An opiate is a drug that can suppress the perception of pain and calm a person's emotional response to pain by reducing the effect of pain signals sent by the nervous system. Opiates (also called opioids or narcotics) produce a feeling of well-being (euphoria) and cause mood changes, cloudy thinking, and deep sleep.
Side effects of opiates may include constipation and nausea. Frequent use of opiates may make a person dependent on them.
Commonly prescribed legal opiates include codeine and morphine. Opium is an example of an illegal opiate.
Primary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerNancy Greenwald, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Current as ofMarch 12, 2014
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise