Opioids are a type of narcotic pain medication. They can have serious side effects if you don’t use them correctly. For people who have an opioid addiction, their problem often started with a prescription.
If you need to take opioids to control your pain, here are some ways to make sure you’re taking them as safely as possible.
How Opioids Work
Opioid drugs bind to opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and other areas of the body. They tell your brain you’re not in pain.
They are used to treat moderate to severe pain that may not respond well to other pain medications.
Opioid drugs include:
- Codeine (only available in generic form)
- Fentanyl (Actiq, Abstral, Duragesic, Fentora)
- Hydrocodone (Hysingla, Zohydro ER)
- Hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vicodin)
- Hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo)
- Meperidine (Demerol)
- Methadone (Dolophine, Methadose)
- Morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Morphabond)
- Oliceridine (Olynvik)
- Oxycodone (OxyContin OxyContin, Oxaydo)
- Oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet, Roxicet)
- Oxycodone and naloxone
Your doctor can prescribe most of these drugs to take by mouth. Fentanyl is available in a patch. A patch allows the medication to be absorbed through the skin.