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Roxanol

Last reviewed on RxList: 8/22/2007
Roxanol Side Effects Center

Last reviewed on RxList 9/28/2016

Roxanol (morphine sulfate) is a highly concentrated solution of the narcotic analgesic morphine sulfate for oral administration used for the treatment of severe, chronic pain. Side effects of Roxanol include:

  • constipation,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • stomach pain,
  • diarrhea,
  • loss of appetite,
  • weight loss,
  • headache,
  • dizziness,
  • spinning sensation,
  • anxiety,
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling),
  • memory problems, or
  • sleep problems (insomnia or strange dreams).

The usual adult oral dose of Roxanol is 10 to 30 mg every 4 hours or as directed by physician. Roxanol may interact with alcohol, other narcotic pain medications, antidepressants, sedatives, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, other medicines that can make you sleepy or slow your breathing, cimetidine, buprenorphine, butorphanol, nalbuphine, pentazocine, or diuretics (water pills). Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. It is not known whether morphine can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman, so morphine should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed. Morphine readily crosses the placental barrier and if administered during labor, may lead to respiratory depression in the neonate. Morphine has been detected in human milk. For this reason, caution should be exercised when morphine is administered to a breastfeeding woman.

Our Roxanol Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Roxanol Consumer Information

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 a serious side effect such as:

  • shallow breathing, slow heartbeat;
  • stiff muscles, seizure (convulsions);
  • cold, clammy skin;
  • confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior;
  • severe weakness, feeling like you might pass out;
  • trouble swallowing;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating; or
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • weight loss;
  • constipation, diarrhea;
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, loss of appetite;
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • headache, dizziness, spinning sensation;
  • memory problems; or
  • sleep problems (insomnia), strange dreams.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Roxanol (Morphine Sulfate)

Roxanol Professional Information

SIDE EFFECTS

THE MAJOR HAZARDS OF MORPHINE, AS OF OTHER NARCOTIC ANALGESICS, ARE RESPIRA-TORY DEPRESSION AND, TO A LESSER DEGREE, CIRCULATORY DEPRESSION, RESPIRATORY ARREST, SHOCK, AND CARDIAC ARREST HAVE OCCURRED.

The most frequently observed adverse reactions include lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, and sweating. These effects seem to be more prominent in ambulatory patients and in those who are suffering severe pain. In such individuals, lower doses are available. Some adverse reactions may be alleviated in the ambulatory patient if he lies down.

Other adverse reactions include the following

Central Nervous System: Euphoria, dysphoria, weakness, headache, insomnia, agitation, disorientation, and visual disturbances.

Gastrointestinal: Dry mouth, anorexia, constipation, and biliary tract spasm.

Cardiovascular: Flushing of the face, bradycardia, palpitation, faintness and syncope.

Allergic: Pruritus, urticaria, other skin rashes, edema, and, rarely hemorrhagic urticaria.

Treatment of the most frequent adverse reactions

Constipation

Ample intake of water or other liquids should be encouraged. Concomitant administration of a stool softener and a peristaltic stimulant with the narcotic analgesic can be an effective preventive measure for those patients in need of therapeutics. If elimination does not occur for two days, an enema should be administered to prevent impaction.

In the event diarrhea occurs, seepage around fecal impaction is a possible cause to consider before antidiarrheal measures are employed.

Nausea and Vomiting

Phenothiazines and antihistamines can be effective treatments of nausea of the medullary and vestibular sources respectively. However, these drugs may potentiate the side effects of the narcotic or the antinauseant.

Drowsiness (sedation)

Once pain control is achieved, undesirable sedation can be minimized by titrating the dosage to a level that just maintains a tolerable pain or pain free state.

Drug Abuse And Dependence

Morphine Sulfate, a narcotic, is a Schedule II controlled substance under the Federal Controlled Substance Act. As with other narcotics, some patients may develop a physical and psychological dependence on morphine. They may increase dosage without consulting a physician and subsequently may develop a physical dependence on the drug. In such cases, abrupt discontinuance may precipitate typical withdrawal symptoms, including convulsions. Therefore the drug should be withdrawn gradually from any patient known to be taking excessive dosages over a long period of time.

In treating the terminally ill patient the benefit of pain relief may outweigh the possibility of drug dependence. The chance of drug dependence is substantially reduced when the patient is placed on scheduled narcotic programs instead of a “pain to relief-of-pain” cycle typical of a PRN regimen.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Roxanol (Morphine Sulfate)

Related Resources for Roxanol

Read the Roxanol User Reviews »

© Roxanol Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Roxanol Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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