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Article Summary

Introduction: Morphine

Morphine is an opiate narcotic pain medicine that relieves pain by binding to all opioid receptors found in the body.

Morphine consumer side effects

The following morphine effects apply to morphine forms such as; oral capsules, oral capsule extended release, oral solution, oral concentrate, oral tablet and oral tablet extended release. It is important to note that morphine may cause allergic reactions. If you experience the following serious morphine side effects, contact your doctor immediately. These side effects include; difficulty breathing, hives, swelling of the tongue, lips and throat.

If you experience the following serious morphine side effects you must also seek immediate medical attention. These side effects include; shallow or slow breathing, slow heartbeat, seizures, stiff muscles, clammy cold skin, confusion, unusual behaviour or thoughts, severe weakness, fainting, difficulty swallowing, urinating less, pale skin, shortness of breath, feeling light-headed, rapid heart rate, easy bruising, trouble concentrating, unusual bleeding through openings such as the nose, rectum, mouth or vagina and red or purple spots on your skin.

Less serious or mild morphine effects include; weight loss, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, stomach pain, flushing i.e. redness, warmth or tingly feeling, dizziness, headache, spinning sensation, memory loss, insomnia, strange dreams among other sleeping problems.

It is important to note that there may be other morphine consumer side effects that may not be listed above. In case you experience any other new side effects, contact your doctor immediately.

The side effects mentioned below apply to the following forms of morphine; compounding powder, injectable tablet soluble, injectable solution, intravenous solution, oral capsule extended release, oral capsule, oral solution, oral concentrate, oral tablet extended release, oral tablet and rectal suppository.

Morphine nervous system side effects

Morphine also has (CNS) Central nervous system effects that include either excitatory or depressant side effects. It is important to note that most morphine patients ignore the excitatory side effects of morphine. All side effects have to be treated with the seriousness they deserve.

One of the most common severe morphine side effects includes; respiratory depression. This side effect can however be addressed/treated using an opioid antagonist naloxone. Other common morphine side effects include Myoclonic spasms which occur in patients who are receiving very high doses of morphine i.e. in the case of renal dysfunction patients. Hyperalgesia is another common side effect caused by high morphine doses. Common morphine nervous system effects include sedation and drowsiness. Inflammatory masses is also a common side effect that can result in serious neurologic impairments i.e. paralysis. Other common morphine side effects include seizures, delirium, tremors, muscle twitches, dizziness, confusion and malaise.

Gastrointestinal side effects

Morphine also has gastrointestinal side effects which include; nausea, dyspepsia, constipation, vomiting, dry mouth, intestinal obstruction, increased gastroesophageal reflux and increased biliary pressure. Morphine may also cause bile duct and sphincter of Oddi constriction. This side effect increases intrabiliary pressure that worsens as opposed to relieving the biliary colic. Also, morphine can cause gastric emptying and intense uncoordinated duodenum contraction.

Respiratory side effects

An example of a common serious respiratory side effect of morphine is respiratory depression. Another common side effect is Bronchospasm which affects mostly patients suffering from underlying pulmonary disease.

Cardiovascular and psychiatric morphine side effects

Common morphine cardiovascular side effects include; hypertension and myocardial infarction. Some of the common psychiatric morphine side effects include; agitation, fearfulness, paranoia, thinking disturbances, psychosis, hallucinations and hyper vigilance.

Genitourinary morphine effects

One common genitourinary side effect caused by morphine is acute urinary retention. The risks of suffering from acute urinary retention are very high using morphine i.e. when using morphine by epidural or intrathecal injection. Doctors must therefore be attentive to reduce the risks of urosepsis when administering morphine.

Dermatologic morphine effects

Some common dermatologic side effects of morphine include; flushing, sweating, and pruritus. There have also been cases of acute exanthematous pustulosis although in very rare cases.

Other side effects

Other common morphine side effects reported include; agitation, anxiety, restlessness, piloerection, convulsions, insomnia, tremor, abdominal cramps, vomiting, blurred vision and sweating. It is important to note that the above side effects are caused by withdrawing morphine use suddenly. Morphine use should therefore be stopped gradually to avoid withdrawal effects.

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