Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) may potentiate the effects of morphine, including respiratory depression, coma, and confusion. Morphine sulfate extended-release tablets should not be used in patients taking MAOIs or within 14 days of stopping such treatment.
Cases of adrenal insufficiency have been reported with opioid use, more often following greater than one month of use. Presentation of adrenal insufficiency may include non-specific symptoms and signs including nausea, vomiting, anorexia, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and low blood pressure. If adrenal insufficiency is suspected, confirm the diagnosis with diagnostic testing as soon as possible. If adrenal insufficiency is diagnosed, treat with physiologic replacement doses of corticosteroids. Wean the patient off of the opioid to allow adrenal function to recover and continue corticosteroid treatment until adrenal function recovers. Other opioids may be tried as some cases reported use of a different opioid without recurrence of adrenal insufficiency. The information available does not identify any particular opioids as being more likely to be associated with adrenal insufficiency.
Morphine sulfate extended-release tablets may cause severe hypotension including orthostatic hypotension and syncope in ambulatory patients. There is increased risk in patients whose ability to maintain blood pressure has already been compromised by a reduced blood volume or concurrent administration of certain CNS depressant drugs (e.g., phenothiazines or general anesthetics) [see Drug Interactions (7)]. Monitor these patients for signs of hypotension after initiating or titrating the dosage of morphine sulfate extended-release tablets. In patients with circulatory shock, morphine sulfate extended-release tablets may cause vasodilation that can further reduce cardiac output and blood pressure. Avoid the use of morphine sulfate extended-release tablets in patients with circulatory shock.
5.10 Risks of Use in Patients with Increased Intracranial Pressure, Brain Tumors, Head Injury, or Impaired Consciousness
In patients who may be susceptible to the intracranial effects of CO2 retention (e.g., those with evidence of increased intracranial pressure or brain tumors), morphine sulfate extended-release tablets may reduce respiratory drive, and the resultant CO2 retention can further increase intracranial pressure. Monitor such patients for signs of sedation and respiratory depression, particularly when initiating therapy with morphine sulfate extended-release tablets.
Opioids may also obscure the clinical course in a patient with a head injury. Avoid the use of morphine sulfate extended-release tablets in patients with impaired consciousness or coma.
Morphine sulfate extended-release tablets are contraindicated in patients with known or suspected gastrointestinal obstruction, including paralytic ileus.
The morphine in morphine sulfate extended-release tablets may cause spasm of the sphincter of Oddi. Opioids may cause increases in the serum amylase. Monitor patients with biliary tract disease, including acute pancreatitis, for worsening symptoms.
The morphine in morphine sulfate extended-release tablets may increase the frequency of seizures in patients with seizure disorders, and may increase the risk of seizures occurring in other clinical settings associated with seizures. Monitor patients with a history of seizure disorders for worsened seizure control during morphine sulfate extended-release tablets therapy.
Do not abruptly discontinue morphine sulfate extended-release tablets in a patient physically dependent on opioids. When discontinuing morphine sulfate extended-release tablets in a physically dependent patient, gradually taper the dosage. Rapid tapering of morphine in a patient physically dependent on opioids may lead to a withdrawal syndrome and return of pain [see Dosage and Administration (2.6), Drug Abuse and Dependence (9.3)].
Additionally, avoid the use of mixed agonist/antagonist (e.g., pentazocine, nalbuphine, and butorphanol) or partial agonist (e.g., buprenorphine) analgesics in patients who have received or are receiving a course of therapy with a full opioid agonist analgesic, including morphine sulfate extended-release tablets. In these patients, mixed agonists/antagonist and partial agonist analgesics may reduce the analgesic effect and/or may precipitate withdrawal symptoms [see Drug Interactions (7)].
Morphine sulfate extended-release tablets may impair the mental or physical abilities needed to perform potentially hazardous activities such as driving a car or operating machinery. Warn patients not to drive or operate dangerous machinery unless they are tolerant to the effects of morphine sulfate extended-release tablets and know how they will react to the medication [see Patient Counseling Information (17)].
The following serious adverse reactions are described, or described in greater detail, in other sections:
- Addiction, Abuse, and Misuse [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]
- Life-Threatening Respiratory Depression [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)]
- Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.4)]
- Interactions with Benzodiazepine or Other CNS Depressants [see Warnings and Precautions (5.5)]
- Adrenal Insufficiency [see Warnings and Precautions (5.8)]
- Severe Hypotension [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)]
- Gastrointestinal Adverse Reactions [see Warnings and Precautions (5.11)]
- Seizures [see Warnings and Precautions (5.12)]
- Withdrawal [see Warnings and Precautions (5.13)]
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
Morphine sulfate extended-release tablets may increase the risk of serious adverse reactions such as those observed with other opioid analgesics, including respiratory depression, apnea, respiratory arrest, circulatory depression, hypotension, or shock [see Overdosage (10)].
Most Frequently Observed Reactions
In clinical trials, the most common adverse reactions with morphine sulfate extended-release tablets were constipation, dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, sweating, dysphoria, and euphoric mood.
Some of these effects seem to be more prominent in ambulatory patients and in those not experiencing severe pain.
Less Frequently Observed Reactions
Cardiovascular disorders: tachycardia, bradycardia, palpitations
Eye disorders: visual impairment, vision blurred, diplopia, miosis
Gastrointestinal disorders: dry mouth, diarrhea, abdominal pain, constipation, dyspepsia
General disorders and administration site conditions: chills, feeling abnormal, edema, edema peripheral, weakness
Hepatobiliary disorders: biliary colic
Metabolism and nutrition disorders: anorexia
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders: muscle rigidity, muscle twitching
Nervous system disorders: presyncope, syncope, headache, tremor, uncoordinated muscle movements, convulsion, intracranial pressure increased, taste alteration, paresthesia, nystagmus
Psychiatric disorders: agitation, mood altered, anxiety, depression, abnormal dreams, hallucination, disorientation, insomnia
Renal and urinary disorders: urinary retention, urinary hesitation, antidiuretic effects
Reproductive system and breast disorders: reduced libido and/or potency
Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders: laryngospasm
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders: pruritus, urticaria, rash
Vascular disorders: flushing, hypotension, hypertension
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of morphine sulfate extended-release tablets. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Amenorrhea, asthenia, bronchospasm, confusional state, drug hypersensitivity, fatigue, hyperalgesia, hypertonia, ileus, increased hepatic enzymes, intestinal obstruction, lethargy, malaise, pulmonary edema, thinking disturbances, somnolence, and vertigo.
Serotonin syndrome: Cases of serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition, have been reported during concomitant use of opioids with serotonergic drugs.
Adrenal insufficiency: Cases of adrenal insufficiency have been reported with opioid use, more often following greater than one month of use.
Anaphylaxis: Anaphylaxis has been reported with ingredients contained in morphine sulfate extended-release tablets.
Androgen deficiency: Cases of androgen deficiency have occurred with chronic use of opioids [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)].
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