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Morphine is an extremely potent opiate analgesic psychoactive drug and is considered to be the prototypical opioid. In clinical medicine, morphine is regarded as the gold standard, or benchmark, of analgesics used to relieve severe or agonizing pain and suffering.
Study finds late onset and short duration of pain relief treatment in many terminal cancer patients

Study finds late onset and short duration of pain relief treatment in many terminal cancer patients

Many terminal cancer patients are not getting adequate pain relief early enough, according to a University of Leeds study. [More]
UC Irvine study shows how YHS effectively treats different forms of pain

UC Irvine study shows how YHS effectively treats different forms of pain

Root extracts from the flowering herbal plant Corydalis yanhusuo, or YHS, has widely used for centuries as a pain treatment. Yet few studies have investigated how it works on different forms of pain, and little is known about its molecular mechanisms. [More]
WSU pharmacologists find hyperbaric oxygen therapy can alleviate opiate withdrawal symptoms

WSU pharmacologists find hyperbaric oxygen therapy can alleviate opiate withdrawal symptoms

Washington State University researchers have found that treatments of pure oxygen in a high-pressure chamber can relieve the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. [More]
Novel compound provides safe, effective pain relief with zero abuse potential in animal model

Novel compound provides safe, effective pain relief with zero abuse potential in animal model

Since the isolation of morphine from opium in the 19th century, scientists have hoped to find a potent opioid analgesic that isn't addictive and doesn't cause respiratory arrest with increased doses. [More]
New drug target could help prevent opioid tolerance and addiction

New drug target could help prevent opioid tolerance and addiction

Researchers have identified a brain mechanism that could be a drug target to help prevent tolerance and addiction to opioid pain medication, such as morphine, according to a study by Georgia State University and Emory University. [More]
Study finds high rate of misuse of seizure and pain drug

Study finds high rate of misuse of seizure and pain drug

With increasing public attention to overdose deaths and misuse of prescription medications in the United States, researchers today presented the results of a new study looking at abuse and misuse of gabapentin, a medication used to treat seizures and relieve nerve pain often associated with shingles. [More]
Discovery of pain paradox paves way to new methods of pain control

Discovery of pain paradox paves way to new methods of pain control

A natural substance known to activate pain in the central nervous system has been found to have the opposite effect in other parts of the body, potentially paving the way to new methods of pain control. [More]
Buprenorphine implants could be effective option to treat adults with opioid dependence

Buprenorphine implants could be effective option to treat adults with opioid dependence

While buprenorphine has long been used to treat adults with opioid dependence, its efficacy can be hindered by lack of adherence to daily, sublingual (beneath the tongue) doses of the medication. [More]
New opioid use among older adults with COPD linked to increased risk for respiratory-related death

New opioid use among older adults with COPD linked to increased risk for respiratory-related death

Older adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who start using opioids have a more than two-fold higher risk of dying from a respiratory-related complication compared to non-opioid users, St. Michael's Hospital researchers have found. [More]
Programs to prevent prescription drug misuse may be underused, study reveals

Programs to prevent prescription drug misuse may be underused, study reveals

Misuse of prescription pain medications remains a major public health problem -- but programs to prevent it may be underused, according to a study in the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. [More]
Study identifies persistent opioid use in some patients after knee or hip replacement

Study identifies persistent opioid use in some patients after knee or hip replacement

Many patients undergoing hip or knee replacement are still taking prescription opioid pain medications up to six months after surgery, reports a study in PAIN, the official publication of the International Association for the Study of Pain. [More]
Short-term use of opioids implicated in protracted pain, new study finds

Short-term use of opioids implicated in protracted pain, new study finds

Painkillers such as morphine, oxycodone and methadone could actually prolong and increase pain even after only a few days’ use, according to research conducted on rats by scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder in the US. [More]
Brief opioid exposure can cause increase in chronic pain

Brief opioid exposure can cause increase in chronic pain

The dark side of painkillers - their dramatic increase in use and ability to trigger abuse, addiction and thousands of fatal overdoses annually in the United States is in the news virtually every day. [More]
Researchers find Aspergillus as interesting target for discovery of novel drugs

Researchers find Aspergillus as interesting target for discovery of novel drugs

The fungus Aspergillus fumigatus produces a group of previously unknown natural products. With reference to plant isoquinoline alkaloids, these substances have been named fumisoquins. [More]
Opioids could be dangerous, deadly at high doses

Opioids could be dangerous, deadly at high doses

Most people know that heroin is a dangerous drug, but its cousins, the legal, pharmaceutical opioids, such as codeine or hydrocodone, must be safe, right?Not so fast.Opioids—which include the illegal drug heroin as well as prescription medications, including hydrocodone (such as Vicodin), oxycodone (such as OxyContin and Percocet), morphine and codeine—can be dangerous, even deadly, at high doses. [More]
FDA announces required class-wide safety labeling changes for IR opioid pain medications

FDA announces required class-wide safety labeling changes for IR opioid pain medications

In a continuing effort to educate prescribers and patients about the potential risks related to opioid use, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced required class-wide safety labeling changes for immediate-release (IR) opioid pain medications. Among the changes, the FDA is requiring a new boxed warning about the serious risks of misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose and death. [More]
New reference guide can help HIV care providers treat chronic pain

New reference guide can help HIV care providers treat chronic pain

Recent studies suggest many individuals with HIV have chronic pain. Estimates range from 39 percent all the way to 85 percent. Chronic pain is an important comorbid condition in individuals with HIV, as it is common and causes substantial disability. [More]
Promising therapeutic strategy for relieving neuropathic pain

Promising therapeutic strategy for relieving neuropathic pain

A specific molecule involved in maintaining pain after a nerve injury has been identified and blocked in mice by Hiroshima University researchers. These results reveal a promising therapeutic strategy for treating neuropathic pain. [More]
Japanese bioengineers tweak E. coli genes to pump out morphine precursor

Japanese bioengineers tweak E. coli genes to pump out morphine precursor

A common gut microbe could soon be offering us pain relief. Japanese bioengineers have tweaked Escherichia coli genes so that they pump out thebaine, a morphine precursor that can be modified to make painkillers. The genetically modified E. coli produces 300 times more thebaine with minimal risk of unregulated use compared to a recently developed method involving yeast. [More]
New vaccine strategy may curb addiction, prevent fatal overdoses

New vaccine strategy may curb addiction, prevent fatal overdoses

With use of synthetic opioid "designer drugs" on the rise, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have a new strategy to curb addiction and even prevent fatal overdoses. [More]
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