A 47-year-old member asked:
i'm doing a project on morphine and it is an opiate and a narcotic analgesic. what is the difference?
2 doctor answers
Dr. Julian Goldman answered
35 years experience Anesthesiology
Usually the same: Originally, "narcotic" was used more generally, especially for a sleep-inducing substance. It also has legal/regulatory implications as used by dea. Opiates (naturally derived from poppy) and opioids (semi-synthetically derived) are morphine-like drugs that are primarily used to treat pain. In the us healthcare environment, we usually use the words opioid, opiate, and narcotic interchangeably.
Answered on Jun 9, 2015
Dr. Richard Pollard answered
29 years experience Anesthesiology
Nomenclature: The term narcotic refers to the origin of the medication. Essentially it is a derivative (in the same class) as the opium derived from poppies. The term "narcotic analgesic" refers to the fact that the drug is a narcotic that is used for analgesia or the relief of pain.
Answered on Aug 31, 2015
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