What does morphine do?


According to WebMD, morphine is a prescription medication that's used to alleviate moderate to severe pain. Morphine is classified as a narcotic opiate analgesic, and it works by altering pain signals in the brain. Common side effects of morphine include dizziness, drowsiness and constipation.

The Mayo Clinic explains that when a person takes morphine for an extended period of time, the chances of addiction are increased. If long-term treatment with morphine suddenly ceases, it can cause severe withdrawal symptoms; therefore, gradual weaning off the medication is a better option. Certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, stomach problems, mental illness and alcoholism, can affect the use of morphine, so it is important for individuals with prior or current health conditions to advise their physicians of their health histories before taking the medication.

Medline Plus explains that regular morphine tablets are taken every four hours to relieve pain, while extended release tablets are taken every 12 to 24 hours. Drinking alcohol or taking additional prescription medications, such as muscle relaxers, sleeping pills, tranquilizers or antidepressants, while taking morphine can cause breathing difficulty or potentially life-threatening effects. Alcohol can cause extended release morphine to release more rapidly into the bloodstream and lead to severe health problems or fatal overdose.

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