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Pain relief without risk of addiction or overdose?

Science Spotlight

August 29, 2016

Dozens of prescription medicine bottles in a jumble ©Shutterstock/David Smart

New preclinical NIDA-funded research shows that a new compound, BU08028, acts on opioid and non-opioid brain receptors to relieve pain without harmful side effects. In the study, primates experienced pain relief but did not become dependent upon BU08028, and in fact, found it less rewarding than cocaine and two different opioids.

The research also showed that doses of the compound 10-30 times higher than necessary for pain relief did not slow breathing or affect the heart—side effects that can typically lead to overdose death when opioids are misused. The new compound was made possible by recent advances in medicinal chemistry.

This research could provide relief for the approximately 100 million Americans suffering from chronic pain, while avoiding the serious health consequences of opioid misuse.

For a copy of the paper, "A novel orvinol analog BU08028 as a safe opioid analgesic without abuse liability in primates" published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, go to http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2016/08/24/1605295113.

For information about NIH-supported research on effective pain treatment, go to: www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/pain.

For more information, contact the NIDA press office at media@nida.nih.gov or 301-443-6245. Follow NIDA on Twitter and Facebook

Contact:
NIDA Press Office
301-443-6245
media@nida.nih.gov

About the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug use and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy, improve practice, and advance addiction science. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found at www.drugabuse.gov, which is now compatible with your smartphone, iPad or tablet. To order publications in English or Spanish, call NIDA’s DrugPubs research dissemination center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH or 240-645-0228 (TDD) or email requests to drugpubs@nida.nih.gov. Online ordering is available at drugpubs.drugabuse.gov. NIDA’s media guide can be found at www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/dear-journalist, and its easy-to-read website can be found at www.easyread.drugabuse.gov. You can follow NIDA on Twitter and Facebook.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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    NIDA. (2016, August 29). Pain relief without risk of addiction or overdose?. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2016/08/pain-relief-without-risk-addiction-or-overdose

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