Centipede venom as a pain medication?

poison animal centipedeFrom copperhead venom to centipede venom, the applications of poisonous animals in research continues to amaze me. I find it fascinating that we can learn so much from these bizarre and unconventional animals!

It turns out that a component of centipede venom- the same component that centipedes use to paralyze their prey via the blocking of sodium channels- could have real applications as a pain medication that is more efficient than morphine. In mouse studies, it proved to be a more potent pain reliever than morphine, and had no adverse effects on heart rate, blood pressure, or motor function.

While further studies are needed to validate the safety of such a drug for humans, this could have real applications for those who suffer from chronic pain. Maybe these guys aren’t so creepy after all!

http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/37737/title/Centipede-Venom-Tops-Morphine/

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