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How do short- and long-acting opioids differ?

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Opioids are narcotics, drugs that numb pain. They can be short- or long-acting Short-acting ones may take 15 to 30 minutes to kick in and give you 3-4 hours of pain relief. They help with pain from serious injury or surgery, and they're usually prescribed for pain that lasts only a few days.

If you’ve had moderate to severe pain for a long time, your doctor can give you something with a longer-lasting effect. These can give you steady relief for 8 to 12 hours and are taken on a regular schedule.

You can also use short-acting opioids with a long-acting treatment as “rescue medication” for times when the pain is very bad.

From: What Are Opioids? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment: “Opiates/Opioids.”

American Chronic Pain Association: “Prescription Medications for Chronic Pain,” “Opioids.”

MedlinePlus: “Opioids and Chronic Pain.”

National Institute on Drug Abuse: “What Are Opioids?” "Opioid Overdose Crisis."

ACPA Resource Guide To Chronic Pain Medication & Treatment 2015 Edition , American Chronic Pain Association, 2015.

National Institutes of Health: “Complete biosynthesis of opioids in yeast.”

Narconon: “Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Pain Reliever Abuse.”  

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on May 30, 2019

SOURCES:

The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment: “Opiates/Opioids.”

American Chronic Pain Association: “Prescription Medications for Chronic Pain,” “Opioids.”

MedlinePlus: “Opioids and Chronic Pain.”

National Institute on Drug Abuse: “What Are Opioids?” "Opioid Overdose Crisis."

ACPA Resource Guide To Chronic Pain Medication & Treatment 2015 Edition , American Chronic Pain Association, 2015.

National Institutes of Health: “Complete biosynthesis of opioids in yeast.”

Narconon: “Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Pain Reliever Abuse.”  

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on May 30, 2019

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What are short-acting opioids?

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