Morphine (Drugs: The Straight Facts)

Morphine (Drugs: The Straight Facts)

Gregory D. Busse

Language: English

Pages: 102

ISBN: 0791085511

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Drugs are everywhere--on our streets, in our homes, and in our schools--but the straight facts about drugs are not.

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analgesics are meperidine (Demerol®) and fentanyl (Figure 5.3). These drugs were developed in an attempt to synthesize a new pain medication that lacked many of the common side effects that occur with the opiates. It was hoped that the dysphoria, respiratory depression, addiction, and dependence that opiates are notorious for could be avoided if a new compound were tailored with these effects in mind. Unfortunately, this was not the case: following its development, the abuse of meperidine became

In the context of the brain’s reward system, opioid neurons stop inhibitory interneurons from communicating with neurons in the VTA. This activity results in a phenomenon called disinhibition (the inability to suppress impulsive behavior and emotions). Thus, when morphine is present in the human system, dopamine and glutamate levels in the VTA rise and the nucleus accumbens becomes active. With the activation 65 66 MORPHINE Figure 6.2 This diagram depicts where opiates act to affect the

sap that resides within the pods (at this point, it is milky-white sap) will ooze out at the site of the incisions and adhere to the pod. During the next 12-hour period, the sap turns brown as it interacts with the air (that is, it oxidizes). The next day, laborers then return to the fields and scrape the brown opium resin off the pods. After scraping, the opium resin is then packaged into cakes, which are shipped to and stored in large warehouses until it is time to send them to the opium

abuse was increasing—opium was, in fact, popping up in medicine cabinets everywhere—it was not long before scientists of the 18th and 19th centuries began to search for alternatives to opium. Finding drugs that matched opium’s ability to relieve pain and stop diarrhea, however, proved to be quite a difficult and elusive task, given that pharmacology (the science of how drugs work in the body) was still in its infancy and subject to much guesswork. Still, scientists believed that there was some

controllable. High risk of overdose. Injection, Intramuscular Can administer a large volume of the drug. The effects can be sustained for a long period of time. Must be trained to administer. The sites of injection are limited. Injection, Subcutaneous Can be administered by the patient. There is slow but complete absorption. It is painful and tissue damage may occur. Injection, Intravenous There is rapid effect. There is high risk of overdose. 26 MORPHINE must distribute from the

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