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Holistic approach to opioid use disorder: Think nitric oxide!

Marvin A. Sackner, MD, Jose R. Lopez, MD, Veronica Banderas, BA TR, Jose A. Adams. MD

Abstract


This review deals with opioid addiction, chronic pain, and an innovative, noninvasive technology with simultaneous, beneficial applications for both conditions. This technology, called passive simulated jogging device (GENTLE JOGGER, JD) targets addiction and pain by increasing endothelial nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability. It can be self-administered while sitting or lying without resorting to multitasking thereby allowing watching television or operating a computer while effortless, physical activity is produced from motorized foot pedals repetitively striking a bumper at 175-190 times per minute which adds small pulses to the circulation. This action increases shear stress (friction) to vascular endothelium that stimulates endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) to increase NO that decreases oxidative stress and inflammation, and, slows accelerated vascular ageing associated with opioids.

Since the 1970s, clonidine, lofexidine, and dexmedetomidine have been used off-label to suppress opioid withdrawal symptoms precipitated by excessive release of norepinephrine. These pharmacotherapy aids to withdrawal and tapering opioid dosagadrenoceptor agonists that act through eNOS to inhibit norepinephrine. Increasing NO as with JD and/ or in conjunction with opioid agonists should help stabilization, tapering, withdrawal, and relapses stages of addiction. Nitric oxide as increased with JD technology is antinociceptive as demonstrated in chronic and subacute pain states, viz., fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, peripheral arterial disease, delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS), and sickle cell disease. Jogging device decreases elevated blood pressure that is produced with physical inactivity, a risk to opioid use disorder (OUD). Thus, JD provides holistic, cost-effective approach to opioid addiction as well as chronic and subacute pain.


Keywords


pain, opioid addiction, nitric oxide, a2 adrenoceptor agonists

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/jom.2019.0543

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