New Drug May Be Solution for Chronic Pain and Eliminate Risk of Addiction and Overdose

New Drug May Be Solution for Chronic Pain and Eliminate Risk of Addiction and Overdose

Researchers from the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System and Tulane University have created a new painkiller that is just as strong as morphine,  and is not likely to be addictive, according to a new study published in the journal Neuropharmacology.

In the study, researchers used rats to compare several variants of the neurochemical endomorphin to morphine, and measured their overall effectiveness and side effects.  The endomorphin variants target the same pain-relieving opioid receptors as morphine.

Opioids are used effectively to treat many acute and chronic pain conditions, but they can be addictive and cause potentially fatal respiratory depression.

“These side effects were absent or reduced with the new drug,” said lead investigator James Zadina, VA senior research career scientist and professor of medicine, pharmacology and neuroscience at Tulane University School of Medicine. “It’s unprecedented for a peptide to deliver such powerful pain relief with so few side effects,” he added.

Researchers found that the new endomorphin drug produced longer pain relief and did so without substantially slowing breathing in rats. The rats who were given a similar dosage of morphine showed significant respiratory depression.  When comparing motor function between the two groups, the rats taking the morphine had significant motor impairment, while the rats taking the new drug did not.

The researchers also led experiments to determine if the new drug was addictive. They observed that the rats who were given morphine spent more time in a compartment with morphine, while rats given the new drug did not spend more time in the compartment with the new drug.  In another experiment, rats could press a bar and receive an infusion of either drug, and the rats only increased their efforts to receive morphine, versus the new drug.

Researchers hope to begin human clinical trials of the new drug within the next two years.

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Authored by: Staff

There are 21 comments for this article
  1. Gara Moore at 11:47 pm

    I am really concerned for future pain relief. I wake up everyday with a stomach ache.

  2. Jean Price at 6:33 pm

    So doesn’t our own body produces some endomorphins on its own? And they’re using variants…wish we had more information. It looks like the research could be abbreviated once safety and dosage is established, or put on an accelerated course for humanitarian reasons. Guess we’ll see. There’s a lot of money and time between rats and human efficacy studies before it can even go to the FDA for market approval. I’m guessing their two years is not going to see it in the pharmacies. We need alternatives, but we also need the tried and true meds that are proven over decades to work. I wonder if they will allow the old ones when this hits the market? And I wonder if anyone can afford it?

  3. HOWARD H HEROLD at 4:15 pm

    Iam glad someone agree’s with me when it comes to pain management, I would like to see the law that says an Internal Medicine Doctor, will not be able to prescribe pain medicine, im in pain 24 hrs a day…..7 days a week. Due to two failed back surgeries, a Laminectomy and a Fusion at L4/L5, have my pain and say you can take it, no way can you be painless.

  4. MICHAEL WAGNER at 7:15 pm

    I was told by my legal PAIN SPECIALIST THAT ALL THESE DRUG PROBLEMS WILL ONLY EFFECT PATIENTS THAT ARE NOT USING A PAIN SPECIALIST, THATS HIS COMMENT ABOUT ALL THIS, I HOPE HE IS CORRECT, IF NOT I AM IN BIG TROUBLE, THE WORST THING ABOUT ALL THIS IS IT ALL IS NOT CLEAR. WHETHER OR NOT WE MIGHT ALL GET SURPRISES.

    I JUST HOPE SOMEONE READS THIS THAT REALLY KNOWS AND CAN CLEAR THIS UP.

  5. heather at 5:48 am

    Didn’t they say this about oxycontin years ago? Look how that turned out. I need more research and done in people willing to take that chance. Then I will believe this NEW PAIN KILLER NO ADDICTION stuff. Mentally I want to throw my pills out but physically I can’t because they lied.

