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GUT MICROBIOTA

Gastrointestinal motility, dysbiosis and opioid-induced tolerance: is there a link?

Studies show that gut microbial dysbiosis induced by chronic opioid use is linked to central opioid tolerance. Here, we suggest that a persistent decrease in gastrointestinal motility by opioids is a primary cause of gut microbial dysbiosis and that improving gastrointestinal transit might be a strategy in preventing opioid analgesic tolerance.

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Fig. 1: Antinociceptive tolerance to opioids through changes in the gut microbiota.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grant DA036975.

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Correspondence to Hamid I. Akbarali.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WONDER: https://wonder.cdc.gov

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Akbarali, H.I., Dewey, W.L. Gastrointestinal motility, dysbiosis and opioid-induced tolerance: is there a link?. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 16, 323–324 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41575-019-0150-x

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