The Dangers and Morphine Use Side Effects

in Addiction
Published May 6, 2021
morphine side effects

Morphine is a narcotic derived from opium. It is used to treat moderate to severe pain. This drug is highly addictive and should be taken exactly as prescribed. Morphine is commonly misused; however, even taking morphine as prescribed can lead to addiction. Misusing morphine is highly dangerous and can lead to life-threatening side effects and even death.

How Morphine Is Intended to Be Used

Morphine goes into effect by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain. In addition to pain relief, a patient on morphine can also experience a sense of euphoria, drowsiness, reduced anxiety, and a general sense of calm. Morphine is typically prescribed only in severe circumstances, such as after a patient undergoes a major surgery or to someone suffering from pain due to cancer. If someone is near death and struggling from pain and shortness of breath, they may be given morphine to make their last days more comfortable. Due to its highly addictive nature, a doctor will likely avoid prescribing morphine if another possible treatment is available.

This medication comes as either extended-release capsules, extended-release tablets, immediate-release form, and liquid form and is to be taken orally. The number of times it is taken daily will be dependent upon a patient’s unique situation and level of pain. Typically, a doctor may prescribe a lower dose of morphine and assess how the patient reacts to it. If the patient is still experiencing a high level of pain, they may increase the dose in time.

Prior to taking morphine, a patient should be sure to inform their doctor about any medications they may be taking as this drug could interact poorly with them. The doctor should also be notified of any health complications they may have or if they are pregnant or planning to get pregnant.

Dangers of Misusing Morphine

Even when used properly, morphine can cause negative side effects. Some of these side effects can be severe. If an individual is misusing morphine or using it in conjunction with alcohol or other drugs, these symptoms can be exacerbated and can even be life-threatening. Some of these symptoms may include:

  • Seizures
  • Fainting
  • Decreased respiratory drive
  • Changes in heart rate
  • Hallucinations
  • Muscle twitching
  • Loss of coordination

Morphine misuse can also lead to serious long term health consequences such as:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Osteoporosis
  • Immune-related problems
  • Heart, kidney, and liver damage

One risk of using morphine is becoming dependent upon it. When this happens, the body needs more and more of the drug to experience the same effects. The more morphine a person ingests, the greater risk they are of possible overdose or death. Someone experiencing morphine overdose will likely exhibit some of the following symptoms:

  • Cold skin
  • Drowsiness
  • Slowed breathing and heart rate
  • Coma


A morphine overdose can often be deadly. Thus, someone experiencing these symptoms should seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Opioid overdose deaths are a lot more frequent than many realize. The Center For Disease Control and Prevention reported that between the years 1999 and 2018, nearly 450,000 people died from opioid-related causes. This includes both prescription opioids such as morphine as well as illicit forms of opioids.

Seeking Treatment for Morphine Dependence

While overcoming addiction to morphine can be challenging, there is help available. Many people have recovered from morphine addiction and gone on to live happy and productive lives. An individual who is dependent upon morphine will need to go through the medical detox process. During this time, the body will go through its natural process of restoring balance and cleansing the system, while the withdrawal symptoms that occur as a result are managed. When an individual has been using morphine for a long time and dependent upon it, quitting the drug suddenly will shock their body. The body will struggle to regain homeostasis, and the individual will experience withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms related to morphine use are not only unpleasant but can be life-threatening. For this reason, detoxing in a medical facility under 24/7 supervision is safer and more effective than attempting to detox at home.

Withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Goosebumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting


At Gallus Medical Detox Centers, we utilize The Gallus Method of detox, which we believe is the safest and most effective way to detox. Because we understand that no patient’s situation is the same, we incorporate an individualized treatment plan. We also offer IV Therapy, which helps effectively manage withdrawal symptoms as quickly as possible to start feeling better right away. The Gallus Method also incorporates cardiac and video monitoring, daily physician visits, and 24/7 medical staffing.

Morphine is a very powerful, highly addictive drug derived from opium. It is used to treat severe pain caused by a major surgery or cancer. Misusing this drug can lead to severe and life-threatening side effects. These side effects can be exacerbated when morphine is used in conjunction with alcohol or other drugs. Morphine misuse can lead to potential overdose and even death. If you are struggling with dependence upon morphine, there is help available. At Gallus Detox Medical Centers, we offer a variety of treatment plans based upon your specific needs and situation. Through our program, you will cover privately while receiving the dignified and respectful care you deserve. While detoxing isn’t easy, we will ensure you are kept as comfortable as possible throughout the process. If you would like to learn more about the services we provide, call (866) 296-5242 today. Our highly trained staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.