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.