New research has uncovered a drug that may be a substitute for addictive, pain-relieving medication.
The drug, known as BU08028, has shown no signs of addictive properties, and has been harmless in high doses.
Experiments were done on primates who had been given BU08028. During the trials, the primates had their tails dipped in hot water, causing discomfort. When administered, BU08028 was shown to relieve pain for up to 30 hours.
The drug was also given to primates who were taught to self-administer medication. These primates repeatedly use a drugs that are addictive, such as morphine. When given BU08028, though, the primates did not habitually administer it as they would an addictive opioid.
While the drug sounds promising, more tests need to be done to determine its effectiveness as an opioid replacement. When OxyContin was released in the 90’s, it was marketed as being nearly addiction-proof. Nowadays, OxyContin is one of the most widely abused prescription opioids.
In addition, this chemical structure of this drug is very similar to buprenorphine, a main ingredient in Suboxone. Suboxone is a drug commonly used to treat addictions to narcotic pain relievers. While it can successfully alleviate an addiction to harsh opioids, many users become addicted to Suboxone in the process. More research needs to be conducted on BU08028 before it’s known as a miracle drug.
Pain relievers are a necessary part of medicine. Surgical procedures often cause pain and discomfort in patients after completion. In addition, sufferers of intense chronic pain need relief to function normally. The solution to these problems is to prescribe opioid pain relievers.
Unfortunately, opioid pain medication is highly addictive. Opioids leave many users dependent on the meds if used for long periods of time. In addition, opioids are a commonly abused medication because of their euphoric effects.
An addiction to opioids can cause a variety of problems. Constant opioid use builds a dependence, causing users to take more and more to get the desired “high”. This can lead to respiratory depression and death. In addition, opioids are extremely expensive. Many prescription opioid addicts end up turning to heroin, a cheaper opioid, to get their high. Heroin is extremely potent and dangerous. Using heroin by injection also creates the risk of contracting blood borne illnesses, such as Hepatitis and HIV.
Reducing the amount of opioid addicts is a necessary goal not only for the United States, but for all nations prescribing opioid medication. Finding a substitute pain reliever that is effective, controllable, and non-addictive is one way to impact the opioid addict population. Discovering new drugs, such as BU08028, is a step in the right direction. Time will tell if it’s as promising as it seems.