Opioid Drugs And Their Receptor

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1.1. History of opioid research
Opioid drugs and their receptor is one of the most extensively studying areas in pharmacology. This field of research really began from isolation of morphine, an active ingredient of opium, by German pharmacist Friedrich Sertürner in 1989. The compound he managed to isolate was called morphine after Morpheus, the Greek god of dream. Later Pierre Robiquet in France isolated the second predominant alcholoid of opium, codeine. After the discovery that morphine can be used as anesthetic in some medical procedures, it became widely used during surgeries (Brownstein, 1993). In 1898, the Bayer Company in Germany synthesized another opioid compound, heroin. Heroin was a non-prescription drug, which was thought to be more potent than morphine in producing analgesia, and more powerful than codeine in cough suppression. The legal production of heroin was suspended in 1925 when high levels of heroin addiction were noticed (Hosztafi, 2001, Tsisanova, 2012). In 1939, Otto Eisleb synthesized meperidine, first opioid ligand structurally not related to morphine. This was followed by the discovery of methadone by Max Bochmühl and Gustav Ehrhart just before the Second World War in unfortunate attempt to synthesize addiction-free opioid (Sneader, 2005, Tsisanova, 2012). 1940s were marked with the discovery of opioid antagonists, nalorphine and naloxone. The later compound is still widely used in research as well as clinically
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