(WVUE) - A new painkiller as strong as morphine but without the addictive properties or side effects of the drug has been developed by researchers from Tulane University and the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System.
Morphine, an opium-based drug, is well-known for its ability to treat chronic pain. However, opioid-based drug abuse results in thousands of overdose deaths in the U.S. every year, notes the Tulane researchers.
Using rats, scientists tested their variant of the neurochemical endomorphin, which produced longer pain relief without some of the typical side effects of morphine, such as slowed breathing and impairment of motor coordination.
In addition, the new drug produced far less tolerance than morphine does.
Researchers conducted their tests on rats. They hope to begin human trials in two years.
The results of their tests can be found in the journal Neuropharmacology.
To read more about their research, click here.