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Why is there no pill for chronic pain except for opiates?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Patrisia, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Patrisia

    Patrisia Peer Supporter

    I have to say I am a bit dissapointed in modern medicine/science. I wonder why if there is chronic pain crisis in the US noone developed a pill that one can just pop and get rid of the pain. We have pills to reduce blood pressure, we have pills to lower fever effectively, we have insulin for diabetes. Yet opiates are not only addictive, most of the time they are not even effective or effective enough. Is it really that hard for science to find a pill that works?
    TMS is great as a long-term treatment but there should be a pill that will help you get instant and effective relief, especially for nerve pain without crazy side effects
  2. Duggit

    Duggit Well known member

    It is only within the last 20 years or so that pain scientists have learned that a critical factor in producing chronic pain are cells in the brain and spinal cord called glia. Giant pharmaceutical companies have invested lots of money trying to find a drug that will act on these cells and calm them down--so far without success. A leading researcher in this area is neuroimmunopharmacologist Mark Hutchinson at the University of Adelaide Medical School. Below I will link to an article he wrote about how glia trigger chronic pain. The article contains some off-putting scientific terminology, but his last paragraph is as follows:

    "But there is hope. Despite the clinical failures to date, recent breakthroughs point toward new molecular players in the glial-driven persistence of pain, and researchers continue to pursue drugs that target these mechanisms. Along with continued research into the biological basis of persistent pain, these efforts may one day lead to disease-modifying treatments for a painful and costly medical problem."
    So far, however, the only effective treatment seems to be what Sarno prescribed: think psychological. By the way, Hutchinson also explains in his article why opiates are the worst thing a person can use for chronic pain (as distinguished from acute pain) because they can make the pain worse.

    Here is the link: https://www.the-scientist.com/features/glial-ties-to-persistent-pain-30148 (Glial Ties to Persistent Pain)
  3. Patrisia

    Patrisia Peer Supporter

    @Duggit great response! Who knew!

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