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Side Effects of Morphine (MS Contin, Kadian, Roxanol)


Description: Morphine (MS Contin) is a prescription medicine which is known as an opioid pain medicine. It is used to treat moderate to severe pain requiring daily around-the-clock, long-term treatment with an opioid, when other non-narcotic pain treatments are not able to control the pain well enough or they cannot be tolerated.

Serious Side Effects of Morphine

Serious side effects according to the Morphine FDA label include:

  • Cardiovascular instability
  • Respiratory depression
  • Central nervous toxicity
  • Hypotensive effect
  • Danger of Addiction to Morphine

    Morphine is a controlled substance and has the risks of abuse, misuse, and addiction like other opioid medicines used for pain, according to the FDA’s new safety measures (August 2016). Use of morphine, even when taken as recommended and at regular doses, can result in addiction (habit formation), and abuse leading to overdose or even death. These effect are more pronounced in children or person using the medicine without a prescription. Hence, it is important that morphine is never used in larger amounts, or for longer duration than it is prescribed for.

    Common Side Effects of Morphine

    Common adverse reactions, according to the Morphine FDA label, include:

  • Sedation
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diaphoresis
  • Urinary retention
  • Pruritus
  • Urticaria
  • Skin rash
  • Less Common Side Effects of Morphine

    According to the Morphine FDA label, rare reactions include:

  • Headache
  • Agitation
  • Tremor
  • Uncoordinated muscle movements
  • Visual disturbances
  • Transient hallucinations
  • Understand Your Risks with the Rxight® Genetic Test

    Rxight® genetic testing sequences a panel of genes and their alleles to analyze inter-individual differences in pharmacogenetic response to morphine, along with hundreds of other common pharmaceutical agents. It allows individuals and prescribers to know if morphine is “red-flagged” for them as a medication which could result in dangerous and potentially life-threatening reactions.

    How Does Pharmacogenetic Testing Work?

    The requirements are simple: a cotton swab is used to collect a sample of cells from the inside surface of the cheek. The genetic test then looks for specific genes that interact with the medication. Such understanding of genetic variations allows the prescriber and patient to find an appropriate drug treatment plan. It also saves the patient from a trial and error process that can be pricey and possibly hazardous to their health.

    Contributors to this Article:
    Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry

    Read more about Rxight® pharmacogenetics