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Papers of the Week

Papers: 8 Jun 2024 - 14 Jun 2024

2024 Jun 11

Drug Deliv Transl Res


Nanomedicine and voltage-gated sodium channel blockers in pain management: a game changer or a lost cause?


Le Franc A, Da Silva A, Lepetre-Mouelhi S


Pain, a complex and debilitating condition affecting millions globally, is a significant concern, especially in the context of post-operative recovery. This comprehensive review explores the complexity of pain and its global impact, emphasizing the modulation of voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSC or NaV channels) as a promising avenue for pain management with the aim of reducing reliance on opioids. The article delves into the role of specific NaV isoforms, particularly NaV 1.7, NaV 1.8, and NaV 1.9, in pain process and discusses the development of sodium channel blockers to target these isoforms precisely. Traditional local anesthetics and selective NaV isoform inhibitors, despite showing varying efficacy in pain management, face challenges in systemic distribution and potential side effects. The review highlights the potential of nanomedicine in improving the delivery of local anesthetics, toxins and selective NaV isoform inhibitors for a targeted and sustained release at the site of pain. This innovative strategy seeks to improve drug bioavailability, minimize systemic exposure, and optimize therapeutic outcomes, holding significant promise for secure pain management and enhancing the quality of life for individuals recovering from surgical procedures or suffering from chronic pain.