Morphine as been a pain relieving drug for a long time but there are a lot of side effects that are generated from it due to which its use was very restricted and only given in extreme circumstances. The biggest problem with administering morphine is that there has to be frequent modification of the amount of the drug patients receive to get pain relief. But if a team from the University of Adelaide and the University of Colorado is to be believed then the side effects of morphine could soon become a thing of the past. They claim to have uncovered a process of drugs like morphine which create a provocative response in the brain.
The researchers earlier thought that morphine only worked via neurons which form the essential wiring inside the body and are only bound to opioid receptors. But this study that they conducted gave them some insights to the working of opioid drugs. It showed that it not only bounds to optoid receptors but also immune receptors within the brain. This activation of the immune receptor is responsible for all side effects of morphine.
After these findings the team has been busy in developing a drug known as toll-like receptor four (TLR4), to diminish the side effects of morphine. Dr. Mark Hutchinson who is one of the researchers at the University of Adelaide gave some insights on the drug. He was reported as saying, “If we block TLR4 at the same time as we give morphine, we get much better pain relief with reduced complications of that drug administration". This gives them an opportunity to develop the drugs that can be co-administered with morphine and other drugs like that in order to weaken the side effects.