Morphine is a strong painkiller. It’s used to treat severe pain, for example after an operation or a serious injury, or pain from cancer or a heart attack.
It’s also used for other types of long-standing pain when weaker painkillers no longer work.
Morphine is available only on prescription. It comes as tablets, capsules, granules that you dissolve in water, a liquid to swallow, an injection or a suppository which is a medicine that you push gently into your back passage (anus). Morphine injections are usually only done in hospital.
- Morphine works by blocking pain signals from travelling along the nerves to the brain.
- The most common side effects of morphine are constipation, feeling sick and sleepiness.
- It’s possible to become addicted to morphine, but this is rare if you’re taking it to relieve pain and your doctor is reviewing your treatment regularly.
- It may be best not to drink alcohol while taking morphine as you’re more likely to get side effects like feeling sleepy.
- is also called by the brand names MST, Zomorph, Sevredol, Morphgesic, MXL or Oramorph.
3. Who can and can’t take drug
can be taken by children and adults of all ages. However babies, young children and older people are more likely to get side effects.
is not suitable for some people. Tell your doctor before starting the medicine if you have:
- had an allergic reaction to morphine or any other medicines in the past
- breathing difficulties
- a lung problem
- an addiction to alcohol
- an illness which causes seizures
- a head injury
- low thyroid levels
- adrenal gland problems
- kidney or liver problems
Morphine is generally not recommended in pregnancy. Tell your doctor before taking if you’re trying to get pregnant, are already pregnant or if you’re breastfeeding.
4. How and when to take it
It’s important to take as your doctor has asked you to.
Take with, or just after, a meal or snack so it’s less likely to make you feel sick.