Medications

Q&A: Newly public data maps opioid crisis across US

The release of a massive trove of data from lawsuits over the nation's opioid crisis provides the most detailed accounting to date of the role played by the major pharmaceutical companies and distributors.

Medications

Supply of opioids predicts long-term use in injured workers

(HealthDay)—The number of days supplied of an initial opioid prescription is the strongest risk factor for developing long-term opioid use among previously opioid-free injured workers, according to a study published online ...

Medications

Data shows flood of opioids across US, many of them generics

The maker of OxyContin has been cast as the chief villain in the nation's opioid crisis. But newly released government figures suggest Purdue Pharma had plenty of help in flooding the U.S. with billions of pills even as overdose ...

Medications

Judge overseeing opioid lawsuits orders release of some data

A look at how the opioid crisis grew and spread may be much clearer soon after a federal judge overseeing nearly 2,000 lawsuits filed against manufacturers, distributors and retailers of prescription painkillers ordered the ...

Surgery

Opioid use is reduced in patients treated with NSAIDS

Patients receiving a post-surgery prescription of ibuprofen with a rescue prescription of Percocet used less opioids than a group of similar patients who were prescribed just Percocet. The research was presented by a group ...

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Opioid

An opioid is a psychoactive chemical that works by binding to opioid receptors, which are found principally in the central and peripheral nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract. The receptors in these organ systems mediate both the beneficial effects and the side effects of opioids.

Opioids are among the world's oldest known drugs; the use of the opium poppy for its therapeutic benefits predates recorded history. The analgesic (painkiller) effects of opioids are due to decreased perception of pain, decreased reaction to pain as well as increased pain tolerance. The side effects of opioids include sedation, respiratory depression, constipation, and a strong sense of euphoria. Opioids can cause cough suppression, which can be both an indication for opioid administration or an unintended side effect. Opioid dependence can develop with ongoing administration, leading to a withdrawal syndrome with abrupt discontinuation. Opioids are well known for their ability to produce a feeling of euphoria, motivating some to recreationally use opioids.

Although the term opiate is often used as a synonym for opioid, the term opiate is properly limited to the natural alkaloids found in the resin of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). In some definitions, the semi-synthetic substances that are directly derived from the opium poppy are considered to be opiates as well, while in other classification systems these substances are simply referred to as semi-synthetic opioids.

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