Do not stop taking morphine suddenly if you have been taking it continuously for more than 5 to 7 days. Stopping suddenly could cause withdrawal symptoms and make you very uncomfortable. Your doctor may want to gradually reduce your dose. Also, do not crush, chew, break, or open controlled-release forms of morphine such as Oramorph SR, Kadian, and MS Contin. Swallow them whole. They are specially formulated to release morphine slowly into your system. Breaking them would cause too much of the drug to be released into your blood at one time.
Morphine will cause drowsiness and fatigue. Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, antihistamines, sedatives, and tranquilizers that may also make you drowsy except under the supervision of your doctor. It will also cause constipation. Drink plenty of water (six to eight full glasses a day) to lessen this side effect. Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet can also help to alleviate constipation. Never take more morphine than is prescribed for you. If your pain is not being adequately treated, talk to your doctor.
What Is Morphine?
Morphine is in a class of drugs called narcotic analgesics and is used to treat moderate-to-severe pain. Morphine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Who Should Not Take Morphine?
Morphine is habit forming and should only be used under close supervision if you have an alcohol or drug addiction. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have:
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Urinary retention
- An enlarged prostate
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Gallbladder disease
- A head injury
- Addison's disease
You may not be able to take morphine, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above. Morphine may cause addiction and withdrawal symptoms as well as other harmful effects in an unborn baby. Do not take this drug without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.
Morphine may also cause addiction and withdrawal symptoms in a nursing infant. Do not take morphine without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. If you are younger than 18 years of age or older than 60 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from morphine therapy. Use extra caution.
How Should I Take Morphine?
Take morphine exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you. Take each dose with a full glass of water or with food or milk if it upsets your stomach.
Never take more of this medication than is prescribed for you. Too much morphine could be very harmful. To ensure that you get a correct dose, measure the liquid form of morphine with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not with a regular tablespoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one.
Do not crush, chew, break, or open controlled-release forms of morphine such as Oramorph SR, Kadian, or MS Contin. Swallow them whole. They are specially formulated to release morphine slowly into your system. Breaking them would cause too much drug to be released into your blood at one time.
Use the suppositories rectally as directed by your doctor. If you do not know how to use them, ask you doctor, nurse, or pharmacist for instructions.
Do not stop taking morphine suddenly if you have been taking it continuously for more than 5 to 7 days. Stopping suddenly could cause withdrawal symptoms and make you feel uncomfortable. Your doctor may want to gradually reduce your dose.
Morphine will cause constipation. Increase the amount of fiber and water (at least six to eight full glasses daily) in your diet to prevent constipation.
Do not share this medication with anyone else, store morphine at room temperature away from moisture and heat, and discard any opened bottle of morphine solution after 90 days.
What Happens If I Overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention. Symptoms of a morphine overdose include slow breathing, seizures, dizziness, weakness, loss of consciousness, coma, confusion, tiredness, cold and clammy skin, and small pupils.
What Should I Avoid While Taking Morphine?
Avoid alcohol while taking morphine. Alcohol will greatly increase the drowsiness and dizziness caused by morphine and could be dangerous. Also avoid sleeping pills, tranquilizers, sedatives, and antihistamines except under the supervision of your doctor. These medications also may cause dangerous sedation.
Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Morphine may cause drowsiness. If you experience drowsiness, avoid these activities.
What Are Possible Side Effects From Morphine?
If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking morphine and seek emergency medical attention:
- An allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives)
- Slow, weak breathing
- Cold, clammy skin
- Severe weakness or dizziness
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take morphine and talk to your doctor if you experience:
- Dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, or decreased appetite
- Dizziness, tiredness, or lightheadedness
- Muscle twitches
- Decreased urination
- Decreased sex drive
Morphine is habit forming. Do not stop taking it suddenly.