|Pain in acute myocardial infarction (rear) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Seven of 9 patients reported a 30 percent to 40 percent decrease in pain after taking doses of oxytocin and human chorionic gonadotropin, the researchers found. In addition, the level of opioid (narcotic) painkillers needed by these seven patients also declined by 30 percent to 40 percent.
Patients also reported improvement in the intensity of pain flare-ups and longer time between flares, the study authors said.
Oxytocin is known as the "love hormone" and has been linked to positive human emotions. Human chorionic gonadotropin plays a role during pregnancy. Levels of both hormones increase during and after childbirth, and they're thought to contribute to lower levels of pain in pregnant women.
Study author Dr. Forest Tennant, an internist who specializes in chronic pain at the Veract Intractable Pain Clinics in West Covina, Calif., said there were few side effects with the treatment.