Targeting novel peripheral mediators for the treatment of chronic pain

N. Richards, S. B. McMahon, L. Colvin (Editor), D. J. Rowbotham (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)
157 Downloads (Pure)


Research efforts over the past two decades have helped us better understand the biological mechanisms that lead to chronic pain. Despite this, there has been limited progress in developing novel analgesics to treat sufferers of persistent pain conditions, who may account for as many as one-fifth of the population. A re-evaluation of the strategies used to discover pain-relieving drugs is needed to meet this widespread clinical need. Here, we discuss the merits of pursuing peripherally acting pain mediators. We review the significant clinical evidence that neuronal activity from the periphery is a major contributor to painful symptom production and that peripheral mediators play a substantial role in this aberrant nociceptor activity. We discuss the clinical benefits of blocking individual known mediators and describe our own approach to identify novel mediators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-51
Number of pages6
JournalBritish journal of anaesthesia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013


  • analgesia
  • chronic pain
  • nociception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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