Morphine Sulfate Pentahydrate

  • Generic Name or Active Ingridient: Morphine


Doctors prescribe morphine sulfate pentahydrate to provide around-the-clock relief from moderate to severe pain. Morphine sulfate pentahydrate is usually used when pain is expected to be severe and last for a long period of time. This medicine is not typically used on an as-needed basis. Learn More About Morphine Sulfate Pentahydrate Uses

Other, off label uses for this medicine

Morphine and other opioids may be used to provide postoperative pain relief in patients already tolerant to opioids and taking these drugs prior to surgery or if postoperative pain is expected to be moderate to severe and last an extended period of time.

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Morphine sulfate pentahydrate is available in liquid injectable form or as extended-release tablets or capsules by prescription only. Morphine sulfate pentahydrate may be used in a PCA, or Patient Controlled Analgesia pump. Patients may administer 1 mg to 30 mg of morphine sulfate pentahydrate per hour with a six minute "lockout" between doses, with the dosage depending on the severity of pain and the patient's tolerance to opioids.

Morphine sulfate pentahydrate extended-release tablets are available in 15 mg, 30 mg, 60 mg, 100 mg and 200 mg strengths. Extended-release capsules are available in 20 mg, 30 mg, 50 mg, 60 mg, 80 mg and 100 mg strengths. Swallow extended-release morphine sulfate pentahydrate tablets whole; do not chew, crush or suck on tablets. The contents of extended-release capsules may be sprinkled on applesauce and consumed immediately. Do not chew, crush or suck on the beads. Discard any unused portions; do not store opened capsules. It takes less morphine sulfate pentahydrate to calm a cough than to provide even mild pain relief. Morphine sulfate pentahydrate is prescribed to be taken on a regular schedule rather than on an as-needed basis. If you miss a scheduled dose and it is still a long time before another scheduled dose, take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is nearly time to take another dose, skip the missed dose and resume the normal schedule. Never take more than one dose in an effort to catch up.

Call your healthcare provider if the prescribed dose stops working for you or does not provide adequate coverage for your symptoms. This physician may adjust the dosages or change you to a different medication. Do not take more medicine in an effort to control your pain; this may result in serious or even fatal overdose.

Physicians should use caution when prescribing morphine sulfate pentahydrate to elderly or debilitated patients, people with severe liver or kidney insufficiency, those with Addison's disease, hyperthyroidism, prostate or urethral problems. Doctors should also take care when prescribing morphine sulfate pentahydrate to patients with central nervous system depression, convulsive disorders, toxic psychosis, alcoholism or delirium tremens, commonly known as DTs.

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The principal actions of morphine sulfate pentahydrate are analgesia and sedation. The pharmacologic effects of morphine sulfate pentahydrate include calmness, euphoria, feelings of relaxation, respiratory depression, constipation, cough suppression and relief from pain. Morphine sulfate pentahydrate accomplishes this by binding to special nerve receptors in the brain and spinal cord, called mu receptors, to send feelings of euphoria to the brain. Morphine sulfate pentahydrate also depresses the respiratory system by acting directly on the part of the brainstem responsible for breathing; the brain becomes unresponsive to deteriorating blood gases. This drug also reduces cough by working directly on the medulla, the cough center of the brain, to make the brain unaware of the need to cough.

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An allergic reaction is a serious medical emergency. Do not take this medication if you are allergic to it or to other opioids such as codeine. You can suffer an allergic reaction to a medication even if you have taken it before; in fact, you can only suffer an allergic reaction if your body has been exposed to the chemical at least once before. Seek immediate help if you suspect you are suffering an allergic reaction to morphine sulfate pentahydrate. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include hives, difficulty breathing and swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat.

You may not be able to take morphine sulfate pentahydrate if you have a history of certain medical disorders. Tell your healthcare provider about any significant illnesses that you have suffered in the past or are currently experiencing. This medication may worsen these conditions or interfere with the treatment for these diseases. Your illness might change the way morphine sulfate pentahydrate works in your body.

Tell your physician about any significant illnesses or conditions, including:

  • Chronic Pulmonary Disease.
  • Liver or Kidney Disease.
  • Biliary Tract Disorders.

Morphine sulfate pentahydrate can cause dizziness, drowsiness or impair your ability to make quick decisions. Do not operate heavy machinery, drive a car or engage in risky behaviors until you know how your body reacts to morphine sulfate pentahydrate. Alcohol and medications that make you sleepy, such as cold and allergy medications, sedatives, other pain relievers and muscle relaxers may enhance this effect.

Morphine sulfate pentahydrate can be habit-forming, especially since this medication is typically used for long periods of time. A drug habit means you are developing a mental or physical dependence to a chemical in medication.

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Morphine sulfate pentahydrate passes through placental membrane and into breast milk. Scientists are still uncertain if morphine sulfate pentahydrate use by the mother will affect her unborn child. Tell the prescribing physician if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while taking morphine sulfate pentahydrate. Call your doctor immediately if you discover you are pregnant while taking this medication. Do not breastfeed a baby while taking this drug.

Do not stop taking morphine sulfate pentahydrate suddenly unless you are told to so by a doctor. Quitting this medication abruptly may result in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Try weaning yourself from the medication by taking increasingly smaller doses further apart. Tell your healthcare provider if you cannot stop using this drug because of intense withdrawal symptoms.

