UF Scripps Study: Opioid Drug Tolerance Develops From Interplay of Key Gene and Cholesterol (UF Health)

UF Scripps Study: Opioid Drug Tolerance Develops From Interplay of Key Gene and Cholesterol

UF Scripps Biomedical Research scientists have discovered a key gene that is shedding light on how people develop tolerance to pain-relievers over time, a problem that raises risk of addiction and overdose.

The finding could open the door to a new generation of pain medications designed to function differently, and lower the chance patients could grow dependent on opioids and other drugs like morphine and fentanyl.

People who suffer severe pain from stroke, trauma or cancer know that over time, the most effective prescription pain relievers lose power, said UF Scripps neuroscientist Kirill Martemyanov, Ph.D. To provide patients with the same pain-relieving effect, doctors often must prescribe higher and higher doses.

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