This book offers a comprehensive overview of the often controversial and confounding use of opioids in pain control. Serving both scientists and clinicians alike, it informs scientists about unresolved clinical problems of using opioids for pain relief and teaches physicians about the practical implications of such use. Written by an internationally recognized group of contributors, it covers topics ranging from the molecular biology of opioid receptors and the basic pharmacology of endogenous and exogenous opioids to the clinical applications of opioids in acute and chronic pain. Clinical correlations are drawn for important developments such as the cloning of the opioid receptors, the transplantation of opioid producing cells, the inhibition of opioid-degrading enzymes, antiopioids, and the peripheral effects in visceral and inflammatory pain. Clinically-oriented chapters include the application of opioids in malignant and nonmalignant chronic pain, preemptive analgesia, intra and postoperative pain, obstetric and visceral pain. Anesthesiologists, neurologists, oncologists and all physicians and researchers with an interest in pain will find this an indispensable source of information.