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Nanoparticle Combination Painkiller to Save Lives at Home and on the Battlefield

November 15th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

DailyTech – Nanoparticle Combination Painkiller to Save Lives at Home and on the Battlefield.

Morphine + special new drug + polymer nanoparticles = a lifesaver.
With injury, chronic or sudden, comes pain.  The severity of pain can cause a variety of detrimental effects and dangers.  One of the most common pain-relievers, used both on battlefields and in hospitals at home, is Morphine.

Morphine is a powerful pain reliever, but it has the unfortunate side effect of lowering blood pressure and depressing normal breathing.  Both effects can cause a shortage of oxygen in the blood stream, a potentially deadly stress on an already injured patient.  Typically in a hospital setting the effects are controlled with an antimorphine agent such as Naloxone, but on the battlefield, without the extensive monitoring equipment of a hospital, this becomes a dangerous art.

Now researchers at the University of Michigan have devised both a new drug and a new delivery system that promises to help control these side effects and bring safer, more effective pain relief to hospitals and to our soldiers serving overseas.

The new drug, a Naloxone derivative, transforms into Naloxone, only when blood oxygen levels dip to low, indicating the Morphine is interfering with breathing.  Describes Baohua Huang, Ph.D., the study’s first author and a research investigator at the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute and in Internal Medicine (MNIMBS), “When respiratory distress is too severe, that will trigger release of Naloxone, the antagonist (morphine-suppressing) drug. When the oxygen blood levels go up, that will stop the action of the antagonist drug and more morphine will be available.”

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