Will We Have Different Pain Medications for Males and Females?

Will We Have Different Pain Medications for Males and Females?

By Staff.

New research supports the growing notion that the origin of pain differs at the cellular level between men and women. The research comes out of the University of Texas at Dallas and was published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

The research team found that a specific manipulation of receptors in the nervous system for the neurotransmitter dopamine impairs chronic pain in male mice, but has no effect on females.

Dr. Ted Price, an associate professor of neuroscience in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, said that the new findings add to the growing consensus of recent research indicating strong differences in pain’s origins in males and females.

“For the same magnitude of pain in a male and a female, the mechanisms that drive pain seem to be remarkably separate,” Price said. “We’ve made a cellular change that completely reverses the genesis of the chronic pain in only the male. What we’re learning is that different types of cells drive the development of pain.”

The experiment focused on a newly discovered pain mechanism related to D5 dopamine receptors — one of five identified classes of receptors for the neurotransmitter. Mice genetically engineered to lack these D5 receptors showed significantly reduced pain responses — but only the males.

“It’s extraordinarily specific for males,” Price said. “If we see the same results in human tissues, it will support the idea that you could make a D5 antagonist drug to treat pain in men.”

Price added that this new research philosophy explains some of the inability to reproduce results in prior, single-sex studies.

“Those running clinical trials for the last five years have been frustrated because the preclinical results don’t come through in the clinical studies,” Price said. “The cause of this problem, potentially, is that up until recently, many of the preclinical investigators were just using males. Then, in the clinical trials, human participants are primarily female, because more women suffer chronic pain than men.”

The accelerating movement of research demonstrating profound differences between males and females may soon yield a new model for pain relief medication, Price said.

“It leads me to believe that it’s fairly likely we’ll want to make male- and female-specific drugs for chronic pain,” Price said. “If not that, we may need to develop diagnostics to look at an individual’s cell types that are prolonging pain, so we can tailor the therapeutic based on the underlying mechanism. We just don’t do that right now.”

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David campbell

I am so disgusted with the dea & gov. I could pull my hair out!! I think they are ill because of all the damn heroin that got across the borders. I would bet myy life on the amount of over doses come from heroin not reg pain pills. In what little time i’ve puut in it, this has been the case!! I am so exhausted from ttrying to keep pain under control…. I fear the suicide numbeers will go thru the roof!!!!!
I guarantee none of those jerks if in pain get it, no problems…


WHY or what would create different pain medications for men and women when dot/gov has ALREADY decided that the best “policy” according to CDC and DEA that a maximum dosage of pain medications for one and all disease and injury is enough and, that is all you get regardless of ANY documentation of benefit from in excess of 90 mme daily? We, the patients and our PERSONAL physicians judgement has already been removed by DEA!!!!!

Night Writer

I had been on methadone for over a decade and oxycodone for breakthrough pain. It was all working well until Medicaid stopped paying for my pain meds.
For the first time I thought about and seriously considered suicide. I’ve lived with pain for most of my life due to 150+ fractures from brittle bones and then neuropathy.
I am now on morphine sulphate er and oxycodone … and I am smiling because my pain is actually diminished. I don’t know how long I can stay on this regimen but I am grateful it works.

Fedup like the feds or at them!

I have fibromyalgia was diagnosed 15 years ago at 25 before than I was looked at like I was crazy for years by doctors, family, friends, bosses. From working 2 jobs 18+ hours a day plus rushing home in between to take my 2kids to practices and games make dinner, off I go again. Just to lose my dignity or I guess you could say my identity as a person. I have been with “ONE!”pain management Doctor since day one. She stuck it out with me through losing my self worth,depression, identity, feeling worthless, pain so extreme at times I just wanted to not be here. I felt like I let my husband and children down and robbed them of the life I should have been able to give them. 5 years ago I had to move out of state to find cheaper housing, while waiting for my disability to be approved. Closer to family even though I felt like an outcast and them not understanding all the pain meds I take. Now I travel every month 8 hours to go 8 hours back from my doctors. Just for 45 mins there. Because no one where I now live will see me and give me any meds like I am on, just to function to the minimum life things (shower cook pickup). I have been followed by DEA pulled over by them !Hands! full of times(I ask why and they have said not sure yet. Have had my grand children scared out of there minds when there was no reason to be pulled over. I always went to one pharmacy, found myself being to various things like -we don’t have them in stock or unable to fill, or you need to fill in the state you live or watch the “mystery people run into the pharmacies that was following me” just to be told they were out and watch several others after me get filled. So one visit I tried 83 different pharmacies big name ones to mom and pops. Everyone had excuses then I found 1 to give me them except just to watch several people call the pharmacist over to them to tell them they already sent my script thru the insurance they couldn’t stop it. so I get my meds get in my car to finish my journey home. I don’t make it to the next light and I have 6 undercover vehicles pulling me over. FOR NO REASON AT ALL!!! I Pass all my urine test always an upstanding person NEVER do anything! I’m a 1doctor,1 pharmacy, I have 2safes that are locked in!Now being told medicare might not cover due to THE OPIATE laws to curve addiction. I have been on same meds and dosage for the last 10 years, scared to ask for a dosage adjustmentbecause I have grown a tolerance to them.i runout a week early!Tired!WHY!


