Morphine Effects

Morphine addiction, also a narcotic, directly affects the central nervous system. Besides relieving pain, morphine’s effects impair mental and physical performance, relieve fear and anxiety, and produces euphoria. Morphine’s effects also include:

  • A decreases hunger
  • Inhibiting the cough reflex
  • Producing constipation
  • Reducing the sex drive
  • In women it may interfere with the menstrual cycle

Morphine’s euphoric effects can be highly addictive. Tolerance (the need for higher and higher doses to maintain the same effect) and physical and psychological dependence develop quickly.

Morphine Hazards

The major hazards of morphine, as with other narcotic analgesics, are respiratory depression and, to a lesser degree, circulatory depression, respiratory arrest, shock, and cardiac arrest. These particularly coincide with an overdose.
The most frequently observed adverse reactions include sedation, lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and sweating. These effects seem to be more prominent in ambulatory patients and in those who are not experiencing severe pain. Some adverse reactions in ambulatory patients may be alleviated if the patient lies down.
Other possible adverse reactions include:

  • Central Nervous System – euphoria, dysphoria, weakness, headache, agitation, tremor, uncoordinated muscle movements, visual disturbances, transient hallucinations and disorientation
  • Gastrointestinal – constipation, biliary tract spasm
  • Cardiovascular – tachycardia, bradycardia, palpitation, faintness, syncope, and orthostatic hypotension
  • Genitourinary – oliguria and urinary retention; an antidiuretic effect has been reported
  • Allergic – Allergic reactions to opiates occur infrequently; pruritus, urticaria, and other skin rashes are most common. Rarely, anaphylactoid reactions have been reported following intravenous administration.
  • Other – Opiate-induced histamine release may be responsible for the flushing of the face, sweating, and pruritus often seen with these drugs. Wheals and urticaria at the site of injection are probably related to histamine release. Local tissue irritation, pain and induration have been reported following repeated subcutaneous injection. Morphine, like other opioids, may alter temperature regulation in susceptible individuals and will depress the cough reflex.

Morphine Addiction

Another one of morphine’s effects is addiction, and morphine is highly addictive. Just because it is legally approved for use doesn’t mean the drug can’t be addictive and just as dangerous as illegal drugs when used improperly. Tolerance (the need for higher and higher doses to maintain the same effect) and physical and psychological addiction to morphine develop quickly.

Addictive drugs, such as morphine activate the brain’s reward systems. The promise of reward is very intense, causing the individual to crave morphine and to focus his or her activities around the taking of morphine. The ability of morphine to strongly activate brain reward mechanisms and its ability to chemically alter the normal functioning of these systems can produce a morphine addiction. Morphine also reduces a person’s level of consciousness, harming the ability to think or be fully aware of present surroundings. It is important to know the warning signs of prescription (morphine) abuse in order to avoid addiction.

Warning Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse

  • Is the user taking more medication than prescribed?
  • Are they using the medication for something other than its intended purpose?
  • Are they unable to stop using the medication once the original need for the drug has passed?
  • Do they experience intense cravings for the drug?
  • Are they moody and irritable?
  • Do they lie about the amount of medication they’re taking and/or manipulate doctors and others to get more?
  • Are they requesting or obtaining refills before they’re needed (a sign they’re unwilling to go without the drug for any period of time)?
  • Are they illegally purchasing pain medication?

Where Morphine Comes From

Morphine is a powerful narcotic agent with strong analgesic action and other significant effects on the central nervous system. It is dangerously addicting. Morphine is a naturally occurring member of a large chemical class of compounds called alkaloids. Morphine is highly effective in relieving pain.

The name, which derives from Morpheus, the mythological son of sleep and god of dreams, was coined in 1805 by German apothecary Adolf Serturner (1783-1841) to designate the main alkaloid in opium. Opium comes from the poppy plant.

Morphine Help

Because many who become addicted to prescription drugs start using them for valid reasons, admission an addiction can be particularly difficult. But if the warning signs above indicate they have become dependent, getting professional help is crucial. Please call our toll free number at (877) 259-5633 if you or someone you know is in need of morphine treatment.