Drug eases withdrawal symptoms in rodents, human trials next

Originally published by CBC News on January 30, 2017

University of Calgary researchers believe a medication already being used to treat gout could be a weapon in the fight against opioid dependency — by alleviating withdrawal symptoms.

“It’s quite effective [on rodents],” neuroscientist Tuan Trang told The Homestretch about the drug probenecid.

Opioids, such as morphine and fentanyl, are potent painkillers, but can cause severe and debilitating withdrawal symptoms.

“So … that often compels individuals to continue using opioids, so that they avoid having to go through this,” said Trang.

Police have warned of a growing opioid crisis in Alberta, with 338 deaths from opioid-related overdoses reported in the first 10 months of 2016.

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