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How do opioids relieve pain?

James P. Ioli, DPM
Podiatric Medicine
Prescription drugs that contain opioids (opioid analgesics) such as codeine are useful for pain that can't be relieved by analgesics or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They provide stronger pain relief because they block certain chemical pathways that send pain signals through the central nervous system. Many of these medications also cause drowsiness.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.