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Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2013 Mar;40(3):212-8. doi: 10.1111/1440-1681.12051.

Evaluation of the analgesic efficacy and psychoactive effects of AZD1940, a novel peripherally acting cannabinoid agonist, in human capsaicin-induced pain and hyperalgesia.

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  • 1AstraZeneca R&D Södertälje, Södertälje, Sweden.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of AZD1940, a novel peripherally acting cannabinoid CB(1) /CB(2) receptor agonist, on capsaicin-induced pain and hyperalgesia, as well as on biomarkers of cannabinoid central nervous system (CNS) effects. The present study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, four-sequence, two-period, cross-over study in 44 male healthy volunteers aged 20-45 years. The effects of two single oral doses of AZD1940 (400 and 800 μg) were compared with placebo. Pain intensity after intradermal capsaicin injections in the forearm was assessed on a continuous visual analogue scale (VAS; 0-100 mm). Primary and secondary hyperalgesia induced by application of capsaicin cream on the calf were assessed by measuring heat pain thresholds and the area of mechanical allodynia, respectively. The CNS effects were assessed at baseline and up to 24 h after dosing using a visual analogue mood scales (VAMS) for feeling 'stimulated', 'high', 'anxious', 'sedated' or 'down'. AZD1940 did not significantly attenuate ongoing pain or primary or secondary hyperalgesia compared with placebo. Mild CNS effects for AZD1940were observed on the VAMS for 'high' and 'sedated'. Dose-dependent mild-to-moderate CNS-related and gastrointestinal adverse events were reported following treatment with AZD1940. No evidence of analgesic efficacy was found for a peripherally acting CB(1)/CB(2) receptor agonist in the human capsaicin pain model. The emergence of mild dose-dependent CNS effects suggests that the dose range predicted from preclinical data had been attained.

© 2013 AstraZeneca R&D Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology © 2013 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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