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Kadian is a medication that can be prescribed to treat chronic moderate to severe pain. It is a long-acting drug that is meant to be taken on a schedule, rather than as needed. The capsules, which are taken once or twice a day, contain tiny extended-release pellets that release morphine slowly and evenly throughout the day. Potential side effects of Kadian include nausea, drowsiness, and constipation.

What Is Kadian?

Kadian® (morphine sulfate ER) is a long-acting prescription medication approved to treat moderate to severe pain when continuous, around-the-clock use of painkillers is necessary for an extended period of time. It is not approved for short-term or "as needed" (not around-the-clock) use. It is a narcotic and is classified as a controlled substance, which means that special laws and regulations control its sale and use.
 
(Click Kadian Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
 

Who Makes Kadian?

Kadian is made by Actavis Elizabeth LLC and is marketed and distributed by Alpharma Pharmaceuticals LLC.
 

How Does It Work?

Kadian capsules contain tiny extended-release pellets that contain morphine. These pellets are specially designed to release the morphine evenly throughout the day, whether Kadian is taken once a day or twice a day.
 
Morphine is an opioid narcotic medication. It binds to opioid receptors throughout the body and produces a number of different effects. These effects include, but are not limited to:
 
  • Pain relief
  • Cough suppression
  • Unusual unpleasant feelings (dysphoria) or unusual pleasant feelings (euphoria)
  • Drowsiness
  • Decreased breathing (slow or shallow breathing)
  • Slowing of the digestive tract
  • Certain changes in the circulatory system
  • Release of histamine (which often causes itching)
  • Physical dependence.
     
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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