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Oxytocin - A Multifunctional Analgesic for Chronic Deep Tissue Pain

[ Vol. 21 , Issue. 7 ]


Burel R. Goodin and Timothy J. Ness   Pages 906 - 913 ( 8 )


The treatment of chronic pain arising from deep tissues is currently inadequate and there is need for new pharmacological agents to provide analgesia. The endogenous paracrine hormone/neurotransmitter oxytocin is intimately involved in the modulation of multiple physiological and psychological functions. Recent experiments have given clear evidence for a role of oxytocin in the modulation of nociception. The present article reviews the existent human and basic science data related to the direct and indirect effects of oxytocin on pain. Due to its analgesic, anxiolytic, antidepressant and other central nervous system effects, there is strong evidence that oxytocin and other drugs acting through the oxytocin receptor could act as multifunctional analgesics with unique therapeutic value.


Oxytocin, visceral pain, musculoskeletal pain, nociception, analgesics, anxiolytics.


Departments of Psychology and Anesthesiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), 1300 University Blvd., Campbell Hall, Room 328, Birmingham, AL 35294.

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