Avinza contains morphine, a drug with very high abuse potential. It is a good idea to keep this medication in a safe place in order to prevent theft. Never let someone else take your medication. This medication provides a high dose of morphine that could easily result in death in someone who is not accustomed to the medication. Also, it is very dangerous to inject this medication, as it contains inactive ingredients that can be quite harmful when injected into the bloodstream.
Because Avinza is a highly desired drug of abuse, people try to obtain it through illegal means, such as from foreign countries or online sources that do not require a prescription. People who abuse Avinza and suddenly stop using it are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms.
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General considerations include the following:
- The medication comes in capsule form. It is taken by mouth once a day (every 24 hours). It is not meant to be taken on an "as needed" basis (at unscheduled times and only when needed for pain).
- Never crush, chew, or dissolve the capsules (or the beads inside the capsules), as this would release a dangerous amount of morphine. It is also dangerous to inject this medication, as it contains inactive ingredients that can cause damage when injected directly into the bloodstream.
- You cannot drink alcohol (or even take medications or eat foods that contain alcohol) while taking Avinza, as alcohol can cause the beads to release morphine too quickly. This may result in an overdose.
- You can take the medication with food or on an empty stomach. If it bothers your stomach, try taking the capsules with food.
- Most people swallow the capsules whole. However, if you have difficulty swallowing, your healthcare provider may recommend taking your dosages with applesauce. To do this, open the capsule and sprinkle the beads on a small amount of room-temperature (or colder) applesauce. Swallow the applesauce immediately and completely, without chewing. Rinse your mouth and swallow to make sure there are no beads remaining in your mouth.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Do not increase your dose without your healthcare provider's approval. Do not suddenly stop taking Avinza, especially if you have taken it regularly for more than several weeks (see Avinza Withdrawal).