New non-opioid analgesic - Fewer side effects and no risk of addiction -

Treat pain optimally without the risk of addiction

A new non-opioid analgesic (analgesic) has now been discovered that has fewer side effects than other strong painkillers. Another advantage is that the painkiller does not seem to be addictive.

A new study involving experts from the University of Cambridge has revealed that the so-called selective A1R agonist benzyloxy-cyclopentyladenosine (BnOCPA) is a potent and effective analgesic that does not cause sedation, bradycardia, hypotension or respiratory depression. The results of the study can be read in the English-language journal "Nature Communications".

Many people suffer from chronic pain

In the case of moderate to severe chronic pain in particular, those affected often use painkillers, and in the UK between a third and half of the population suffer from moderately to severely debilitating chronic pain, report the researchers.

Such pain has a negative impact on quality of life, and many commonly used painkillers have side effects or can even be addictive.

Opioid crisis in the United States

Experts warn that opioid drugs such as morphine and oxycodone can be addictive and, when overdosed, can have very dangerous consequences. In the United States, the use of these painkillers has already become so widespread that there is now a real opioid crisis.

Effect via proteins on cell surfaces

Many drugs act via cell surface proteins that activate so-called adapter molecules (G proteins). This activation can trigger various cellular effects, the team explains.

According to the researchers, BnOCPA is unique in that it only activates one type of G protein. This leads to very selective effects and thus reduces possible side effects.

"BnOCPA's selectivity and potency make it truly unique, and we hope that with further research, it will be possible to develop effective analgesics to help patients manage chronic pain," the author summarizes. study, Dr. Mark Wall together in a press release.

The study's author, Professor Bruno Frenguelli, adds that the new research is a fantastic example of flukes in science. The team did not expect BnOCPA to behave differently from other molecules in its class.

However, the researchers identified properties they had never observed before that could open up new areas for medicinal chemistry. Not only does BnOCPA have the potential to be a novel painkiller, but it also provided a novel way to study other GPCRs, says Professor Graham Ladds, who also participated in the study. (as)

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This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


Emily Hill, Robert Huckstepp, Kerry Barkan, Giuseppe Deganutti, Michele Leuenberger, Barbara Preti, et al. : Selective activation of Gαob by an A1 adenosine receptor agonist causes analgesia without cardiorespiratory depression; in: Nature Communications (published 07/18/2022), Nature CommunicationsUniversity of Warwick: Scientists develop new non-opioid painkiller with fewer side effects (published 07/20/2022), University of Warwick

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.