Generic Name: morphine (MOR feen)
Brand Names: AVINza, Kadian, MS Contin
What is Avinza?
Avinza (morphine) is an opioid pain medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.
Avinza is used to treat moderate to severe pain.
Extended-release Avinza 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.
Avinza may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not take Avinza 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 Avinza 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.
Morphine may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Take Avinza exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Never share the medicine with another person. MISUSE OF NARCOTIC PAIN MEDICINE 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. Avinza may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in a newborn.
Do not drink alcohol. Dangerous side effects or death can occur when alcohol is combined with morphine.
Before using Avinza
You should not take Avinza 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 Avinza if you have used a 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 Avinza 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.
Morphine may be habit-forming. Never share Avinza 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 Avinza to any other person is against the law.
Some medicines can interact with morphine and cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome. Be sure your doctor knows if you also take medicine for depression, mental illness, Parkinson's disease, migraine headaches, serious infections, or prevention of nausea and vomiting. Ask your doctor before making any changes in how or when you take your medications.
To make sure Avinza 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;
liver or kidney disease; or
problems with your gallbladder, pancreas, or thyroid.
It is not known whether Avinza will harm an unborn baby. If you use morphine while you are pregnant, your baby could become dependent on the drug. This can cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in the baby after it is born. Babies born dependent on habit-forming medicine may need medical treatment for several weeks. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
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 Avinza?
Avinza may be habit-forming, even at regular doses. Take Avinza exactly as prescribed by your doctor. MISUSE OF NARCOTIC MEDICINE 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 Avinza 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 Avinza.
Do not crush or chew the beads found inside a Avinza capsule.
To make swallowing easier, you may open the extended-release Avinza capsule and sprinkle the beads into a spoonful of applesauce. The beads must not be chewed, crushed, or dissolved due to risk of an overdose. Swallowing chewed or crushed Avinza beads will lead to the rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of morphine. Do not save the mixture for later use.
Take the medicine at the same time each day.
Do not stop using Avinza suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to safely stop using morphine.
Never crush the beads in a Avinza 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 Avinza 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.
Do not keep leftover Avinza capsules. Ask your pharmacist where to locate a drug take-back disposal program. If there is no take-back program 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.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What happens if I miss a dose?
Avinza is normally taken once 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 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 Avinza will affect you. Dizziness or severe drowsiness can cause falls or other accidents.
Avinza side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Avinza: 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;
extreme drowsiness, feeling like you might pass out;
infertility, missed menstrual periods;
impotence, sexual problems, loss of interest in sex; or
low cortisol levels - nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dizziness, worsening tiredness or weakness.
Seek medical attention right away if you have symptoms of serotonin syndrome, such as: agitation, hallucinations, fever, sweating, shivering, fast heart rate, muscle stiffness, twitching, loss of coordination, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Morphine is more likely to cause breathing problems in older adults and people who are severely ill, malnourished, or otherwise debilitated.
Common Avinza side effects may include:
constipation, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting;
headache, tired feeling;
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 Avinza?
Some medicines can cause unwanted or dangerous effects when used with morphine. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use now, and any medicine you start or stop using.
Taking Avinza with other drugs that make you sleepy or slow your breathing can cause dangerous or life-threatening side effects. Ask your doctor before taking Avinza 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.
More about Avinza (morphine)
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about Avinza.
- Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Avinza only for the indication prescribed.
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Copyright 1996-2016 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 11.08. Revision Date: 2016-06-24, 8:52:55 AM.