Tryptophan loading may reverse tolerance to opiate analgesics in humans: a preliminary report

Y Hosobuchi, S Lamb, D Baskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Five patients on chronic opiate medication to treat low-back and leg pain were determined to have developed opiate tolerance on the basis of their failure to obtain significant relief (rated on a subjective pain scale and by the degree of straight leg-raising they were able to endure) after receiving 30 mg of morphine administered i.v. in divided doses over 35 min. After these patients' diets had been supplemented with 4 g/day of L-tryptophan for 2-9 weeks, they achieved significant relief from pain when the opiate tolerance test was re-administered, and were able to lead more active lives while reducing their daily opiate intake. chronic opiate administration probably reduces the serotonin turnover rate in the central nervous system; it may be that this is reversed by loading with the serotonin precursor, L-tryptophan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-9
Number of pages9
JournalPain
Volume9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1980

Keywords

  • Blood Pressure
  • Diet
  • Drug Tolerance
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Narcotics
  • Pain
  • Pulse
  • Respiration
  • Tryptophan
  • Journal Article

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