Opioid Toxicity

Link to article at PubMed

2021 May 19. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan–.


Opioids and opiates together comprise a class of medications widely used primarily to control severe pain. The first-line drugs for mild to moderate acute pain treatment are acetaminophen or NSAIDs. If these first-line agents are ineffective in controlling the pain, we can use medications that target different pathways like combinations of acetaminophen and opioid. Severe acute pain is treated with potent opioids. Conventionally, the term opiates refer to natural compounds usually obtained from the poppy flower base. Opioids are synthesized by chemical processes. Opiates and opioids are among the most commonly abused substances throughout the world. Addiction to opioids and opiates has become a significant health problem in the developed world since the 2000s, particularly in the United States. About 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them, and about 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder. It is estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin. Opioid overdoses accounted for more than 42,000 deaths in 2016, more than any previous year on record. About 40% of opioid overdose deaths involved a prescription opioid.

PMID:28613731 | Bookshelf:NBK431077

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