KILLING THE PAIN

DOCTORS FIND THAT AN OPIATE WORKS BETTER ON WOMEN

Poets and lovers, as well as doctors, have long expounded on the differences between the sexes. But none have ever given much thought to the possibility that men and women might react differently to pain killers.

None, that is, until Dr. Jon Levine and his team at the University of California, San Francisco, took pains to investigate. Using drugs called kappa opioids, a form of opiate commonly used to ease labor pains, they gave intravenous doses to 28 men and 20 women, all in their early 20s, who had just had wisdom teeth extracted.

To the surprise of the researchers, who...

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