Side effects of Morphine: All you need to know

31 May 2016, 01:50 PM
Opioid painkillers, even at high doses, provide minimal benefit for people with lower back pain
Opioid painkillers, even at high doses, provide minimal benefit for people with lower back pain

A recent animal study has revealed that Morphine can increase the duration of pain twofold and intensify its severity.  Study author Dr Peter Grace from the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Adelaide said, "Our results add weight to the growing body of science suggesting that treatment with opioids such as morphine may in fact be a contributor to people's chronic pain.” 

The researchers said they discovered how to switch off the pain-amplifying mechanism which would enable morphine's painkilling benefits to be delivered without the drawbacks. 

The findings are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study has found that rats with chronic nerve pain treated with morphine for five days experienced prolonged pain sensitivity. This lasted for up to two-to-three months, more than double that experienced in the control group.

Dr Grace said, "What we found is that the opioid painkiller activates spinal immune cells, causing a further inflammatory response. The pain is effectively transitioned to a chronic state, making the pain severe and chronic.” 

Besides, the study author Dr Grace said that the results are of concern because of the huge number of opioid prescriptions being written for patients each year. 

Recent research by The George Institute found that opioid painkillers, even at high doses, provide minimal benefit for people with lower back pain. Moreover global public health authorities have expressed concern about the increased use of the powerful drugs leading to addiction and abuse, as well as overdose deaths.

First Published: Tuesday, May 31, 2016 01:42 PM

Related Tags:

For all the latest News Download the News Nation App available on Android and iOS.