Morphine has been long recognized as standard of care in the treatment of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients; however, its safety has recently been called into question due to a drug interaction with P2Y inhibitors. Opioids, given in combination with P2Y inhibitors, can reduce antiplatelet effects by slowing gastrointestinal motility and ultimately reducing drug absorption. While there are proposed benefits of opioids in ACS patients, conflicting data regarding clinical outcomes exist. The majority of clinical data slightly favors opioid use in ST-elevation myocardial infarction over non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction, although trends for increased myocardial infarction are present in both settings. Current practice should be aimed at discerning the need for routine opioid use in ACS. Alternative strategies may be needed to overcome these interactions; however, no robust data are currently available to support these treatment options. Future research should be aimed at non-opioid treatment options in ACS, as opioid use remains controversial in this population.
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