New, unanticipated side effect to blood pressure medications

March 4, 2022
New, unanticipated side effect to blood pressure medications

Drugs used to treat blood pressure have been found to increase the effect of opioids (morphine-like effects) in the brain, and may even counteract the addictive properties of commercial opiates like fentanyl, which are traditionally used to treat pain.

Dr. Patrick Rothwell, an assistant professor of neuroscience at the University of Minnesota (U of M) Medical School, US, explained that medicines such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, have long been known to regulate blood pressure.

However, the function of ACE in the brain is more complex – studies have suggested both positive and negative effects on cognition.

“Our findings suggest a new strategy to boost opioid signaling in the brain in a way that is protective and beneficial, with a very low risk of dependence or addiction,” said Dr. Rothwell. He recommends further research on ACE inhibitors as the drugs can potentially be redesigned to treat brain conditions.

In collaboration with Dr. Swati More from the Center for Drug Design in the College of Pharmacy, U of M, Dr. Rothwell and university researchers are looking into creating new ACE inhibitors with optimised effects with regards to brain function.

Category: Features, Pharmaceuticals

Comments are closed.