APS Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology

Understanding and Countering Opioid-Induced Respiratory Depression

Featured Topic — Wednesday, April 28, 2021 — 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM — Virtual Session, Room APS-12
Respiration Section — Chair: Erica Levitt — Co-Chair: Gaspard Montandon

Every day 130 Americans die from opioid overdose, totaling over 40,000 deaths per year. A large driver of the opioid crisis is the exponential increase in overdoses caused by fentanyl. The cause of death from opioid overdose is respiratory failure, yet the mechanisms of opioid-induced respiratory depression are poorly understood. This Featured Topic symposium will provide an update on progress toward understanding the mechanisms underlying opioid-induced respiratory depression, and address experimental approaches to counter overdose. Erica Levitt will introduce the topic and provide an update on cellular and circuit level mechanisms in the K├Âlliker-Fuse and parabrachial complex leading to respiratory dysfunction by opioids. Additional abstracts will be selected that discuss opioid actions or countering mechanisms in the brain, spinal cord and/or periphery.


  • Pontine Mechanisms of Opioid-Induced Respiratory Depression
    Erica Levitt — Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, University of Florida

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