How Do Morphine Patches Work?
Fentanyl patches, used to treat chronic and severe pain, are often mistakenly called morphine patches in the United States. Morphine is the standard by which all other painkillers are judged. And for good reason. As it turns out, morphine was the very first in a long line of pain-relieving medications referred to as opioids and opiates. Its indirect and unrefined use dates back millennia to Eastern civilizations harnessing the medicinal attributes of the opium plant. However, not much was known about opiate addiction.
In the two hundred years since morphine was discovered, it has revolutionized how medical professionals think about and treat pain. Now, countries are faced with an epidemic courtesy of morphine and its many successors, namely prescription opioids, heroin, fentanyl, and carfentanil.
Though morphine has been around for centuries, there are newer versions available. One new variant is morphine in patch form, which was made available for Norwegian patients in 2005. Such morphine patches are not yet used in the United States, and it is unclear if they ever will be. Some inaccurately refer to fentanyl patches as morphine patches. This is a common mistake.
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Common side effects of “morphine patches” (fentanyl patches) include:
- Lethargic behavior or mood
- Redness or itching at the site of patch application
- Nausea or vomiting spells
- Uncontrollable sweating, even in cool environments
- Uncoordinated actions and confusion
- Painful or irregular bowel movements and black stool
Sometimes people experience some of the following side effects, though they are less likely to be experienced in general:
- Migraines and pressure in the brain cavity
- Lack of appetite or inability to keep food down
- Muscle convulsions
- Double vision
- Faint heartbeat
- Labored breathing
- Fully or partially collapsed lungs
- Psychological disorders
Rare side effects can lead to loss of consciousness, or death, if not treated in a timely manner. Additionally, patients and their loved ones must be aware of the potential for overdoses. This danger is especially true when considering that fentanyl patches are often confused for morphine patches.
The side effects of patch use for elderly patients mirror those of all other patients, except there is an additional emphasis on respiratory issues. Older individuals are more susceptible to these conditions.
Patches containing buprenorphine are sometimes used instead of fentanyl for the elderly. This is because buprenorphine appears to have less unfavorable side effects on the elderly.
If you or a loved one are misusing opioid patches, help is available. Call The Recovery Village today to speak to a representative about how individualized treatment plans can work for you. Calls are free and confidential.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.