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What does opioid agonist mean?

Elena Hill, MD, MPH profile image
By Elena Hill, MD, MPH • Updated Aug 2, 2023

An opioid agonist is an opioid medication that turns on opioid receptors in the brain, creating analgesia/pain control euphoria and often addiction. Examples of opioid agonists are legal painkillers (oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, morphine, codeine, etc.) as well as illegal drugs such as heroin or fentanyl.

By Elena Hill, MD, MPH

Elena Hill, MD; MPH received her MD and Masters of Public Health degrees at Tufts Medical School and completed her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. She is currently an attending physician at Bronxcare Health Systems in the Bronx, NY where ... Read More


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