New Discovery! Spider Venom Can Aid Pain Relief With Zero Side-effects

The venom of Tarantula spider can prove to be a better and safer alternative to opioid painkillers. Here’s what researchers have found out.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarUpdated at: Apr 17, 2020 07:57 IST
New Discovery! Spider Venom Can Aid Pain Relief With Zero Side-effects

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Pain is one of the most common health issues that everybody can relate to. We all suffer from different kinds of pain be it internal or external. Those who cannot bear the intensity of the pain take painkillers or opioids that have pain-relieving properties. However, this recent study says that the venom of tarantula spider can be a potential alternative to opioid pain killers! This sounds bizarre but the claims are very strong. If you are interested to know more then continue reading.

The Research

The Journal of Biological Chemistry published this study in their recent issue. According to this study, spider(tarantula) venom has shown effective pain-relieving property without any side-effect of addiction. This is slightly weird how one may consume the spider venom to get aid but it can help to ease chronic pain immediately.

University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia carried out this research and designed a novel mini-protein from tarantula spider venom which can effectively bring relief in severe and chronic pain. Unlike opioid addiction, this formula doesn’t make the person feel addicted. This research was done keeping in mind the global crisis of opioid to find the best possible alternatives to drugs with morphine-like properties.

tarantula spider venom

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Spider Venom Doesn't Cause Any Side-Effect

Dr. Christina Schroeder, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland said, "Although opioids are effective in producing pain relief, they come with unwanted side-effects like nausea, constipation and the risk of addiction, placing a huge burden on society. Our study found that a mini-protein in tarantula venom from the Chinese bird spider, known as Huwentoxin-IV, binds to pain receptors in the body.

"By using a three-pronged approach in our drug design that incorporates the mini-protein, its receptor and the surrounding membrane from the spider venom, we've altered this mini-protein resulting in greater potency and specificity for specific pain receptors. This ensures that just the right amount of the mini-protein attaches itself to the receptor and the cell membrane surrounding the pain receptor," she added.

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Tested on Mouse

lab testing mouse

Dr. Christine Schroeder told that the mini-protein derived from tarantula venom had been tested in mouse models before concluding. It has shown positive results in them which is why we believe this would prove effective for humans also. "Our findings could potentially lead to an alternative method of treating pain without the side-effects and reduce many individuals' reliance on opioids for pain relief," she said.

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