What is morphine?
Morphine is a powerful analgesic naturally obtained from opium poppy plants grown in warm climates. It mainly acts on central nervous system to produce euphoria. It is available in various forms such as powders, tablets, parenterals, cigars etc. It is available as morphine sulfate salt which is readily absorbed into the blood circulation.
When does morphine prescribed?
Morphine is available as both short acting and long acting formulations. Generally morphine is prescribed to relieve moderate to severe pain for short term use. Morphine or its synthetic derivatives are used to relieve from chronic pain associated with colic or cancer etc. Morphine is used to suppress severe cough and to potentiate surgical anesthesia.
How does morphine act?
Morphine acts on opioid receptors located centrally and peripherally. Other opioid include codeine, fantanyl, oxycodone, and heroin. Because of its highly addictive potential it is classified as a narcotic drug and it is highly regulated medicine. Other generic names include
- Oramorph SR
Morphine dosage and route of administration
A wide variety of Morphine formulations are available such as injections, solutions, capsules, suppositories and tablets. Sustain release formulations are also available. Dose of morphine will be fixed depending upon the need of the patient and their pain perception and history of use.
- 15mg to 30 mg tablets are available for immediate use show effect up to 4h
- 30mg orally as capsules for extended release show effect up to 24h
- 0.1 to 0.2 mg/kg.b.wt slow IV injection show effect up to 4h
- Lethal dose varies with patient history and susceptibility (ranges from 60 mg to 3000 mg)
When taken orally, tablets or capsules show the effect within 30 min to 60 min. when taken by IV effects start to produce within seconds. Sustain release formulations may take longer time. Patient will be put on a low dose initially and may increase the dose slowly till your pain is managed.
Drowsiness, Confusion, apnea, constipation, addiction, and dependence overdose may lead to fatal.
Drug tolerance, addiction and abuse
Repeated administration may lead to tolerance. Drug addiction is the important problem with usage. The underlying cause is because of dopamine and endorphins rush into the blood stream leading to euphoria and pleasure only experienced upon the administration of morphine. Illicit opioid use leads to abuse. Morphine addiction is accompanied by tolerance and dependence. Physical and psychic dependence is obvious. Rehabilitation is a must for drug addiction. Addiction treatment has different pros and cons may vary with individual
Morphine withdrawal symptoms
Morphine withdrawal is always uncomfortable but not life threatening. Withdrawal symptoms include
- Flu-like symptoms
Prof. Venkata Kiran Kumar Mandlem is Head Of Department in CMR College of pharmacy Hyderabad . He Completed PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Andhra University . More info about him MV Kiran Linkedin