And now they are saying OPIODS AREN’T EVEN REALLY EFFECTIVE FOR CHRONIC PAIN!! Are they trying to brainwash the public or what?? What is the motive here… Just to destroy our dignity by making it look like we don’t want OPIODS for pain, that we’re just drug seekers, or what? I don’t get it. What levels will this evil government sink to?


I’d never cared for booze, but my pain meds were cut in half a few months ago and I found that tequila helps. I could count the times I’ve been to a liquor store on both hands before this. Now I’m drinking a half gallon of tequila each week. When I run out I get to the liquor store as soon as I can. So I guess I’m becoming an alcoholic. Isn’t that great? A back injury destroyed my life and it just gets worse. I should be getting compassionate adequate care. But I’m being hung out to dry. It’s Insidiously unfair and unreasonable.


the origin of pain differs at the cellular level between men and women. Well we could think that or we could go the route: EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. Take it a step further. We are not just males and females we are individual people..


Why is it that doctors do prescribe vitamin injections for pain? They really work.


I agree with Terri James.

Erich Brown

This is [edit] I’ve been on oxycodone 30 years now they want to take that off me well if the do I will blow my brains out cause I am done suffering from back pain just because a handful low life’s sell there opiods for money there the ones that need to be cut off from getting them thanks watch for my name in the obituaries.


I can tell you that even I at this pount have considered suicude as pain medication has been so drastically cut. It is pathetic to claim this as a first world nation when you have a growing number of people resorting to suicide for pain relief instead of assisting them. All I am seeing from these studies is that no one is hearing our voices. I don’t want to hear a word when the rates of suicide skyrocket while people are studying what sexfeels what kind if pain instead of why are people being cut off by people who have never suffered like they have.

Ronci Rounds

Notion. The big word here. & All meds being handed out now. They do NOT know the permanent effects of these medications. Dr.’s have forgotten their oath.

Taylor Marriott

Oh plueese. All the controversial nonsense re opioids it’s old news already. So worried the kids will smoke marijuana, adults will over abuse meds. Good Lord,most of the drug use going on is in the 27 and older group. Then the 65-80+ group because no one wants to listen to them complain. Really! I’ve worked as a PA for years and I have never been so what?? When I see what the older client’s are given by their primary. Then what I see the doctor them take just to get thru being the head of 3 convelescent homes and their own practice.
I’m so very tired of hearing for the past 5+ years everything is about drugs, opioids. The PRICE!!! How can people who are on state assistance even afford a bottle of aspirin? There’s other things more important than opioids being wiped out. It all revolves around money. If we are doing anything the government and the state cannot make money off of,a committee is started and the discussion starts. It’s getting old. We’re getting tired of hearing it.The government has a job. Make sure that the Constitution is followed, keep control of those who steal,kill, etc. Figure out the deficit, and Lord,leave medication and drug usage to the doctors who studied and RNs who have licences in this area. Since when is your Congressman so knowledgeable about the diseases,pain, how much you should give someone for a particular type of pain. How do they know what should be given,done, etc. If our government sticks it’s nose any further into ANY TYPE OF topic that rallies the people, we are not GOING to loose our freedom we’ve LOST it. Time to TAKE IT BACK!!




Very interesting!

cheryl braz

Amen to Terri James you tell them.


