Opioid (oh-pee-oid) medicines are used to treat severe pain.

They are also listed by the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) as controlled substances.  This means they are regulated for safety because of their significant side effects and the risk of addiction. 

Some common opioid medicines include:

  • Hydromorphone (also called Dilaudid, Exalgo)
  • Morphine (also called MS Contin, Oramorph SR, Roxanol, Kadian, Embeda, MSIR)
  • Oxycodone (also called Oxycontin, Percocet)
  • Tapentadol (also called Nucynta)
  • Fentanyl (also called Duragesic, Fentanyl Oralet)
  • Methadone (also called Dolophine)
  • Hydrocodone
  • Ultram (also called Tramadol)  

These medicines may have other names so you need to make sure to ask your pharmacist if you have any questions about the medicine.  

Talk to your doctor before taking any of these medicines if you have breathing problems or have had trouble with drug or alcohol abuse in the past. Opioids are known to often have adverse side effects; however, addiction and breathing problems are rare when used correctly.