ProHealth health Vitamin and Natural Supplement Store and Health
Home  |  Log In  |  My Account  |  View Cart  View Your ProHealth Vitamin and Supplement Shopping Cart
800-366-6056  |  Contact Us  |  Help
Facebook Google Plus
Fibromyalgia  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & M.E.  Lyme Disease  Natural Wellness  Supplement News  Forums  Our Story
Store     Brands   |   A-Z Index   |   Best Sellers   |   New Products   |   Deals & Specials   |   Under $10   |   SmartSavings Club

Trending News

Inflammation Disrupts Memory - What Can You Do to Protect Your Brain?

Artificial sweeteners linked to risk of weight gain, heart disease and other health issues

All About Ginkgo Biloba: Benefits of This Timeless Herbal Supplement

Yarrow Oil: Here's Why It Deserves a Place in Your First-Aid Kit

Vitamin D supplement use associated with lower risk of breast cancer

Carnitine deficiency suggested as contributor to autism

Lutein — An Important Nutrient for Eye and Brain Health

Hop Oil: A Safe Sleep Aide

White Camphor Oil: The Purest Camphor Oil

Taurine: Facts About This Crucial Amino Acid

 
Print Page
Email Article

Morphine-like Painkiller Appears to be Less Addictive

  [ 132 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • April 4, 2003


Move over morphine, researchers at the University of Arizona and the University of New England have developed a new narcotic based on a natural painkiller found in the body that appears to be more potent but less addictive.

Although researchers have developed many narcotic-type painkillers that rival morphine in strength, few have had the ability to avoid its potential side effects, until now. These side effects include severe constipation, reduced blood pressure and breathing, and addiction.

"This represents one of the most promising morphine-like painkillers to date in terms of avoiding its side effects, particularly addiction," says Robin Polt, Ph.D., a professor of chemistry at the University of Arizona in Tucson and a chief researcher on the project. He presented details of the research today at the 225th national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Called a glycosylated enkephalin, the compound appears promising in studies using mice. If it works in humans, it could be a safer alternative for people who are allergic to morphine or cannot take the drug because of concern for its side effects, the researchers say.

"Our hope is that glycosylated enkephalins can be used to block pain in severe trauma injuries, in victims who could not normally receive narcotics," says Polt, who is currently serving as a visiting scientist at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va.

Morphine, one of the most potent pain relievers available, is beneficial to both cancer and trauma patients. However, its potential side effects have limited its use.

For years, researchers have sought to find a drug that could block pain the same way that morphine does without its negative side effects. In the 1970s, scientists discovered enkephalins, small proteins that are naturally produced by the body to reduce pain.

Synthetic analogs of enkephalins seemed to fit the bill, but they soon ran into a major problem that rendered them ineffective: the blood-brain barrier, a biological membrane that blocks toxins from entering the brain.

"Unfortunately, the blood-brain barrier stops most small peptides, including the enkephalins, from entering the brain," Polt says.

After years of experimentation, Polt and his associates recently discovered that attaching a glucose molecule to the enkephalins permits them to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, allowing them to attach to pain receptors in the brain and reduce pain in a manner similar to morphine.

Although other peptides have been developed that can cross the blood brain barrier, few have done so with the ease of the new drug, Polt says.

One of Polt's associates, Edward J. Bilsky, Ph.D., of the University of New England, recently conducted tests in which mice were injected with the experimental compound that had two to three times the potency of morphine. Further studies in mice indicate that the drug had significantly fewer side effects and was less toxic than morphine and related narcotics. The drug triggered behavior that was consistent with less addiction.

Polt believes that this research opens up the door to a whole new class of compounds based on brain peptides. Newer synthetic analogues of the naturally occurring peptides can be created that can similarly be linked to carbohydrate molecules in order to pass through the blood- brain barrier and reach their specific targets in the brain. These drugs may hold promise for problems related to memory, attention and even depression, he says.

These glycosylated neuropeptides, as they are called, have two main advantages. First, they are easily degraded into amino acids and sugars in the body, which reduces their risk of toxicity. In addition, they are more specific in their action with the brain's receptors, which means fewer side effects.

For now, researchers continue to work on reducing any possible side effects associated with this new class of drugs. More work is needed before the drugs can be used in humans; additional animal studies are now planned. If all goes well, an actual drug could be available in five to 10 years, says Polt.

Although it will likely be initially administered by injection, developing the drug as an oral pill is now under consideration, he says.



Post a Comment

Featured Products From the ProHealth Store
Mitochondria Ignite™ with NT Factor® Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra ATP+, Double Strength


Article Comments



Be the first to comment on this article!

Post a Comment


 
NAD+ Ignite with Niagen

Featured Products

Energy NADH™ 12.5mg Energy NADH™ 12.5mg
Improve Energy & Cognitive Function
Ultra ATP+, Double Strength Ultra ATP+, Double Strength
Get energized with malic acid & magnesium
Vitamin D3 Extreme™ Vitamin D3 Extreme™
50,000 IU Vitamin D3 - Prescription Strength
FibroSleep™ FibroSleep™
The All-in-One Natural Sleep Aid
Ultra EPA  - Fish Oil Ultra EPA - Fish Oil
Ultra concentrated source of essential fish oils

Natural Remedies

Relief for Dry, Itchy Skin Caused by Fibromyalgia Relief for Dry, Itchy Skin Caused by Fibromyalgia
Quercetin: Natural Support for Allergy & Inflammation Relief and More Quercetin: Natural Support for Allergy & Inflammation Relief and More
Secret Nutrient for Radiant Skin Secret Nutrient for Radiant Skin
IBS, Crohn’s Disease, Colitis, and Other Digestive Disorders IBS, Crohn’s Disease, Colitis, and Other Digestive Disorders
The Genetic Mutation That May Compromise Your Health - And What to Do About It The Genetic Mutation That May Compromise Your Health - And What to Do About It

CONTACT US
ProHealth, Inc.
555 Maple Ave
Carpinteria, CA 93013
(800) 366-6056  |  Email

· Become a Wholesaler
· Vendor Inquiries
· Affiliate Program
SHOP WITH CONFIDENCE
Credit Card Processing
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS
Get the latest news about Fibromyalgia, M.E/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease and Natural Wellness

CONNECT WITH US ProHealth on Facebook  ProHealth on Twitter  ProHealth on Pinterest  ProHealth on Google Plus

© 2017 ProHealth, Inc. All rights reserved. Pain Tracker App  |  Store  |  Customer Service  |  Guarantee  |  Privacy  |  Contact Us  |  Library  |  RSS  |  Site Map