1. What’s morphine
Morphine is a robust painkiller. It is used to deal with extreme ache, for instance after an operation or a critical damage, or ache from most cancers or a coronary heart assault. It is also used for different kinds of long-standing ache when weaker painkillers not work.
Morphine is accessible solely on prescription. It comes as tablets, capsules, granules that you simply dissolve in water, a liquid to swallow, an injection or a suppository which is a medication that you simply push gently into your backside (anus). Morphine injections are often solely executed in hospital.
2. Key info
- Morphine works by blocking ache alerts from travelling alongside the nerves to the mind.
- The most typical unwanted side effects of morphine are constipation, feeling sick and sleepiness.
- It is potential to grow to be hooked on morphine, however that is uncommon if you happen to’re taking it to alleviate ache and your physician is reviewing your remedy frequently.
- It might be finest to not drink alcohol whereas taking morphine as you are extra more likely to get unwanted side effects like feeling sleepy.
3. Who can and can’t take morphine
Morphine will be taken by youngsters and adults of all ages. Nonetheless infants, younger youngsters and older persons are extra more likely to get unwanted side effects.
Morphine will not be appropriate for some individuals. Inform your physician earlier than beginning the medication if you happen to:
- have ever had an allergic response to morphine or another medication
- have respiration difficulties or a lung downside
- have an habit to alcohol
- have a situation that causes matches or seizures
- have a head damage
- have low thyroid ranges
- have adrenal gland issues
- have kidney or liver issues
- have an enlarged prostate
- have low blood strain
- have myasthenia gravis (a uncommon sickness that causes muscle weak point)
- are attempting to get pregnant, are already pregnant or if you happen to’re breastfeeding – morphine is often not really helpful
4. How and when to take it
It is vital to take morphine as your physician has requested you to. Take morphine with, or simply after, a meal or snack so it is much less more likely to make you are feeling sick.
Several types of morphine
Morphine comes as:
- tablets (fast-acting) – these comprise 10mg, 20mg or 50mg of morphine
- tablets (slow-acting) – these comprise 5mg, 10mg, 15mg, 30mg, 60mg, 100mg or 200mg of morphine
- capsules (slow-acting) – these comprise 10mg, 30mg, 60mg, 90mg, 120mg, 150mg or 200mg of morphine
- granules (that you simply combine in water to make a drink) – these are in sachets containing 30mg, 60mg, 100mg or 200mg of morphine
- a liquid that you simply swallow – this incorporates both 10mg of morphine in a 5ml spoonful or 20mg of morphine in 1ml of liquid
- suppositories – these comprise 10mg of morphine
- injection (often given in hospital)
Morphine suppositories are helpful if you happen to can’t swallow tablets or liquids.
Morphine liquid, suppositories, injections and a few morphine tablets and capsules are quick appearing. They’re used for ache which is anticipated to final for a short while. Quick-acting morphine is usually used whenever you begin taking morphine to assist discover the proper dose.
Morphine granules and a few morphine tablets and capsules are sluggish launch. This implies the morphine is regularly launched into your physique over both 12 or 24 hours. This sort of morphine takes longer to begin working however lasts longer. It is used for long-term ache.
Typically chances are you’ll take each a fast-acting morphine and a slow-release morphine to handle long run ache and sudden flares of ache that break by means of the long-acting medication.
Quick-acting tablets are identified by the model title Sevredol. Gradual appearing tablets are identified by model names MST Continus or Morphgesic SR. Gradual appearing capsules are also called MXL or Zomorph.
Morphine doesn’t come as a pores and skin patch. Typically individuals name their ache aid patch a “morphine patch”. Nonetheless these patches don’t comprise morphine however medicines that are similar to morphine known as fentanyl or buprenorphine.
Doses differ from individual to individual. Your dose will rely upon how dangerous your ache is, how you’ve got responded to earlier painkillers and if you happen to get any unwanted side effects.
How usually will I take it?
How usually you’re taking it is determined by the kind of morphine that you have been prescribed.
You possibly can select to take your morphine at any time of day however attempt to take it on the identical time daily and house your doses evenly. For instance, if you happen to take morphine twice a day and have your first dose at 8am, take your second dose at 8pm.
- fast-acting tablets and capsules – often 4 to six instances a day
- slow-release granules, tablets and capsules – often 1 to 2 instances a day
- liquid – often 4 to six instances a day
- suppositories – often 4 to six instances a day
- injections – often 4 to six instances a day (generally in a pump that you simply management your self)
It is vital to swallow slow-release morphine tablets and capsules complete with a drink of water.
Don’t break, crush, chew or suck morphine slow-release tablets or capsules. For those who do, the slow-release system won’t work and the entire dose would possibly get into your physique in a single go. This might trigger a probably deadly overdose.
