Morphine

Brand names of morphine

  • Astramorph
  • Astramorph PF
  • Doloral
  • Duramorph
  • Epimorph
  • Infumorph
  • Kadian
  • M-Elson
  • Morphine H.P
  • Morphine Sulfate
  • Morphitec
  • M.O.S.
  • M.O.S.-S.R.
  • MS Contin
  • MS-IR
  • OMS Concentrate
  • Opium Tincture
  • Oramorph SR
  • Paregoric
  • RMS Uniserts
  • Roxanol
  • Roxanol 100
  • Roxanol SR
  • Statex

Simply speaking, morphine is a sedative pain reliever used in the treatment of restrained to acute pain. Deemed to be the prototypical opioid (characteristically obtained from opium-like substance), morphine is a powerful opiate analgesic medicine. German pharmacist Friedrich Sertürner was the first to isolate morphine in 1804. He was also the first to distribute the product in 1817, while globally leading pharmaceutical firm Merck was the first to sell the product commercially in 1827, when it was just an insignificant drugstore. Following the invention of the hypodermic needle in 1857, morphine was used more extensively. It may be noted here that morphine acquired its name from Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams.

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Morphine is an alkaloid that is present profusely in opium. Actually, it is the dehydrated fluid or latex obtained from the thinly sliced unripe opium seedpods - the common poppy (botanical name, Papaver somniferum). In effect, morphine happened to be the original active determinant distilled from a plant source. It is among a minimum of 50 dissimilar forms of alkaloids enclosed by opium, including Poppy Straw Concentrate as well as many other by-products of poppy.

Things you need to tell your physician before taking morphine

As in the case of beginning treatment with any new medication, you need to exercise a few precautions before you start taking morphine. Prior to taking morphine, inform your physician or pharmacist if you have allergic reactions to morphine, any other medicines or to any of the inactive elements enclosed in type of morphine tablets, capsules or liquid you intend to take for your condition. If you are not sure about the ingredients in these medications, ask your pharmacist for further details or for a list containing the same.

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Prior to starting therapy with morphine, tell your physician or pharmacist about all the prescription and non-prescription (over-the-counter) drugs, herbal products, nutritional supplements and vitamins you are already taking or intend to take in the near future. It is especially important if you are taking any anti-depressant, anti-coagulants (blood thinner) like warfarin (Coumadin), beta blockers, antihistamines (present in cold and allergy medicines), diuretics (water pills), sedatives like monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, medicines to cure mental ailments, anxiety, pain, seizures, nausea, and/ or muscle relaxants. In case you are taking any of the above mentioned medications, it is likely that your physician would alter the dosages of your existing medicines and/ or keep a close eye on you to see if there is any side effects of using these medications along with morphine.

It is also important to inform your physician if you consume alcoholic beverages or have drunk large amounts of alcohol previously. Also talk to your physician regarding the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking morphine. You also need to tell your physician if you have ever had to undergo a major surgery. In the event of you having to undergo a surgery or dental operation, tell your physician that you are taking morphine.

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In addition, tell your physician about your entire medical history, especially if you have or have ever had a brain tumor, head injury, trouble in swallowing, mental ailment, urinary problem, prostatic hypertrophy (growth of the male reproductive organ), low blood pressure, any lung ailment, for instance asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) - a group of aliments that result in loss of the normal working of the lungs, abnormal heartbeat, any disease of the pancreas, kidneys, intestine and/ or gallbladder.

Women intending to take morphine for their condition ought to tell their physician beforehand if they are pregnant, intend to become pregnant or are breast feeding. In case any woman becomes pregnant while being treated with morphine, she should immediately contact her physician and seek advice on what should be her next action.

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People taking morphine should be aware of the fact that this medication is likely to make them feel drowsy. Hence, it is advisable that they should not undertake any task that requires alertness, such as driving or operating a machine, till they are sure regarding the influence of the medication on them and also sure that they would be able to complete the task safely. In addition, they ought to know that taking this medication may result in side effects, such as light-headedness, wooziness and faintness when they try to get up very hurriedly from a lying position. In order to keep away from this problem, it is advisable that you should get out of the bed slowly, first resting your feet on the floor for a couple of minutes prior to standing up.

Usage

Morphine, a potent opiate analgesic medication, is used to alleviate different types of pain, from moderate to acute.

How to use morphine

Morphine is an oral medication available in tablet, capsule and liquid forms and may be taken with or without food. If you experience nausea after taking this medication, it is advisable to take it with some food. Besides, you should seek the advice of your physician or pharmacist on ways to reduce nausea, for instance lying down for an hour or two with very little movement of the head. This medication is generally taken twice or thrice every day at intervals of 12 hours or 8 hours. It is important to take this medication on a regular basis according to your physician's instructions. Remember, morphine should not be taken all of a sudden to alleviate pain only when it starts.

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The dosage of this medication is generally dependent on the medical condition of the patient as well as his/ her response to therapy with morphine. It is advisable not to increase the dosage of the medication, take it more often or take it for a longer period of time than what has been prescribed by your physician. When you are directed to discontinue with the medication, stop taking it in a proper manner. Instead of stopping it all of a sudden, you should decrease the dosage gradually and then discontinue the medication. Ask your physician for further details in this regard.

Morphine tablets or capsules should be swallowed as a whole and never be broken, chewed or dissolved in any liquid. If you break, crush, chew or dissolve this medication, the total drug in the tablet/ capsule would be released all at once augmenting the risk of an overdose of morphine.

