The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved specific concentrations of Morphine Sulfate Oral Solution – 100 milligrams per 5mL or 20 milligrams per 1 mL – for treating patients with moderate or severe symptoms of acute or chronic back pain.
While this medicine has been available on the market and commonly used to manage pain for years, Morphine Sulfate Oral Solution was not officially approved by the FDA until earlier this week. It is now the only morphine oral solution to be approved at this greater concentration.
According to the FDA, this approval is designed not only to increase doctor/patient access to Morphine Sulfate Oral Solution but to promote and improve safe use of this pain relief medicine.
Morphine is a powerful opiate (narcotic) analgesic that changes the way the body senses pain. Morphine or other opioid medications like codeine (e.g. Tylenol #3), propoxyphene (e.g. Darvocet), hydrocodone (e.g. Vicodin) or oxycodone (e.g. Percocet, Oxycontin) can be used in the short-term to help patients temporarily separate themselves from severe lower back pain and/or other chronic pain.
Use of these medications is not recommended for long periods of time because the body quickly builds a natural resistance that limits their effectiveness.
Some doctors are hesitant about using opioids since they can be potentially addictive and pose other side effects. Recent studies have indicated that higher doses of opioids increase the risk of fractures in older patients and overdoses in opioid users.
In addition to opioids, patients may consider other pain medications for acute and chronic pain.