Opioid Analgesic

What is Opioid Analgesic ?

Opioid analgesic is a type of medication that acts on an ‘Opioid’ receptor to produce ‘Analgesic’ or ‘Pain Relieving effects. It belongs to a family of medicines that you generally use to manage and treat pain, including as an anesthetic. You can also use an opioid analgesic to treat other medical conditions. These include suppressing diarrhea, reversing opioid overdose, and treating opioid use disorder by using it as a part of replacement therapy. An opioid analgesic you can also use non-medically. It is mainly because of the ‘Euphoric’ effects that it exudes and its ability to prevent drug withdrawal symptoms. Here is presenting this blog explaining to you all the essential facts you need to know about an opioid analgesic.


How does An Opioid Analgesic Work to Provide Relief from ‘Pain’?

It is ‘Presynaptically’ as well as ‘Postsynaptically’ that an opioid analgesic acts to produce an ‘Analgesic’ effect that eventually reduces pain. The process that this type of medication uses is as follows:

Presynaptic Action:

 At the presynapse, an opioid analgesic acts by blocking calcium channels. It does so at the nociceptive afferent nerves in the opioid receptor. Hence, this leads to inhibiting the release of neurotransmitters such as P and glutamate. Finally, leading to what we know as nociception. Essentially, neural feedback helps the Central Nervous System or CNS detect damaging stimuli and prevent them from occurring.

2. Postsynaptic Action:

Meanwhile, at the postsynapse, an opioid analgesic functions efficiently by first opening up potassium channels in the opioid receptor. It then triggers the process of hyperpolarization or change in the ‘Cell Membrane’ potential in the human body. It increases the action potential required to generate a nociceptive transmission. Finally, the kappa, mu, and delta-opioid receptors combine, which helps in transmitting analgesic effects through the spinal and supraspinal regions.

Also, you need to note that there are a few opioid analgesics that can work to relieve pain by having an impact on serotonin kinetics. The basic mechanism of such a drug essentially involves using weak serotonin-reuptake inhibitors and stimulating or increasing the release of ‘Intrasynaptic Serotonin. It does by blocking gamma-aminobutyric acidergic presynaptic inhibitory neurons available on serotonin neurons.

Also, you need to understand that the receptors upon which an ‘Opioid Analgesic acts help regulate many body functions. These include the following:

  1. Mood
  2. Pain
  3. Respiration or breathing
  4. Stress
  5. Digestive system functions


The Risk or Contributory Factors Associated with An Opioid Analgesic:

 Like other medications, an Opioid Analgesic is associated with several risk factors. Some of these include the following:

  1. Thrill-seeking behavior in an individual
  2. Several psychosocial stressors
  3. History of childhood abuse
  4. Regular contact with high-risk individuals and the environment
  5. Previous drug or alcohol abuse
  6. A young individual


Examples of Opioid Analgesics?

Usually, there is not just one ‘Opioid Analgesic’ but a few that you can use to keep pain at bay and therefore keep it completely away from the body. They are as follows: 

  1. Oxycodone
  2. Tapentadol
  3. Tramadol
  4. Methadone
  5. Fentanyl
  6. Codeine
  7. Meperidine
  8. Dextromethorphan
  9. Buprenorphine

Opioid analgesics have the potential to trigger serotonin syndrome in your body. Therefore, you need to use it carefully, especially with drugs also possessing ‘Serotonergic’ activity or action.


How do You Use or Administer An ‘Opioid Analgesic’ Effectively?

Also. there are various dosage forms or drug formulations available for an opioid analgesic that you can use or administer. However, you usually take this type of medication orally through your mouth. It is available in the form of immediate and extended-release tablets. Besides, you can also get an opioid analgesic such as ‘Codeine’ in the form of oral suspension. Intravenous and rectal opioid analgesics such as hydromorphone and morphine are also available.


What are The Side Effects of Opioid Analgesic Medicines?

When you consume a synthetic drug like Tramadol, which is an ‘Opioid Analgesic,’ there is always a possibility that you may experience a few side effects and serious side effects. They are as follows:

Common Side-effects:
  1. Dizziness or drowsiness 
  2. Nausea 
  3. Vomiting 
  4. Respiratory depression 
  5. Physical dependence 
  6. Tolerance 
  7. Addiction 
 Adverse effects:
  1. Seizures
  2. Serotonin syndrome
  3. Delay in gastric emptying
  4. Rigidity in muscles
  5. The rise in sensitivity to pain
  6. Hormonal and Immune system dysfunction
  7. Arrhythmia
  8. Myoclonus or involuntary muscle jerks

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