What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What are Opioids?

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Opioid is a chemical that works by binding to opioid receptors in the central nervous system as well as the gastrointestinal tract. There are natural, semi-synthetic, fully-synthetic and endogenous (crated in the body) opioids each of which elicit a distinct set of neurological responses and specific physical responses as well.

Traditionally used to treat acute (often post-surgical) pain, opioids have more recently been used in chronic and palliative care for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and cancer.

Side effects

The common side effects of opioid medications include: euphoria, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, dilated pupils, constipation, itching, dizziness, and respiratory depression. You should inform your health care provider if you experience any side effects.


Long term use of opioids can result in physical or mental dependence on the drug. A person who has become physically dependent to opioids may develop withdrawal symptoms when the medicine is discontinued. It is also possible to build tolerance to opioids when they are used for a long period. Later on, the body would need larger and larger doses for pain relief.

These drugs must be taken exactly as directed. Consult your doctor if you notice that the drugs fail to reduce your symptoms. Do not share...