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What is Morphine Sulfate?

By Meshell Powell
Updated Jan 22, 2024
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Morphine sulfate is a prescription medication used for moderate to severe pain. Morphine sulfate works by reducing the physical feeling of pain as well as the emotional response to pain. This medication may be prescribed as an oral medication or as a rectal suppository. Medical professionals may also give morphine sulfate in the form of an injection. Common side effects include drowsiness, dry mouth, and pleasant feelings of euphoria.

Morphine sulfate may be prescribed for a variety of reasons. This medication is frequently used in patients who have suffered an injury or who have just had surgery. Morphine sulfate may also be used for medical conditions such as kidney stones or cancer. While this medication is sometimes prescribed for use at home, it is most often used in hospital or emergency room settings.

Some of the disadvantages of using morphine sulfate for an extended period of time include the chances of developing an addiction to the medication or becoming tolerant to the point where the medication no longer provides sufficient pain relief. These are among the primary reasons that doctors will rarely prescribe this type of medication for frequent usage unless the patient has a chronic illness that does not respond to other types of medication.

As is the case with most medications, there are some potential side effects that may develop as a result of taking morphine sulfate. Some of the more common side effects include drowsiness, a feeling of euphoria, and fatigue or sleepiness. Some patients may have difficulty urinating or difficulty breathing. These side effects should be reported to a physician right away.

Constipation is a common complaint among those who take this medication. This may occur after just one dose and can become severe when taking it for a prolonged period of time. Patients are often encouraged to increase fiber intake and drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Over-the-counter stool softeners or laxatives may be used for occasional bouts of constipation.

Patients who have taken even one dose of morphine sulfate should not drive or operate any heavy machinery until the medication is out of their system. This medication alters coordination, balance, and the ability to think clearly. Alcoholic beverages should be avoided completely while using this medication, as they will intensify the effects. Any questions or concerns regarding the proper use of this medication or any potential side effects should be addressed with a doctor.

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Discussion Comments
By bear78 — On Jan 16, 2012

@ddljohn-- I don't really get sleepy from my morphine sulphate tablets but I do get gastro-intestinal problems with it. Mainly nausea, stomach upset and gas.

I agree that it is not good to take morphine sulphate for a long time. Plus, the longer they are used, the less effective they become. I started out with a much lower dose and had to slowly boost it up to get the same pain killing effects. And morphine sulphate is not really a medication that one can continue life with unless it's in very small doses. The side-effects and limitations make it difficult to go to work and continue life normally.

By burcinc — On Jan 15, 2012

I'm going to have surgery next week and my doctor mentioned at my last visit that I will be given morphine after the surgery while I stay at the hospital to cope with the pain better.

I've never been given morphine before so I wanted to look it up and learn more about it. I've strolled into several forums today hoping to read people's experiences with morphine and I keep running into forums where people are using morphine to get high, not as a treatment.

I didn't realize that it is used so widely but apparently it is. They even talk about how to best take advantage of morphine sulfate tablets and how to sniff them. I'm just shocked about this. So far, I've learned that this is a really serious medication and morphine sulfate side effects could even be deadly if it's overdosed. I have no idea how people oversee these risks and use morphine sulfate so haphazardly and that for fun.

By ddljohn — On Jan 15, 2012

I'm taking morphine sulfate 30 mg right now for my arthritis. I actually prefer not to take it because I have heard before that it is addictive. But my arthritis pains have become very severe recently and my doctor suggested taking it when it gets really bad so that I can at least sleep properly at night.

Even though I take my dose in the evening, I haven't been able to drive for the past week since the medication is in my system. I don't want to try to drive and put myself in danger anyway because I have been having a lot of drowsiness and sleepiness because of it.

My doctor is going to have me go on a new group of drugs for my arthritis next week. Hopefully those will help so that I can stop taking morphine. I really don't want to become dependent on it.

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