Toward an effective peripheral visceral analgesic: Responding to the national opioid crisis

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This minireiew summarizes recent new developments in visceral analgesics. This promising field is important, as a new approach to address abdominal pain with peripheral visceral analgesics is considered a key approach to addressing the current opioid crisis. Some of the novel compounds address peripheral pain mechanisms through modulation of opioid receptors via biased ligands, nociceptin/ orphanin FQ opioid peptide (NOP) receptor, or dual action on NOP and μ-opioid receptor, buprenorphine and morphiceptin analogs. Other compounds target nonopioid mechanisms, including cannabinoid (CB2), N-methyl-D-aspartate, calcitonin gene-related peptide, estrogen, and adenosine A2B receptors and transient receptor potential (TRP) channels (TRPV1, TRPV4, and TRPM8). Although current evidence is based predominantly on animal models of visceral pain, early human studies also support the evidence from the basic and animal research. This augurs well for the development of nonaddictive, visceral analgesics for treatment of chronic abdominal pain, an unmet clinical need.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G637-G646
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018


  • Cannabinoid
  • Estrogen
  • Receptors
  • Transient receptor potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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