Opioid pharmacology

Cathy Stannard, Michael Coupe and Anthony Pickering

in Opioids in Non-Cancer Pain

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print March 2013 | ISBN: 9780199678075
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191757464 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Pain Management Library

Opioid pharmacology

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  • Clinical Oncology
  • Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Pain Medicine


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Opioids act through μ, κ, and δ G-protein coupled receptors. The opioid peptides and receptors form an endogenous analgesic system. Opioid analgesics exert their therapeutic action through μ-receptors. Most of the opioid adverse effects are due to μ-receptor activation. The rational choice of opioids is governed by their pharmacokinetic profiles and patient’s individual responses to agents. Morphine remains a good starting point to assess the opioid sensitivity of a pain condition.

Chapter.  6150 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Oncology ; Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics ; Pain Medicine

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