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Morphine sulfate is a narcotic pain reliever derived from the opiate plant. It can be used in veterinary medicine to alleviate moderate to severe pain. In some cases, it can be used to help diminish coughing and to decrease diarrhea in dogs.
Opiate receptors that regulate and detect pain are throughout the body. Morphine sulfate effectively inhibits these receptors, primarily mu receptors, resulting in pain alleviation.
Since morphine sulfate affects many biological functions, many dogs and cats can vomit or defecate immediately after morphine sulfate is injected. Some dogs can start panting excessively after administration as well.
Morphine sulfate is a very powerful analgesic, so there is always a possibility that side effects can arise when taking this medication. The most-common side effects are nausea, vomiting, constipation, restlessness, behavioral changes, reduced blood pressure and heart rate, slowed breathing, and seizures.
Use of morphine sulfate in cats is not as common as it is in dogs, as cats can experience elevated body temperature and nervous system excitement.
Morphine sulfate potentially can interfere with or enhance other medications the patient may be on, including monoamine oxidase inhibitors, tranquilizers, anesthetics, and antihistamines. To eliminate or reduce the risk of a drug interaction, the veterinarian should know the animal's drug regimen.
Morphine sulfate should be avoided if the patient has had a previous allergic reaction to it. It also should be avoided in patients with pre-existing liver or kidney disease, Addison's Disease, an underactive thyroid gland, hyperactivity, and in cases involving diarrhea because of toxin ingestion.
Morphine sulfate should not be administered to a dog that has been stung by a scorpion, as the drug can increase the potency of the venom.
This drug should be used with extreme caution in older animals, severely debilitated animals, and those with serious head trauma, lung disease, and acute abdominal conditions.
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Evan Ware, DVM
Dr. Evan Ware is a veterinary practitioner in Phoenix, Arizona. He received both his undergraduate degree in microbiology and his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University.
Dr. Ware is currently the Medical Director of University Animal Hospital (VCA) and is also the owner of two other hospitals, including Laveen Veterinary Center and Phoenix Veterinary Center. His areas of interest include orthopedic medicine and surgery, veterinary oncology and chemotherapy, and general and advanced soft-tissue surgery.
Tags: How Does Morphine Sulfate Alleviate Pain, Morphine Sulfate, Morphine Sulfate Drug Interactions, Morphine Sulfate Precautions, Possible Side Effects of Morphine Sulfate
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This content is intended for counseling purposes only. This content is informational/educational and is not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or patient. No claims are made as to the safety or efficacy of mentioned preparations. The compounded medications featured in this content have been prescribed and/or administered by prescribers who work with Wedgewood Pharmacy. You are encouraged to speak with your prescriber as to the appropriate use of any medication. Wedgewood Pharmacy’s compounded veterinary preparations are not intended for use in food and food-producing animals. All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.