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Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1979;7 Suppl 3:273S-279S.

History and development of mixed opioid agonists, partial agonists and antagonists.


1 A brief history of the development of narcotic antagonists is outlined. 2 The clinical and pharmacological observations leading to the discovery of dualism of opiate receptors are reviewed. 3 An extension of this theory to a three-receptor model (mu, kappa and sigma) is required to rationalize the pharmacology of the antagonists analgesics cyclazocine, pentazocine and nalorphine. 4 The methodologies available for the study of compounds with dual agonist-antagonist activity are discussed in the light of the above receptor multiplicity, and data appertaining to the kappa-partial agonist, nalorphine and the mu-partial agonist buprenorphine are outlined.

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