Have Medical Questions? Ask a Doctor Online!
Hello from JustAnswer.
Generally yes, if someone develops tolerance to one opioid, they are likely to be tolerant to all opioids. Sometimes, the cross-tolerance is less between two opioids that are primarily active against different opioid receptors. But in practical application, the cross-tolerance tends to occur with all opioids.
It is also worth noting that the cross-tolerance will also exist despite the specific medical problems. I have had some patients with a history of opioid abuse that had quit using and later come into the hospital with a heart attack, and they had tolerance to the morphine being given for their chest pain.
Tolerance can develop even without abuse or addiction. This is why the development of tolerance is considered one of the risks of long-term use of opioids. In certain situations, the benefits may still outweigh the risks, but the risk of tolerance is still considered in the balance when deciding whether to use opioids for long-term treatment.
If I can provide any additional information, please let me know.