Withdrawal happens when a person struggling with morphine sulfate addiction stops taking it. Symptoms can be severe, so having a medically supervised detox is recommended.

Article at a Glance:

  • If a person is addicted to morphine sulfate or other opioids, there is a chance they may experience withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop using the medication.
  • Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild (anxiety, chills, sweating) to severe (diarrhea or vomiting that causes dehydration).
  • Since withdrawal symptoms can cause relapse, seeking professional treatment is recommended.

What Is Morphine Sulfate Withdrawal?

Morphine sulfate, like any opioid drug, has the potential to cause uncomfortable withdrawal. Withdrawal happens when a person struggling with morphine sulfate addiction stops taking it.

Long-term use of opioids can result in changes to the brain’s chemistry. The brain’s nerve cells learn to adapt to the unnatural amount of opioid stimulation. Therefore, when a person no longer takes morphine after a long period of use, the brain struggles to readapt and experiences withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms are often uncomfortable and are one of the primary reasons people continue to abuse opioids, even when it affects their lives negatively.

Morphine Sulfate Withdrawal Symptoms

Morphine sulfate withdrawal often involves challenging, unpleasant symptoms. Common withdrawal symptoms from morphine sulfate include:

  • Sweating
  • Runny nose
  • Chills
  • Frequent yawning
  • Teary eyes
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Anxiety

Some severe withdrawal symptoms from morphine sulfate are:

  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Tremors
  • Cravings
  • Stomach and muscle pains
  • Decreased appetite

How Long Does Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

Withdrawal symptoms can occur in as little as 8–12 hours after the last dose. These symptoms normally occur early on in the withdrawal process, with more severe symptoms happening around 48 to 72 hours after quitting morphine sulfate.

Relapse is much more likely if a person is trying to stop using drugs without medical supervision; therefore, seeking a medical detox center is safer and more effective.

Although detox generally lasts between 10–20 days, the severity and timeline depend on a variety of factors, such as:

  • The amount of morphine sulfate use and abuse
  • If other substances were abused along with morphine sulfate
  • Biological factors
  • Underlying mental health disorders

How Is Morphine Withdrawal Treated?

If you or someone you know is abusing morphine sulfate and has developed an addiction, finding a medically supervised detox program is crucial when starting a substance-free life.

Depending on the severity of the addiction, a person may only need to visit their doctor so they can slowly lower the dosage of morphine sulfate to lessen withdrawal symptoms. However, a person with a severe addiction to morphine sulfate may need to begin a detox program under medical supervision.

Medications to relieve morphine withdrawal symptoms are available to those who obtain help from a professional.

Another benefit of choosing a supervised detox program is having medical guidance and supervision. When someone is detoxing from morphine sulfate, the stress caused by withdrawal may prevent them from thinking clearly.

Some common withdrawal symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, which can cause severe hydration and potentially lead to death. A person may be too fatigued to realize that they need to stay hydrated or how to do so.

The Recovery Village offers 24/7 medical supervision and individual and group therapies paired with medication to ease withdrawal symptoms. The road to recovery starts with finding the right help. Contact us today to get started.

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Editor – Melissa Carmona
Melissa Carmona puts years of writing and editing experience to work helping people understand substance abuse, addiction and mental health disorders. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Dr. Conor Sheehy, PharmD, BCPS, CACP
Dr. Sheehy completed his BS in Molecular Biology at the University of Idaho and went on to complete his Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) at the University of Washington in Seattle. Read more

Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). “Drugs of Abuse.” 2020. Accessed Sept 12, 2021.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “Morphine Package Insert.” 2012. Accessed Sept 12, 2021.

U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal.” MedlinePlus, May 2020. Accessed Sept 12, 2021.

World Health Organization. “Withdrawal Management.” 2009. Accessed Sept 12, 2021.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with 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 providers.