Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Narcotic
A narcotic (also called opioid or opiate) is a substance that can
suppress perception of pain and calm the emotional response to pain by reducing
the number of pain signals sent by the nervous system. Narcotics produce a
feeling of well-being (euphoria) and cause mood changes, cloudy thinking, and
Commonly prescribed legal narcotics include butorphanol, codeine, hydrocodone, meperidine,
and morphine. Heroin is an illegal narcotic.
Side effects of narcotics may include constipation and nausea. Frequent use of
narcotics may make a person dependent on them.
Current as of:
February 20, 2015
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Nancy Greenwald, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.