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NIDA Notes Articles: Morphine

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Promising Advances in the Search for Safer Opioids

February 2017
New studies show 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.

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Potential Pain Medication Targets Peripheral Nerves

September 2012
Researchers report a significant advance in the search for medications that can suppress pain but avoid opioids’ abuse potential and other undesirable CNS effects. A new compound reduces mouse responses in animal models of neurogenic and chronic inflammatory (e.g., arthritic) pain. The compound, called UB937, enhances the natural pain-killing activity of the neurotransmitter anandamide, and exerts its analgesic effects entirely in peripheral tissues, without entering the brain.

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Program Helps Troubled Boys Reduce Substance Abuse

December 2011
Chronically delinquent boys in Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care reduced their substance abuse more than boys assigned to Community Group Care.

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Morphine-Induced Immunosuppression, From Brain to Spleen

June 2008
Reports on scientists who pinpointed the biochemical trigger from morphine that sets off a chain reaction that inhibits an immune cell that is key in fighting viruses and cancer.

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Morphine Speeds AIDS Onset in Monkeys

June 2008
Highlights the work of investigators who discovered key ways in which morphine may accelerate the progression of AIDS in animal studies.

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Exposure to Morphine During Early Adolescence Sensitizes Rats as Adults

October 2007
Presents highlights of a study indicating that exposure to morphine during adolescence may increase sensitivity to the drug during adulthood.

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Endorphin Derivative Inhibits Reward From Morphine and Nicotine in Rats

October 2007
Describes research investigating a naturally occurring brain chemical that shows early promise as a treatment for addiction in animal studies.

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Neuropeptide Promotes Drug-Seeking and Craving in Rats

October 2007
Reports on two studies indicating that orexin, a neuropeptide that stimulates eating and regulates wakefulness, also fosters animals' drug seeking and craving responses to drugs.

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Antipsychotic Drug Prevents Morphine Tolerance in Mice

April 2007
Summarizes animal studies indicating that an antipsychotic drug, trifluoperazine, prevents morphine tolerance in mice.

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