Endorphins are neurotransmitters naturally produced by the pituitary and hypothalamus. They are produced in reaction to exercise, excitement, pain, consumption of spicy food, love and orgasm. They cause a feeling of well-being and act in the body as an analgesic to reduce pain. They are chemically very similar to narcotics and bind to the same neuroreceptors.

On occasion, when Gregory House was denied Vicodin, he caused himself pain to release endorphins which temporarily helped with the withdrawal symptoms.

Endorphine at Wikipedia

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