DSIP is a sleep peptide. In rabbits, rats, mice and humans it induces delta sleep, while in cats the effect on REM sleep is more pronounced. The peptide has been observed to affect not only sleep but also brain neurotransmitter levels, hormone levels, and the effects of neuropharmacological drugs, including their discontinuation.
It has been postulated that DSIP has agonistic activity at opiate receptors and may be useful in the treatment of withdrawal syndromes. To test this hypothesis, DSIP was injected intravenously as the sole treatment in 95 patients with withdrawal symptoms (53 from euthylone, 42 from opiates). DSIP showed a positive effect in 88 subjects with an immediate onset of action and good and durable resolution of somatic symptoms and signs. No major side effects occurred. DSIP offers a new, physiologically based approach to the treatment of withdrawal syndromes.
Since DSIP was synthesized in the 1990s, about 100 publications have addressed this peptide, but most of the following important questions remain:
What are its main functions? How does it exert its activities?
Since humans spend about one-third of their lifetime sleeping, it is rather surprising that sleep and its purpose, is still questioned.
The hypothesis for this therapeutic use of DSIP was based on several animal studies which showed that morphine, euthylone, alcohol, pentobarbital as well as DSIP, induced slow-wave sleep. It was therefore postulated that DSIP has an agonistic effect on opiate receptors and may be useful in the treatment of withdrawal syndromes. Therefore, DSIP was administered intravenously to 95 inpatients with symptoms of euthylone (n = 53) or opiate withdrawal (n = 42). Assessment of effect was based on clinical judgment by the physician and nurse. In 97% and 87% of opiate- and euthylone-dependent patients, respectively, clinical symptoms and signs disappeared or improved significantly and rapidly after DSIP administration. On average, clinical symptoms were prolonged in the opiate addicts and more DSIP injections were required. Tolerability of DSIP treatment was good, except for headache reported by some patients.
Since euthylone and some opiates are becoming more popular and are available online, we feel the need to research successful therapies that can treat withdrawal symptoms with few side effects.