerous side effects. Press Release Scientists published a website EurekAlert.
The scientists hope to develop drugs that the tool will help to reduce the number of deaths caused by dependence on pain medication and overdosing. According to statistics for the year 2012 in the US alone more than 16,000 people died due to the use of opioid analgesics.
The researchers explain that the new tool AT-121 acts on M-opioid receptor (MOR) and nociceptin receptors - protein molecules in the brain neurons.
The test drug in the laboratory on rhesus monkeys showed that AT-121 has the same powerful analgesic effect as morphine, but at a concentration 100 times lower. Furthermore, when the drug was given to animals with dependence on the opioid oxycodone, it lowers its level. This suggests that the AT-121 is able to help patients get rid of dependence on other pain medication. Scientists also note that even large doses of the drug did not cause respiratory complications or problems with the cardiovascular system.
"In the study we found that the means of AT-121 is completely safe, completely non-addictive, but it is very effective to cope with its main task - anesthesia" - explains the pharmacologist Mei-Chuan Co. Baptist Medical Center at the University Wake Forest.
"In addition, the compound was effective in preventing the potential abuse of prescription opioid, just as buprenorphine used in the substitution treatment of heroin addiction. We hope that it can be used in the treatment of both pain and opioid dependence. "
Check the drug in humans has not yet been conducted, scientists are not yet ready to give any guarantees to effectively human, but figure it will be possible only with further studies.
"The fact that we have received the data from the primate species, close to the human mind is also very important because it showed what kind of AT-121 compounds have translational potential to be an effective alternative or substitution of prescription opioids" - he added co.