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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 367

Potentiation of Opioid-Induced Analgesia by L-Type Calcium Channel Blockers: Need for Clinical Trial in Cancer Pain


1 Additional Professor in Anatomy, Department of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110029, India
2 Professor in Anatomy, Department of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110029, India

Correspondence Address:
S Basu Ray
Department of Anatomy, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Previous reports indicate that the analgesic effect of opioids is due to both closure of specific voltage-gated calcium channels (N- and P/Q-types) and opening of G protein-coupled inwardly rectifying potassium channels (GIRKs) in neurons concerned with transmission of pain. However, administration of opioids leads to unacceptable levels of side effects, particularly at high doses. Thus, current research is directed towards simultaneously targeting other voltage­gated calcium channels (VGCCs) like the L-type VGCCs or even other cell signaling mechanisms, which would aug­ment opioid-mediated analgesic effect without a concurrent increase in the side effects. Unfortunately, the results of these studies are often conflicting considering the different experimental paradigms (variable drug selection and their doses and also the specific pain test used for studying analgesia) adopted by researchers. The present review focuses on some of the interesting findings regarding the analgesic effect of Opioids + L-VGCC blockers and suggests that time has come for a clinical trial of this combination of drugs in the treatment of cancer pain.


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