Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Drug Combination Might Be More Effective Pain Reliever

Date:
January 8, 2004
Source:
Temple University
Summary:
The nutritional supplement, glucosamine, boosts the pain relieving power of ibuprofen, according to a new study by Temple University researchers in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (JPET). This new drug combination could one day allow patients to take a lower dose and get the same pain relief with fewer unwanted side effects.

The nutritional supplement, glucosamine, boosts the pain relieving power of ibuprofen, according to a new study by Temple University researchers in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (JPET). This new drug combination could one day allow patients to take a lower dose and get the same pain relief with fewer unwanted side effects. Ronald Tallarida, Ph.D., and Alan Cowan, Ph.D., of Temple's School of Medicine, and Robert Raffa, Ph.D., of Temple's School of Pharmacy, conducted the study "Antinociceptive Synergy, Additivity, and Subadditivity with Combinations of Oral Glucosamine Plus Nonopioid Analgesics in Mice," which was published in the November 2003 issue of JPET.

Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID. NSAIDs, which also include aspirin, are quite effective in relieving pain. They are so effective, in fact, that pain sufferers sometimes take higher and higher doses in hope of more pain relief. High doses of NSAIDs, especially when taken over long periods of time, can cause gastrointestinal upset, such as heartburn, or even bleeding.

"Combining pain relievers into one pill can increase patient compliance, simplify prescribing, and improve efficacy without increasing side effects, or conversely, decrease side effects without losing efficacy," said Raffa.

In addition to these benefits, drug combinations can also sometimes yield a totally unexpected effect, such as the magnification of a drug's powers. "When this happens, a phenomenon known as drug synergism, it's like finding buried treasure," added Tallarida.

Glucosamine, a naturally occurring substance in the body, which is also available in synthetic form over the counter, is used to treat osteoarthritis, a painful, degenerative joint disorder. While it has been shown to prevent and repair bone and cartilage damage, researchers have yet to demonstrate that glucosamine actually blocks pain.

"We embarked on this study with several questions: Can glucosamine actually block pain? And, can glucosamine improve the pain-relieving powers of other drugs when the two are combined?" said Tallarida.

First, the researchers confirmed that glucosamine, alone, does not block pain. It's believed that any pain-relieving properties of glucosamine are a side effect of its ability to repair bone damage. Next, they combined glucosamine with a variety of NSAIDs at a variety of dosages. With several NSAIDs, including naproxen, the addition of glucosamine caused an additive effect, meaning the sum of each drug's properties. When combined with aspirin or acetaminophen, the result was subadditive, or less than the sum of each drug's properties. But when combined with ibuprofen, the researchers found pain relief was enhanced and therefore synergistic.

"The next step will be to study this drug combination in clinical trials to see whether it can enhance pain relief or offer pain relief using a lower dose of ibuprofen and therefore a lower risk of side effects," said Cowan. The researchers are also investigating other possible drug combinations for the potential relief of pain. Raffa and Tallarida played a role in the development of Ultracet, a combination of tramadol and acetominophen used in the treatment of pain. And Cowan contributed to the development of buprenorphine which, when combined with naloxone, is used in the treatment of opiate addiction.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Temple University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Temple University. "New Drug Combination Might Be More Effective Pain Reliever." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 January 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040108080849.htm>.
Temple University. (2004, January 8). New Drug Combination Might Be More Effective Pain Reliever. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040108080849.htm
Temple University. "New Drug Combination Might Be More Effective Pain Reliever." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/01/040108080849.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins