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Different Types of Opioid Drugs

Different Types of Opioid Drugs

The most common type of opioid drug is Morphine. This drug is generally used in treating severe pain associated with cancer.

Morphine is usually very fast-acting, especially when given in liquid form or through injection or intravenous route, in some cases bringing on almost instantaneous relief. This can be especially true in those persons who do not take narcotic drugs except on occasion.


Another opioid drug that is not as strong as morphine, but still has good results when used for pain control is Hydrocodone. This drug is often prescribed for moderate to severe pain, such as that which may occur after surgery or a rather serious injury such as a broken bone.

Oxycodone is another opioid drug. This drug is slightly stronger than Hydrocodone, which makes it a good choice for treating pain that occurs as a result of kidney stones or similar conditions. It can also last longer than Hydrocodone, thus making it possible for a smaller amount to be given less often.

Another opioid drug is fentanyl-one of its brand names is Onsolis. This medication is extremely effective in treating "break-through" pain. Many cancer patients often experience this type of pain. They may already be experiencing constant pain, however, that pain has been controlled with other drugs to the extent that it remains at a fairly stable level. Break-through pain, however, is much more severe, and may also have a sudden onset.

Another good thing about fentanyl is that it can be administered through the use of a small film that has been coated with the medication. The film adheres to the inside of the patient's cheek and the medication is released within 15 to 30 minutes, as the film dissolves, bringing quick relief.

Fentanyl and Tramadol, another opioid drug, are often used when "round-the-clock" pain relief is necessary, as is again often the case with cancer patients. Tramadol is not as strong as fentanyl, but the fact that it is given in extended-release tablets means that the medication remains at a fairly constant level at all times.

If you are old enough, you may be able to remember when it was possible to obtain one certain opioid drug, Paregoric, without a prescription. Paregoric is still available, however, because of its highly addictive properties, it now must be prescribed. When it is prescribed, it is usually for the treatment of severe diarrhea, although it can also act as a pain reliever. Paregoric works on smooth muscles, such as the stomach or, in women, the uterus. For this reason, women who are suffering from severe menstrual cramps may sometimes be given paregoric.

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