opioids

Ketamine has gotten a bad rap as an opioid when there’s plenty of evidence suggesting it isn’t one, Johns Hopkins experts say. They believe this reputation may hamper patients from getting necessary treatment for the kinds of depression that don’t respond to typical antidepressants. In a new paper, the researchers clarify the mechanism behind ketamine’s… Read more

Ketamine works as an antidepressant at least in part by activating the brain’s opioid system, new research reports. The finding overturns previously held beliefs that the drug’s antidepressant effects stemmed solely from its impact on the glutamate system. These beliefs led to the widespread use of ketamine to treat depression and spurred the development of… Read more

A non-opioid, investigational drug called EMA401 doesn’t hit nerve cells; rather, it targets a receptor on immune cells, researchers have found. Faced with the epidemic of opioid addiction, scientists have been charged with finding other strategies to treat pain. Their efforts largely have focused on nerve cells that transmit pain signals to the spinal cord… Read more

Neurons react differently to opioid substances created inside the body – the endorphins responsible for the “natural high” that can be produced by exercise, for example – than they do to morphine and heroin, or to purely synthetic opioid drugs, such as fentanyl, according to a new study led by UC San Francisco scientists. The… Read more

Each person experiences pain differently, from an emotional perspective as well as a physical one, and responds to pain differently. That means that physicians like myself need to evaluate patients on an individual basis and find the best way to treat their pain. Today, however, doctors are under pressure to limit costs and prescribe treatments… Read more