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Nalbuphine and addiction: from the basic science to clinical set  

Journal of Anesthesia & Critical Care: Open Access
Franciele da Silva Conter,1 Alexandre Roth de Oliveira,2 Antônio Carlos Weston3

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The use of opioid analgesics, especially in the postoperative period, is commonly used, with morphine being the drug of choice. Nalbuphine (C21H27NO4) is a synthetic kappa receptor agonist and partial Mu receptor antagonist opioid drug, available and approved in our middle, which has been synthesized in an attempt to provide analgesia without the undesirable side effects of pure agonists such as Mu-opioids whose main representative is Morphine. The possibility of using Nalbuphine as an alternative drug in view of the increasing worldwide addiction/dependence rates and therefore alarming rates of opioid overdose deaths may be realized due to its favourable pharmacological profile in terms of adverse effects and its equivalent analgesic potential. Thus, it was decided to perform a literature review of studies published in the last 10 years in the main databases “PubMed” and “MedLine” to evaluate the basic and clinical scientific evidence about Nalbuphine addiction and its potential role in the current scenario of addiction and dependence to opiates.


Nalbuphine, Opioid, Kappa Opioid, Addiction, Dependence, Opioid epidemic