2
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
0 collections
    0
    shares
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: not found

      MECHANISMS OF ENDOCRINOLOGY: Endocrinology of opioids

      , , ,

      European Journal of Endocrinology

      Bioscientifica

      Read this article at

      ScienceOpenPublisher
      Bookmark
          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          The use of opioids has grown substantially over the past two decades reaching the dimensions of a global epidemic. These drugs have effects on multiple levels of the endocrine system through mechanisms which are still not fully elucidated, and awareness of their endocrine sequelae is vital for all specialists prescribing or managing patients on them. Hypogonadism is the most well-recognised consequence of opioid use (prevalence 21–86%) which, however, may remain undiagnosed with potential adverse outcomes for the patients. Although less frequent, cortisol deficiency can also be found. Furthermore, there is a negative impact on bone health (with reduced bone mineral density and increased fracture risk) and occasionally hyperprolactinaemia, whereas the clinical significance of alterations in other hormones remains to be clarified. Discontinuation or reduction of the opioid and, in cases of chronic pain, consideration of alternative therapies for pain relief are potential management options. Hormonal replacement, especially when the above measures are not practically feasible, needs to be considered. Further studies are needed to clearly establish the prevalence of hormonal abnormalities with various regimes, doses and routes of opioids and to address reliably the long-term benefits and risks of hormonal treatment in patients on opioids. Until evidence-based, safe and cost-effective clinical guidelines become available, periodical assessment of the gonadal and adrenal function (particularly when relevant clinical manifestations are present) and evaluation of the bone health status are advised.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 99

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          The effects of opioids and opioid analogs on animal and human endocrine systems.

          Opioid abuse has increased in the last decade, primarily as a result of increased access to prescription opioids. Physicians are also increasingly administering opioid analgesics for noncancer chronic pain. Thus, knowledge of the long-term consequences of opioid use/abuse has important implications for fully evaluating the clinical usefulness of opioid medications. Many studies have examined the effect of opioids on the endocrine system; however, a systematic review of the endocrine actions of opioids in both humans and animals has, to our knowledge, not been published since 1984. Thus, we reviewed the literature on the effect of opioids on the endocrine system. We included both acute and chronic effects of opioids, with the majority of the studies done on the acute effects although chronic effects are more physiologically relevant. In humans and laboratory animals, opioids generally increase GH and prolactin and decrease LH, testosterone, estradiol, and oxytocin. In humans, opioids increase TSH, whereas in rodents, TSH is decreased. In both rodents and humans, the reports of effects of opioids on arginine vasopressin and ACTH are conflicting. Opioids act preferentially at different receptor sites leading to stimulatory or inhibitory effects on hormone release. Increasing opioid abuse primarily leads to hypogonadism but may also affect the secretion of other pituitary hormones. The potential consequences of hypogonadism include decreased libido and erectile dysfunction in men, oligomenorrhea or amenorrhea in women, and bone loss or infertility in both sexes. Opioids may increase or decrease food intake, depending on the type of opioid and the duration of action. Additionally, opioids may act through the sympathetic nervous system to cause hyperglycemia and impaired insulin secretion. In this review, recent information regarding endocrine disorders among opioid abusers is presented.
            Bookmark
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Opioid Receptors.

            Opioids are the oldest and most potent drugs for the treatment of severe pain. Their clinical application is undisputed in acute (e.g., postoperative) and cancer pain, but their long-term use in chronic pain has met increasing scrutiny. This article reviews mechanisms underlying opioid analgesia and other opioid actions. It discusses the structure, function, and plasticity of opioid receptors; the central and peripheral sites of analgesic actions and side effects; endogenous and exogenous opioid receptor ligands; and conventional and novel opioid compounds. Challenging clinical situations, such as the tension between chronic pain and addiction, are also illustrated.
              Bookmark
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Hypogonadism in men consuming sustained-action oral opioids.

              Naturally occurring opiates (endorphins) diminish testosterone levels by inhibiting both hypothalamic gonadotrophin releasing hormone production and testicular testosterone synthesis. Heroin addicts treated with a single daily dose of methadone and nonaddicts receiving continuous intrathecal opioids quickly develop low luteinizing hormone and total testosterone levels. A similar pattern was sought in men consuming commonly prescribed oral opioids. Free testosterone (FT), total testosterone (TT), estradiol (E(2)), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), luteinizing hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) were measured in 54 community-dwelling outpatient men consuming oral sustained-action dosage forms of opioids several times daily for control of nonmalignant pain. Hormone levels were related to the opioid consumed, dosage and dosage form, nonopioid medication use, and several personal characteristics and were compared with the hormone analyses of 27 similar men consuming no opioids. Hormone levels averaged much lower in opioid users than in control subjects in a dose-related pattern (P < .0001 for all comparisons). FT, TT, and E(2) levels were subnormal in 56%, 74%, and 74%, respectively, of opioid consumers. Forty-eight men (89%) exhibited subnormal levels of either FT or E(2). Either TT or E(2) level was subnormal in all 28 men consuming the equivalent of 100 mg of methadone daily and in 19 of 26 (73%) consuming smaller opioid doses. Eighty-seven percent (39 of 45) of opioid-ingesting men who reported normal erectile function before opioid use reported severe erectile dysfunction or diminished libido after beginning their opioid therapy. Commonly prescribed opioids in sustained-action dosage forms usually produce subnormal sex hormone levels, which may contribute to a diminished quality of life for many patients with painful chronic illness.
                Bookmark

                Author and article information

                Journal
                European Journal of Endocrinology
                Bioscientifica
                0804-4643
                1479-683X
                October 2018
                October 2018
                October 2018
                October 2018
                : 179
                : 4
                : R183-R196
                Article
                10.1530/EJE-18-0270
                © 2018

                Free to read

                Comments

                Comment on this article