• Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Morphine
Drug Class: Kadian > Morphine > Opiate > Opioids > Opioid Agonist > Analgesic.


Kadian is a brand name for an extended-release morphine preparation. Kadian is in a class of drugs known as narcotic pain relievers. Kadian is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Kadian is only for those who are already tolerant to other opioids; doctors consider a person tolerant after at least one week of opioid use. Learn More About Kadian Uses

Other, off label uses for this medicine

While extended-release Kadian is available for around the clock control over chronic pain, there are other, off label uses for this medicine. More Off-Label Uses for Kadian


Kadian comes in extended-release caplets. Doses range from 20 to 100 mg. To make swallowing Kadian easier, you may open extended-release capsules and sprinkle the contents onto apple sauce. Swallow the mixture immediately without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later. Throw away the empty capsule.

Since Kadian is taken on an as-needed basis, you are not likely to be on a schedule. If your prescription requires you take Kadian on a schedule and you miss a dose, take another dose as soon as you think of it or, if you can tolerate the pain, skip the dose and resume your normal schedule. Do not double your dose in an effort to catch up.

Read More About Kadian Administration and Dosage


Kadian is an opioid. This type of narcotic binds with pain receptors and affects the way your brain and nervous system perceive pain. This drug induces a pleasant feeling of euphoria.

More About How Kadian Works


Do not take Kadian if you are allergic to morphine. Tell your doctor about all your allergies, especially if you are allergic to narcotics.

Never take a higher dose of Kadian than prescribed. Do not take this medication more frequently than prescribed. Overdose and dependence may occur.

Tell your doctor about any significant illnesses or injuries. Kadian may be contraindicated if you have a history of:

  • Asthma, COPD, Sleep Apnea or Other Breathing Disorders
  • Liver or Kidney Disease.
  • Underactive Thyroid.
  • Curvature of the Spine.
  • Head Injury or Brain Tumor.
  • Epilepsy or Other Seizure Disorder.
  • Low Blood Pressure.
  • Gallbladder Disease.
  • Addison's Disease or Other Adrenal Gland Disorders.
  • Enlarged Prostate, Urination Problems.
  • Mental Illness.
  • Drug or Alcohol Addiction.

Kadian can make you drowsy and impair decision-making. Do not operate heavy machinery, drive a car or engage in risky behavior until you know how your body reacts to Kadian.

Dangerous side effects may occur when consuming alcohol while taking Kadian. Do not consume alcohol or take other medications while on Kadian.

Tell your doctor if Kadian stops working effectively for you. You may be developing a tolerance to this medication, requiring higher doses to receive the same amount of pain relief.

Kadian can be habit-forming. This drug should never be taken by anyone other than the person for whom it was prescribed, especially if the person has a history of drug or alcohol abuse or dependence.

Read More About Kadian Precautions


Kadian is an FDA pregnancy class C, which means it may cause harm to your unborn child. It could cause addiction and withdrawal symptoms in a newborn. Notify your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking Kadian. Kadian can pass into breast milk; do not nurse while taking Kadian.

Do not stop taking Kadian suddenly. Doing so may result in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Talk with your doctor about weaning yourself slowly from Kadian use.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the effects of Kadian. A senior citizen should take a lower dose until he knows how Kadian will affect him.

More Warnings About Using Kadian

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor if you are taking or have taken MAOI drugs within the past fourteen days. You can suffer serious side effects if you take Kadian before the MAOI drugs have not cleared your system. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate).

Do not take Kadian while using other narcotic pain medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, muscle relaxers and other medications that make you sleepy or depress your respiration. Dangerous side effects may result.

More Drug Interactions

Side effects

Kadian may cause moderate to serious side effects. Seek immediate help if you experience an allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives, difficulty breathing or swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat. Call your doctor immediately if you suffer serious side effects after taking Kadian. Serious side effects include:

  • Shallow Breathing.
  • Slow Heartbeat.
  • Seizures.
  • Cold, Clammy Skin
  • Confusion.
  • Severe Weakness or Dizziness.
  • Feeling Light-headed.
  • Fainting.

If moderate side effects become acute or don't go away on their own, contact your physician. Less serious side effects include:

  • Constipation.
  • Warmth, Tingling or Redness Under Your Skin.
  • Nausea, Vomiting, Stomach Pain, Diarrhea, Loss of Appetite.
  • Dizziness, Headache, Anxiety.
  • Memory Problems.
  • Sleep Problems, Insomnia.

Learn More About Kadian Side Effects


If you suspect that you or someone you know has taken an overdose of Kadian, seek emergency assistance immediately. Contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or go to the emergency room. Overdose symptoms include:

  • Extreme Drowsiness.
  • Pinpoint Pupils.
  • Confusion.
  • Cold and Clammy Skin.
  • Weak Pulse.
  • Shallow Breathing.
  • Fainting.
  • Breathing that Stops.

Learn More About Kadian Overdose


Kadian is a Schedule II drug, which means it carries a significant risk for abuse and physical as well as psychological dependence. Pharmaceutical companies legally manufacture Kadian for licit use as a pain reliever but abusers obtain Kadian through forged prescriptions, bogus prescription call-ins to pharmacies, "doctor shopping" as well as theft from pharmacies and friends.

Read More About Kadian Abuse


Do not stop taking Kadian suddenly as this may lead to unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. While withdrawal symptoms from Kadian are rarely life-threatening, they may be unpleasant enough to prevent you from quitting Kadian. Withdrawal is a normal, predictable, physical sign of dependency, not necessarily a sign of willful abuse. If you are unable to stop Kadian on your own, consult with your physician or a qualified detoxification in-patient or out-patient program.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Restlessness.
  • Watery Eyes.
  • Runny Nose.
  • Yawning.
  • Sweating.
  • Chills.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Dilated Pupils.
  • Irritability.
  • Anxiety.
  • Backache.
  • Joint pain.
  • Weakness.
  • Abdominal Cramps.
  • Insomnia.
  • Nausea.
  • Loss of Appetite.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • High Blood Pressure.
  • Fast Breathing.
  • Rapid Heart Rate.


Dependency and addiction to Kadian is often difficult to overcome on your own, especially if you have been taking large doses or using these opioids for a long time. Fortunately, there are in-patient and out-patient treatment facilities where trained professionals can minimize withdrawal symptoms, detoxify your body and give you the tools you need to live drug-free. Detoxification, rehabilitation and counseling are effective therapies to treat addiction to Kadian and other opiates. Learn More About Kadian Detoxification Programs


Keep Kadian away from excessive heat and moisture. Do not keep this drug in your bathroom or car. Store Kadian away from children, pets and adults who might accidently or purposeful consume the drug. Do not share Kadian with others, especially with individuals with a history of alcohol or drug abuse. Keep track of your medication, taking note of any missing doses.

Read More About Storing Kadian