Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Opioid users breathe easier with novel drug to treat respiratory depression

Date:
August 19, 2014
Source:
American Society of Anesthesiologists
Summary:
People taking prescription opioids to treat moderate to severe pain may be able to breathe a little easier, literally. A study has found that a new therapeutic drug, GAL-021, may reverse or prevent respiratory depression, or inadequate breathing, in patients taking opioid medication without compromising pain relief or increasing sedation.

People taking prescription opioids to treat moderate to severe pain may be able to breathe a little easier, literally. A study published in the September issue of Anesthesiology, the official medical journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), found that a new therapeutic drug, GAL-021, may reverse or prevent respiratory depression, or inadequate breathing, in patients taking opioid medication without compromising pain relief or increasing sedation.

Related Articles


"Although opioids such as oxycodone, methadone and fentanyl are commonly used to manage perioperative and postoperative pain, opioids are associated with an increased risk of adverse effects, the most serious being respiratory depression," said Albert Dahan, M.D., lead author and professor of anesthesiology at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. "Opioid-induced respiratory depression can lead to brain damage, cardiac arrest or death."

Current drug treatments for opioid-induced respiratory depression (OIRD) include administering a drug such as naloxone that counteracts the effect of the opioid and/or decreasing opioid doses; however, both compromise pain relief. Conversely, GAL-021 is an intravenous respiratory stimulant that works by blocking certain potassium channels in the brain that regulate breathing. It has been previously reported that GAL-021 reverses respiratory depression in animals without diminishing opioid-related pain relief.

In the study, GAL-021 stimulated breathing in 12 healthy male volunteers who underwent opioid-induced respiratory depression, at which time their breathing capacity was decreased by 25 to 30 percent. All patients experienced an increase in respiratory rate and tidal volume, which is the amount of air that is expelled during a normal breath. Researchers also found that GAL-021 had no adverse affect on non-respiratory variables such as sedation, pain relief, blood flow or safety parameters.

"The development of potent painkillers that do not increase the risk of respiratory depression seems still far away," said Dr. Dahan. "Using an add-on drug that reverses or prevents respiratory depression caused by opioid use, without affecting pain relief, is currently our best option to treat this condition. While our data suggest that GAL-021 is an attractive alternative to other respiratory stimulants, additional studies are needed to further confirm these findings."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Anesthesiologists. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society of Anesthesiologists. "Opioid users breathe easier with novel drug to treat respiratory depression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140819112958.htm>.
American Society of Anesthesiologists. (2014, August 19). Opioid users breathe easier with novel drug to treat respiratory depression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140819112958.htm
American Society of Anesthesiologists. "Opioid users breathe easier with novel drug to treat respiratory depression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140819112958.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) — Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com
One Dose, Then Surgery to Test Tumor Drugs Fast

One Dose, Then Surgery to Test Tumor Drugs Fast

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Phoenix hospital is experimenting with a faster way to test much needed medications for deadly brain tumors. Patients get a single dose of a potential drug, and hours later have their tumor removed to see if the drug had any affect. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Bedtime Rituals For a Good Night's Sleep

The Best Bedtime Rituals For a Good Night's Sleep

Buzz60 (Jan. 22, 2015) — What you do before bed can effect how well you sleep. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has bedtime rituals to induce the best night&apos;s sleep. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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