Painkiller without addiction risk comes a step closer

Painkiller without addiction risk comes a step closer

New York, Aug 18 (IANS) An international team of researchers has developed an experimental new opined drug that blocks pain without triggering the dangerous side effects of current prescription painkillers, including addiction risk.

In a study published in the journal Nature, the researchers demonstrated that the novel drug candidate blocked pain as effectively as morphine – a common painkiller — in mouse experiments, but did not share the potentially deadly side effects typical of opined drugs.

In particular, the new drug did not interfere with breathing — the main cause of death in overdoses of prescription painkillers as well as street narcotics like heroin — or cause constipation, another common opined side effect.

The new drug also appears to side-step the brain’s dopamine-driven addiction circuitry and did not cause drug-seeking behaviour in mice.

“We haven’t shown this is truly non-addictive,” cautioned co-senior author Brian Shoichet, Professor at University of California San Francisco, emphasising that further experiments in rats and humans would be needed to establish the compound’s addictive potential.

“At this point we’ve just shown that mice don’t appear motivated to seek out the drug,” Shoichet noted.

In addition, the compound PZM21 appeared to dull pain by affecting opined circuits in the brain only, with little effect the on opioid receptors in the spinal cord that mediate pain reflexes.

No other opioid has such a specific effect, Shoichet said, calling it “unprecedented, weird and cool.”

Their secret? Starting from scratch — with computational techniques that let them explore more than four trillion different chemical interactions.

“This promising drug candidate was identified through an intensively cross-disciplinary, cross-continental combination of computer-based drug screening, medicinal chemistry, intuition and extensive preclinical testing,” study co-senior author and 2012 Nobel laureate Brian Kobilka, Professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, said.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of www.mangalorean.com or any employee thereof. www.mangalorean.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of www.mangalorean.com to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at  info@mangalorean.com. Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here