Tebanicline (or ABT-594)
Tebanicline (or ABT-594) [5-((2R)-azetidinylmethoxy)-2-chloropyridine] is a medicine developed by Abbott laboratories. Tebanicline is a centrally acting neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist— that is, it works on nicotinic receptors in the brain, not on opioid receptors! It is derived from epibatidine, a compound isolated from the poison dart frog. Tebanicline is 200 times more powerful than morphine in relieving pain– and it is not addictive! Tebanicline represents a new— well it’s not really “new”, it’s been around for about 20 years!!!— class of safe, non-addicting pain medications. It works through an entirely different neurological system than the current harmful, and in many cases deadly, staples of pain treatment—Hydrocone (Vicodin), Oxycodone (Percocet, OxyContin), Methadone, Morphine, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid), Meperidine (Demerol), etc.
Problem is, Tebanicline is not being marketed. Why not? One would think the discovery of a new class of non-addicting pain medication would big news! But no, Tebanicline remains on the laboratory shelf while the opioid pain meds continue to inflict their harm.
In a sane world the news of the discovery of Tebanicline would be celebrated and broadcast. It would be made available to people in pain and other drug companies would work to develop similar medicines. But we have not seen this happen. After all why should the powerful pharmaceutical industry ruin a system that works to their advantage by introducing pain medicines that don’t get you addicted?
Phasing out opiate pain medicines would have repercussions in the trafficking of illicit drugs (heroin, for example) as well as in those areas of medicine involved in the treatment of pain and the treatment of addiction. The truth be told it is nearly impossible to distinguish patients who continue on pain management treatment because of chronic pain from those who are there because of pain med addiction.
Again, the opiate pain medicines are a defective product and their use in medical practice must be phased out and replaced by safe analgesics (pain relievers) such as Tebanicline.