Opioids and the gut: pharmacology and current clinical experience

Authors

  • H. U. De Schepper,

    1. Clinical Enteric Neuroscience Translational and Epidemiological Research (CENTER) Program, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA
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  • F. Cremonini,

    1. Clinical Enteric Neuroscience Translational and Epidemiological Research (CENTER) Program, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA
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  • M.-I. Park,

    1. Clinical Enteric Neuroscience Translational and Epidemiological Research (CENTER) Program, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA
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  • M. Camilleri

    1. Clinical Enteric Neuroscience Translational and Epidemiological Research (CENTER) Program, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA
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Michael Camilleri, MD, Mayo Clinic, Charlton 8-110, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.
Tel: 507-266-2305; fax: 507-255-5720; e-mail: camilleri.michael@mayo.edu

Abstract

Abstract  This article reviews the pharmacology and physiology of opiate receptors and the current and potential uses of opioid agonists and antagonists in clinical gastroenterology. μ-receptors are involved in motor and sensory functions, and their modulation is established for treatment of diarrhea. μ-antagonists have potential to reverse endogenous (e.g., postoperative ileus) or iatrogenic dysmotility (e.g., opioid bowel dysfunction). Modulation of the function of κ-receptors may be a novel approach to control visceral pain in functional gut disorders. Results of formal testing of novel opioid modulators are keenly awaited.

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