Scientists Work on New Drug Without Dangerous and Addictive Side Effects
Scientists at the Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana are working with endormorphins—a chemical produced within the body that “affect a variety of physical and mental functions that are related to pain”—to create a drug without the addictive and dangerous side effects commonly found in opioids (Gaita, 2016).
The tests worked on the “mu opioid receptor,” which is the same receptor affected by morphine. Researchers found that endormorphins alleviated pain without the side effects commonly attributed to morphine use: slowed breathing and impairment of motor coordination. In addition, researchers found that the rats used to test the drug did not try to increase their intake of the medication, as they would have with morphine (Gaita, 2016).
Researchers hope to begin human clinical trials in the next two years. If the new endormorphins are effective, it could help stop the increasing opioid epidemic in the US.
Gaita, P. (2016). A painkiller without addictive side effects could be on its way. Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/painkiller-without-addictive-side-effects-could-be-its-way