Morphine Oral Uses and How to Use

  • Uses

    See also Warning section.

    This medication is used to help relieve moderate to severe ongoing pain (such as due to cancer). Morphine belongs to a class of drugs known as narcotic (opiate) analgesics. It works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain.

    Do not use the sustained-action form of morphine to relieve pain that is mild or that will go away in a few days. This medication is not for occasional ("as needed") use.

    How To Use

    Take this medication on a regular schedule as directed by your doctor, not as needed for sudden (breakthrough) pain. Take this drug with or without food, usually once or twice daily (every 12 or 24 hours). If you have nausea, it may help to take this drug with food. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other ways to decrease nausea (such as lying down for 1 to 2 hours with as little head movement as possible).

    Swallow the capsules whole. Adults who have trouble swallowing the capsule may open the capsule and carefully sprinkle its contents on a spoonful of soft, cool applesauce. Swallow all of the drug/food mixture immediately without chewing. Then rinse your mouth and swallow the rinse liquid to make sure that you have swallowed all of the dose. Do not chew the mixture or prepare a supply in advance. Do not give this medication to a child this way, since they might chew the mixture and overdose. For children who have trouble swallowing the capsule, ask the doctor about using a different form of morphine instead.

    The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not increase your dose, take the medication more frequently, or take it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed.

    Before you start taking this medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you should stop or change the dose of your other narcotic medication(s). For added pain relief, your doctor may direct you to also take quick-acting narcotic or non-narcotic pain medications (such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen). Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about using morphine safely with other drugs.

    This medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. In such cases, withdrawal symptoms (such as restlessness, watering eyes, runny nose, nausea, sweating, muscle aches) may occur if you suddenly stop using this medication. To prevent withdrawal reactions, your doctor may reduce your dose gradually. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details, and report any withdrawal reactions immediately.

    When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.

    Along with its benefits, this medication may rarely cause abnormal drug-seeking behavior (addiction). This risk may be increased if you have abused alcohol or drugs in the past. Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lessen the risk of addiction.

    Tell your doctor if your pain persists or worsens.