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(morphine sulfate) Capsules




Abuse Potential

KADIAN contains morphine, an opioid agonist and Schedule II controlled substance with an abuse liability similar to other opioid agonists, legal or illicit [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Assess each patient's risk for opioid abuse or addiction prior to prescribing KADIAN. The risk for opioid abuse is increased in patients with a personal or family history of substance abuse (including drug or alcohol abuse or addiction) or mental illness (e.g., major depressive disorder). Routinely monitor all patients receiving KADIAN for signs of misuse, abuse, and addiction during treatment [see Drug Abuse and Dependence].

Life-threatening Respiratory Depression

Respiratory depression, including fatal cases, may occur with use of KADIAN, even when the drug has been used as recommended and not misused or abused [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]. Proper dosing and titration are essential and KADIAN should only be prescribed by healthcare professionals who are knowledgeable in the use of potent opioids for the management of chronic pain. Monitor for respiratory depression, especially during initiation of KADIAN or following a dose increase. Instruct patients to swallow KADIAN capsules whole or to sprinkle the contents of the capsule on applesauce and swallow without chewing. Crushing, dissolving, or chewing the pellets within the capsule can cause rapid release and absorption of a potentially fatal dose of morphine.

Accidental Exposure

Accidental consumption of KADIAN, especially in children, can result in a fatal overdose of morphine [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].


KADIAN (morphine sulfate) Extended-Release capsules are for oral use and contain pellets of morphine sulfate. Morphine sulfate is an agonist at the mu-opioid receptor.

Each KADIAN extended-release capsule contains either 10 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 50 mg, 60 mg, 70 mg, 80 mg, 100 mg, 130 mg, 150 mg, or 200 mg of Morphine Sulfate USP and the following inactive ingredients common to all strengths: hypromellose, ethylcellulose, methacrylic acid copolymer, polyethylene glycol, diethyl phthalate, talc, corn starch, and sucrose.

The capsule shells contain gelatin, silicon dioxide, sodium lauryl sulfate, titanium dioxide, and black ink, D&C red #28, FD&C blue #1 (10 mg), D&C yellow #10 (20 mg), FD&C red #3, FD&C blue #1 (30 mg), D&C yellow #10, FD&C blue #1, FD&C red #3 (40 mg), D&C red #28, FD&C red #40, FD&C blue #1 (50 mg), D&C red #28, FD&C red #40, FD&C blue #1 (60 mg), D&C red #28, FD&C blue #1, FD&C red #3 (70 mg), FD&C blue #1, FD&C red #40, FD&C yellow #6 (80 mg), D&C yellow #10, FD&C blue #1 (100 mg), FD&C red #40, FD&C blue #1, FD&C yellow #6, black iron oxide, red iron oxide, yellow iron oxide (130 mg), FD&C blue #1, D&C yellow #10 , black iron oxide, red iron oxide, yellow iron oxide (150 mg), black iron oxide, yellow iron oxide, red iron oxide (200 mg). The imprint ink contains black iron oxide, potassium hydroxide, propylene glycol, and shellac.

The chemical name of morphine sulfate is 7,8-didehydro-4,5 α- epoxy-17-methyl-morphinan-3,6 α- diol sulfate (2:1) (salt) pentahydrate. The empirical formula is (C17H19NO3)2•H2SO4•5H2O and its molecular weight is 758.85.

Morphine sulfate is an odorless, white, crystalline powder with a bitter taste. It has a solubility of 1 in 21 parts of water and 1 in 1000 parts of alcohol, but is practically insoluble in chloroform or ether. The octanol: water partition coefficient of morphine is 1.42 at physiologic pH and the pKb is 7.9 for the tertiary nitrogen (mostly ionized at pH 7.4). Its structural formula is:

KADIAN® (morphine sulfate) Structural Formula Illustration

What are the possible side effects of morphine?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • shallow breathing, slow heartbeat;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • cold, clammy skin;
  • confusion;
  • severe weakness or dizziness; or
  • feeling light-headed, fainting.

Less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • constipation;
  • warmth, tingling, or redness under your...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Kadian »

What are the precautions when taking morphine sulfate extended-release (Kadian)?

Before taking morphine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: brain disorders (such as head injury, tumor, seizures), breathing problems (such as asthma, sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD), kidney disease, liver disease, mental/mood disorders (such as confusion, depression), personal or family history of regular use/abuse of drugs/alcohol, stomach/intestinal problems (such as blockage, constipation, diarrhea due to infection, paralytic ileus), difficulty urinating...

Read All Potential Precautions of Kadian »

Last reviewed on RxList: 7/23/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.


Kadian - User Reviews

Kadian User Reviews

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Here is a collection of user reviews for the medication Kadian sorted by most helpful. Patient Discussions FAQs

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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