Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Opioid analgesics

Researchers create opioid that only activates at pain sites

Opioid-receptor agonist demonstrated similar level of pain relief to fentanyl but without typical side effects associated with opioids.

Opioids are a highly effective and widely prescribed treatment for pain, but their widespread non-targeted activation of opioid receptors can result in many adverse side effects.

In a paper published in Science[1] (online, 3 March 2017), researchers engineered an opioid-receptor agonist that only activates peripheral opioid receptors under acidic conditions, as occurs with inflammation at injured sites.

Trialling the molecule in rats, they found it demonstrated a similar level of pain relief to fentanyl, without any of the typical side effects commonly observed from opioids, such as respiratory depression, sedation, constipation and addiction.

The researchers say that designing drugs to activate under specific pathological conditions could be a valuable strategy for future drug development.

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2017.20202451

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Molecular structure of fentanyl

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.