Scientists Developing New Painkillers with Fewer Side Effects

Scientists Developing New Painkillers with Fewer Side Effects
Scientists are working with three compounds that show promise in treating pain, without the side effects of opioids, CNBC reports. One experimental drug, oliceridine, is in the final stages of human trials. It is administered intravenously. Studies show the drug relieves pain like morphine, without causing respiratory depression or constipation. However, it is no less addictive than morphine and it can only be used in hospitals. The company that makes oliceridine, Trevana, is developing an oral form of the drug. A second drug, derived from the kratom plant, has been studied in mice. Researchers found the drug provided pain relief, but the mice did not build up a tolerance to the drug, and did not show signs of addiction. A third drug in early testing, PZM21, has also been tested in mice. One study showed the painkilling effects of the compound lasted much longer than morphine, without causing respiratory depression...
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One-Third of American Adults Used Prescription Painkillers Last Year

One-Third of American Adults Used Prescription Painkillers Last Year
A new government survey finds 35 percent of American adults were prescribed painkillers last year, The Washington Post reports. When prescription drug misuse—obtaining prescription drugs from friends, relatives or drug dealers—is taken into account, 38 percent of American adults used painkillers last year, the survey found. The findings come from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which found more American adults used prescription painkillers last year than used cigarettes, cigars or smokeless tobacco combined. According to the survey, misuse of prescription psychotherapeutic drugs is second only to marijuana as the nation’s most prevalent illicit drug use issue.
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Non-Addictive Drug That Relieves Pain Like Morphine Shows Promise in Mice

Non-Addictive Drug That Relieves Pain Like Morphine Shows Promise in Mice
An experimental drug that relieves pain like morphine but is not addictive showed promise in a study of mice, the Los Angeles Times reports. Stanford University researchers gave one group of mice the compound, called PZM21. A second group was given morphine. Both groups of mice were placed on a hot surface. PZM21 offered almost as much pain relief as morphine, and lasted for up to three hours—substantially longer than morphine, the researchers report in the journal Nature . Mice given PZM21 were no more likely to return to a place where they got the drug than to a similar chamber that offered a saline solution. This indicates the mice did not find the compound addictive, the researchers noted.
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Opioid Painkillers Will Have to Carry “Black Box” Warning

Opioid Painkillers Will Have to Carry “Black Box” Warning
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Teens Who Misuse Prescription Drugs More Likely to Engage in Risky Sexual Behavior

Teens Who Misuse Prescription Drugs More Likely to Engage in Risky Sexual Behavior
Teens who misuse prescription medications are more likely to have sex and engage in risky sexual behavior, a new study concludes. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found teens who misused prescription drugs were more likely than their peers who didn’t use prescription drugs for recreational reasons to be sexually active, not use a condom, use drugs or alcohol before sex, and have more sexual partners. The more teens misused prescription drugs, the more likely they were to engage in all of these risky behaviors, the study found. Teens in the study misused drugs such as the prescription painkillers OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet or codeine; sedatives such as Xanax or Ativan, or stimulant drugs such as Ritalin or Adderall, HealthDay reports. The study of more than 29,000 high school students appears in Pediatrics. “About one out of every five high school students reported non-medical use of prescription drugs,”...
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