An opioid is a drug that can suppress the perception of pain and calm a person's emotional response to pain by reducing the effect of pain signals sent by the nervous system. Opioids (also called opiates or narcotics) produce a feeling of well-being (euphoria) and cause mood changes, cloudy thinking, and deep sleep.
Side effects of opioids may include constipation and nausea. Frequent use of opioids may make a person dependent on them.
Commonly prescribed legal opioids include codeine and morphine. Opium is an example of an illegal opioid.
Current as of: December 13, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Donald Sproule MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Nancy Greenwald MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation