Dihydromorphine is a semisynthetic Opioid Analgesic (painkiller), derived from Morphine. Structurally, it is very similar to morphine—the only difference being the reduction of the double bond between positions 7 and 8 in morphine to a single bond. Although slightly more potent than morphine in relieving Pain, it is not widely used clinically. At standard analgesic doses, it has a side-effect profile very similar to that of morphine. These include constipation and respiratory depression. Chronic use will produce Tolerance and Physical Dependence.
(See also: Addiction: Concepts and Definitions ; Opiates/Opioids ; Opioids: Complications and Withdrawal )
Reisine, T., & Pasternak, G. (1996) Opioid analgesics and antagonists. In J. G. Hardman et al. (Eds.), The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 9th ed. (pp. 521-555). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Gavril W. Pasternak
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