1932

Abstract

Opioids are the oldest and most potent drugs for the treatment of severe pain. Their clinical application is undisputed in acute (e.g., postoperative) and cancer pain, but their long-term use in chronic pain has met increasing scrutiny. This article reviews mechanisms underlying opioid analgesia and other opioid actions. It discusses the structure, function, and plasticity of opioid receptors; the central and peripheral sites of analgesic actions and side effects; endogenous and exogenous opioid receptor ligands; and conventional and novel opioid compounds. Challenging clinical situations, such as the tension between chronic pain and addiction, are also illustrated.

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2016-01-14
2024-04-16
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