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Centipede Venom: The New Morphine

According to Medicaldaily.com, centipedes are now known to treat medical pain more effectively than morphine. Although the number of opioid painkillers has increased during recent decades, doctors have been trying to find a less complicated alternative to treat pain.

Recently, doctors have discovered that centipedes might provide that alternative. Researchers have found that some components of centipedes’ venom can act as a potent painkiller. Although it is not classified as an opiate, the centipede’s venom is just as potent as morphine but has no side effects.

The morphine used in this type of alternative medicine comes from the Chinese redheaded centipede. The Chinese redheaded centipede “paralyzes its prey by injecting venom that blocks a voltage-gated sodium channel protein.” These proteins are responsible for having an imperative role in pain transmission. The venom thus blocks pain from the body.

During the testing process, researchers injected mice with massive amounts of the centipede’s venom. After the mice were infected with the venom, they were subjected to a series of tests. The tests touched upon different areas such as thermal, chemical, and acid testing.

The results showed that the venom was most similar during the thermal and acid testing, it acted better than morphine during chemical tests. In addition, the mice showed no side effects.

As a result, the venom is undergoing a series of trials with humans. These subjects either suffer from chronic ailments or pain. According to Medicaldaily.com venom immunotherapy was better at treating a person allergic to stings than EpiPens.

Other research has shown that this type of venom can help block the proteins responsible for inflammation, thus reducing pain for sufferers of arthritis. Conclusively, centipede venom can soon be considered an alternative to morphine or other opiates.

– Stephanie Olaya

Sources: Medical Daily, Medical News Today
Photo: Open Cage