Opioids can decrease the body temperature by altering the equilibrium point of the hypothalamic heating mechanism (Koyyalagunta 2006). Opioids have neuroendocrine effects by suppressing the release of the hypothalamic releasing factors. There can be disruption of menstrual cycles with prolonged use of opioids (Koyyalagunta 2006). Opioids reduce the release of stress hormone and can also possibly suppress immune responses. Ongoing research has provided early evidence that opioids can enhance many types of infections and neoplastic conditions.
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