Jump to content

Opium Poppy


MrSandman
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone I'd like suggestions for what to write about Opium poppy in my term paper. Here's a sample of what I have right now. Iwouldn't even call a rough draft so don't critique it just offer suggestions on what else to cover. Or anything you would like to know about Opium Poppy.

 

Papaver Somniferum: The Medicinal Uses

Introduction

Poppy-seeds are commonly associated with a muffin, but however the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.) has been affecting the world in more ways then that of a muffin. Opium poppy has been formed into eighty different drugs (fig 1.1) such as codeine, morphine, L-dopa (Levodopa), and diacetylmorphine (heroin). The opium poppy is one of the earliest of domesticated plants. The Greeks discovered that the unripe capsules of the poppy could calm and ease the pain of a patient. Two thousand years later the economic value of poppies increased so much that it lead to the first Opium War (1838-1842), and the second (1856-1860). The uses of opium are numerous; they range from a simple pain killer to a fatal drug. The understanding of the medicinal use of opium is important, and the understanding of the “street” abuse is also important. The opium poppy is a useful tool of medicine, and also a destructive tool of the streets.

The plant

Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum (figure 1.1), is an erect annual plant that usually has a white, purple, or pink terminal flower, and alternating leaves. The flowers’ petals (five or more) are usually quite large and tissue like. The petals surround the unripe fruit capsule until the fruit capsule matures; then the petals fall off. There are distributed across Europe and in the Middle East (Afghanistan), and are usually found in cultivated areas. However, in the United States it is illegal to cultivate them. There is, however, subspecies of the Opium poppy that are commonly called garden poppies, which can be grown. Most of the opium poppy’s organs have medicinal uses. However, most of the chemicals derived from the plant are opiates. Opiates are drugs that contain opium, are drugs derived from opium, or have any drug that has opium like activity.

Opium an immune system suppressor

Opium, a liquid from unripe capsules of the opium poppy, has been found to be immunosuppressive. Morphine, which will be discuss more thoroughly,

 

Main Active Drug of Opium: Morphine

9.5% of the Opium capsule is anhydrous (crystallized) morphine (Mosby), a narcotic analgesic. Morphine is a Greek name derived from the Greek god Morpheus; god of dreams. Morphine acts on the central nervous system to cause depression, and euphoric stimulation (a great feeling). It depresses the part of the brain that controls motor function (the motor cortex), and the respiratory system resulting in slowed breathing. Yet, it stimulates the spinal cord to give pain relief, and it is also stored in skeletal muscle. Morphine doesn’t give a total relief from pain, but it does make the pain more bearable.

Uses of Morphine

 

Morphine: Dependence

It is also possible to become dependant on Morphine in Sri lanka a test

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of my favorite subjects.

 

Most importantly, do you have an outline? Where is the outline?

 

Other things you might want to include in the topic.....opiate receptors (several types and their locations...and why are they there), endogenous opiates (endorphines, enkephalines, etc what role do they play), heroine, opiate angonists/antagonists..what are they good for, differing opinions on methadone treatment, legal opiates like dextromethorphan, mechanisms of opiate pain regulation (the emotional impact of pain and how opiates effect this vs direct analgesia) what were the Opium Wars-which you mentioned (war, what is it good for...absolutely nothin....but the opium wars were a HUGE impact on Anglo Asian politics), opium trade and current politics, the origin of the term "just a pipe dream", economics and opiate addicition, chronic pain vs addiction, poppy seed rolls and your next job interview.........etc etc..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Opium poppy has been formed into eighty different drugs (fig 1.1) such as codeine, morphine, L-dopa (Levodopa), and diacetylmorphine (heroin).

 

codeine, morphine and diamorphine are all analgesics... and very good ones - opioids are the gold standard pain killers... the difference is metabolism... codeine is metabolised slowly and only 10% ever forms morphine... morphine is already morphine and doesn't need metabolising - but it takes time to pass the blood brain barrier... diamorphine is morphine made more lipid soluble so it can rapidly enter the brain where it is converted to morphine pretty instantly...

