Harvard Health Blog

Saving lives with a prescription - Prescribing naloxone with opioid painkillers

By: Sarah E. Wakeman, M.D., FASAM, Contributing Editor, Harvard Health Publications Opioid drugs help relieve pain by sticking to opioid receptors in the body, which in turn, helps block “pain signals.” The umbrella term “opioids” includes prescription painkillers, such as hydrocodone (in Vicodin) or oxycodone (in Percocet), as well as heroin. These drugs not only ease pain and cause pleasurable feelings, but also can depress breathing — take too much and a person can…

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