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What are the strongest narcotic pain medications that a doctor can prescribe?

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Quick Answer

The strongest narcotic pain medications prescribed by doctors are opioids. The drugs bind to opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord and other areas, reducing the transmission of pain signals to the brain, explains WebMD. Commonly prescribed opioids include oxycodone, codeine and fentanyl.

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Full Answer

Patients have varying responses to the pain-relieving effects of opioid medications, says the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The strongest opiate is fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic with a higher potency than morphine, the narcotic upon which many opioids are based. A qualified medical professional can prescribe fentanyl as an injection, transdermal patch or lozenge to patients with severe pain that don't respond well to other pain medications.

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