Will my dose go up or down?
Normally, you begin on a low dose of morphine and that is elevated slowly till your ache is effectively managed. As soon as your ache is below management, speak to your physician What’s swapping to slow-release morphine. This will reduce down the variety of doses you must take every day.
Once you cease taking morphine your dose will go down regularly, particularly if you happen to’ve been taking it for a very long time.
How lengthy will I take it for?
Relying on why you take morphine, chances are you’ll solely have to take it for a short while. For instance, if you happen to’re in ache after an damage or operation, chances are you’ll solely have to take morphine for a couple of days or even weeks at most. Chances are you’ll have to take it for longer when you’ve got a long-term situation corresponding to again ache.
What if I neglect to take it?
- This can differ relying on which sort of morphine you take.
- For those who neglect to take a dose, test the data on the affected person info leaflet contained in the packaging or ask your pharmacist or physician for recommendation on what to do.
- By no means take 2 doses on the identical time to make up for a forgotten one.
- For those who usually neglect doses, it could assist to set an alarm to remind you. You may additionally ask your pharmacist for recommendation on different methods to recollect to take your medication.
What’s going to occur if I cease taking it?
- If you could take morphine for a very long time your physique can grow to be tolerant to it.
- This isn’t often an issue however you would get disagreeable withdrawal signs if you happen to cease taking it immediately.
- If you wish to cease taking morphine, speak to your physician first. Your dose will be lowered regularly so you don’t get disagreeable withdrawal signs.
For those who cease taking morphine immediately it could actually trigger disagreeable withdrawal signs corresponding to:
- feeling agitated
- feeling anxious
When you’ve got been taking morphine for quite a lot of weeks don’t cease taking it with out chatting with your physician first.
What if I take an excessive amount of?
Taking an excessive amount of morphine will be harmful. For those who’ve taken an unintended overdose chances are you’ll really feel very sleepy, sick or dizzy. You might also discover it troublesome to breathe. In critical circumstances you possibly can grow to be unconscious and might have emergency remedy in hospital. The quantity of morphine that may result in an overdose varies from individual to individual.
- you or a baby have taken an excessive amount of morphine
- For those who want recommendation for a kid below the age of 5 years, name 111.
- If you could go to A&E, don’t drive your self. Get another person to drive you or name for an ambulance.
- Take the morphine field or leaflet contained in the packet plus any remaining medication with you.
The place to retailer morphine
For those who’re prescribed morphine, it is significantly vital that you simply:
- retailer it correctly and safely at house
- maintain it out of the sight and attain of kids
- by no means give your medication to anybody else
Return any unused morphine to your pharmacist who will get rid of it.
5. Taking morphine with different painkillers
It is protected to take morphine with paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin. Don’t take codeine-containing painkillers that you would be able to purchase alongside prescribed morphine (and prescribed codeine). You can be extra more likely to get unwanted side effects.
Some on a regular basis painkillers that you would be able to purchase with out prescription from pharmacies comprise codeine, which is the same medication to morphine. Codeine-containing painkillers from pharmacies embrace co-codamol, Nurofen Plus and Solpadeine.
6. Negative effects
Like all medicines, morphine may cause unwanted side effects in some individuals however many individuals don’t have any unwanted side effects or solely minor ones. The upper the dose of morphine the extra likelihood that you’re going to get unwanted side effects.
Widespread unwanted side effects
Widespread unwanted side effects occur in additional than 1 in 100 individuals. Speak to your physician or pharmacist if the unwanted side effects hassle you or don’t go away:
- feeling or being sick (nausea or vomiting)
- feeling sleepy or drained
- dizziness and a sensation of spinning (vertigo)
- itchiness or rash
Critical unwanted side effects
Critical unwanted side effects occur in lower than 1 in 100 individuals. Name your physician if you happen to get:
- respiration problem or brief shallow respiration
- muscle stiffness
- really feel dizzy, drained and have low power – this might be an indication of low blood strain
- matches or seizures
When you’ve got a match or seizure go to A&E right away.
Critical allergic response
In uncommon circumstances, it is potential to have a critical allergic response (anaphylaxis) to morphine.
Speedy motion required: Name 999 or go to A&E if:
- you get a pores and skin rash that will embrace itchy, pink, swollen, blistered or peeling pores and skin
- you are wheezing
- you get tightness within the chest or throat
- you might have hassle respiration or speaking
- your mouth, face, lips, tongue or throat begin swelling
You may be having a critical allergic response and might have speedy remedy in hospital. These aren’t all of the unwanted side effects of morphine. For a full listing see the leaflet inside your medicines packet.
