Pharmaceutical companies are working to develop less addictive pain drugs, according to the Associated Press.
Companies are researching drugs that target specific pathways and types of pain, instead of acting broadly in the brain. One example of this type of drug is Enbrel, which treats a key feature of rheumatoid arthritis.
Other drugs being tested would prevent the need for opioids. One numbs a wound for several days and reduces inflammation, thereby decreasing pain after surgery. The hope is these drugs will lessen the chance of developing chronic pain that might require opioids.
Researchers are also looking for new sources for pain medicines, including drugs from silk, hot chili peppers and the venom of snakes and snails. They are also testing existing seizure and depression medicines for their ability to treat pain.