Antioxidant-based pain killers may one day become a viable alternative to addictive medications such as morphine. Researchers found that synthetic antioxidants practically eradicated pain-like behavior in nearly three-quarters of mice with inflamed hind paws.
“When it comes to pain killers, there aren't many choices between over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and aspirin and prescription opiates like morphine,” said Robert Stephens, a professor of physiology and cell biology at Ohio State University. He's the lead author of a study examining the effects of antioxidants as pain killers.
“We need drugs that fall somewhere between these two extremes,” Stephens said. “Someone suffering from chronic pain can become dependent on, or even addicted to, heavy-duty pain killers like morphine.”