Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 67–70

Opioid-induced abnormal pain sensitivity


DOI: 10.1007/s11916-006-0011-5

Cite this article as:
Mao, J. Current Science Inc (2006) 10: 67. doi:10.1007/s11916-006-0011-5


Opioid analgesics are effective for treating many pain conditions. Opioid analgesic tolerance is a pharmacologic phenomenon that could affect the clinical use of opioid analgesics. Recent studies have shown that neural plasticity associated with the development of opioid tolerance may activate a pronociceptive mechanism that could counteract the analgesic effects of opioids. Thus, exposure to opioids could lead to two seemingly unrelated cellular processes (ie, the development of opioid tolerance and opioid-induced pain sensitivity). Their converging effects may be part of the mechanisms leading to the reduced opioid analgesic efficacy in chronic opioid therapy.

Copyright information

© Current Science Inc 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MGH Pain Center, Department of Anesthesia and Critical CareMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA