(N)-Methanocarba adenosine 5'-methyluronamides containing 2-arylethynyl groups were synthesized as A3 adenosine receptor (AR) agonists and screened in vivo (po) for reduction of neuropathic pain. A small N(6)-methyl group maintained binding affinity, with human > mouse A3AR and MW < 500 and other favorable physicochemical properties. Emax (maximal efficacy in a mouse chronic constriction injury pain model) of previously characterized A3AR agonist, 2-(3,4-difluorophenylethynyl)-N(6)-(3-chlorobenzyl) derivative 6a, MRS5698, was surpassed. More efficacious analogues (in vivo) contained the following C2-arylethynyl groups: pyrazin-2-yl 23 (binding Ki, hA3AR, nM 1.8), fur-2-yl 27 (0.6), thien-2-yl 32 (0.6) and its 5-chloro 33, MRS5980 (0.7) and 5-bromo 34 (0.4) equivalents, and physiologically unstable ferrocene 36, MRS5979 (2.7). 33 and 36 displayed particularly long in vivo duration (>3 h). Selected analogues were docked to an A3AR homology model to explore the environment of receptor-bound C2 and N(6) groups. Various analogues bound with μM affinity at off-target biogenic amine (M2, 5HT2A, β3, 5HT2B, 5HT2C, and α2C) or other receptors. Thus, we have expanded the structural range of orally active A3AR agonists for chronic pain treatment.