Opioids and the gut: Pharmacology and current clinical experience

H. U. De Schepper, F. Cremonini, M. I. Park, M. Camilleri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

152 Scopus citations


This article reviews the pharmacology and physiology of opiate receptors and the current and potential uses of opioid agonists and antagonists in clinical gastroenterology. μ-receptors are involved in motor and sensory functions, and their modulation is established for treatment of diarrhea. μ-antagonists have potential to reverse endogenous (e.g., post-operative ileus) or iatrogenic dysmotility (e.g., opioid bowel dysfunction). Modulation of the function of κ-receptors may be a novel approach to control visceral pain in functional gut disorders. Results of formal testing of novel opioid modulators are keenly awaited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-394
Number of pages12
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004



  • Absorption
  • Mobility
  • Opiate
  • Opioid
  • Receptor
  • Sensation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology

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