Definition of and mechanism for opioid-induced sedation

Stacey Young-McCaughan, Christine Miaskowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Although sedation is acknowledged to be one of the most common side effects of opioid analgesics, the mechanisms and characteristics of this phenomenon remain elusive, and research in this area is extremely limited. This report integrates research findings on the mechanism of action of opioids with research findings on the phenomenon of consciousness to develop a model of how opioids may act in the central nervous system to produce sedation. Based on this integration, a definition of opioid-induced sedation is proposed to encourage dialogue and research on this perplexing and clinically significant phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-97
Number of pages14
JournalPain Management Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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