, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 296-300

Analgesic and Immunomodulatory Effects of Codeine and Codeine 6-glucuronide

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Purpose. The antinociceptive and immunosuppressive effects of codeine and codeine 6-glucuronide were determined in rats after intra-cerebroventricular administration.

Methods. Codeine 6-glucuronide was synthesized using a modification of the Koenigs-Knorr reaction. A lipophilic intermediate formed during synthesis, methyl [codein-6-yl-2,3,4-tri-O-acetyl-β-D-glucopyranosid] uronate, was also tested. Morphine was used as a positive control to compare antinociceptive potencies of these compounds.

Results. All compounds tested produced significant analgesic responses, as assessed by the tail flick model. Additionally, codeine 6-glucuronide showed significantly less immunosuppressive effects than codeine in vitro.

Conclusions. We conclude that codeine 6-glucuronide and related compounds may have clinical benefit in the treatment of pain in immune compromised patients.