Morphine Side Effects

For severe pain, morphine is advised either on a regular basis or when it is needed as an analgesic. But healthcare providers believe that it should be used judiciously.Common morphine sideeffects include constipation, drowsiness and nausea and can be managed by taking other medicines along with morphine.

Basic Facts About Morphine

Morphine is a strong opioid pain relieving medicine which is available in different forms and dosing formulations. It is produced by a variety of manufacturers under different brand names. Strong opioids are used for treating severe or long-standing pain. Morphine is a commonly used formulation among several other opiates. It relieves pain by suppressing the perception of how your nervous system and brain senses the pain.

Morphine can be administered via many different routes, for example, a liquid taking orally,quick acting pills, slow-release tablets oran injection. Morphine in oral preparationcomes with many different commercial names and has different absorbability in your body. So, it is necessary to continue with the same brand as you started in the first place unless your doctor suggests you to switch to another one.

Is It Safe for Me to Take Morphine?

Morphine is contraindicated or should be taken with precautions if you previously had an allergic reaction to it or any other narcotic medicine.

Additionally, caution is needed if you have any respiratory problem or lung disease, or have a history of head injury, brain tumor or seizures, have a troubled past with drug abuse, alcohol addiction or mental illness, suffer from urinary problems or kidney disease or have active liver disease. Moreover, you should report to your physicianif you have ever suffered from problems with your gall bladder, pancreas or thyroid, have a blockage in your stomach or bowel called paralytic ileus or related issues.

Morphine, if taken with other drugs can cause adverse drug reactions. One such group of drugs is MAO inhibitors and it includes isocarboxazid, methylene blue injection, rasagiline, phenelzine, selegiline linezolid, tranylcypromine, etc. Therefore, morphine should be avoided if you have taken any of the MAO inhibitors in the past 14 days. In older adults, severely ill patients, malnourished individuals or otherwise debilitated persons, opioids are reported to cause breathing problems.

Important Notes:

Morphine is classified as a category C drug by FDA. Evidence is not sufficient to ascertain whether morphine will harm a baby in the womb or not, but it may cause respiratory problems, behavioral changes, life-threatening addiction and withdrawal symptoms in newborns if it is used during pregnancy. Therefore, tell your physician if you are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant.

What Are the Morphine Side Effects?

Besides having beneficial effects, almost all the drugs can cause unfavorable sideeffects. Similarly, morphine also has some side effects which are always mentioned in the drug information leaflet that comes with your medicine. Some notable morphine side effects and their solutions are:

Morphine Side Effects

Easy Solution


Take less spicy meals and avoid rich fatty foods. Take the medicine during or after meals.

Rapid shallow breathing

This can be serious. Consult your physician immediately.

Altered level of consciousness

Do not drive or operate heavy machinery when it happens, and avoid alcohol.


Eat high fiber food, keep your diet balanced and take adequate water. Consult your physician if it persists.

Dry mouth

Sugar-free gums or candies can be used.

These side effects often improve with time, but if persists, it should be addressed with great precaution and discussed with the physician.There are other few side effects of morphine which are classified as severe and less severe and here are the most common ones:

Some severe side effects

Some Less severe side effects



Hoarseness of voice

Involuntary muscle movements

Altered pulse

Hypotension or low blood pressure

Diaphoresis or excessive sweating

Blurred vision

Loss of appetite


Safety Tips on Taking Morphine

Handling and administering drugs, especially narcotics should be done with strict precautions to avoid overdose and toxicity. Morphine should preferably be administered orally for various reasons and should be taken when and as told by your physician.

Before taking morphine or any other narcotic, read the following instructions on how to take morphine safely:

  • Dosage and timings are appended on every bottle before dispensing medicine by your pharmacist. Take accordingly or as told by your physician.
  • Morphine can either decrease or completely cease your breathing rate if you recently started it or have altered the dose.
  • Long term usage and larger doses are not recommended. If morphine has stopped controlling your pain, consult your physician.
  • Morphine should be carefully kept or stored away from everyone, particularly from persons with a history of drug abuse.
  • It is illegal if you are caught selling morphine or any other narcotic to anyone because it can cause addiction, toxicity or even death.
  • After taking your medicine from the pharmacist, always check the label to see if you got dispensed correctly as prescribed by your physician.
  • Extended or slow release tablets are not to be crushed, chewed or broken and should be taken as whole to prevent over dosage.
  • For convenience, slow release capsules can be opened and sprinkled over a spoonful of juice or any other liquid.
  • Liquid medicine should be taken only by a metered dose spoon or cup. Ask for one from your pharmacist if you don’t have it.
  • Morphine can cause unfavorable withdrawal symptoms if stopped suddenly. Your physician will guide you on how to stop the morphine.
  • Morphine or other similar drugs should never be crushed to inhale the powder or dissolved into a liquid to be used intravenously.
  • The remaining morphine or liquid morphine older than 90 days should be flushed away.