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Old 04-28-2009, 04:15 PM   #1
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Default How Morphine Can Be Given More Effectively Without Having To Increase Dosages

One of the limitations in long-term use of morphine for pain relief is the rapid development of tolerance. The effectiveness of morphine declines quickly, and one must increase the dosage in order to preserve effective pain relief. However, the increased dosage also increases negative side effects.

The Hebrew University researchers, Prof. Yehuda Shavit and his graduate student Gilly Wolf of the Psychology Department, found that administration of morphine causes a substance called interleukin-1 to be released.

Under normal circumstances, interleukin-1 plays an important role in survival. In case of tissue damage, nerve injury, or inflammatory reaction, inteleukin-1 is released and sets off a process which increases the sensitivity to pain in the injured area. This pain serves as a warning signal, telling the body that there is a problem that should be attended to. In case of chronic pain, morphine is still the drug of choice for pain relief.

However, since prolonged administration of morphine raises the level of interleukin-1, thereby enhancing pain sensitivity, the effectiveness of morphine as a pain killer is steadily reduced, requiring greater dosages with accompanying negative side effects.

The Hebrew University researchers were able to show in animal experiments that administering morphine together with another drug that blocks the activity of interleukin-1 provides more effective pain relief over the long term without having to increase the dosage.

Shavit, who is the Leon and Clara Sznajderman Professor of Psychology at the Hebrew University and whose specialty is psychoneuroimmunology, expressed hope that this research will make it possible for clinicians to make use of morphine, together with substances that block interluekin-1, in order to bring about better pain relief with lower dosages and with minimized side effects. The research will be presented at a conference on pain research on May 3 on the Mount Scopus campus of the university. The conference is open to journalists and to people in the field.

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Old 05-01-2009, 04:24 PM   #2
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As a retired ICU, ER and Hospice RN...morphine is a very safe drug for trained nurses and Dr's to proscribe and use. It is a very old drug, no one is really 'allergic' to it per se, but it does have well known side effects. Constipation and sleepiness, very upsetting to the stomach, when first taken by those not used to it.

Yes it does develop tolerance like any opium drug will do...but it's dose can be increased to almost any amount and done so safely. It can be given by any route, drops, pills, IV, skin pop, rectum. It is a god send for those in high levels of pain and those who are dying. The family can give Roxanal, a highly concentrated form in drops into the mouth of a person incapable of swallowing, it is absorbed by all tissues. And it is a cheap drug to manufacture.

Artificial drugs such a fentanyl, etc are hundreds or thousands of times more potent than morphine, and is usually given by way of a sustained release patch...but these drugs are very dangerous, just due to their concentrations. Wannbe drug addicts pick old ones out of the trash, put them on their arm or chest, and even though considered 'worn out' for their original purpose, are still strong enough to promptly shut down Mr Stupid's respiration and kills them.
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:29 PM   #3
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dosages, effectively, increase, morphine

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