A member asked:

I'm doing a project on morphine and it is an opiate and a narcotic analgesic. what is the difference?

3 doctors weighed in across 2 answers
Dr. Julian Goldman answered

Specializes in Anesthesiology

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 Jun 9, 2015

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Dr. Richard Pollard answered

Specializes in Anesthesiology

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 Aug 31, 2015

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