For many years doctors have been using opiates to help patients relieve their pain. It has been a traditional method in the medical field for a long time as it has proved to greatly help with pain relief.
However, in recent years medical discoveries show that snake venom is a close alternative or substitute for opiates.
Opiates significantly help to treat and relieve chronic and acute pain. When administered intravenously, opiates work faster as compared to when a patient takes it orally. However, in both cases, there is maximum relief provided. Doctors usually provide opiates to patients with broken bones or a mother in labor as it helps dull the intense pain.
These pain medicines not only help dull the pain but also help with the anxiety level of a patient. Furthermore, it helps treat cases of constipation and diarrhea as well as chronic coughs.
Even though opiates tend to relieve pain, it has many drawbacks, especially when used continuously. The biggest downside of opiates that doctors are usually worried about is that it leads to dependency, tolerance and addiction. Tolerance towards the drug may take place rapidly, thus increasing the dosage. Once tolerance and dependence occur, the patient is likely to get addicted to the drug.
Moreover, use of opiates can lead to other side-effects such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, urinary retention, sexual problems, weight loss etc. Another disadvantage with opiates use is suppression of the body’s immune system. This means that there is likely chance that the body might develop an infection or illness.
Eric Lingueglia, a molecular physiologist at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology believes that it is important to find drugs that help relieve pain and have lesser drawbacks.
Since opiates tend to have so many drawbacks attached to it, medical researchers have found and tested an alternative for it. Snake protein known as mambalgins were discovered and said to be a good alternative to drugs such as morphine. Mambalgins are derived from the Black Mamba.
Research shows that mambalgins helped reduce hypersensitivity to pain. This new pain reliever is gaining success in the medical field and is meeting its said needs as well as reducing the side effects to a minimal level. Similarly, a protein used from the cobra has also proved to be a pain reliever.
Thorough research proves that mambalgin tackles pain differently as compared to opiates. This is why this protein that is derived from snake venom is seen to be effective and moreover has reduced side-effects to the human body. When tested on mice, mambalgin did not slow their breathing rate, which tends to be a major side-effect of opiates.
This may not be the most reliable method to tackle pain; however medical researchers have proved that it may have a positive effect on the human body as it lowers the chances of building up tolerance and dependence towards it.
Therefore, it is less likely that the patient whom the venom is administered on will likely get addicted to it.
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