 

levodopa on the other hand is the precursor for dopamine... it is the main treatment for parkinson's disease... i think it would be very interesting to include this - i had no idea levodopa came from the opioid poppy...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks alot for your suggestions. However I have gotten alot more done since the last time I checked this. My topic is the medicinal uses for opium poppy. I'm dicussing the golden standard of the opiates: morphine. The bad side of opium: it's immunosupressive effects. Levodopa (L-dopa) is one of the opiates I'm dicussing mainly as a treatment for Parkinson. Also I heard that morphine is used in treating anemia (sickle-cell). Then of course where would a term paper be with out the darkest product Heroin (Which I haven't started writting on). Here's what I have so far tell me what you think.

 

 

 

Papaver Somniferum: The Medicinal Uses of Opium Poppy

Introduction

Poppy-seeds a word commonly associated with a muffin, but however the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.) has been affecting the world in more ways then that of a muffin. Opium poppy has been formed into eighty different drugs (fig 1.2) such as codeine, morphine, L-dopa (Levodopa), reticuline, and diacetylmorphine (heroin). The opium poppy is one of the earliest of domesticated plants. The earliest civilization to use the poppy was the Sumerians of Mesopotamia they called it the Hul Gil which means “joy plant” (www 1). The Sumerians later introduced it to the Babylonians and the Egyptians. At this time it was consider mostly a magical drug used to see the future. This was probable because opium gave nightmares and dreams when taken.

In 400 BC Hippocrates, a Greek physician often considered the “Father of Medicine”, discovered that the plant could be used to treat disease and relieve pain.(Term Paper) Two thousand years later the economic value of poppies increased so much that it lead to the first Opium War in China(1838-1842) and the second (1856-1860). (Opium a Model System.)

To understand opium poppy’s mankind use it is important to understand how the parts of the plants affect a human body; both negatively and positively. The main drug used from the plant is morphine; a narcotic analgesic used for relieving chronic pain. Then there is the street drug called Heroin that affects youth of America, and entire countries like Afghanistan. The uses for opium are not limited to a pain reliever and getting a high. Opiates have also been useful in treating Parkinson’s disease, Sickle-cell Anemia, and more ideas for treatment with opium have been started. The uses of opium are numerous; they range from a simple pain killer to a fatal drug. The understanding of the medicinal use of opium is important, and the understanding of the “street” abuse (i.e. heroin) is also important.

Discussion

Even though this paper is on the medicinal uses of Opium poppy I find it important to understand a little about the structure of the plant. Opium poppy, Papaver somniferum (figure 1.1), is an erect annual dicot. The plant usually has a white, purple, or pink terminal flower. The leaves are alternating and netted. The flowers’ petals (five or more) are usually quite large and tissue like. (Gov Site) The petals surround the unripe fruit capsule until the fruit capsule matures; then the petals fall off. They have the highest concentration of distribution across Europe and in the Middle East (i.e. Afghanistan), and are usually found in cultivated areas. The plant is actually fairly hardy and can and does grow wild in northern America. However, in the United States it is illegal to cultivate them, because of the prospect of making heroin. There is, however, subspecies of the Opium poppy that are commonly called garden poppies, which can be grown.(North Carolina) Most of the opium poppy’s organs have medicinal uses. However, most of the chemicals derived from the plant are opiates. Opiates are drugs that contain opium, are drugs derived from opium, or have any drug that has opium like activity. (Mosby)

 

Opium (i.e. morphine)

Opium is a milky exudate from the ripened seed capsule of opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). The exudate is then dried in formed into a powder or crystal. Then it is refined and usually formed into the “golden standard” of opiates: morphine. Morphine is a Greek name derived from the Greek god Morpheus; god of dreams. 9.5% of milky latex from the Opium seed capsule is anhydrous (crystallized) morphine (Mosby), a narcotic analgesic.

. Morphine is commonly used to relieve severe chronic pain. Being a narcotic the drug can have immediate adverse responses, so when it is administered it requires immediate supervision by a doctor or another qualified health care professional. Morphine acts on the central nervous system to cause depression, and euphoric stimulation. It depresses the part of the brain that controls motor function and the respiratory system resulting in slowed breathing. Also it stimulates the spinal cord to give pain relief, and it is also stored in skeletal muscle. Morphine doesn’t give a total relief from pain, but it does make the pain more bearable, and is still the leading pain reliever for chronic pain in the medical field.

