The serotonin 2C receptor agonist lorcaserin reduced reinstatement of drug-seeking behavior in response to heroin or cocaine in a nonhuman primate model of relapse.
This research shows:
- An experimental compound with a dual action at two opioid receptors may provide powerful pain relief without many of opioids' harmful side effects.
- The compound may also have potential as a treatment for opioid addiction.
A novel compound represents a potential advance toward the goal of nonaddicting analgesics that are at least as effective as opioids but without typical opioid liabilities. The new compound, called AT-121, may also have potential as a treatment alternative for opioid addiction.
In 2017, Dr.
This study found that:
- Two novel compounds powerfully suppressed animals’ pain responses, while producing little or none of the respiratory depression and liability for misuse and abuse associated with morphine and other typical opioids.
- One of the compounds was extensively tested in a monkey model, laying key groundwork for moving to human trials.
- The other compound was identified using computational modeling based on x-ray crystallography of a receptor’s structure, and exemplifies that technique’s potential for identifying novel compounds that can meet highly specific therapeutic needs.
Patients who don’t take their medications or take them other than as prescribed often put themselves at risk for problems including misdiagnoses, complications, and death. The resulting costs to the U.S. health care system have been estimated at $105 billion annually. In clinical trials, patient nonadherence to medication regimens can lead to inaccurate and misleading results, potentially delaying the introduction of effective new treatments.