Alert

Opioid

An opioid is a drug that can suppress the perception of pain and calm a person's emotional response to pain. It does this by reducing the effect of pain signals sent by the nervous system. Opioids produce a feeling of well-being (euphoria). They also cause mood changes, cloudy thinking, and deep sleep. Side effects of opioids may include constipation and nausea. Opioids are also called opiates or narcotics.

Examples of prescription opioids include hydrocodone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine. Heroin is an example of an illegal opioid.

Frequent use of opioids may make a person physically dependent on them. Stopping use or using less may lead to withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, sweating, chills, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and muscle aches.

Some people who use opioids may develop opioid use disorder. They keep using opioids even though it causes harm to them or others. It can range from mild to severe. Moderate to severe opioid use disorder is sometimes called addiction.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Healthwise Symptom Checker Logo

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.

Top