Last year i was doing pretty good: i drove over a hundred miles to visit family, we went fishing, swimming; the ” normal ” ” thing’s that people do. This year unfortunately for me i’ve gotten so much worse, even with a recent increase of medication from 5/325 to 7.5/325 three times per day ( Norco). I live alone, there’s no one to help clean, cook go to the grocery, i’m really at the point where I don’t know what i’m going to have to do??.. my last visit at pain management the P.A. suggested a spinal cord stimulator, I looked it up on WebMD and they said that ” it should only be considered after all else had failed ” i.e. surgery, medication etc…. I’m sitting here right now writing this when i really should be trying to figure out how i’m going to get to Kroger to get water and groceries at the same time. I really can’t get to there mind set, I don’t drink, don’t smoke, i’m at a good weight, good over all health no heart or respiratory issues. Guess they will always call the shots, always control my life from here on out.


It’s all about money, dea and FDA are using a, We care for your life that you may die, and we are suing major pharmacists to show how much we care

This is ridiculous my back is completely screwed up how am I going to keep working without my pain meds i guess the government whants me to go on disability and get drunk all day and night these people need to walk in my shoes for a.bit there attitude would change real fast

Kathy C

Another “Breakthrough” the entire base of research, was designed around men. When women did not respond to the current treatments, it was claimed they had Hysteria or other made up conditions. This Study is proof that science has been undermined and replaced with propaganda and marketing. Of course this Study, will have no effect on much of anything. This means that most of the current “research” was based on false assumptions, and is a dead end. https://rewire.news/article/2018/03/07/not-head-new-book-sheds-light-bad-medicine-lazy-science-that-harm-women/ We are all in an Alternate Fact reality, where a poll would show that this kind of research will have little or no effect on current perceptions by Physicians or the general public.

A key insight that’s missing from this discussion of Dr Price’s work, is the finding by Stefano and Kream at SUNY Neuroscience, (Stefano GB, Ptacek R, Kuzelova H, Kream RM, “Endogenous Morphine: Up-to-Date Review 2011”, Folia Biologica (Praha) 2012; 58: 49-56. http://fb.cuni.cz/file/5635/FB2012A0008.pdf ) that dopamine is converted enzymatically into morphine, and ongoing work by Kervezee, Meijer et al in Leiden, the Netherlands (Kervezee L, Hartman R, van den Berg DJ, Meijer JH, de Lange ECM; “Diurnal variation in the pharmacokinetics and brain distribution of morphine and its major metabolite”, Eur J Pharm Sci 2017; 109(Supplement): S123-S139. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejps.2017.05.048 ) on how the dopamine-morphine system functions as a biological clock, regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Price’s finding that in female mice the D1R dopamine receptor does what in male mice is done by the D5 dopamine receptors, means that yes, there are differences between the two genders in how pain is perceived. But integrating that with the background of other knowledge, does not support the idea that non-opioid pain control is possible.

It isn’t possible. Everyone alive has the opioid substance morphine in our brains, at all times, because it’s normally present in us. It’s precisely the reason that our brains have mu and kappa opioid receptors and D1 and D5 dopamine receptors. The non-opioid drugs that Pharma companies sell, influence how our endogenous morphine and dopamine affect these receptors. We can’t benefit from the knowledge of how these receptors work, while ignoring the fact that morphine normally belongs in people, any more than a 14th Century sea captain could benefit from a sextant, if he still believed the Earth was flat. It’s time to push out the 104-year-old obsolete ideas that fan the flames of the Drug War and admit to real facts.

Jeffrey Sampson

This supposed opiate war scares the hell out of my 24/7 facts of life we do not have anything any better to replace these medications (they are NOT drugs to real patients period). They take mine they take my life it is just that simple I simply cannot live without them nor would I even be willing to try I will not go back to the hell my pain management doctor has gotten me out of while I am in still in constant high levels of pain I can and do manage my life I am grateful to all of my doctors now if government will leave my doctors alone to do their jobs my life will continue to the best of my ability

Jim Moulton

Greetings ,
This is an interesting bit of research, but we have plenty of good pain medication available for both men and women, We need to use the medication we have and stop the suffering going on now. There are too many poor quality generic medications forced on medicare patients now that need quality control, before we go about making medications that are not proven.

Well in the meantime just want are we supposed to do sir? We are not mice we are human beings. Pain is pain. If opioids don’t work for male and female then why are so many people on this website and others stating that they’re wanting to take their lives because their medicine has been either taken away completely or so drastically reduced they cannot function and live their lives as we all were in 2015? You know, before the government started wanting to also get into the physician business as well. The government has a hard enough time doing their own job. Wish they’d leave our doctors to do theirs. What are you going to do sir, take our pain medicine away and make more of a different kind? That just plain wrong.