Kadian contains morphine, a commonly abused drug. It is a good idea to keep this medication in a safe place, where it is unlikely to be stolen by others. Never let someone else take your medication. This medication provides a high dose of morphine that could easily result in death in someone who is not used to the medication. Also, it is very dangerous to inject this medication, as it contains inactive ingredients that can be quite harmful when injected into the bloodstream. Because Kadian is a highly desired drug of abuse, people try to obtain it through illegal means, such as from foreign countries or online sources that do not require a prescription. People who abuse Kadian and suddenly stop using it are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms.
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General considerations include the following:
- The medication comes in capsule form. It is taken by mouth, usually once or twice a day, around-the-clock. It is not meant to be taken "as needed" (at unscheduled times and only when needed for pain).
- Never crush, chew, or dissolve the capsules, as this would release a dangerous amount of morphine. It is also dangerous to inject this medication, as it contains inactive ingredients that can cause damage when injected directly into the bloodstream.
- Most people swallow the capsules whole. However, if you have difficulty swallowing, your healthcare provider may recommend taking it with applesauce. To do this, open the capsule and sprinkle the pellets on a small amount of room temperature (or colder) applesauce. Swallow the applesauce immediately and completely, without chewing. Rinse your mouth and swallow to make sure there are no pellets remaining in your mouth.
- This medication can also be given in a stomach tube (a gastrostomy tube) but not in a gastric tube (that goes through the nose). Ask your healthcare provider for specific instructions for giving this medication through a stomach tube.
- You can take the medication with food or on an empty stomach. If it bothers your stomach, try taking the capsules with food.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Do not increase your dose without your healthcare provider's approval. Do not suddenly stop taking Kadian, especially if you have taken it regularly for more than several weeks (see Kadian Withdrawal).