Half Life of Morphine Sulfate

Morphine has truly stood the test of time. Few medicines can claim such a lengthy tenure in the world of medicine, let alone one that fundamentally changed the way we approach pain. The concept of pain has alluded the greatest scientific and medical minds for centuries. It is difficult to quantify something that almost everyone feels to some extent. Everyone feels pain differently, depending on a number of factors, from genetics to personal experience. Morphine has created a benchmark from which pain management and treatment can branch out. This has been the case for hundreds of years, and plenty of drugs have diverged from its family tree — or opium plant. Codeine for coughs, hydrocodone and oxycodone for cancer, and heroin for illicit uses all come from the foundation morphine laid out as the foremost opioid.  

In recent years, this term has become as much a buzzword as a dirty word. The world cannot seem to stop talking about opioids and opiates, and the reasoning behind this is clear. Opioids have brought drug-related deaths to epidemic levels. More than 54,000 individuals lost their lives to opioids in 2016, and the numbers aren’t declining. In fact, despite attempts to quell prescription numbers and implementing billions of dollars in relief efforts, the crisis is trending upward.

Morphine is generally considered on the lower end of dangerous opioids, especially considering that new variants such as carfentanil are 10,000 times more potent. Still, morphine dependence and substance use disorders are a very real problem. In addition, converting from an expensive and largely unavailable opioid like morphine to something stronger, cheaper, and virtually everywhere, is more commonplace than ever.

As ironic as it may be, morphine was, at first, the stepping stone to the creation of other painkillers, and now it has become the stepping stone to their misuse. This issue of transitioning to other opioids from morphine can be traced back to tolerances. Chemically speaking, morphine only lasts a short amount of time in the body. After just a few hours, pain will return, and if the individual has been taking the drug for months, withdrawal symptoms may also begin to develop. This often results in continued use of the drug to alleviate the pain, which usually requires larger doses that previous times.

Morphine Half Life Calculator | Half Life of Morphine Sulfate
Tolerance is directly related to morphine’s half life. This concept refers to the amount of time it takes for the concentration of morphine in the body to reach 50 percent. It provides physicians with a yardstick of sorts to determine when a drug is most effective, as well as a time frame for when it will leave the body entirely. The shorter the half life, the sooner another dose is necessary, and the sooner the body adapts to the drug, creating a tolerance. This is the perfect storm for future morphine dependence to develop.
Morphine comes in several forms and formulations. Morphine sulfate is one such variety. The sulfate component, a chemical salt, makes morphine more soluble in water and easier for the body to absorb outright. This iteration is most notably available as tablets of five varying strengths. These are: 15 mg, 30 mg, 60 mg, 100, and 200 mg. Each comes in a distinctive color to aid in distinction. The half life of morphine sulfate is anywhere between two and four hours. Patients who are taking lower doses, such as 15 mg, will have to take an additional pill or two throughout the course of the day.
When some people think of morphine, they picture an IV drip in a hospital setting, as this is one of the most widely used variants of the drug. Morphine IVs place the medicine directly into veins or muscles using sterilized needles. Though this method often occurs under medical supervision only — meaning a patient cannot conveniently self-medicate at home — it is thought to be a safer and more manageable approach. Morphine’s half life after intravenous application is even shorter than that of oral use. Ninety to 180 minutes seems to be the accepted range for IV morphine.
A drug’s half life calculation can be done by hand. The equation requires an understanding and accurate measurements of the body’s elimination rate of morphine, in addition to the rate of morphine in the body separate from the rate in the blood. Needless to say, this isn’t the recommended means of calculation. A quick Web search reveals several half-life calculators that do the heavy lifting automatically. Use these tools to get an accurate measure of morphine’s half life related to any dosage amount taken. With a better understanding of how and how long morphine works in the body, it’s easier to make the decision to begin a regime, or, leave the drug behind entirely. If you or someone you know needs help for morphine addiction call The Recovery Village at 352.771.2700 to speak with an intake coordinator who can help.
Half Life of Morphine Sulfate
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