Tag Archives | painkillers

The Snake Venom That’s Better Than Morphine

Black mamba (1)One wonders what a Black Mamba high might be like (although the story seems to suggest there might not be one) … from BBC News:

A painkiller as powerful as morphine, but without most of the side-effects, has been found in the deadly venom of the black mamba, say French scientists.

The predator, which uses neurotoxins to paralyse and kill small animals, is one of the fastest and most dangerous snakes in Africa.

However, tests on mice, reported in the journal Nature, showed its venom also contained a potent painkiller.

They admit to being completely baffled about why the mamba would produce it.

The researchers looked at venom from 50 species before they found the black mamba’s pain-killing proteins – called mambalgins.

Dr Eric Lingueglia, from the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology near Nice, told the BBC: “When it was tested in mice, the analgesia was as strong as morphine, but you don’t have most of the side-effects.”

Morphine acts on the opioid pathway in the brain.

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Pharma Moves To Make OxyContin For Kids

For when a bandaid isn’t enough. Via The Daily:

The maker of OxyContin is seeking Food and Drug Administration approval to label the controversial painkiller for use by children as young as 6 in a move that could serve to extend the company’s expiring patent on the lucrative drug.

Purdue Pharma has paid dozens of clinical sites around the country to document what happens when OxyContin, an addictive pharmaceutical widely abused by recreational users, is given to children. The family-owned pharmaceutical company earned an estimated $2.8 billion in revenue last year from sales of the powerful opioid, part of the same drug family as morphine and heroin.

 

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Painkiller Overdose ‘Epidemic’ Hits United States

pillsBig Pharma is rendering the street-corner drug pushers of our childhoods obsolete. AFP reports:

The United States is facing an epidemic of lethal overdoses from prescription painkillers, which have tripled in the past decade and now account for more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.

The quantity of painkillers on the market is so high that it would be enough for every American to swallow a standard dose of Vicodin every four hours for one full month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The unfortunate and in fact shocking news is that we are in the midst of an epidemic of prescription drug overdose in this country. It is an epidemic but it can be stopped,” said CDC chief Thomas Frieden. “Now the burden of dangerous drugs is being created more by a few irresponsible doctors than by drug pushers on street corners.”

The CDC Vital Signs report focused on opioid pain relievers, including oxycodone, methadone and hydrocodone, better known as Vicodin, which have quadrupled in sales to pharmacies, hospitals and doctors’ offices since 1999.

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