According to the CDC, approximately twenty-four percent– or about fifty million Americans– suffer from chronic pain. Moreover, opioids are one of the most common treatments provided to chronic pain patients.
In fact, about twenty percent of patients who report chronic pain will receive a prescription for opioids.
Yet, while these drugs may provide pain relief, they have a high potential of being misused and leading to addiction.
And with so much knowledge regarding opioid risks and the painkiller epidemic, many patients have opted to deny the drugs for fear of adverse effects.
Thankfully, though, a new non-opioid painkiller has just been discovered and studied by researchers from the University of Warwick in the U.K.
The compound– known as benzyloxy-cylcopentyladenosine (BnOCPA)– is a selective analgesic.
“Analgesics” is an umbrella term that refers to painkillers. According to the Cleveland Clinic, these drugs come in all forms– some over the counter, others by prescription, and can be used in a variety of applications.
This specific compound, BnOCPA, does not contain opioids and was found to be non-addictive during the researcher’s test models. Moreover, it also has the potential to limit side effects since it is a selective analgesic.
Most drugs take effect via proteins on cell surfaces that activate molecules known as G proteins. The activation of many G proteins can lead to numerous cellular effects– or side effects.