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With concerns over opioids, could novel receptors be useful?

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Published:1st Jun 2018
Author: Sorenson C., Ferguson MC.
Availability: Free full text
Ref.:Practical Pain Management, Volume 18, Issue #4
With opioid misuse and abuse on the rise and death counts increasing from overdoses, pain management is becoming more difficult.1 One effective class of medication is opioids, especially those that act on the mu-opioid receptor (µ-OR).2 However, there are other opioid receptors that can be targeted for pain relief. In animal models, delta-opioid receptors (δ-OR) have shown potential to increase µ-OR analgesic response, while kappa-opioid receptors (κ-OR) have shown a potential in providing an analgesic effect.3 The potential benefit of these receptors is the lack of effects on β-arrestin-biased signaling pathway, preventing adverse effects, while still being able to activate G-protein coupled receptor producing analgesia.1,3

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