Morphine: Old-Fashioned Pain Relief
Morphine is a narcotic that is used to treat mild to severe pain. It is often used during surgery and is not usually prescribed to patients following surgery unless they were accustomed to taking it on a regular basis. Morphine is derived from the opium poppy and is one of the world's most widely known forms of pain relief. It also has the reputation of being quite addictive and unfortunately, is often used recreationally. Therefore, it is often prescribed with care to responsible adults who will take care to ensure that no one else is taking their medication. It is quite effective, which is the reason it is still used, but it is not given to just anyone. Those who can tolerate opium-based pain relievers can be trusted to take morphine.
There are various types of morphine. One type is short-acting, which means it treats the pain one is feeling immediately. Another type is slow-release, which creates a more subtle effect, and allows a bit of morphine to be released gradually so the pain can be treated around the clock. The type of morphine prescribed depends on the type of pain one experiences. It is very important to take pills as they are prescribed, and not to chew or crush them, but to swallow them. Chewing or crushing morphine pills can interfere with the slow-release process.
Those with liver and heart problems, a history of mental illness or drug abuse are usually not prescribed morphine for pain. There are other alternatives to morphine for these types of patients. Side effects of morphine may include cold, clammy skin and a feeling of confusion or dizziness. You will want to report these symptoms to your doctor immediately. Morphine should never be taken with alcohol, since the combination can be deadly. Ensure that nothing you eat or drink contains alcohol if you are taking morphine for pain. Similarly, beware of taking morphine if you are pregnant, because it does pass on to the fetus and can cause addiction.
Most doctors do not take patients off morphine right away, but "wean" them off gradually. Sudden withdrawal from morphine can cause serious symptoms, such as vomiting and flu-like symptoms and well as strong cravings.
Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.