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Drug Interactions

Morphine sulfate pentahydrate may interact with other medications in unsafe or unfavorable ways. Give the prescribing physician and pharmacist filling the prescription an updated list of all your medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter and herbal remedies. Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medication without first consulting a physician. Drugs that may interact with morphine sulfate pentahydrate include:

  • Sleeping Pills.
  • Other Pain Medicines.
  • Anti-Nausea Medicines.
  • Tranquilizers.
  • Muscle Relaxants.
  • Antihistamines.
  • Anti-Anxiety Medicines.
  • Anti-Depressants.
  • Cimetidine (Tagamet).
  • Anticholinergic Medicines.

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Side effects

You may experience side effects whenever taking any drug. Patients have reported non-serious side effects while using morphine sulfate pentahydrate. Consult with the prescribing physician if your side effects become unbearable or won't go away on their own.

Common side effects include:

  • Nausea.
  • Constipation.
  • Sleepiness.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Vomiting.
  • Sweating.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, deaths from drug overdose has tripled since 1990. Most of these deaths are due to overdose of prescription drugs rather than from illicit drugs. In 2008, more people died from overdoses of prescription opioids than from cocaine and heroin combined. Whether from prescription medication or from illegal drugs, drug overdose is a serious medical condition that may deteriorate rapidly into a life-or-death emergency. If you think you or someone you know has taken an overdose of morphine sulfate pentahydrate or any other medication, contact the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 or go to the emergency room immediately. While you are at the hospital, you can expect life-saving measures such as stomach pumping, medicines to reduce the level of morphine in your body and IV fluids to restore chemical balance.

Overdose symptoms include: Slow or Shallow Breathing. Feeling Faint, Dizzy or Confused. Any Other Unusual Symptoms

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Drug abuse is a serious medical, personal and sociological problem that can cause problems with your health, job or family. A drug abuse problem may even put you on the wrong side of the law. To abuse drugs means to use them outside the recommendations of a doctor. A person may abuse drugs by taking them for recreational purposes - to get high - or by continuing to take a medication after the prescribing physician has recommended use be discontinued. Abusers obtain morphine sulfate pentahydrate by stealing it, getting prescriptions from multiple doctors or by presenting fake prescriptions to pharmacies. Morphine is also readily available on the street.

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You may develop physically or mentally dependence on morphine sulfate pentahydrate, especially since this medication is normally prescribed to be taken for a long period of time. Physical dependence means you need to take morphine sulfate pentahydrate to feel normal; you experience uncomfortable, flu-like symptoms if you do not take enough of this medication. Drug dependence and withdrawal symptoms are not necessarily indicative of criminal drug abuse - patients whose physicians prescribed morphine sulfate pentahydrate to treat chronic pain may develop drug dependence while in the hospital, only to experience withdrawal symptoms after arriving at home. This person may not even realize she is experiencing withdrawal symptoms unless she makes the cognitive connection between her symptoms and morphine sulfate pentahydrate use. She may think she has caught the flu and suffer through the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms alone, without medical help. Withdrawal symptoms may vary from person to person and the severity of withdrawal symptoms may depend on dosage strength and the duration of abuse. One individual may be able to quit taking morphine sulfate pentahydrate without any help, while intense withdrawal symptoms may prevent another person from stopping without the help of qualified rehabilitation specialists. Confide in your healthcare provider if your withdrawal symptoms prevent you from quitting morphine sulfate pentahydrate. Healthcare providers recognize dependence and withdrawal symptoms as predictable, normal physiological responses to opioid use.

Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Feeling Restless.
  • Tearing Eyes.
  • Runny Nose.
  • Yawning.
  • Sweating.
  • Chills.
  • Hair On Your Arms "Stands Up."
  • Muscle Aches.
  • Backache.
  • Dilated Pupils.
  • Feeling Irritable or Anxious.
  • Trouble Sleeping.
  • Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea.
  • Loss of Appetite.
  • Abdominal Cramps.


Physical dependence to morphine sulfate pentahydrate is a complex condition. You may need help of highly trained rehabilitation specialists to overcome your dependence to this powerful opioid. Effective rehabilitative treatment programs tackle each aspect of the complicated syndrome of morphine dependence, including overcoming withdrawal symptoms, cleansing the drug from your body and addressing any social issues complicating drug dependence. During the initial phase of rehabilitation, physicians administer medication to cleanse and detoxify your body while reducing withdrawal symptoms. After detoxification, you may participate in counseling programs to help you work through issues that lead to or is the result of your dependence on drugs, such as family problems or legal issues. You may choose rapid detox, a state-of-the-art, humane and extremely effective way to overcome withdrawal. During this highly effective procedure, specially trained physicians administer anesthesia and sedatives along with detoxification medications so that you sleep through the withdrawal process, unaware of the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. You will have no memory of the withdrawal process after you awaken Learn More About Morphine Sulfate Pentahydrate Detoxification Programs


Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children and pets. Do not allow adults to mistakenly or purposefully use this medication. Do not share this medication with others, even if their symptoms are similar to yours. Store morphine sulfate pentahydrate tablets and capsules at room temperature, away from excessive heat, moisture and light. Do not store this medication in your bathroom or car. Avoid telling people other than your caretakers that you have morphine sulfate pentahydrate in your home to reduce the risk for theft.

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Miscellaneous information

Miscellaneous Information About Morphine Sulfate Pentahydrate