Morphine short term effects:
- Pain relief
- Cough suppression
- Anxiety relief
- Unusual unpleasant feelings (dysphoria) or unusual pleasant feelings (euphoria)
- Decreased breathing (slow or shallow breathing)
- Certain changes in the circulatory system
- Slowing of the digestive tract
- Release of histamine (which often causes itching)
Morphine is commonly abused. People may experience euphoria due to morphine. Frequent use of morphine leads to tolerance and dependence. This means that a higher morphine dosage will be necessary to achieve the desired effects, and the body will become accustomed to the effects (and morphine withdrawal symptoms may occur if the drug is stopped).
Long term effects of morphine
Long term effects of morphine involve the central nervous system, the gastrointestinal system and the urogenital system, causing multiple side effects.
- Constipation: Opioids decrease gastric motility–the natural movement of contents through the intestine–resulting in constipation. This can be minimized by drinking adequate amounts of water, eating a high-fiber diet, exercising regularly and using stool softeners as directed by your physician.
- Decreased Libido: Some men on high doses of long-term morphine may experience decreased testosterone levels. This can cause decreased libido and decreased potency. However, testosterone replacement therapy can alleviate this problem.
- Physical Dependence: Because morphine affects the central nervous system, sudden removal of the drug can cause physical symptoms of withdrawal. Morphine affects a person’s respiratory rate, heart rate and blood pressure, gastrointestinal system, and mental state. Stopping morphine after long-term use has multiple effects, such as anxiety, agitation, insomnia, sweating, nausea and vomiting, watery eyes and runny nose, drooling and chills. Withdrawal symptoms can begin from 6 to 12 hours after abruptly stopping morphine, and peak in one to three days. Tapering off can prevent withdrawal symptoms.
- Addiction: Addiction is a psychological and behavioral phenomenon. It’s not the same thing as physical dependence. A person who is addicted to morphine has three characteristic traits: compulsive use, continuing use of the drug despite bad consequences, and an obsession or preoccupation with getting and using more morphine. As morphine addiction worsens, the person’s life becomes more consumed with the drug. Relationships suffer, and the person’s life is constricted or limited. This is the opposite of what happens to a patient who uses morphine for pain relief. A person who gets pain relief from morphine has a more active life. He engages with family and friends, and is able to participate in activities that he could not perform before because of the limiting effects of pain.