Morphine: Indications

Morphine still is the drug of choice for the treatment of severe acute or chronic pain.

It is mostly used parenterally for acute pain (myocardial infarction, multiple injuries, post-operative). Morphine is also frequently injected to prepare for surgery and it can also be given during the operation for the suppression of nociceptive stimuli.

For long-term treatment of terminally ill, pain ridden patients, oral preparations are usually better suited. For this, regular administration of individually adjusted doses is decisive. Morphine can be combined with other (non-opioid) analgesics or psychotropic drugs. For subjects with refractory pain, the epidural (or intrathecal) injection or infusion of morphine can be considered. This treatment is frequently efficacious but it is associated with considerable risks. It should therefore only be performed by specially trained staff.

Morphine can have an advantageous effect on severe dyspnea. Its administration in the case of acute left ventricular failure with pulmonary edema is not considered optimal by all specialists. Vasodilators ought not to be neglected in these cases.

Table of Contents | Pharmacology | Adverse Reactions & Interactions | Contraindications & Cautions | Risk Groups | References