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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 99

of 'Prevention and management of side effects in patients receiving opioids for chronic pain'

Efficacy of orally administered methylnaltrexone in decreasing subjective effects after intravenous morphine.
Yuan CS, Foss JF, O'Connor M, Osinski J, Roizen MF, Moss J
Drug Alcohol Depend. 1998;52(2):161.
Opioid compounds are commonly used analgesics. After opioid administration, troublesome subjective effects, such as dysphoria, dizziness, nausea, and pruritus, have been reported. While some if not all of these are believed to occur due to central nervous system effects of opioids, the anecdotal reports heard from volunteers in our other studies suggest that a peripheral opioid antagonist reduced some of these effects. In this double-blind randomized placebo-controlled study, we evaluated the efficacy of oral methylnaltrexone, a selective peripheral opioid receptor antagonist, to decrease subjective effects after administering morphine to normal human volunteers. After intravenous morphine injection (0.05 mg/kg), significant increases in subjective ratings were obtained on 'nauseous', 'skin itch', 'stimulated', and 'flushing'. Oral methylnaltrexone 19.2 mg/kg significantly decreased these four ratings. Plasma methylnaltrexone concentrations at two different oral doses were also measured to correlate between pharmacological effects of the compound and its plasma levels. Our results suggested that methylnaltrexone has a potential therapeutic value in decreasing some undesirable subjective effects associated with opioid medications.
Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, Pritzer School of Medicine, University of Chicago, IL 60637, USA. cyuan@midway.uchicago.edu