Back Pain Home > Morphine Sulfate

How Does It Work?

Morphine sulfate is a narcotic, opiate pain reliever. It binds to opioid receptors throughout the body and produces numerous different effects. These effects include, but are not limited to:
 
  • Pain relief
  • Cough suppression
  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety relief
  • Unusual unpleasant feelings (dysphoria) or unusual pleasant feelings (euphoria)
  • Decreased breathing (slow or shallow breathing)
  • Certain changes in the circulatory system
  • Slowing of the digestive tract
  • Release of histamine (which often causes itching)
  • Physical dependence.
     

When and How to Take Morphine Sulfate

Some general considerations include the following:
 
  • This medication comes in tablet, capsule, liquid, or injection form. The particular directions for each product can vary substantially, so make sure to refer to the information for your specific morphine sulfate medication.
     
  • When taking morphine sulfate by mouth, it is probably best to take it with food, as it can be upsetting to the stomach.
     
  • Do not drink alcohol while taking this medication.
     
  • 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 morphine sulfate, especially if you have taken it regularly for more than several weeks (see Morphine Withdrawal).
     

Morphine Sulfate Products

There are many different prescription morphine sulfate products available in several different forms (see How Is Morphine Sulfate Supplied? for more information).
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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