Narcotic (opioid) analgesics are very potent pain killers obtained from Opium poppy plants. They produce pain relief by depression of central nervous system (CNS), especially cerebrum and medulla. They also act on glands and smooth muscles of respiratory and gastrointestinal system which accounts for the side effects of these drugs. The main limitation of these analgesics is that their long term use leads to dependence and addiction (Narcotic Analgesic Drugs).
There are different types of opiate receptors in the CNS which are responsible for the pharmacological actions of narcotic agents. Opiate receptors have three main parts: a flat portion which contains the aromatic part, a hollow portion which has the ethylene bridge and an ionic site with 30 nitrogen. These three parts form a specific spatial orientation of the receptors which is responsible for the specificity of these receptors for narcotic agents (Narcotic Analgesic Drugs).
There are three main types of opiate receptors, mu, kappa and delta. These receptors produce different effects on the body. Mu receptors produce analgesia, euphoria, respiratory depression and addiction. Kappa receptors produce dysphoria, euphoria and addiction. Delta receptors are linked to G-proteins.
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