Improving Translational Research Outcomes for Opioid Use Disorder Treatments

AbstractPurpose of ReviewPharmacotherapies are the most effective means of reducing the harms associated with opioid use disorder (OUD). Translational research seeking to develop novel medications to treat OUD has been challenging due to the complex etiology of addiction. Preclinical outcome measures are often behavioral, and it is difficult, if not impossible, to fully mirror the various emotional and cognitive processes that motivate opioid use in humans. The goal of the current narrative review was to summarize the translational progression of three potential medications for OUD, which had varying levels of success.Recent FindingsMemantine, lorcaserin, and lofexidine all showed promise in preclinical studies; however, only lofexidine was able to consistently replicate these findings in human subjects, and receive FDA approval. It was the authors ’ objective to use this review to identify areas of needed improvement in translational research for OUD.SummaryPreclinical studies vary significantly in their ability to forecast effectiveness in clinical trials. Among the various preclinical models, suppression of opioid self-administration appears to have the best predictive validity. As they model a mostly physiological phenomenon, preclinical assessments of opioid withdrawal also appear to have high predictive validity. In our review of the literature, the authors noted numerous examples of clinical trials that were underpowered, lack precision, and proper outcomes. Bett...
Source: Current Addiction Reports - Category: Addiction Source Type: research

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