  6. MICHAEL WAGNER at 8:08 pm

    I WOULD LIKE TO BRING THIS TO YOUR ATTENTION AGAIN ON THESE NEW PAIN PILLS THAT UNIVERSITIES HAVE COME UP WITH, MY PROBLEM WITH THESE NEW PILLS THERE STUDY ON THERE EFFECTS WERE DONE ON RATS, I THINK ARE DNA IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT THAN A RAT.
    I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR SOME COMMENT ON THIS. I HAVE USED OPIATES FOR MANY YEARS AND AT THE END OF EACH MONTH I MIGHT HAVE A FEW LEFT, I HAVE NEVER ABUSED THEM OR OVER DONE THEM AS IF I DID THERE WOULDNT BE ANY LEFT AT THE END OF THE MONTH, WITH MY CONDITION, I CANT GET AROUND TO FIND SOME ONME TO GIVE OR SELL THEM AS I NEED THEM FOR MYSELF, THEY SHOULDNT MESS WITH PEOPLE LIKE ME.

  7. MICHAEL WAGNER at 8:00 pm

    I HAVE HAD 5 BACK OPERATIONS, THE LAST ONE, ALL LEVELS OF THE LUMBAR IS NOW FUSED AND 27NYEARS AGO ON THE SECOND OPERATION THE SURGEON HAD GOT ONE OF THE SCREWS RAPPED AROUND THE l-5 NERVE ROOT AND THE TIP OF THE SCREW WELL INTO THE SPINAL CANAL AND SEWED ME UP THAT WAY, 6 WEEKS LATER THEY DID ANOTHER OIL BASED CT MYLOGRAM AND FOUND WHAT HE DID, THEN THEY REMOVED THE SCREW, A LITTLE TO LATE. A FEW YEARS LATER I HAD A WATER BASED CT MYLOGRAM AND FOUND ADHESIVE ARACHNOIDITIS. I REALLY DO LIVE IN PURE HELL. AFTER THAT I HAVE HAD 3 CERVICLE FUSIONS, STILL A PROBLEM, I HAVE ALSO HAD BOTH SHOULDERS AND BOTH ULNAR NERVES DONE SEVERAL TIMES. AND MANY OTHER SURGERYS. I NEED OPIATES JUST TO BRING THE PAIN LEVEL DOWN TO A 7 ON THE SCALE. I DO WITH THE HELP OF OPIATES MANAGE TO GET AROUND SOME WHAT, WITH OUT, I DONT HAVE TO WRITE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN WITH OUT.
    YEARS BACK CNN WAS GOING TO REPORT THIS TO THE NEWS MEDIA, BUT THAT WAS THE TIME THEY BROUGHT PURDUE ;LAB AND A PAIN STUDY COMPANY DOWN, AND MY STORY WENT NO PLACE, BECAUSE OF PURDUE DOINGS.

  8. HOWARD H HEROLD at 4:56 pm

    She told me she would be able to Prescribe the meds iam now takeing, when the government passes the law, i have looked for this law and i cant find it. Have you heard of this?? Thank-You HOWARD H. HEROLD

  9. HOWARD H HEROLD at 3:30 pm

    I was told that my internist by law wouldnt be able to prescribe opiod pain meds period!!!!! I take MS-CONTIN 90MG 3XDAY AND PERCOCET 7.5 MG EVERY 4-6 HRS. SO WHAT DO I GET TO DO SUFFER???? THANKS

  10. Cathy at 1:13 pm

    H herald, did your doctor say she couldn’t prescribe or that she couldn’t give you a particular med?

  11. H HEROLD at 1:13 pm

    I have been taking opiod pain relievers for over ten years. I was told by my doctor that she will not be able to prescribe my meds very soon. Was ther some type of law passed in Maryland dealing with this info i was told ? What do i do now? Suffer!!!!! Ive had two back surguries one a fusion so i guess i’ll be out of luck and terrible pain.

  12. Nadine Steidl at 12:02 pm

    What the H***?!? Human TRIALS in TWO YEARS?!? Does anyone here who is a patient want to wait two years for TRIALS?!? Please quit printing press releases that are of zero use to pain patients.

