Pain Home > Morphine Overdose

It is possible to take too much morphine. Symptoms of an overdose with this medication can include difficulty breathing, extreme drowsiness, and even death. Treatment for an overdose may involve pumping the stomach, inducing vomiting, or administering activated charcoal to prevent the body from absorbing the drug. Certain medications may also be used when treating an overdose to counteract effects of morphine. If you believe you have overdosed on morphine, seek immediate medical care.

Can You Take Too Much Morphine?

Morphine is a narcotic, opioid drug. It is possible to overdose on morphine. In fact, a morphine overdose can be quite dangerous. The specific effects of an overdose with morphine can vary, depending on a number of factors, including the morphine dosage and whether it was taken with any other medications or substances.
Seek immediate medical attention if you or someone else may have intentionally or accidentally overdosed on morphine. An overdose can be lethal.

Symptoms of a Morphine Overdose

People who take too much morphine may have overdose symptoms that could include:
  • A slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Difficulty breathing (slow and shallow breathing)
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Limp muscles
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Small pupils
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Death.

Treatment Options

Early treatment after a morphine overdose is essential. If the overdose was recent, a healthcare provider may "pump" the stomach, induce vomiting, or administer activated charcoal to prevent the body from absorbing morphine. An antidote (naloxone or Narcan®) may be administered to counteract the overdose effects of morphine.
Treatment will also involve supportive care, which consists of treating the symptoms that occur as a result of the overdose. It is important that you seek medical attention immediately if you believe that you may have overdosed on this medication. Early treatment can help limit the severity of the overdose.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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