Opioid analgesics are the most potent in pain alleviation. In this class, fentanyl is the strongest, and morphine is the gold standard of opioid analgesics used to compare effectiveness, according to Rxlist. Other medications that fall under opiates are either more or less potent in comparison to morphine.
In the alleviation of pain in chronic conditions such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, opiates are used.
Codeine, which is an opiate, is 10 times less efficient when compared to morphine. Some opioid analgesics such as hydromorphone are more potent compared to morphine, reports Rxlist.
Opioid drugs act by binding to opioid receptors in the central nervous system, unlike other analgesics that inhibit cyclooxygenase enzymes involved in mediating the production of inflammatory substances, says WebMD.