If appropriate, your physician may consider opioid therapy in your treatment plan.
Opioids can be a life changing medication for many patients with chronic pain, if used responsibly. Opioids have great potential to ease pain; however they have equal potential for deadly side effects and misuse.
Opioids, also referred to as narcotics, are pain relieving medications that come from the opium poppy plant. Natural opioids include codeine and morphine.
Opioids work by binding to opioid receptors in the central and peripheral nervous system were they produce analgesic effects by decreasing the perception of pain, decreasing your reaction to pain, and increasing pain tolerance. They do not have an effect on the source of the pain, such as anti-inflammatory medications due by reducing the inflammation that causes pain.
Opioids also bind to other opioid receptors throughout the body producing unwanted side effects such as constipation, respiratory depression, and sedation. They also often produce euphoria, which is one of the reasons their use can also lead to abuse, misuse and addiction.