Clinical Use of Opioids

  • Andrea Trescot


Opioids are compounds that work at specific receptors in the brain to provide analgesia. Originally extracted from the sap of the poppy plant, opioids may be naturally occurring, semisynthetic, or synthetic, and their clinical activity is a function of their affinity for the opioid receptors in the brain. Opioids are useful for a wide variety of painful conditions, including acute pain, cancer pain, and chronic pain, as well as cough suppression and air hunger. However, opioid use is associated with a significant risk of addiction potential, which limits their use and contributes to the current “opioid phobia.” In this chapter, we will discuss the history, pharmacology, clinical uses, and future directions.


Opioid Receptor Cancer Pain Postherpetic Neuralgia Central Sleep Apnea Oral Morphine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© American Academy of Pain Medicine 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Algone Pain CenterSt. AugustineUSA

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