IndicationsMorphine is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. Morphine long-acting tablets and capsules are only used by patients who are expected to need medication to relieve moderate to severe pain around-the-clock. Morphine is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics. It works by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain.
DoseringMorphine comes as a tablet, a solution (liquid), a controlled- or extended-release (long-acting) tablet, and a controlled- or sustained-release (long-acting) capsule all to take by mouth. The regular tablet and liquid are usually taken every 4 hours as needed for pain. MS Contin brand long-acting tablets are usually taken every 8 hours or every 12 hours. Kadian brand long-acting capsules are usually taken with or without food every 12 hours or every 24 hours. Avinza brand long-acting capsules are usually taken once a day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. If you are taking morphine solution, use the spoon or dropper that comes with the medication to measure your dose. Be sure that you know how many milliliters of the solution you should take. Ask your pharmacist if you have any questions about how much medication you should take or how to use the spoon or dropper. If you are taking Kadian brand long-acting capsules and you have a gastrostomy tube (surgically inserted feeding tube), ask your doctor or pharmacist how to administer the medication through your tube. If you are unable to swallow the long-acting capsules (Avinza, Kadian), you can carefully open a capsule, sprinkle all of the beads that it contains on a spoonful of cold or room temperature applesauce, and swallow the entire mixture immediately without chewing or crushing the beads. Then rinse your mouth with a little water and swallow the water to be sure that you have swallowed all the medication. Do not save mixtures of medication and applesauce for later. Your doctor may start you on a low dose of morphine and gradually increase your dose until your pain is controlled. Your doctor may adjust your dose at any time during your treatment if your pain is not controlled. If you feel that your pain is not controlled, call your doctor. Do not change the dose of your medication without talking to your doctor. Do not stop taking morphine without talking to your doctor. Your doctor may decrease your dose gradually. If you suddenly stop taking morphine, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness; teary eyes; runny nose; yawning; irritability; anxiety; sweating; difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; chills; back, muscle. or joint pain; nausea; vomiting; loss of appetite; diarrhea; stomach cramps; weakness; fast heartbeat; or fast breathing.
VoorzichtigBefore taking morphine, tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to morphine, any other medications, or any of the inactive ingredients in the type of morphine tablets, capsules, or liquid you plan to take. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the inactive ingredients. tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin);antihistamines (found in cold and allergy medications); beta blockers such as atenolol (Tenormin), labetalol (Normodyne), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), nadolol (Corgard), and propranolol (Inderal); buprenorphine (Butrans, Subutex, in Suboxone); butorphanol (Stadol); diuretics ('water pills'); nalbuphine (Nubain); pentazocine (Talwin, in Talacen);and quinidine (in Nuedexta) Also tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications or if you have stopped taking them within the past 2 weeks: monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, including isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), procarbazine (Matulane), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you more carefully for side effects. tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a head injury; a brain tumor; seizures; difficulty swallowing; prostatic hypertrophy (enlargement of a male reproductive gland); urinary problems; low blood pressure; irregular heartbeat; Addison's disease (condition in which the body does not make enough of certain natural substances); or liver, kidney, pancreas, intestinal,thyroid, or gallbladder disease. if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking morphine. you should know that this medication may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you. you should know that morphine may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
Morphine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- dry mouth
- mood changes
- small pupils (black circles in the middle of the eyes
- flu symptoms
- difficulty urinating or pain when urinating
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- blue or purple color to the skin
- fast or slow heartbeat
- chest pain
- tightness in the throat
- difficulty swallowing
- swelling of the arms, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
Morphine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch
] or by phone [1-800-332-1088].