Morphine, despite it’s reputation, has been one of the most revolutionary drugs every discovered by human society, thanks to it’s pain suppressing abilities.
It was this feature that initially gave doctors the courage to try out new procedures and treatments, as they knew that as long as they had morphine, it would help them control the outcome for the patient.
Even today, many hospitals and clinics over the world use some form of morphine as part of their pain management program for surgical patients and those with other conditions as well.
However, despite it’s uses, morphine also comes with a lot of problems, such as side effects ranging from constipation all the way to suppressed breathing.
Not to mention that since it also affects the brain’s Dopamine System, it can easily become addictive to almost anyone with regular exposure.
This is where the above-mentioned reputation comes from. Thankfully, now it seems that an international team of scientists have found a way to take care of the side effects, while leaving the benefits intact.
They did so by creating a new type of opioid drug, which mimics the functioning of morphine, while staying away from the brain’s dopamine system.
This drug in question is called PZM21, and it was custom engineered to work with the brain’s morphine receptor and alleviate the pain naturally.
In addition to it’s benefits, what makes this drug even more special is the creation process itself, as instead on tweaking the formula of the drug, the researchers decided to focus on the needs of the brain instead.
To do so, they ran various computer models that performed over 4 trillion Virtual Experiments to figure out what kinds of molecules would work best with the structure of the brain’s morphine receptor.
In doing so, they have cut down the guess work by a large amount, since the molecule is already proven to be suited to the brain itself. This is a major step in drug development as generally the focus would be on tweaking the chemical and hoping that the brain would react amicably.
As you can guess, the experiments testing the efficacy of the drug are still in the animal testing phase, with human trails still a long way away. But, we can be still optimistic that eventually we would finally get an addiction and side effect free pain management tool.