• Role of Opiates & Opioids • Dual Problems of Sensitivity & Tolerance • Opiate Antidote – Naloxone • Use of Morphine • Doctrine of Double Effect • Problems with Slow Euthanasia • Use of Heroin • New Synthetics – Fentanyl & Carfentanil • Opioid Summary • Exit RPA Test
The Role of Opiates & Opioids
Opiates are naturally occurring compounds that originate from the sap of the poppy, papaver somniferum. They include drugs like morphine and codeine. Opioids are all drugs with morphine-like effects. These include semi-synthetic products derived from morphine including drugs such as heroin and codeine, along with a number of fully-synthetic compounds like pethidine, methadone and fentanyl. These compounds all effect the opioid receptors in the brain and are generally used for the control of strong pain. Other effects include respiratory depression and sedation. It is this combination of sedation and respiratory depression that gives this drug class a potential as an end of life agent.