, Volume 81, Issue 2, pp 140–143 | Cite as

Naloxone fails to reverse hypnotic alleviation of chronic pain

  • David Spiegel
  • Leonard H. Albert
Original Investigations


The hypothesis that the alleviation of chronic pain with hypnosis is mediated by endorphins was tested. Six patients with chronic pain secondary to peripheral nerve irritation were taught to control the pain utilizing selfhypnosis. Each subject was tested at 5-min intervals during four 1-h sessions for the amount of reduction of pain sensation and suffering associated with hypnosis while being given, in a random double-blind crossover fashion, an IV injection of either 10 mg naloxone or a saline placebo through an indwelling catheter. The patients demonstrated significant alleviation of the pain with hypnosis, but this effect was not significantly diminished in the naloxone condition. These findings contradict the hypothesis that endorphins are involved in hypnotic analgesia

Key words

Endorphins Naloxone Hypnosis Hypnotic analgesia Chronic pain 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Spiegel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Leonard H. Albert
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnesthesiaStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

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