A modified type of botulinum toxin — botox — gave mice long-term pain relief and may someday be a safer alternative to opioids as a treatment for chronic pain, British researchers note in HealthDay.

They “deconstructed” the botulinum molecule and reassembled it with an opioid called dermorphin. The resulting compound — called Derm-BOT — silenced pain signals from neurons in the spinal cords of mice.

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