7. How to deal with unwanted side effects of morphine
What to do What’s:
- constipation – attempt to eat extra high-fibre meals corresponding to recent fruit and greens and cereals. Attempt to drink a number of glasses of water or different non-alcoholic liquid every day. For those who can, it could additionally assist to do some mild train. Communicate to your physician What’s medication to assist stop or deal with constipation brought on by morphine in case your signs don’t go away.
- feeling or being sick – take morphine with or simply after a meal or snack to ease emotions of illness. This facet impact ought to usually put on off after a couple of days. Speak to your physician What’s taking anti-sickness medication if it carries on for longer.
- feeling sleepy, drained or dizzy – these unwanted side effects ought to put on off inside per week or two as your physique will get used to morphine. Speak to your physician in the event that they keep on for longer.
- confusion – speak to your physician if you happen to really feel confused, your dose might should be adjusted.
- complications – ensure you relaxation and drink loads of fluids. It might be finest to not drink alcohol whereas taking morphine as this may make complications worse. Ask your pharmacist to suggest a painkiller. Complications ought to often go away after the primary week of taking morphine. Speak to your physician in the event that they last more than per week or are extreme.
- itchiness or rash – it could assist to take an antihistamine which you should buy from a pharmacy. Examine with the pharmacist to see what kind is appropriate for you. If signs don’t go away or worsen speak to your physician as chances are you’ll have to attempt a unique painkiller.
Don’t take another medicines to deal with the unwanted side effects of morphine with out chatting with your pharmacist or physician.
8. Being pregnant and breastfeeding
Morphine is usually not really helpful throughout being pregnant and whereas breastfeeding.
Morphine and being pregnant
In early being pregnant, it has been linked to some issues in your unborn child. For those who take morphine on the finish of being pregnant there is a threat that your new child child might get withdrawal signs or be born hooked on morphine.
Nonetheless, it is vital to deal with ache in being pregnant. For some pregnant ladies with extreme ache, morphine is perhaps the most suitable choice. Your physician is the very best individual that will help you resolve what’s best for you and your child.
Morphine and breastfeeding
Morphine will not be often really helpful if you happen to’re breastfeeding. Small quantities of morphine cross into breast milk and might trigger respiration issues within the child. Communicate to your physician as they are able to suggest a unique painkiller.
Non-urgent recommendation: Inform your physician if you happen to’re:
- making an attempt to get pregnant
For extra info What’s how morphine can have an effect on you and your child throughout being pregnant, go to the Finest Use of Medicines in Being pregnant (BUMPs) web site.
9. Cautions with different medicines
Some medicines and morphine intrude with one another and improve the possibility that you’ll have unwanted side effects.
Inform your physician if you’re taking any medicines:
- that will help you sleep
- for despair – some varieties can’t be taken with morphine
- for hypertension
- to assist cease you feeling or being sick (vomiting)
- to deal with signs of an allergy
- to scale back stress or anxiousness
- for psychological well being issues
Mixing morphine with natural cures and dietary supplements
It isn’t potential to say that complementary medicines are protected to take with morphine. They don’t seem to be examined in the identical method as pharmacy and prescription medicines. They’re usually not examined for the impact they’ve on different medicines.
Inform your physician or pharmacist if you happen to’re taking another medicines, together with natural medicines, nutritional vitamins or dietary supplements.
10. Widespread questions What’s morphine
How does morphine work?
Morphine is from a gaggle of medicines known as opiates, or narcotics. It really works within the central nervous system and the mind to dam ache alerts to the remainder of the physique. It additionally reduces the anxiousness and stress brought on by ache.
When morphine blocks the ache, there are different negative effects, for instance, sluggish or shallow respiration. It additionally slows down digestion, which is why morphine may cause constipation.
Can I grow to be hooked on morphine?
Sure, morphine is addictive. If you could take it for a very long time your physique can grow to be tolerant to it. Which means you want larger doses to manage your ache.
However in actuality, if you happen to're taking morphine to alleviate ache (fairly than utilizing it as a leisure drug) it is not possible you're going to get hooked on it since you're not taking it to get a “excessive”.
How lengthy will it take to work?
This is determined by the kind of morphine you're taking. A morphine injection right into a vein offers the quickest ache aid. It really works nearly right away. Quick-acting morphine taken by mouth works in 30 to 60 minutes however it wears off after 4 to six hours. Gradual-acting morphine taken by mouth can take a day or 2 to begin working however the ache aid will final for longer.
It is troublesome to say how lengthy morphine suppositories take to work, because it varies from individual to individual.
How will I do know if I am addicted?
For those who're hooked on morphine, chances are you'll discover it troublesome to cease taking it or really feel you could take it extra usually than crucial.
