Research NewsPharmacology

New Nonopioid Painkiller Shows Promise in Animal Tests

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Science  02 Jan 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5347, pp. 32-33
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5347.32

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On page 77, a research team reports promising results in animal tests with a new painkiller called ABT-594, which is related to a chemical originally identified in the skin of a frog. The researchers found that the drug, which apparently acts not through opioid receptors but through a receptor for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, blocks both acute and chronic pain in rats. What's more, the researchers have seen few signs that ABT-594 is addictive or toxic in animals. Much more work will be needed to determine whether the drug is safe and effective in humans, but safety trials have already begun in Europe.