What is morphine?

Morphine is in a group of drugs called narcotic pain relievers.

Morphine is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Short-acting morphine is taken as needed for pain. Extended-release morphine is for use when around-the-clock pain relief is needed.

Morphine is not for treating pain just after surgery unless you were already taking morphine before the surgery.

Morphine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

Precautions

Do not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a narcotic medicine (examples include codeine, methadone, Oxycontin, Darvocet, Percocet, Vicodin, Lortab, and many others). You should also not take morphine if you are having an asthma attack or if you have a bowel obstruction called paralytic ileus.

Morphine may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for. Morphine should never be given to another person, especially someone who has a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.

Before using morphine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders;
  • liver or kidney disease;
  • underactive thyroid;
  • curvature of the spine;
  • a history of head injury or brain tumor;
  • epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
  • low blood pressure;
  • gallbladder disease;
  • Addison's disease or other adrenal gland disorders;
  • enlarged prostate, urination problems;
  • mental illness; or
  • a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

You may not be able to take morphine unless you are already being treated with a similar opioid pain medicine and your body is tolerant to it. Talk with your doctor if you are not sure you are opioid-tolerant.

FDA pregnancy category C. This medication may be harmful to an unborn baby, and could cause addiction or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Morphine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine.

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking this medication. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with morphine. Check your food and medicine labels to be sure these products do not contain alcohol.

Morphine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.

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Instructions

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. An overdose of morphine can be fatal.

Overdose symptoms may include extreme drowsiness, pinpoint pupils, confusion, cold and clammy skin, weak pulse, shallow breathing, fainting, or breathing that stops.

Since morphine is sometimes used as needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are using the medication regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and wait until your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Extended-release morphine is not for use on an as-needed basis for pain.

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Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • shallow breathing, slow heartbeat;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • cold, clammy skin;
  • confusion;
  • severe weakness or dizziness; or
  • feeling light-headed, fainting.

Less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • constipation;
  • warmth, tingling, or redness under your skin;
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite;
  • dizziness, headache, anxiety;
  • memory problems; or
  • sleep problems (insomnia).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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Interactions

Avoid taking morphine if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) within the past 14 days. Side effects can be more severe if you use morphine before the MAO inhibitor has cleared from your body.

Do not take morphine with other narcotic pain medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, muscle relaxers, or other medicines that can make you sleepy or slow your breathing. Dangerous side effects may result.

Before taking morphine, tell your doctor if you are using pentazocine (Talwin), nalbuphine (Nubain), butorphanol (Stadol), or buprenorphine (Buprenex, Subutex). If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use morphine, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with morphine. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Other Names

Astramorph PF, Avinza, Doloral, Doloral Sirop, Duramorph PF, Infumorph, Kadian, M-Eslon, M. O. S., MS, MS Contin, MS/S, MSIR, Morphine LP Epidural, Morphine Rapi-Ject, Morphitec, OMS, Oramorph SR, RMS, Rescudose, Roxanol, Roxanol 100, Roxanol-T, Statex, morphine, and Morphine IR

Available Strengths & Dosages


Route Form Strength
oral capsule 15 mg
oral capsule 30 mg
oral concentrate 20 mg/mL
oral solution 10 mg/5 mL
oral solution 20 mg/5 mL
oral tablet 15 mg
oral tablet 30 mg

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Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04

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