Patient Information Resources

Centre for Orthopaedics
Suite 10-33/34/35 Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
38 Irrawaddy Road
Singapore, 329563, Singapore
Ph: (65) 6684 5828
Fax: (65) 6684 5829

Child Orthopedics
Pain Management
Spine - Cervical
Spine - General
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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What is an opioid medication, why is it so difficult to get, and how does it differ from regular pain medications?

An opioid medication, also called a narcotic, is a controlled drug. These drugs are controlled because of their high potential of abuse and addiction. People who are experiencing pain who need opioids for relief should not have difficulty obtaining them, however, because of problems historically with addictions and diversion of medications, some doctors are reluctant to prescribe opioids.

Opioids differ from other, non-controlled, pain medications because of their action. The medications work by blocking the sense of pain from reaching the brain, while other pain medications reduce swelling, for example.


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