  13. Suzanne Winnicky at 10:35 am

    I am so happy to hear, that yet another new pain med is on the way!!! I pray a lot
    about something or someone coming up with new ways to help us that are suffering
    so terribly with this cruel, unforgiving, relentless, stressful, and depressing illness!!
    I have had this Fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, IBS, TMJ for over 20 years!! I have
    tried everything from A – Z with not too much relief. I am on opioids for quite sometime
    and they are helping as best they can, compared to all the other Chronic Pain meds
    and all the other alternatives that are out there. BUT, I hate the idea, of having to
    depend on an opiod (which I hate taking) for my daily pain, which I know is NOT good
    for myself or anyone with any painful chronic illness!!! I am considering the medical
    marijuana now, and I have the “GREEN LIGHT” so to speak to go ahead and order
    something from this yet another avenue to try. I am reluctant with that also, BUT, I
    feel it came from the earth for some reason, so I may as well go ahead with this sort
    of treatment and pray that this helps me even more, and then lower the opiods and
    hopefully one day get off of them!!! IF, you need any people to be on a trial basis,
    please, please consider myself!!!! I am so tired of living like this, worried about the
    disease in itself, and then to have to be very concerned about taking something, that
    I so despertly need for this insane pain, confusion, and fibro “fog”. I want to say to
    you specialists, THANK GOD for not forgetting about ALL the millions of us SUFFERERS!!!!! THANKYOU, THANKYOU, AGAIN FOR ALL THAT YOU ARE
    DOING AND TRYING TO DO TO HELP US ALL HAVE A BETTER LIFE AND FUTURE!!! GOD SPEED! From the bottom of my heart, Thankyou again!
    Suzanne Winnicky from Alberta, Canada

  14. Steven at 10:15 pm

    They need to do something… Pain patients are treated horribly.
    People will end up killing themselves, just to stop pain.

    As a chronic pain sufferer, I know this is true.

    I’d honestly have to see it to believe it, as there’s no such thing as a drug that will help all pain for everyone.

  15. kathy at 2:23 pm

    Benzodiazepines is what all these big shots should be concerned about

  16. raz at 12:32 pm

    So great, but as all things medical, takes long time to get it to patient level. Two years? How does that help us now, since opiates it seems are not given rx for anymore. Some will not be able to stand their pain that long and will end it on their own. Good to see that future pain patients, and there will be many, will have options to choose how to treat their pain. That is after the dea, cdc, fda , big pharma decide what is good for us.

  17. Veronica Clark at 12:07 pm

    I would love to be in this drug trial – but I have never been dependent upon any opioids. I can take them for years, and quit on the spot, and it doesn’t bother me at all, except for the severe increase in pain. My mom, and her mom, were also the same way. I have yet to find any pain med that takes all of my pain away. Am beginning to wonder if such a thing exists??

  18. Anne Fuqua at 12:05 pm

    I’ll believe it when I see it. No medication works for everyone. I worry stable patients will be forced off meds that WORKED for them on to newer meds like this and abuse deterrent versions of older meds (as is already happening) with no concern for whether the patients tolerates the new medication or has near equivalent efficacy as far as pain relief is concerned.

  19. Sherrie Harris at 9:41 am

    This is a good start but their is not a one size fits all pill for chronic pain suffers. It depends on the type of pain and if the patient has more than one thing that causes chronic pain. Wish it was that simple.

  20. Jeremy Goodwin,MS, MD at 6:13 am

    These reports continue to lack vital information and detail. For example, by what measures were the two drugs deemed to be as long lasting, as potent or strong and essentially as equal? Could the dude affects of morphine have been relatively stronger?

    In the past endogenous endorphins were stimulated to be released in order to satisfy the cravings of heroin addicts. It failed. They phoned as habit forming, of shorter duration and unable to be constantly stimulated for production around the clock.

    I would like to know more about this than had been reported.

  21. Steve P. at 4:52 am

    This is exactly what we need! Before the government starts forcing opioid reduction it MUST develop an alternative THAT WORKS!