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What are Opiates?

There are many types of drugs that can help manage pain. But there is one type of drug known to be a powerful pain reliever. That type is known as opiate drugs.

Opiates are commonly used in hospitals around the world. Medical professionals treat patients recovering from surgery or serious injuries. In fact, opiates were used since ancient times in the form of poppy seeds.

Common Opiate Drugs

There are many variations of opiate drugs. Anyone who has worked in a hospital or has undergone surgery or serious and painful medical treatment may have come across at least one of them. The following are the generic names of the common opiate drugs.


Codeine is an opioid medication used to treat mild to moderately severe pain. It is not recommended for patients with breathing conditions like asthma attacks, or patients who have a blockage in their intestines or stomach. It should not be used for children under 12 years of age or to pregnant women.


Hydrocodone is stronger than codeine. It must be taken with precaution as it can slow or stop breathing. It should not be taken by patients with breathing problems or blockage in the stomach or intestine. It is also not recommended for pregnant women as it may be life-threatening to the infant.


Morphine is used for moderate to severe pain. Morphine may also slow or stop breathing, so it’s not recommended for patients with breathing problems. It is also for patients with blockage in the stomach or intestine and may not be recommended for pregnant women. It is also dangerous to take alcohol with morphine.


Like morphine, oxycodone can be used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is not recommended for pregnant women. It may cause drowsiness and should not be used when under the influence of alcohol.


Hydromorphone is a strong opioid that may also cause breathing problems. It can be used for severe pain. Its extended release form is not recommended for as-needed basis for pain

It is dangerous to drink alcohol while using hydromorphone. It is not recommended for pregnant women or patients with breathing problems, stomach or intestinal blockage, or bowel obstruction.


Fentanyl is used in anesthesia during surgery or other medical procedure. Fentanyl should be taken with extreme caution. The patient’s doctor must monitor the patient’s condition while taking in fentanyl. Incorrect use of fentanyl may be fatal.

Side Effects

Short-term use of opiate drugs may cause drowsiness along with pain relief. But the side effect that doctors may be cautious about is the addiction.

Like other things, anything in excess is not good. Opiates are highly addictive and abusing the drug may cause serious health problems. Some of the effects of opiate abuse are constipation, tolerance to its pain relieving effects, abdominal distention, nausea, vomiting, liver damage, and brain damage.

It’s important to follow your doctor’s instruction when taking in opiates. Inform your doctor of any health condition that may be affected before taking in opiates to avoid dangerous side effects.

Addiction to opiates is dangerous. If signs of addictions shows, consult a physician immediately.

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