Related topics: drug

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As the opioid epidemic raged on with an even greater force during COVID-19, the Scripps Research laboratory of chemist Kim Janda, Ph.D., has been working on new therapeutic interventions that may be able to prevent the bulk ...

Colorado student, scientist named Time's 'Kid of the Year'

A 15-year-old Colorado high school student and young scientist who has used artificial intelligence and created apps to tackle contaminated drinking water, cyberbullying, opioid addiction and other social problems has been ...

Attacking tumours directly on identification

Theranostics, the combination of "therapy" and "diagnostics," refers to drugs that are used not only to treat tumors but also to render them visible. The principle is as simple as it is ingenious: for example, in prostate ...

New molecular probes for opioid receptors

Strong painkillers are very important in the management of patients with cancer and heart attack or requiring surgery. They extert their effect by binding to so-called opioid receptors in the body.

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Opioid

An opioid is a psychoactive chemical that works by binding to opioid receptors, which are found principally in the central and peripheral nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract. The receptors in these organ systems mediate both the beneficial effects and the side effects of opioids.

Opioids are among the world's oldest known drugs; the use of the opium poppy for its therapeutic benefits predates recorded history. The analgesic (painkiller) effects of opioids are due to decreased perception of pain, decreased reaction to pain as well as increased pain tolerance. The side effects of opioids include sedation, respiratory depression, constipation, and a strong sense of euphoria. Opioids can cause cough suppression, which can be both an indication for opioid administration or an unintended side effect. Opioid dependence can develop with ongoing administration, leading to a withdrawal syndrome with abrupt discontinuation. Opioids are well known for their ability to produce a feeling of euphoria, motivating some to recreationally use opioids.

Although the term opiate is often used as a synonym for opioid, the term opiate is properly limited to the natural alkaloids found in the resin of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). In some definitions, the semi-synthetic substances that are directly derived from the opium poppy are considered to be opiates as well, while in other classification systems these substances are simply referred to as semi-synthetic opioids.

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