Generic Name: morphine (MOR-feen SUL-fate LYE-poh-some)
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 9, 2021.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Chemical Class: Opioid
Uses for morphine
Morphine epidural injection is used to relieve pain following a major surgery. It is given right before a surgery or during a cesarean section delivery right after the baby's umbilical cord is clamped.
Morphine belongs to the group of medicines called narcotic analgesics (pain medicines). It acts on the central nervous system (CNS) to relieve pain.
Morphine is available only with your doctor's prescription and will be given by or under the immediate supervision of your doctor.
Before using morphine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For morphine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to morphine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of morphine epidural injection in the pediatric population. Use of morphine epidural injection is not recommended in children.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of morphine epidural injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related heart, stomach, or lung problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving morphine epidural injection.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving morphine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using morphine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using morphine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Calcium Oxybate
- Chloral Hydrate
- Doxorubicin Hydrochloride Liposome
- Gabapentin Enacarbil
- Magnesium Oxybate
- Methylene Blue
- Nitrous Oxide
- Opium Alkaloids
- Potassium Oxybate
- Sodium Oxybate
- St John's Wort
- Tolonium Chloride
Using morphine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using morphine with any of the following is usually not recommended, but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use morphine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of morphine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Asthma, severe or
- Head injury, suspected or known or
- Increased pressure in the head or
- Paralytic ileus (intestine stops working and may be blocked) or
- Respiratory depression (very slow breathing) or
- Shock (serious condition with very little blood flow in the body)—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Breathing problems, severe (e.g., hypoxia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD) or
- Enlarged prostate (BPH, prostatic hypertrophy) or
- Heart disease or
- Problems with passing urine—Use with caution. May increase risk for more serious side effects.
- Gallbladder disease or
- Hypotension (low blood pressure) or
- Sleep apnea syndrome (breathing problems during sleep) or
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or
- Seizures, history of—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
Proper use of morphine
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you morphine in a hospital. Morphine is given through a needle or catheter in your back (epidural).
Precautions while using morphine
It is important that your doctor check your progress after you receive morphine. This is to make sure that the medicine is working properly, and to allow your doctor to check for any unwanted effects.
Morphine will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that can make you drowsy or less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for allergies or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; other prescription pain medicine or narcotics; medicine for seizures or barbiturates; muscle relaxants; or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your doctor before taking any of the medicines listed above after you receive morphine.
Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur when you get up suddenly from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help lessen this problem. Also, lying down for a while may relieve the dizziness or lightheadedness.
Morphine side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Blurred vision
- decrease in the frequency of urination
- decrease in urine volume
- difficulty in passing urine (dribbling)
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
- painful urination
- pale skin
- shortness of breath
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- Abdominal or stomach cramps or pain
- difficult or labored breathing
- dry mouth
- increased thirst
- irregular, fast, slow, or shallow breathing
- loss of appetite
- mood changes
- muscle pain or cramps
- pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
- slow to respond
- slurred speech
- tightness in the chest
Incidence not known
- Bluish lips or skin
- low blood pressure or pulse
- severe drowsiness
- slowing of the heartbeat
- very slow breathing
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Bloated or full feeling
- excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
- passing gas
- skin itching
- trouble sleeping
- troubled breathing with exertion
- unable to sleep
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- Back pain
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
- chest pain or discomfort
- fear or nervousness
- feeling unusually cold
- lower abdominal or stomach pain or pressure
- pounding in the ears
- pressure in the stomach
- slow or irregular heartbeat
- swelling of the abdominal or stomach area
Incidence not known
- Not alert
- trouble with coordination
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about morphine
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Patient Tips
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- 337 Reviews
- Drug class: narcotic analgesics
- FDA Alerts (10)
- Patient Information
- Morphine injection
- Morphine (Advanced Reading)
- Morphine Injection (Advanced Reading)
- Morphine Extended-Release Capsules
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