And if you happen to cease taking morphine immediately chances are you'll undergo from withdrawal signs. These embrace agitation, anxiousness, nervousness, panic assaults, problem sleeping, shaking, over-activity, pins and needles or ringing within the ears.
Speak to your physician if you happen to're fearful What's habit or if you wish to know extra What's learn how to stop withdrawal signs.
Is morphine a managed medication?
Morphine is a managed medication. This implies there are strict guidelines on the way it's prescribed and disbursed to verify it isn't given to the fallacious individual or misused.
Once you gather morphine your pharmacist will ask for proof of your id corresponding to your passport or driving licence. You may even be requested to signal the again of your prescription, to substantiate that you have acquired it.
For those who're amassing morphine for another person, you are legally required to point out the pharmacist proof of your id if requested.
How can I inform if I'm taking sluggish or quick launch morphine?
Quick-acting morphine tablets are also called Sevredol. Gradual-acting tablets are also called MST Continus or Morphgesic SR. Gradual-acting capsules are also called MXL or Zomorph.
Will it have an effect on my fertility?
There is no clear proof to recommend that taking morphine will scale back fertility in males. Nonetheless, it could intrude along with your intervals (menstrual cycle) if you happen to're a girl. Communicate to a pharmacist or your physician if you happen to're making an attempt to get pregnant. They might need to evaluation your remedy.
Will it have an effect on my contraception?
Morphine doesn't have an effect on any kind of contraception together with the contraceptive capsule or emergency contraception. But when morphine makes you sick (vomit), your contraceptive capsules might not shield you from being pregnant.
If this occurs, comply with the directions within the leaflet that comes along with your contraceptive capsules. Discover out what to do if you happen to're on the capsule and also you're sick.
Can I drink alcohol with it?
It might be finest to not drink alcohol whereas taking morphine as consuming alcohol when you're on morphine might make you are feeling extra sleepy or improve the chance of great unwanted side effects. It is best to cease consuming alcohol through the first few days of remedy till you see how the morphine impacts you. For those who really feel sleepy with morphine, cease consuming alcohol when you are taking it.
Are there different painkillers I can attempt?
The kind of painkiller that is finest is determined by what kind of ache you might have and the reason for your ache. If morphine doesn't do away with your ache or turns into much less efficient, talk about this along with your physician.
Will it make me so sleepy I can't perform?
Once you first take morphine, you may most likely really feel sleepy for a couple of days. However the sleepiness will put on off after a couple of days as your physique will get used to the medication.
You would possibly discover you're much less alert. On this case, you would possibly select to have lower than good ache aid as a trade-off.
Is morphine solely used on the finish of life?
Morphine will not be solely used on the finish of a terminal sickness. It is the quantity of ache you might have, not the stage of your sickness, that decides whether or not morphine is prescribed for you.
Can youngsters take morphine?
Morphine can be utilized safely in infants and kids of all ages, though the dose is often decrease than for adults.
Can I drive or trip a motorbike?
Don't drive a automotive or trip a motorbike if morphine makes you sleepy, offers you blurred imaginative and prescient or makes you are feeling dizzy, clumsy or unable to pay attention or make choices. This can be extra probably whenever you first begin taking morphine however might occur at any time, for instance, when beginning one other medication.
It is an offence to drive a automotive in case your capacity to drive safely is affected. It is your duty to resolve if it is protected to drive. For those who're in any doubt, don't drive. It might be finest to not drink alcohol whereas taking morphine as you are extra more likely to get unwanted side effects like feeling sleepy.
Even when your capacity to drive will not be affected, the police have the proper to request a saliva pattern to test how a lot morphine is in your physique. GOV.UK has extra info on the legislation on medicine and driving.
Speak to your physician or pharmacist if you happen to're not sure whether or not it is protected so that you can drive whereas taking morphine.
Will leisure medicine have an effect on it?
For those who take leisure medicine, corresponding to hashish, cocaine and heroin, when you're taking morphine, you are extra more likely to get the intense unwanted side effects of morphine together with respiration difficulties, coronary heart issues corresponding to hypertension, seizures and even going right into a coma.
Some leisure medicine, corresponding to hashish, may even improve morphine unwanted side effects corresponding to sleepiness and dizziness. Taking heroin when you're on prescribed morphine is very harmful.
You are extra more likely to get all of the unwanted side effects of morphine, together with habit.
Inform your physician if you happen to assume chances are you'll take leisure medicine when you're on morphine.
- Most cancers
- Finish of life care
- HealthUnlocked: morphine discussion board
- Motion on Ache: charity
- Ache Concern: charity
- Ache Toolkit: self-help suggestions