[(3)H]Alvimopan binding to the micro opioid receptor: comparative binding kinetics of opioid antagonists

Eur J Pharmacol. 2005 Sep 27;520(1-3):29-36. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2005.08.008.


Alvimopan is a novel peripheral micro opioid antagonist in clinical development for the management of post-operative ileus and opioid-induced bowel dysfunction. We hypothesized that the long duration of action of alvimopan might be related to a slower dissociation rate from the micro opioid receptor compared to other shorter acting antagonists. The dissociation rate of alvimopan from the micro opioid receptor (t(1/2)=30--44 min) was comparable to that of the long acting partial agonist buprenorphine (t(1/2)=44 min), but was slower than those of the antagonists naloxone (t(1/2)=0.82 min) and N-methylnaltrexone (t(1/2)=0.46 min). Also, increases in the apparent affinities and potencies of buprenorphine and alvimopan, but not of naloxone and methylnaltrexone, were observed upon preincubation with the micro opioid receptor. Consistent with its long duration of action, alvimopan has a slow dissociation rate from the micro opioid receptor compared to other shorter acting antagonists and may be more potent if administered prior to dosing with exogenous opioids.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Buprenorphine / metabolism
  • Buprenorphine / pharmacology
  • CHO Cells
  • Cricetinae
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Guanosine 5'-O-(3-Thiotriphosphate) / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Naloxone / metabolism
  • Naloxone / pharmacology
  • Piperidines / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu / genetics
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu / metabolism*
  • Time Factors
  • Transfection
  • Tritium


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Piperidines
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu
  • Tritium
  • Naloxone
  • Guanosine 5'-O-(3-Thiotriphosphate)
  • Buprenorphine
  • alvimopan