Grown up people who might have difficulty in swallowing the morphine capsule are permitted to open the capsule and blend the ingredients in liquid or sprinkle them on a spoonful of soft food, for instance applesauce. However, they should never chew the food containing the medication. Instead, the entire food containing the medication ought to be swallowed instantly. Subsequently, rinse the mouth and also swallow the rinse liquid to ensure that you have ingested the total dosage of the medication. It is advisable not to chew a mixture of the medication prepared in advance or take a supply that has been prepared beforehand. Be careful not to give this medication to any child as he/ she may chew the tablet/ capsule and suffer from an overdose of morphine. If you are giving the medication to a child who has difficulty in swallowing the morphine capsule, seek the advice of the physician regarding the use of a different form of morphine, for instance the liquid or tablet form.

Prior to starting treatment with morphine, you should discuss with your physician or pharmacist whether you should discontinue or alter the dosage of any other narcotic medications you may be using. For further relief from pain, your physician may ask you to take a quick-acting narcotic or a non-narcotic pain medicine, for instance, ibuprofen or acetaminophen, concurrently with your morphine dosage. It is advisable that in case you have any queries regarding the safe use of morphine in conjugation with other drugs, consult your physician or pharmacist.

People who are taking morphine are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms, particularly if they have been using the medication on a regular basis and for a prolonged period or if they have been taking high doses of the medication. The withdrawal reactions, such as nausea, restiveness, runny nose, watering eyes, aching muscles and sweating, are more likely to happen if you stop taking this medication all of a sudden. In order to avoid such withdrawal symptoms, it is likely that your physician would gradually lower your dosage of the medication before asking you to discontinue it permanently. If you experience any withdrawal symptoms after your have stopped taking the medicine, contact your doctor immediately and seek his/ her advice. You may ask your physician or pharmacist beforehand regarding what steps you should take if you have any withdrawal reactions.

You should know that if you have been taking morphine on a regular basis for a prolonged period of time, the medication might not work as well as it should. Therefore, if you find that the medication is not working as effectively as it should, contact your physician and seek his advice.

While morphine offers several benefits, especially in alleviating pain, this medication may also rarely cause an anomalous drug addiction or drug-seeking behaviour. This risk is likely to be aggravated provided you have been involved in alcohol or drug abuse in the past. In order to avoid such risk of drug addiction it is important to take this medication strictly as directed by your physician. Contact your physician if your condition continues to be the same or deteriorates further.

How morphine works

Morphine is an opioid which helps to alleviate pain, including severe tenderness. It works by functioning on certain areas of the brain as well as the spinal cord that control pain signals from the nerves to different parts of the body.

Side effects

Serious
  • clammy skin
  • cold
  • confusion
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • loss of consciousness
  • seizures
  • slow breathing
  • slurred speech
  • small, pinpoint pupils
  • weakness
Common
Less common
  • euphoria (false sense of well-being)
  • hallucinations
  • mood swings
  • myoclonus (jerking body movements)
  • sweating
  • urinary retention

Possible interactions

Like several other medications, morphine is also known to interact with certain other medications, including herbal products and minerals and, therefore, one should avoid taking them concurrently. For instance, herbs like kava kava and valerian are likely to additively interact with morphine resulting in drowsiness. In addition, St. John's wort has the aptitude to alter - increase or induce, P450 3A4 enzymes, often confusing the consequences of using morphine. Hence, it is advisable not to use these herbs in conjugation with morphine. Moreover, it is advisable that prior to including any new herb to your existing list of medications, you should always consult your physician.

It has been found that opioid analgesic medications are able to increase the inebriation caused by consumption of alcoholic beverages. In addition, alcohol has the aptitude to enhance the sedative effects of opioids on the brain, circulation and breathing. Therefore, it is advisable that people taking morphine should avoid alcoholic beverages. Even smoking tobacco may result in the intensification of drowsiness and pain relief. Besides, it may also cause harm to the physical and mental performance of people taking morphine.

Discontinuation

People taking morphine to relieve pain should always use this medication only for a brief period. Using morphine for a prolonged period needs steady reduction of the dosage with a view to diminish the potential withdrawal effects of this medication, which may include fever, body aches, nervousness, sweating, debility, trembling, sneezing, runny nose, nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and even fast heartbeat rhythm.

Storage instructions

It is advisable that you should always store morphine at room temperature ranging between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C). In addition, this medication should be kept in a place which is away from light and dampness. Never store morphine in your bathroom, which is normally damp. Remember to keep all medications in a place that is beyond the reach of children and pets.

When the expiry date of the medication lapses or it is need no longer, dispose it of in a proper and safe manner. Unless you have been directed otherwise, never discard the medication by flushing it down the toilet or pouring it into a drain. If necessary, talk to your pharmacist or the neighbourhood waste disposal company for further details regarding the safe and appropriate manner of disposing of the medicine.

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Comments

From Bob - Oct-23-2014
I have taken Morphine SR or MS Contin for four years. At times upwards of 240 mg per day. It is expensive in its time release form. I had a very painful lower back problem and morphine seemed to have the least side effects, at first. While it stopped the pain it brought its own curse with it. I managed to loose weight and my back pain is likely much better. Now I am an opiate addict. My Bank cancelled my insurance on my mortgage when I admitted to be on the drug during a routine questionnaire. I slowly began taking more than I originally started with. 60 mg...then 90 mg and so on.
I now take 15 0mg per day and I am slowly determined to end this cursed drug. The trouble I go through to keep a steady supply, even with my doctors full support is a nightmare. Often my doctor is away when I need my Rx filled. Other doctors always believe me to be a junkie. It is very embarrassing. My wife thinks I'm a different person. I left my med bag in a cab while on holidays in Mexico. Could not get more. Ended up in full withdrawal at airport and during flight home. It comes with a whole world of pain that is much worse than my original problem. The pain of full withdrawal is.
20 times worse than my back ever was. This is a one way street. If you are suffering with serious cancer and you need to ease your pain, it is a miracle. Otherwise be prepared for a life changing ordeal.
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