In this paper we have looked a little closer into opioid medication- types, effects, side effects and their use in current medical practice.
In 1975 scientists finally discovered the biophysiological mechanisms behind morphine s effects. They found that brain has its own substances that, when bound to their respective receptors, give effects that earlier were very similar to those induced by morphine. These natural ligands were therefore named endogen opioids and are understood as our body s natural pain- and stress-defeating system.
Twenty years later we know a little more about these incredible systems, but our knowledge is still poor. It is speculated about possibility that endogen opioids also could have an important role in certain psychological and endocrinological functions.
Exogenous opioids are today a large group of medication, with morphine still being the most important and most researched one.
The main indications for using this medicament group are: acute conditions of strong pain (short term), per- and postoperatively, and strong pain in terminal, especially cancer patients (long term). There have been reports about under-usage of opioids in these patient groups. This because of too little knowledge that leads to a non justified fear for the side effects.At the same time, opioids used on the wrong indications and their over-usage have caused a lot of harm to the patients, even leading to deaths.
The main reason for this paper was therefore to try to learn more about opioids and their right medical use.