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10 Effects of Morphine

By Juliet Wilkinson ; Updated August 14, 2017

Morphine, an opioid narcotic, is available by prescription in many forms--including oral pills and liquid, injection, continuous infusion and rectal suppositories. Uses for morphine are extensive; this drug affects multiple body systems, such as the central nervous and circulatory systems. Learning more about the effects of morphine can assist consumers in deciphering the desired effects.

Inhibits Pain, Provides Analgesia, Decreases Anxiety, Relaxes, Provides Euphoria

Morphine greatly affects the central nervous system, or CNS, and produces five common effects. Morphine inhibits pain signals, provides analgesia, decreases anxiety, relaxes and provokes a euphoric feeling. These effects are desired for people who suffer chronic pain, severe anxiety and for pre-surgical analgesia. Morphine is also used post-surgical in an epidural-type injection for relief of severe pain after a major surgery.

Decreases Blood Pressure, Decreases Work on Heart Dilation and Dilation of Coronary Arteries

Morphine affects the circulatory system by dilating, or expanding, arteries that allow a faster blood flow with decreased effort on the heart. The three main effects of morphine on this system include decreased blood pressure, decreased work on the heart and dilation of the coronary arteries. Opioids such as morphine are frequently used to treat heart attacks and angina, or the narrowing of the coronary arteries.

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Suppresses Cough, Decreases Breathing Rate

Two main impacts of morphine on the pulmonary system is cough suppression and decreased respiratory rate, or breathing rate. Cough suppression is useful when infections such as bronchitis make an unproductive, frequent cough painful and sleep disturbing. Cough suppression is also useful immediately following any thoracic or chest surgeries when disruption of the surgical closure could be life-threatening. Morphine decreases the respiratory rate, which can be useful in people with pulmonary edema, or fluid-filled lungs or those with severe anxiety.

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