From time immemorial mankind has been aware of opium classification . The word opium itself is derived from Greek word for juice.
Arabian traders popularized it and introduced it to Europe. Paracelsus (1493—1541) reintroduced it and made it popular. It was at one time considered as “God’s own medicine” and used in various remedies from impotence to dropsy.
Opium is a blackish brown, putty- like resinous substance derived from the plant called Opium poppy, “Papaver somnferum “.
It is a small shrub like plant, grows up to 2—3 feet in height with vivid coloured flowers growing on a single stalk. After opium classification it is finally used for drug manufacturing and other applications.
The flower has a big seed capsule at its base while it is still unripe (green) small vertical cuts are given on the cover of the seed capsule.
White milky sap starts coming out, which is allowed to dry up in sunlight, and gets converted into “opium”, a brownish material. In the geographical locations of “Golden triangle” (China, Myanmar and Nepal) and “Golden crescent” (Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran), it is illegally cultivated and produced.
In India, in government-controlled fanns, it is grown and opium is produced for medicinal purposes, as per the opium classification and their variants.
In 1806, Frederich Serturner produced an opium alkaloid, which after self administration, produced dreams, so he named it “Morphine” after Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams.
As the further developments took place a whole family of these alkaloids and later on, related synthetic drugs were produced.
All of these drugs are classically called “Opioids”. opium classification based on the alkaloids used:
1. Opium alkaloids: opium classification include two classes
a) Phenanthrenes: Morphine and its congeners.
b) Benzyl isoquinolenes: Papaverine and its congeners
At one point in time, papaverine and its congeners were relegated as “non-analgesics”, but only smooth muscle relaxants.
But with more understanding in mechanisms of nociceptors and their varieties based on opium classification .
Some of the drugs belonging to this group of opium classification, e.g., drotaverine, have been administered successfully and now in use for pain of spasmodic type, of visceral origin like due to dysmenorrhoea, colicky pains arising from other organs and even postoperative pain of visceral origin.