Tachykinins pp 441-457 | Cite as

Substance P (NK1) Receptor Antagonists—Analgesics or Not?

  • S. Boyce
  • R. G. Hill
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 164)


Over the last two decades much research has focused on the role of substance P in pain and on the development of substance P antagonists as novel analgesics. Despite the identification of high affinity and selective substance P (NK1) receptor antagonists and a plethora of preclinical data supporting an analgesic profile of these agents, the outcome from clinical trials has been extremely disappointing with no clear analgesic efficacy being observed in a variety of pain states. This has led the pain community to seriously question the predictability and utility of preclinical pain assays, especially for novel targets. This chapter will review the animal studies and clinical trials with NK1 receptor antagonists and suggests possible reason s for the apparent mismatch between preclinical and clinical studies in pain.


Pain Hyperalgesia Behaviour Stress 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Boyce
    • 1
  • R. G. Hill
    • 1
  1. 1.Merck Sharp and Dohme Research LaboratoriesNeuroscience Research CentreHarlowUK

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