Medication Guide App

Generic Name: morphine (MOR feen)
Brand Names: AVINza, Kadian, MS Contin

What is Kadian?

Kadian (morphine) is an opioid pain medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.

Kadian is used to treat moderate to severe pain.

Extended-release Kadian capsules are used when around-the-clock pain relief is needed. This form of morphine is not for use on an as-needed basis for pain.

Kadian may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

You should not take Kadian if you have severe asthma or breathing problems, a blockage in your stomach or intestines, or a bowel obstruction called paralytic ileus.

Morphine can slow or stop your breathing, especially when you start using this medicine or whenever your dose is changed. Never take Kadian in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Do not crush or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole to avoid exposure to a potentially fatal dose.

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Morphine may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Take Kadian exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Never share the medicine with another person. MISUSE OF NARCOTIC PAIN MEDICATION CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant. Kadian may cause life-threatening addiction and withdrawal symptoms in a newborn.

Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with morphine.

Before using Kadian

You should not take Kadian if you have ever had an allergic reaction to morphine or other narcotic medicines, or if you have:

  • severe asthma or breathing problems;

  • a blockage in your stomach or intestines; or

  • a bowel obstruction called paralytic ileus.

Do not use Kadian if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, methylene blue injection, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others.

You may not be able to take Kadian if you are NOT already being treated with a similar opioid (narcotic) pain medicine and are tolerant to it. Talk with your doctor if you are not sure you are opioid-tolerant.

Kadian may be habit-forming. Never share morphine with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away Kadian to any other person is against the law.

To make sure Kadian is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • any type of breathing problem or lung disease;

  • a history of head injury, brain tumor, or seizures;

  • a history of drug abuse, alcohol addiction, or mental illness;

  • urination problems;

  • liver or kidney disease; or

  • problems with your gallbladder, pancreas, or thyroid.

Kadian is more likely to cause breathing problems in older adults and people who are severely ill, malnourished, or otherwise debilitated.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Kadian will harm an unborn baby. Morphine may cause breathing problems, behavior changes, or life-threatening addiction and withdrawal symptoms in your newborn if you use the medication during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

Morphine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use Kadian?

Kadian may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Take Kadian exactly as prescribed by your doctor. MISUSE OF NARCOTIC PAIN MEDICATION CAN CAUSE ADDICTION, OVERDOSE, OR DEATH.

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Morphine can slow or stop your breathing, especially when you start using this medicine or whenever your dose is changed. Never take Kadian in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.

Always check your bottle to make sure you have received the correct pills (same brand and type) of medicine prescribed by your doctor. Ask the pharmacist if you have any questions about the medicine you receive at the pharmacy.

Stop taking all other around-the-clock narcotic pain medications when you start taking Kadian.

Do not crush or chew the pellets found inside a Kadian capsule.

To make swallowing easier, you may open the extended-release Kadian capsule and sprinkle the pellets into a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow all of the mixture right away without chewing. Do not save for later use.

Take the medicine at the same time each day.

Do not stop using Kadian suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using morphine.

Never crush the pelletes in a Kadian capsule to inhale the powder or mix it into a liquid to inject the drug into your vein. This practice has resulted in death.

Store Kadian at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and light.

Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Morphine is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

After you have stopped using Kadian, flush any unused capsules down the toilet. Disposal of medicines by flushing is recommended to reduce the danger of accidental overdose causing death. This advice applies to a very small number of medicines only. The FDA, working with the manufacturer, has determined this method to be the most appropriate route of disposal and presents the least risk to human safety.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Kadian is taken once or twice per day. Since morphine is used for pain, you are not likely to miss a dose. If you do miss a dose, take the medicine as soon as you remember. Then take your next dose as follows:

  • If you take Kadian 2 times per day: Take your next dose 12 hours after taking the missed dose.

  • If you take Kadian 1 time per day: Take your next dose 24 hours after taking the missed dose.

Do not take extra medicine to make up a missed dose. Do not take more than your prescribed dose in a 24-hour period.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. A morphine overdose can be fatal, especially in a child or other person using the medicine without a prescription. Overdose symptoms may include slow breathing and heart rate, severe drowsiness, muscle weakness, cold and clammy skin, pinpoint pupils, and fainting.

What should I avoid?

Do not drink alcohol. 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.

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Avoid driving or operating machinery until you know how Kadian will affect you. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.

Kadian side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • slow heart rate, sighing, weak or shallow breathing;

  • chest pain, fast or pounding heartbeats; or

  • extreme drowsiness, feeling like you might pass out.

Common Kadian side effects may include:

  • drowsiness, dizziness;

  • constipation, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting;

  • headache, tired feeling;

  • anxiety; or

  • mild itching.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Kadian?

Taking Kadian with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous or life-threatening side effects. Ask your doctor before taking Kadian with a sleeping pill, other narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Other drugs may interact with morphine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Kadian.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Kadian only for the indication prescribed.
  • 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 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 11.02. Revision Date: 5/1/2014-05-01, 11:03:21 A.

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