Morphine Side Effects and Risks

Morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone, demerol, codeine, methadone – these are just some of the known painkillers that are classified as opioid analgesics.

morphine side effects

Morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone, demerol, codeine, methadone – these are just some of the known painkillers that are classified as opioid analgesics. Each painkiller has its own characteristics and strength level, and out of all the different variations of painkillers that are most favored by many – morphine.

History of Morphine

Morphine, or Morphine Sulfate, was first discovered from the opium poppy plant during the early 1800s. Although a lot of poppy-based painkillers have already been used since the 1500s, most doctors still preferred using morphine to their patients when performing surgeries.

Since then, morphine has been readily available to the public. It even hosts a wide range of varieties, from short-acting morphine to long-acting ones. This marked the beginning of morphine usage for different kinds of treatment.

The Main Purpose of Morphine

Pain is never new to humans. Even a tiny accident, like bumping into a table or stepping on a rock, will cause pain to a human being.

And because pain is not just those tiny accidents that can happen anytime, but also major injuries, illnesses, diseases, and surgeries, the discovery of painkiller became a necessity to a lot of medical practitioners.

Morphine, in this case, is used for the treatment of severe pain. It is a strong kind of painkiller. It is mostly used after getting involved in an accident that caused major injury to the person after surgery or operation was done to the body, or to relieve pain from such illness like cancer or heart attack.

The main purpose of morphine is to be used when normal painkillers like paracetamol, ibuprofen, and aspirin do not take effect anymore.

How Does Morphine Work

Morphine does its work by making its way to the human nervous system the block the pain signals from coming to the brain. That is also how it can greatly affect the brain especially when it’s overused.

Morphine Addiction

The problem that often gets associated with drugs is not the drug itself, but the people who abuse the use of these drugs.

Even during the Civil War, from 1861 to 1865, hundred thousands of people have already been diagnosed with morphine addiction.

Morphine addiction from then on became a huge problem. It even affected a few number of notable personalities and was the cause of death for some. Jamie Lee Curtis was one of the few celebrities who got addicted to the use of morphine. She, fortunately, got rid of the addiction. But there were others who immediately fell to their death the moment they abused morphine usage, like Sigmund Freud who died last 1939 from a morphine overdose.

Side Effects and Risks of Morphine

All medicines are made to treat different kinds of illnesses or diseases. No medicine is discovered just to be the cause of a certain tragedy like death.

We all know that getting too less or too much of anything can be harmful to the human body. This heavily applies to medicines and other drugs. Thus, there will always be side effects and risks when some medications are taken too much.

Minor Side Effects

Though considered to be highly dangerous, morphine sometimes only causes minor side effects to some people.

  • Constipation. Just like any other drug overuse, people who abuse drugs tend to experience constipation.
  • Vomiting and nausea. Again, this is experienced even with other over use of drugs.
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness. Because the main intention of morphine is to take effect in a person’s brain, too much morphine dosage can cause lightheadedness or dizziness.
  • Drowsiness. A person who overuses morphine will get sleepier than normal.
  • Sweating. Another normal thing to experience when exposed to drug overuse.

These are just some of the cases a morphine abuser can experience. When things get worse, there are possible major side effects one can come across with.

Major Side Effects

The hardest thing about being addicted to drugs is that you will never know what will happen when you become too dependent.

Here are some major side effects that can happen to people who overuse morphine:

Difficulty in breathing

Now, even the respiratory system gets affected from too much morphine use. Overuse of morphine can lead to life-threatening respiratory problems and can be more deadly when the morphine gets mixed with alcohol or other substances.


With any kind of drug addiction comes withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawals happen when a person suddenly stops using a drug after heavy usage for weeks. Most withdrawal symptoms from morphine and other opiates are often associated with anxiety, vomiting, sweating, and diarrhea.

Irritability and unstable temperament

The moment you meet a person who abuses morphine or any other drug, you will notice their sudden irritability and unstable temperament. They easily get annoyed and may sometimes get into fits of anger.

Inability to wake up

When a person has overdosed with drugs the body starts to act differently. Sometimes the body starts to forget how to function normally. The body then can’t keep awake by itself and there are times when it won’t be able to wake up on its own.


The nervous system is the major system of the body that the brain controls. So when the brain gets unstable, the nerves get affected as well. And because when morphine is taken into the body, it directly affects the nervous system and causes involuntary shaking of the body.


When the human body can’t take it anymore, it finally gives up. There is only a limit to what the human body can take. Too much morphine in the body can cause death to the person. It can be due to an organ’s failure or there can be other causes that initially come from a morphine overdose.

Painkillers are essential to treatment and medications. When they are used properly, there will never be an issue present.

One should never get addicted to any kind of drug as it is the only way to avoid experiencing any of these side effects.

This is not a warning not to use morphine; this is a warning to use morphine wisely.

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