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Narcotic and Opioid Analgesics

  • Generic
  • Brand
  • buprenorphine
  • Butrans , Subutex
  • butorphanol
  • Stadol nasal spray
  • codeine
  • codeine
  • fentanyl
  • Actiq , Duragesic , Fentora , Ionsys , Onsolis
  • hydromorphone
  • Dilaudid , Exalgo
  • levorphanol
  • Levo-Dromoran
  • meperidine
  • Demerol
  • methadone
  • Dolophine , Methadose
  • morphine
  • Kadian , MS Contin , MS IR , Oramorph , Roxanol
  • oxycodone
  • OxyContin , Oxyfast , Roxicodone
  • oxymorphone
  • Opana , Opana ER
  • pentazocine
  • Talwin
  • propoxyphene
  • Darvon
  • tramadol
  • Ultram

Natural opioids
Opium, morphine and codeine products
Pure, semi or totally synthetic derivatives
Hydrocodone, methadone, oxycodone and others

The following products use a combination of an opioid or narcotic along with aspirin, Tylenol, or other pain reliever to treat mild to moderate pain.

  • Anesxia 5/500
  • Capital with Codeine
  • Darvocet N 100
  • Darvocet N 50
  • E-Lor or Wygesic
  • Empirin or Phenaphen with Codeine #3
  • Empirin or Phenaphen with Codeine #4
  • Endocet
  • Fioricet with Codeine
  • Fiorinal with Codeine
  • Lorcet Plus
  • Lortab
  • Maxidone
  • Percocet
  • Percodan
  • Roxicet
  • Roxicet oral solution (contains alcohol)

  • Roxiprin
  • Talacen
  • Talwin Compound
  • Tylenol with Codeine
  • Tylenol with Codeine syrup (contains alcohol)
  • Tylox
  • Vicodin
  • Vicodin ES
  • Zydone

The following products use a combination of an opioid or narcotic along with an opioid antagonist which blocks the "high" that opioids can have when used inappropriately. They are designed to prevent abuse of the opioid but still provide pain relief when used as prescribed.

  • Acurox
  • Embeda
  • Oxytrex
  • Suboxone

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Opiate medications are commonly used to control moderate to severe acute pain. They are typically used for a short time because they cause physiological tolerance (takes more to get the same analgesic effect) and physical dependence (get withdrawal symptoms if abruptly stopped) as amount and duration of doses increase. Longer-term use is indicated to alleviate the chronic pain associated with cancer and certain other conditions, and research has shown that abuse of these medications rarely occurs in such patients. Severe and chronic pain has long been under treated in the United States due to irrational fears that anyone prescribed opiates will become addicted. This has clearly been shown to be not the case. People with substance use disorders need pain management just like anyone else. Opioids are appropriately prescribed to manage chronic cancer pain—especially fentanyl, oxycodone and methadone.

Methadone is a synthetic opioid used in heroin detoxification treatment programs to maintain sobriety from heroin use disorders. Many people who have been addicted to heroin have returned to a productive life because of methadone treatment. Methadone is also frequently used to provide relief for specific types of pain, especially in pain clinics. The management of chronic pain in a person who has been opiate abusing and dependent is one of the most challenging tasks in medicine.

Heroin is a drug of abuse.


All narcotic and opioid analgesics have specific doses and frequencies. The physician will specify the exact amount of medication and when it should be taken. This information is provided on the prescription bottle. Many narcotic or opioid medications are taken two or more times a day. Some medications are taken in pill or liquid form. A few are taken in a nasal spray or as topical patches on the skin. Injectable narcotics are not listed here because they are not often used outside a hospital setting.

  • Constipation
  • Decreased ability to see clearly
  • Decreased ability to think clearly
  • Flushing and sweating
  • Itching
  • Pupil constriction
  • Respiratory depression (slowed breathing rate)
  • Stomach upset
  • Tolerance

Convulsions and/or cardiac arrest with high dosages.

Overdose may increase pulse rate, result in convulsions followed by coma or death.

Overdose may depress the breathing centers in the brain leading to inability to breathe.

An overdose is always considered an emergency and treatment should be sought immediately.


With narcotic and opioid medications, there is a potential for the development of tolerance and dependence as well as the possibility of abuse and severe withdrawal reactions. There are many non-addictive pain medications available for pain management that can be used after acute pain is reduced.

  • Doctors and pharmacists should be told about all medications being taken and dosage, including over-the-counter preparations, vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements (i.e., St. John’s wort, echinacea, ginkgo, and ginseng).
  • People taking narcotic and opioid analgesics should not increase their dose unless this has been checked with their physician and a change is ordered.
  • Persons taking an opioid medication are particularly vulnerable to adverse medical consequences if they concurrently use alcohol and/or street drugs, because alcohol and street drugs can increase the sedation effects of the opioids.
  • Potential for development of tolerance and dependence exists.

For all women of childbearing age who may be or think they may be pregnant, the physician should discuss the safety of this medication before starting, continuing, or discontinuing medication treatment. Both pregnant women and their unborn infants can become tolerant and physically dependent on opioids. This dependence as well as possible withdrawal syndromes needs to be assessed. Substance abuse counselors may have a role in encouraging this discussion by suggesting their clients talk with the prescribing physician. See Opiod Use Disorder Treatment Medications for information about methadone use during pregnancy.

Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network