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Scientists Say Fentanyl Could Become Non Addictive

In a move to combat prescription drug abuse, scientists are closing in on a new gold standard for chronic pain: Non-addictive opioid painkillers.

Research reported in the journal Science indicates that scientists will soon be able to chemically tweak the addictive—and often deadly—opioid painkiller, fentanyl, and transform it into a safe, non-addictive, targeted therapy.

Targets Pain, Not the Whole Body

In rats, a chemically modified form of fentanyl could only work on inflamed, hurting tissue—not the rest of the body. Plus, it wasn’t deadly at high doses, like the original, and it didn’t spur addiction-forming behavior in the rodents, say researchers.

The U.S. is struggling with an epidemic of opioid addiction and overdoses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 91 people a day die of an opioid overdose. Coroners have had trouble keeping pace with the death toll.

In response to the crisis, researchers are scrambling to develop alternative treatments. In the new study, researchers use an interesting trick that might come in handy even if the modified drug doesn’t.

Dodging Opioid’s Serious Side Effects

For their chemical makeover, the researchers noted that when tissue is damaged and hurting, it becomes inflamed and more acidic. The pH drops from approximately 7.4—what’s seen in normal, healthy tissue—to between 5 and 7. Fentanyl can work regardless of the pH, so it’s active throughout the nervous system no matter what. But, if it was altered to only work at the lower pH, then it could target just the pain source at the peripheral nerves, the researchers hypothesized. And with no activity in the central nervous system, it would dodge opioid’s serious side-effects, including addiction and systemic responses that can be lethal during overdoses.

Scientists say they’re hopeful that fentanyl becomes one of those rare drugs that makes it through further testing and clinical trials. The result could be a game-changer in the opioid crisis.

Headache and Migraine Treatment in Southern California

Here at Pasadena Pain Management, we are dedicated to pain treatment without heavy use of prescription medications. Our TruDenta pain therapy relies on scientific dental technology and sports medicine techniques to relieve pain without drugs or invasive needles.

Contact Us Today for a FREE CONSULTATION at Pasadena Pain Management. We can evaluate your headaches, migraines, TMJ pain, head and neck pain and tell you whether our TruDenta care program is right for you.

About Pasadena Pain Management

Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.

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