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Can a Sea Snail Venom Save America from Prescription Drug Abuse?

Can A Sea Snail Venom Save America From Prescription Drug Abuse?

As of 2014, pain relievers are the 2nd most commonly abused drugs in the United States with 4.3 million Americans using them for nonmedical reasons.[1] The number of those using pain relievers for nonmedical reasons has remained relatively unchanged from 2002 to 2014, however the number of deaths from prescription drugs, namely opioids, is up 3-fold since 2001.[2] At a time where opioids appear to be causing more problems than they solve, the medical profession is in desperate need of something new. Enter ziconotide. This unique medication is created from a toxin naturally made by the Cone snail (a ω-conotoxin peptide).[3] The molecule is a calcium channel blocker that works by infused into the cerebrospinal fluid to inhibit the release of glutamate, CGRP and substance P in the brain and spinal cord to provide pain relief [4],[5]; the best part…

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