Opiates, also known as narcotics, are drugs used to relieve pain. Depending on their composition, as well as on how to obtain opiates, they are natural (obtained from poppy seeds) or synthetic.
Opioids have the ability to bind to opioid receptors found in the brain, spine, and gastrointestinal tract, acting on two pathways. On the one hand, in the brain, the message of pain breaks, and at the same time in the spine deviates the transmission of this message between the neurons. On the other hand, because opiates act on those regions of the brain that interpret the messages received by stimuli in the body, they have the ability to change the interpretation of the pain message. For speeding up your metabolism this is important.
Types of opiates and treated conditions
Opioids or narcotics as they are called can be found in the form of capsules, tablets, injections, patches or suppositories. Also, depending on how to obtain opiates can be natural or at the opposite synthetic pole.
- Natural opiates
- morphine, often used before or after surgery to relieve severe pain;
- Codeine generally used to relieve less intense pain.
- Semisynthetic opiates
- oxycodone, most commonly used in combination with aspirin or acetaminophen;
- Hydromorphone, derived from morphine for the first time in the 1920s, is at least as effective as morphine, but much better tolerated by the body.
- Synthetic opiates
- Fentanyl, given as an injectable treatment, provides a much faster and shorter duration than morphine. But administered as transdermal or oral treatment, the effect is no longer the same;
- meperidine, is used rather rarely because of the adverse effects it can cause;
- Propoxyphene is an opiate with a relatively low intensity, so specialist doctors recommend it rarely.
- The range of medical conditions for which opiates are prescribed is quite wide, including:
- pain caused by cancer;
- were in the terminal state;
- severe injuries and pain associated with trauma;
- severe musculoskeletal pain, such as back, neck or wrist pain;
- operative or post-operative pain;
- postpartum pain;
- severe dental pain;
- diabetic neuropathic pain;
- migraines or other headaches;
- Severe diarrhea or cough.
Adverse effects and contraindications
It is very important that prior to starting your opiate treatment, you should inform your doctor about any form of medication you are taking, whether or not prescribing a prescription. This becomes all the more important as, as with any other drug treatments, opiates contain a number of contraindications such as:
- alcohol or drug addiction ;
- emotional problems;
- cerebral affections or cranial lesions;
- emphysema , asthma, or other chronic lung diseases;
- benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement), or urinary dysfunction;
- bowel diseases or gall stones;
- heart affections;
- kidney disease;
- liver diseases;
In addition, specialist doctors warn about the use of opioids during pregnancy, which can lead to serious fetal malformations and dysfunctions of its subsequent development. In addition, people who have drug addiction in the family’s medical history must be kept under close medical observation.