Long term effects of morphine on the body (INFOGRAPHIC)

With frequent use, the body develops tolerance to morphine…and is usually accompanied by addiction. What are some of the more serious effects of morphine on the body? We explore here.

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Long term effects of morphine on the body

Using morphine can cause both reversible and permanent changes to the body. In fact, morphine affects almost all systems and organs in the human body, and excessive or prolonged use can bring dangerous consequences. However, the greatest risk of using morphine is death resulting from the gradual shutdown of the respiratory system.

What are some of the benign or even the more serious effects of morphine on the body? We explore here. Then, we invite your questions or comments in the section at the end.

Long term effects of morphine on the body (INFOGRAPHIC)

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Primary effects of morphine on the body

  • abnormal thoughts
  • alterations in personality
  • analgesia (inability to feel pain)
  • constipation
  • cramping
  • dehydration
  • delirium
  • disconnectedness
  • disturbed sleeping
  • drowsiness
  • headaches
  • nausea
  • possibility of seizures
  • reduced gastrointestinal motility
  • sedation
  • severe depression
  • slowed reaction time
  • trouble walking
  • vomiting

How morphine damages the cardiovascular system

  • chest pain
  • collapsed veins
  • hypotension
  • low blood pressure
  • vasodilation

How morphine damages the heart

  • depressed heart rate
  • endocarditis (inflammation of the inner lining of the heart)
  • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse

How morphine damages the mouth

  • dry mouth
  • swelling of lips and tongue

How morphine damages the kidneys

  • difficulties passing urine
  • painful urination
  • renal damage

How morphine damages the lungs

  • respiratory acidosis
  • respiratory depression
  • shallow breathing

How morphine damages the skin

  • flushing of face and neck due to dilatation of subcutaneous blood vessels
  • itching
  • rashes

How morphine damages the liver

  • hepatic damage
  • hepatitis
  • increases in hepatic enzymes

How morphine damages the ear, nose and throat

  • pounding in the ears
  • trouble swallowing

How morphine damages the eyes

  • change in the ability to see colors, especially blue or yellow
  • pupils fixed and constricted
  • red eyes
  • swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes
  • vision problems

Body dependence and tolerance to morphine

Finally, it is important to note that using morphine for longer than a week or two can lead to dependence. When you become dependent on morphine, you experience withdrawal symptoms when you lower or cease dosing. With use over time, morphine also causes tolerance…meaning that more of the drug is needed in order to be effective.

Questions about morphine’s effects on the body

If you still have questions about changes and consequences that long-term morphine abuse can have on your body, please ask them now. We try to respond to all questions with a personal and prompt reply.

About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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