People who undergo chronic pain have to be on continuous medication to manage it. The medicines that are generally prescribed are effective but contain opioid. Opiod is highly effective and can help one when one is in pain. But, it might prove harmful in certain cases, as there are tendencies that a person might get addicted to it.
These drugs are highly addictive and unfortunately, many people cannot quit them easily. Some of the side effects that have been seen include something as mild as constipation to something as serious as problems which can also be life threatening. These drugs are a combination of the good along with the bad. The development of a new type of opioid may just be the new ray hope in solving the various risks that come along with this drug.
Researchers have finally found a way
After a series of tests, researches have finally found a solution. The latest formula of the opioid is designed to target only the tissues that are inflamed, so that the people suffering from chronic pain are relieved. With this new formula, the risks of addiction and side effects are eliminated. Presently this outcome has successfully been seen on rats, however, if the same effect is also seen in humans, then the pain management techniques will become a lot easier.
The working ways of opioid
These drugs work on the opioid receptors that are present in every human body. They attach themselves to the receptors and block the pain by releasing dopamine. Although this is beneficial for inflamed areas, they pose serious threats to the healthy tissues. The respiratory rate is slowed down due to the interaction of the opioid with nerves, once it attaches itself to the brain receptors.
It can go to the extent where the breathing levels reduce drastically. The same is applicable with the gastrointestinal tract due to which a person may be constipated. Although dopamine gives a calming and euphoric effect, it poses a threat, as a person may get addicted to it even after there is no need to take them.
How can this be tackled?
In order to prevent all this from happening, researchers formulated a new type of opioid, which binds only on acidic environments. This environment is found when a particular area is inflamed. This restricts opioid’s ability of harming healthy cells, and serves the purpose of helping people with chronic pain.
During the testing phase of this new drug, they found that the rats that were prone to various kinds of pain did have relief, but at the same time, there was no GI or respiratory distress. Even after they were given this drug for a long time, they did not show any kind of addiction or reward seeking behavior although their supply/dosage was cut off. When they compared this opioid to the various drugs that are prescribed for chronic pain, they found that these new drugs were equally effective and less dangerous in comparison to the regular ones.
It is still a hope not a confirmation
As much as this may be promising to those with chronic pain, however, it is still not a confirmation that this will indeed work on humans. This is because of the differences in the body’s DNA structuring and response system. In order to see if this really works or not, researches would need to ensure that it helps humans as well, for which, they have already started making necessary plans.
The team that is behind this miracle breakthrough is already brainstorming the ways they can do the testing on humans to judge the outcome. They do hope that the process will start soon, however, it would be a long time before the complete analysis is out. If things work on a positive front, then the pain management treatment for chronic pain will be a lot better, more effective, less addictive, and it will prevent any kind of threat there is to a person’s life.