Work underway at the National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan, is uncovering a new treatment for chronic pain. It works by turning a drug currently used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose into a drug that works just like opioids, but without the negative side effects.The clinical management of severe pain such as the pain that occurs following an operation, or that associated with cancer, typically involves the use of conventional opioids such as morphine. However, use of these drugs has been hindered by their severe adverse side effects, and this has led scientists to seek out methods by which to preserve their powerful pain killing properties without the unpleasantness that can accompanies them. One class of drugs that researchers have identified as having potential in this regard is the allosteric modulators.Dr Shiu-Hwa Yeh at the Institute of Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Research, National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan, is one such researcher. Together with his collaborator Dr Shau-Hua Ueng, and their team, Yeh is developing an intervention that relates to substances specifically known as antagonist-to-agonist allosteric modifiers (AAM).