What is an Opioid?

An opioid is a drug commonly used to treat moderate to severe pain. Opioids work by stimulating opioid receptors in the brain which reduce pain. Opioids are used in hospitals and are sometimes prescribed by doctors to help treat more severe pain and discomfort. However, research suggests over-the-counter pain medications may actually work better for treating acute pain. There are also illegal opioids, such as heroin.

Some common opioids include:

  • Hydrocodone (Norco, Lortab, Vicodin, Zohydro)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, Roxicodone)
  • Morphine (MSIR, MS Contin)
  • Codeine (Tylenol #3, Phenergan with codeine)
  • Fentanyl  (Duragesic, Actiq)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Oxymorphone (Opana)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Tramadol (Ultram, ConZip)
  • Buprenorphine (Subutex, Suboxone, Butrans, Zubsolv)
  • Methadone (Dolophine, Methadose)

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