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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 Apr 2020 - 17 Apr 2020

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2020 May




Countering Opioid-induced Respiratory Depression in Male Rats with Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Partial Agonists Varenicline and ABT 594.


Opioids can induce significant respiratory depression when administered as analgesics for the treatment of acute, postoperative, and chronic pain. There are currently no pharmacologic means of reversing opioid-induced respiratory depression without interfering with analgesia. Further, there is a growing epidemic of opioid overdose that could benefit from therapeutic advancements. The aim of this study was to test the ability of two partial agonists of α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, varenicline (used clinically for smoking cessation) and ABT 594 (tebanicline, developed as an analgesic), to reduce respiratory depression induced by fentanyl, remifentanil, morphine, and a combination of fentanyl and diazepam.