New compounds could enhance effect of morphine, reduce dosages

06/11/2013 | News-Medical.Net

Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System have identified painkilling compounds that bind to different sites on the body's opioid receptors than do existing drugs such as hydrocodone and oxycodone. The compounds could offer an alternative to the increased dosages of pain medications needed when the body develops a tolerance to the drug, thereby helping reduce the risk of dependency, as well as unwanted side effects. "What's particularly exciting is that these compounds could potentially work with the body's own natural painkillers to manage pain," said co-author John Traynor.

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