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Other opiates Category: Opioids

Also called: fentanyl,  cyclimorph, oramorph, oxynorm, oxycontin, MST, morphine.

How it’s used

You can get a number of pain medicines on prescription. These are used to treat short-term and chronic pain. They are prescribed for medical conditions such as cancer, migraine, chronic back pain, arthritis and many others. Even though these medicines are legal, they can still be highly addictive.

Short-term effects

Long-term effects

Other dangers

If you are pregnant

If you take medicines for chronic pain tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a baby.


All opiates can become physically and psychologically addictive, so your body craves them and you feel you can’t cope without them. You build tolerance over time so you need to take more to get the same effect. It can be very difficult to stop taking these medicines. If you take them for a long-term condition, you should think about other types of pain relief. Ask your doctor to refer you to a pain management clinic to look at your options.


Withdrawal is less severe if you reduce your dose gradually rather than stop suddenly. Opiate withdrawal symptoms include aches, tremor, diarrhoea, sweating and chills, sneezing, yawning and muscular spasms. You may have sleep problems, cravings and mood swings for weeks. This can be a shock if you didn’t know your medication was addictive.

How long does it stay in your system?

Opiates show up in urine tests for 3-8 days. (The length of time depends on the test used, the amount you take, if you have other medical conditions and your own metabolism. Please use this figure as a guide only).

What help is available?

« Back to Types of Drugs page
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