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STATES CHRONICLE – Leaving aside dangerous diseases the world is struggling with all of us have experienced all sorts of aches throughout our lives. The most common are probably headaches. The most used drugs for pain are ibuprofen and aspirin.
These drugs are very common and can be purchased without a medical prescription. However, in some cases, they might not work as well as we’d hoped. According to a recent study, we might replace the common painkillers with something very different, like tarantula venom.
Scientists believe that the venom, a peptide toxin called ProTx-II has high potency and can selectively inhibit pain receptors in our brain. The researchers determined that the venom could bind to Nav 1.7, a very important pain receptor.
In order to make sure, the venom is not randomly invading the brain, a team of researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia are exploring the paths taken by PRTX-II to bind with brain cells to inhibit pain.
Besides the common painkillers, Percocet, Vicodin and OxyContin are also largely used, but can have several negative side effects and can be addictive. With the tarantula peptide toxin, things go really smooth, as the neuronal cell membranes attract it to the neurons, concentrating it to the specific pain receptor needed to inhibit the pain sensation.
Although animal venoms have been used for therapeutic purposes, only a few of them have been used for creating drugs. Moreover, many people have arachnophobia and know that spider venom is dangerous and could, in some cases, be fatal.
If researchers manage to convince science authorities to create a drug derived from tarantula venom which will help ease the pain of many people, the tarantula will have much to gain as well.
In this way, people living with chronic pain will get relief and tarantulas will get some credit and people might be less scared of the creature. However, the drug has not been developed yet, and it is not known for sure when it will happen.
Let’s hope scientists will manage to produce and introduce it to the market so people will get rid of Vicodin or other painkillers they are addicted to.
Image source: wikimedia.org