Definition, classification, uses and side effects

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OpiumAn opioid is a substance that works by attaching to opioid receptors, which are typically found in the gastrointestinal tract and nervous system. The receptors of the two systems arbitrate the good and bad results of opioids. These substances are divided into several groups: natural opiates, semi-synthetic, fully synthetic, and endogenous.

The first group, natural opiates are alkaloids enclosed inside the opium poppy’s resin. The subsequent substances are examples of natural opiates: Kratom leaves, active via Mu- and Delta receptors. The semi-synthetic chemicals are produced from the natural opiates like hydrocodone, oxymorphone, diacetylmorphine, dipropanoylmorphine, ethylmorphine, desomorphine and ethylmorphine. Examples of the fully synthetic drugs are fentanyl, methadone, dextropropoxyphene, pethidine and tramadol. The last group, endogenous peptides, are the naturally-occurring substances in the body. Some of these substances include endorphins, dynorphins, enkephalins, and endomorphins.

Opioids have been widely used to relieve patients in pain. Also, these substances were proven to help alleviate the severity of the pain produced by heavy diseases such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. It is not strictly required to take high doses in relieving pain produced from late-stage diseases, provided that the tolerance effects permit patients to frequently necessitate an average dose in such individuals being only 15 milligrams morphine every four hours. This implies that about fifty percent of patients are administered on lower doses, and requirements could settle down for few months depending on the degree of the pain.

Opioids are primarily used to treat chronic pain.Recently, these drugs have also been used to treat non-malignant chronic pain. Studies showed that addiction to these chemicals are rare if they are primarily used to relieve pain. The occasion of addiction depends upon a number of factors: the communication and documentation between caretakers, patients, pharmacists and physicians; rapid use of opioid rotation, ancillary analgesic, and drugs that help treat the other aspects of pain. Regrettably, the use of these substances is regulated in many countries, which affect its appropriate use for pain relief and could results in patients’ irrelevant suffering.

HeadacheBasically, all drugs come with side effects. In the case of opioids, its effects usually correspond to the dosage given to the patient. Commonly, these drugs cause vomiting, nausea and constipation. It could also give the patient slight sedation, which could be willingly accepted if it allows you to get a good rest or sleep. These drugs can also depress respiration; they could reduce air intake as each minute passes by. Its effects on respiration can be amplified even more if given directly in the spinal fluid. It may be hard to notice but these drugs can cause the eye’s pupils to constrict; this is harmless though. Other inconspicuous effects are minor fluctuations on heart rate, muscle tone and body temperature. A rare side effect of opioids is pruritus or itchiness.

Opposite to the belief of many, these drugs have considerably little effect on blood circulation and the heart. Actually, it is even used by medical practitioners in performing surgery, as these will stabilize the heart rate. Lastly, it could trigger some of your allergies like facial swelling, asthma or skin rash.

More information:
http://www.camh.net/About_Addiction_Mental_Health/Drug_and_Addiction_Information/opioids_dyk.html

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