Potential Strategies for Improving Pain Management in the Opioid Patients: The Clinical Challenge

Rao Muhammad Kashif Tasleem, Naeem Nawaz, Muhammad Adnan Anjum

Abstract


The rates of opioid prescription and use have continued to increase over the last few decades. In turn, a greater number of patients suffer from opioid tolerance. Treatment of acute pain is a clinical challenge for these patients. Acute pain can arise from common occurrences like surgical pain and pain resulting from the injury. P-glycoprotein (p-gp) is a transporter at the blood-brain barrier (BBB) associated with a decrease in the analgesic efficacy of morphine. Peripheral inflammatory pain (PIP) is a pain state known to cause a change in p-gp trafficking at the BBB. P-gp traffics from the nucleus to the luminal surface of endothelial cells making up the BBB. This surface where circulating blood interfaces with the endothelial cell is where p-gp will efflux morphine back into circulation. Osmotic minipumps were used as a long-term delivery method in this model of opioid tolerance in female rats. PIP induced p-gp trafficking away from nuclear stores showed a 2-fold increase when animals were exposed to opioids for 6 days. This observation presents a possible relationship between p-gp trafficking and the challenges of treating post-surgical pain in opioid tolerant patients. This could reveal potential strategies for improving pain management in these patients.


Keywords


peripheral inflammatory pain, p-glycoprotein, chronic opioid exposure

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