"Nov. 2, 2012 -- Safety steps taken in the wake of the fungal meningitis outbreak have worsened drug shortages, raising questions about whether the U.S. must choose between the safety and the availability of crucial medicines.
(morphine sulfate extended-release tablets)
MS CONTIN is:
- A strong prescription pain medicine that contains an opioid (narcotic) that is used to manage pain severe enough to require daily around-the-clock, long-term treatment with an opioid, when other pain treatments such as non-opioid pain medicines or immediate-release opioid medicines do not treat your pain well enough or you cannot tolerate them.
- A long-acting (extended-release) opioid pain medicine that can put you at risk for overdose and death. Even if you take your dose correctly as prescribed you are at risk for opioid addiction, abuse, and misuse that can lead to death.
- Not for use to treat pain that is not around-the-clock.
Important information about MS CONTIN:
- Get emergency help right away if you take too much MS CONTIN (overdose). When you first start taking MS CONTIN, when your dose is changed, or if you take too much (overdose), serious or life-threatening breathing problems that can lead to death may occur.
- Never give anyone else your MS CONTIN. They could die from taking it. Store MS CONTIN away from children and in a safe place to prevent stealing or abuse. Selling or giving away MS CONTIN is against the law.
Do not take MS CONTIN if you have:
- severe asthma, trouble breathing, or other lung problems.
- a bowel blockage or have narrowing of the stomach or intestines.
Before taking MS CONTIN, tell your healthcare provider if you have a history of:
- head injury, seizures
- liver, kidney, thyroid problems
- problems urinating
- pancreas or gallbladder problems
- abuse of street or prescription drugs, alcohol addiction, or mental health problems.
Tell your healthcare provider if you are:
- pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Prolonged use of MS CONTIN during pregnancy can cause withdrawal symptoms in your newborn baby that could be lifethreatening if not recognized and treated.
- breastfeeding. MS CONTIN passes into breast milk and may harm your baby.
- taking prescription or over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements. Taking MS CONTIN with certain other medicines can cause serious side effects.
When taking MS CONTIN:
- Do not change your dose. Take MS CONTIN exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
- Take your prescribed dose every 8 to 12 hours, as directed by your healthcare provider. Do not take more than your prescribed dose. If you miss a dose, take your next dose at the usual time.
- Swallow MS CONTIN whole. Do not cut, break, chew, crush, dissolve, snort, or inject MS CONTIN because this may cause you to overdose and die.
- Call your healthcare provider if the dose you are taking does not control your pain.
- Do not stop taking MS CONTIN without talking to your healthcare provider.
- After you stop taking MS CONTIN, flush any unused tablets down the toilet.
While taking MS CONTIN DO NOT:
- Drive or operate heavy machinery, until you know how MS CONTIN affects you. MS CONTIN can make you sleepy, dizzy, or lightheaded.
- Drink alcohol or use prescription or over-the-counter medicines that contain alcohol. Using products containing alcohol during treatment with MS CONTIN may cause you to overdose and die.
The possible side effects of MS CONTIN are:
- constipation, nausea, sleepiness, vomiting, tiredness, headache, dizziness, abdominal pain. Call your healthcare provider if you have any of these symptoms and they are severe.
Get emergency medical help if you have:
- trouble breathing, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, chest pain, swelling of your face, tongue or throat, extreme drowsiness, light-headedness when changing positions, or you are feeling faint.
These are not all the possible side effects of MS CONTIN. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. For more information go to dailymed.nlm.nih.gov
Last reviewed on RxList: 7/21/2015
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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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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