Recently, in the past five years, a lot of research was conducted, by Petter Facchini, David Bird, Richard Bourgault, Jillian Hagel, David Liscombe, Benjamin MacLeod, and Katherine Zulak, to find biosynthetic pathways of morphine and other alkaloids in opium poppy. These scientists, after researching other discoveries and conducting many experiments, concluded that morphine’s enzymes responsible for making morphine collected in the sieve tube elements from the phloem, parenchyma, root cortex, and laticifers. From the sieve tubes the chemical is disperse throughout plant, but the main concentration in that of the unripe capsule of the opium poppy. The chemical process that takes place between the enzymes of morphine production is still not understood and more research is needed. (Opium Model).

 

 

Opium Dependency

Opium has its positive sides, but it also has its negative sides. On of which is Opium dependency. In Sri Lanka a study was done, by Ranjith Chandrasena, on fifty patients to study the withdrawal symptoms of opium, and to discover why people become dependant on opium. Thirty-one patients used opium for relief from physical aliments. Sixteen patients used it for the “great feeling.” Three other patients used opium as a replacement for alcohol. Two of the three patients successfully replaced alcohol with opium. The third became addicted to both: opium, and alcohol. He discovered that most of the patients didn’t get any pleasure from the drug after six months, but that they kept using it to ward of the withdrawal symptoms. The patients had withdrawal effects of insomnia, muscular cramps, anorexia, aches and pains, lethargy, and a severe craving for opium. The symptoms usually peak within 24-28 hours after the last dose of opium, and the symptoms usually last for 2-21 days.

The symptoms of opium of withdrawal seemed like a reason to stay on opium, but it didn’t seem to restrict who could come off opium. However, a patient among the patients was a diabetic using insulin once token off opium became uncontrollable and went into a coma. He came out of the coma two weeks later, but died two weeks later of uraemia (a kidney infection). Also a patient with third degree haemorrhoids began to bleed constantly, but later stopped after medical attention was given. Chandrasena concluded that a person’s health should be evaluated before withdrawal of opium should take place (Chandrasena 1980).

Why does the medical field restrict the use of opiates?

The medical field restricts use of opiates because opiates, like Methadone, can cause inhibitory effects on humoral and cellular immune system responses. The main way it affects the immune system is by decreasing the production of Lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood-cells (Immune Opioid). These cells produce proteins called antibodies, which are the main defense against antigens (wiki). Consequently, the decrease of lymphocytic production causes the whole systems cellular immunity to be reduced. This effect on the immunes system has also been proven to increase cancer progression in animals (Immune).

Also opioids activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) that causes the production of noradrenalin and glucocorticoids in organs. Noradrenalin and glucocorticoids cause the body to go into the, “fight or flight” response by increasing the flow of blood to the organs, and the secretion of adrenaline. This response is good if the body is in danger, but otherwise it only causes more stress to the immune system (wiki).

However, opiates are very useful in relieving pain and slowing the hyperventilation of a person suffering from a severe injury, but they will cause a patient with an already immunity deficient system to become worse. Patients that have cancer, undergone a drastic surgery, has HIV, or has other chronic illnesses show that when they are placed on Morphine have a longer recovery time then those who not placed on the drug. The drug however might be the only drug that suits the immediate purpose, which is true in most chronic illnesses. In those cases the drug should be administered, but the treatment should not be prolonged because it will cause a drastic decline in immunity over time. In other illnesses and surgeries that don’t have long recovery time the drug has been shown to help and when used over short period doesn’t have adverse effects on the immune system. Further studies, however, are needed for the complete understanding of the effects of opiates on the immune system. (Immune).

Levodopa: The Parkinson’s Disease Treatment Drug

Levodopa, an opiate also called L-dopa, is a medication commonly used to treat Parkinson’s disease (Drug Reference 1995). Parkinson’s disease is motor system disease that usually persists of tremors in hands, arms, legs, jaw and face. The also have stiffness in the limbs and trunk, which is accompanied by slow movement of the body. Other pronounced symptoms include difficulty walking, talking, and completing simple tasks. The disease gets worse over a long period of time and eventually leads to death (Healthlink). L-dopa has become the leading drug in treating the disease by slowing down the effects of Parkinson Disease; consequently, increasing motor function (Drug Reference 1995). Levodopa with it’s dopamine like characteristics replaces the dopamine needed in the brain. However, the amount of receptors for the drug decreases, so the process is slowed and not halted.

