A new study from Indiana University suggests that a drug proven safe for use in people may prevent opioid tolerance and physical dependence when used in combination with opioid-based pain medications.
Researchers in the Linda and Jack Gill Center for Biomolecular Science at IU Bloomington have discovered that a compound previously tested to treat osteoarthritis pain appears to block neuropathic pain and decrease signs of opioid dependence. The work is reported in the journal Molecular Pharmacology.
Human trials of the drug to treat osteoarthritis pain conducted by Indianapolis-based drug manufacturer Eli Lilly and Co. found that the drug lacked efficacy. However, the drug’s use in treating other kinds of pain and lessening opioid dependence had not been tested before.