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What does it do?

Morphine is used to relieve strong pain.

How should you take it?

Take morphine regularly as directed. Swallow the tablets or capsules whole with a glass of water.

What if you forget a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as possible. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on as normal. Do not take two doses at the same time.

Can you take other medicines?

Some medicines available without a prescription may react with morphine including:

  • sedating antihistamines (e.g. Phenergan®)
  • cough suppressants (e.g. Duro-Tuss®, Benadryl Dry Forte®)
  • pain relief medicines containing codeine (e.g. Panadeine®)

Tell your pharmacist or doctor about all medicines or treatments that you may be taking, including vitamins, herbal products (e.g. valerian) or recreational drugs.

What side effects might you notice?

Side EffectsRecommended action

Slow or shallow breathing, hard to wake up

Change in heartbeat

Tell your doctor immediately

Constipation

Confusion, dizziness, agitation, mood swings

Tell your doctor

Drowsiness, weakness, headache, trouble sleeping

Nausea, vomiting, stomach upset

Dry mouth or throat, changes in vision, trouble peeing

Swollen feet or legs

Sweating

Tell your doctor if troublesome

If you notice any other effects, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

Other information:

  • Tell your doctor if you have lung, bowel, liver, kidney, bladder or heart problems; if you have ever had a seizure, or have had a recent head injury.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
  • Take morphine ‘long acting’ regularly. If morphine is not relieving your pain contact your health professional - your dose may need changing.
  • Morphine ‘short acting’ may be used with morphine ‘long acting’ for breakthrough pain.
  • Morphine may make you dizzy or sleepy and make it dangerous to drive, operate machinery or do other activities that require you to be alert. Limit alcohol intake because it can increase these effects.
  • Morphine may be addictive with long-term use.

This leaflet contains important, but not all, information about this medicine.

Prepared by the PILs Committee at Christchurch Hospital, Canterbury District Health Board, New Zealand. January 2018

For more general information about this sheet and its contents, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

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About My Medicines

My Medicines Patient Information Leaflets (PILs) contain important, but not all, information about the medicines they describe.

For more information about the sheets, see: What does a My Medicines sheet cover?

My Medicines is developed by a team at the Canterbury District Health Board. Our team is made up of doctors, pharmacists, and a non-medical person to help us keep to plain language. We also discuss our information with specialist health professionals or groups when needed