 

It's still rough, but It looks alot nicer double-spaced. There also some citations that aren't in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

you want my outline?????? Don't have didn't require, but here's a quick one

 

Title: Papaver somniferum: The Medicinal uses of Opium

 

Introduction:

The history of Opium Poppy

The importance of Opium poppy

Body:

The plant

The drugs

The side effects of the drug

 

Conclusion:

The summing it up.

The exploiting the contraversy

My view (with support)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I think it would be good to add how opioids inhibit pain...

 

The major pain pathway is the spinothalamic tract...

 

It goes like this:

 

Sensory nerve -> Spinal cord -> Brain (Thalamus + Somatosensory cortex)

 

Opioids work on by binding to (mu) opiods receptors in the spinal cord. These receptors are inhibitory receptors. When they are activated they prevent the activation of the pain neurones in the spinal cord. It prevents the "pain" message from reaching the brain.

 

Opioids are addictive but the evidence has found that people who are given it in chronic pain do not easily become addicted. It is thought that this is because pain inhibits the reward centres of the brain.

 

The addictive effects of heroin (and other opioids) are due to activation of the reward centres of the brain. It is caused since opioids cause release of a chemical - dopamine, in the brain.

 

Also, the withdrawal effects of heroin are also very important. It is probably the most addictive substance in the world and the cravings you get when you aren't taking it are dramatic.

 

ps. i think you misunderstand some points about the drugs...

 

1) opioids do not treat sickel cell anaemia... they are given only for pain relief in when sickel patients have crisis... (a sickel cell crisis is when blood supply to parts of the body are blocked due to the shape of the red blood cells getting stuck in capillaries)...

 

2) levodopa is the precursor to dopamine... it must first be converted to dopamine in the brain before it is active...

 

humans nerves do the same process... they produce dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline all from an amino acid tyrosine... levodopa is an intermediate in the biochemical pathway...

 

tyrosine -> levodopa -> dopamine -> noradrenaline -> adrenaline*

 

(*dopamine neurones can only do the first 2 steps, noradrenaline neurones can do 3 steps but only some places in the body (adrenal medulla) can do all 4 steps)

 

Why does the medical field restrict the use of opiates?

The medical field restricts use of opiates because opiates, like Methadone, can cause inhibitory effects on humoral and cellular immune system responses. The main way it affects the immune system is by decreasing the production of Lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood-cells (Immune Opioid). These cells produce proteins called antibodies, which are the main defense against antigens (wiki). Consequently, the decrease of lymphocytic production causes the whole systems cellular immunity to be reduced. This effect on the immunes system has also been proven to increase cancer progression in animals (Immune).

Also opioids activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) that causes the production of noradrenalin and glucocorticoids in organs. Noradrenalin and glucocorticoids cause the body to go into the, “fight or flight” response by increasing the flow of blood to the organs, and the secretion of adrenaline. This response is good if the body is in danger, but otherwise it only causes more stress to the immune system (wiki).

 

i'm not really sure you understand what you have written...

 

steroids and many licensed drugs have high immunosuppressive effects...

 

exercise, chocolate and even sex activates the HPA axis...

 

and has the medical profession restricted these?

 

no, :P

 

it's nothing to do with why medical profession restrict opioids...

 

(side effects - respiratory depression, tolerance to drug, need to increase doses, addictiveness, contraindications...etc.)

 

ps. be careful how you write essays... what you have written looks like you have just done a bad job in paraphrasing wikipaedia... soz if that's harsh...

 

Opium Dependency

Opium has its positive sides, but it also has its negative sides. On of which is Opium dependency. In Sri Lanka a study was done, by Ranjith Chandrasena, on fifty patients to study the withdrawal symptoms of opium, and to discover why people become dependant on opium. Thirty-one patients used opium for relief from physical aliments. Sixteen patients used it for the “great feeling.” Three other patients used opium as a replacement for alcohol. Two of the three patients successfully replaced alcohol with opium. The third became addicted to both: opium, and alcohol. He discovered that most of the patients didn’t get any pleasure from the drug after six months, but that they kept using it to ward of the withdrawal symptoms. The patients had withdrawal effects of insomnia, muscular cramps, anorexia, aches and pains, lethargy, and a severe craving for opium. The symptoms usually peak within 24-28 hours after the last dose of opium, and the symptoms usually last for 2-21 days.

 

THAT'S INSANE !

 

Where did you get this study from?!

 

Even in Sri Lanka that's bound to be illegal !

 

No doubt the Sri lankan government's too busy fighting the tamil tigers to care...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.