Opioid crisis breakthrough: Non-addictive painkiller found effective


Scientists have tested a non-addictive painkiller in primates and found it to be safe and effective. The fact that the compound was successful in a species so closely related to humans strengthens the findings, which could help solve the opioid public health crisis.

AT-121 was designed with a dual purpose in mind: to block the addictive action of opioids and to relieve chronic pain at the same time.

To this end, Prof. Ko and colleagues developed the drug so that it would simultaneously have an action on the “mu” opioid receptor, which makes opioids effective in relieving pain, and the “nociceptin” receptor, which inhibits the addictive effect of opioids.

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