The use of opium dates to 4,000 B.C. At that time it was used for medicinal and recreational purposes mainly via inhalation. Today few opium-containing preparations are used, since the activity of opium is largely attributed to its morphine content. The preparations in use today are those that have constipative effects useful for the treatment of diarrhea. Preparations include pantopon, an injectable hydrochloride of opium alkaloids, and paregoric, a camphorated tincture of opium. Paregoric can be used to treat infants with opioid withdrawal signs following in utero exposure to opioids.
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