Neuropathic pain is a chronic pain condition resulting from neuronal damage, and is usually treated with pregabalin or gabapentin, which are structurally related to γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and are originally developed as anticonvulsant drugs. Here, we report the synthesis and pharmacology of (R)- and (S)-4-amino-3-(trimethylsilyl)methylbutanoic acids (1a and 1b), which showed analgesic activity as potent as that of pregabalin in the Chung spinal nerve ligation model. However, unlike pregabalin, 1a and 1b do not have antiepileptic effects, and they are therefore promising candidates for selective therapeutic agents to treat neuropathic pain without central nervous system-related side effects.
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