Glossary O


Opioid analgesics

A diverse group of drugs with a broadly similar pharmacology. Opioids work by binding to mu, kappa and delta receptors in the central nervous system. Opioids are commonly prescribed for moderate to severe pain, particularly for palliative care, cancer pain and chronic non-cancer pain. They can also be used in mild to moderate pain that cannot be controlled adequately by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as post-operative or dental pain.