What is morphine?
Morphine is an opioid pain medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic.
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 not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about morphine?
You may not be able to take this medicine 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.
Morphine may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person for whom it was prescribed. Keep the medication in a secure place where others cannot get to it.
Do not drink alcohol while you are using morphine. 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.
Never take morphine in larger amounts, or for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label. Tell your doctor if the medicine seems to stop working as well in relieving your pain.
Do not stop using morphine suddenly after long-term use, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Ask your doctor how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when you stop using morphine.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using morphine?
Do not use this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a narcotic medicine (examples include methadone, morphine, Oxycontin, Darvocet, Percocet, Vicodin, Lortab, and many others), or to a narcotic cough medicine that contains codeine, hydrocodone, or dihydrocodeine.
You should also not take morphine if you are having an asthma attack, or if you have a bowel obstruction called paralytic ileus.
Do not use morphine if you have used an MAO inhibitor such as furazolidone (Furoxone), isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.
To make sure you can safely take morphine, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
a blockage in your digestive tract (stomach or intestines);
asthma, COPD, sleep apnea, or other breathing disorders;
liver or kidney disease;
curvature of the spine;
a history of head injury or brain tumor;
epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
low blood pressure;
Addison's disease or other adrenal gland disorders;
enlarged prostate, urination problems;
mental illness; or
a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
Morphine may be habit forming and should be used only by the person for whom it was prescribed. 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.
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. It is not known whether morphine will harm an unborn baby. Morphine may cause addiction or withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother takes the medication during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using morphine.
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 and those who are ill or debilitated may be more likely to have serious side effects.