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Drowsiness, nausea, and dizziness are some of the commonly reported side effects of morphine sulfate. Although most side effects of this medication tend to be minor and are typically easy to treat, there are some potentially serious side effects that may occur. Make sure to contact your healthcare provider right away if you develop serious side effects, such as seizures, difficulty breathing, or severe constipation.

An Introduction to Morphine Sulfate Side Effects

As with any medicine, morphine sulfate can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the medication will have problems. In fact, some people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in many cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with morphine sulfate. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of morphine sulfate side effects with you.)

Serious Side Effects of Morphine Sulfate

Some side effects with morphine sulfate are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider. These include, but are not limited to:
  • The urge to take more morphine sulfate than prescribed or for a non-medical purpose
  • Falling or unsteadiness
  • Unusual changes in mood or behavior
  • Severe constipation
  • Confusion
  • A slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Slow or irregular breathing
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Seizures
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:


    • An unexplained rash
    • Hives
    • Itching
    • Swelling of the mouth or throat
    • Wheezing
    • Difficulty breathing.


It is common to develop non-allergic itching due to morphine sulfate. Morphine sulfate causes a release of histamine, resulting in itching unrelated to any allergy. If you develop itching but no other allergy symptoms, it is unlikely that you are allergic to morphine sulfate. However, make sure to let your healthcare provider know, as there are medications available to help relieve the itching.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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