Pain is an intricate sensation that differs in every individual, even if the cause or the injury is similar. The intensity of pain can be a dull aching or an instant sensation. It may feel like an inexplicable, irritating tickle on the skin. Pain, if left untreated for a long period, negatively impact a person’s mood and well-being. It occurs when the electrical signal travels to the spinal cord due to activation of receptors, which is then transmitted to the brain. The spinal cord acts as a transmission center, where the pain signal can be targeted by blocking, enhancing or modifying before it reaches to the brain. It involves the interaction of various chemicals, known as neurotransmitters, in the body, which together act to produce the sensation of pain. The intensity of pain can be acute or chronic depending upon the time it lasts. There are various types of pain such as nociceptive pain, inflammatory pain, pathologic pain, cancer pain, musculoskeletal pain and post-operative pain.
Post-operative pain is a very common problem after any surgery and it is necessary to treat the same effectively, so that the patient is more comfortable and positive, wounds heal better, there remains less risk for heart and lung complications, and patients are less likely to develop neuropathic pain.
Drug manufacturing companies are constantly involved in the quest to find better and new treatment strategies with potential targets such as sodium channel, opioid receptor and cyclooxygenase which can be effective in post-operative pain treatment. Various companies are developing drug candidates using advanced technologies, which is driving the growth of the pipeline.
As of July 2017, the post-operative pain therapeutics pipeline comprises of approximately 39 drug candidates in different stages of development.
POST-OPERATIVE PAIN DRUG CANDIDATES UNDER DEVELOPMENT (2017)
Some of the key players developing drugs for post-operative pain include DURECT Corporation, Elite Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cara Therapeutics, Inc. and others.
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