Experiences with morphine

Last week, I got hit by food poisoning and wound up in the ER for a few hours. During that time, the doctor opted to throw some morphine in my IV because I was in so much pain/discomfort.

Now, I’d always heard that morphine was a wonderful thing that would take all of your worries away – temporarily, at least. But my experience was definitely not like that. The nurse who injected it warned me that it would be “a bit uncomfortable” at first before I felt good. That might have been the largest understatement I’ve ever been on the receiving end of. I got hit by an incredible wave of nausea (something I was quite familiar with at that point since I was in Hour 13 of my food poisoning symptoms) followed by incredibly intense pain in an area that felt like it was between my stomach and intestines. My wife, who was sitting next to me at the time, said that I had quite the look of panic and pain going on. It took (what felt like) several minutes for that to subside.

Once that particular sensation had worn off, I was left with nothing, really. I didn’t get loopy or lightheaded, as the nurse had said. My original pain was somewhat lessened, but never went away. It felt like the morphine had had a really minimal impact on how I was feeling overall.

Anyway, I’m really curious about what others would describe as a “normal” morphine experience, and I’d also like to know if anyone else has had the sort of negative reaction I seemed to have. And finally, if there are nurses or doctors lurking about, I’d like to hear how common a reaction like mine tends to be, and why it happens.

Commonly morphine can cause a burning sensation at the IV injection site and a more generalized itching. I’ve experienced both.

I didn’t feel particularly loopy on morphine, instead I was just sleepy. That was fine with me. Sleeping through the pain was a blessing.

I don’t think I’ve had morphine but I did have IV Dilaudid once and it felt like awesome. Almost worth the 2 straight days of excruciating pain I had before I finally broke down and went to the ER. I did briefly feel nauseated from it (or from a combination of it and some other stuff that was going on) but it was great overall. At first they were thinking I had a chronic painful condition (turned out I didn’t) and I was upset about that but I consoled myself with the idea that I could get more Dilaudid. I would never seek it out but that’s only because I wouldn’t expect that to end well.

I had it once when I was in labor. I got itchy all over my legs which was really annoying, but otherwise I had this wonderful warm glowy drifting feeling. It was fantastic.

Makes me nauseous. Believe me you really don’t want to be convulsively heaving when you have a leg broken in 6 places.

I had it after some complications following an appendectomy. Morphine is my friend.

Ive had it in combination with an anti-nausea medication for kidney stones and it felt wonderful.

But Im pretty sure a large part of the wonderful was the agonising pain stopping so quickly.


I had it once with severe abdominal cramps I was having as a kid. I don’t remember it very well, but my mom said she was genuinely worried I might become an addict if ever given the chance, because I kept going on about how wonderful it was.

I had a very small dose and it made me hallucinate and did nothing for the pain. No mas, said I. Then I had a dose of Toradol and it worked like magic: no pain, zero side effects.

After my motorcycly accident 8 years ago put me in the hospital for a day or so, I was given morphine.

It didn’t make my pain go away; it didn’t even make it hurt less.

It just made me not care about it at all.

Regular old aspirin did more for me than the morphine did.

I’ve never been on the stuff, but this is exactly how a friend described it.

I had morphine (IV) after my gallbladder surgery. Made me a bit woozy and I suppose helped the pain, though with gallbladder surgery the worst part is the shoulder pain, and nothing touches that. No itching, no nausea; while I’ve heard that a lot of folks become nauseated by some / all opiates, I’m fortunately not prone to that.

After c-section, they put a long-acting morphine in the epidural before removing it (I didn’t have the pain pump thing they use sometimes). It did a pretty good job. I did have trouble with itching after that.

No euphoria in either case, nothing to make me “enjoy” it.

There are individual genetic differences in how people metabolize opiates, which accounts for why some people get more relief/pleasure from them than others do. Nausea from opiates is a pretty common adverse effect. Thank the Chemoreceptor trigger zone of your brain for that. In the future, you might want to mention to docs that you had nausea from morphine so that if you do need pain meds they can at least give you a pre-emptive dose of anti-nausea medication too.
I’m very prone to vomiting with opiates myself. Once I took a dose of OxyContin and spent something like the next 12 hours vomiting about once per hour. Needless to say, I typically avoid opiates because they just end up making me feel worse.

I’ve been hooked up to one of those self-administer IVs after surgery. I went through a couple of days of cycling through: wake up feeling discomfort, have pain slowly increase over maybe an hour or so, push button, fall back asleep.

I’ve had morphine several times, the last about six years ago for a dislocated shoulder. I’ll third that it doesn’t take the pain away, but it takes the edge off the pain and makes me not care about the pain. Also feels like I’m floating about two feet under the surface of the sea, bobbing up and down with the waves. A very pleasant effect.

I was hooked up to a morphine push button to self-administer drip after surgery in february. I weirdly woke up in no pain, but the nurse insisted I have a shot of it anyway to check it was all plumbed in right. It… didn’t do much, to be honest. I was pretty woozy and nauseous from the anaesthesia anyway, but I can’t honestly say I could tell any difference.

I tried another shot a few hours later, after lunch, when I was feeling pretty normal (out of a spirit of scientific enquiry, as I never did get any after surgery pain), and it still didn’t seem to make any difference to my mental state or give me any nausea or itching.

Disappointing really.

Incidently, I just realised I was writing this while listening to Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb’, without noticing :smiley:

I’ve heard a lot of women say exactly that about their experience getting narcotics in labor, and I’ve never understood what that means. I wish I’d gotten narcotics when I was in labor so maybe I could understand, because I don’t see how that’s possible.

Following kidney removal I woke up to the most incredible pain I had ever experienced. I was hooked up to a pain pump and could self administer once every 5 minutes max. Day 1 it didn’t touch the pain at all and needed additional injections of Pethidine to get me through it.

Over the next few days I improved exponentially and wanted to be off the morphine because of the itching. When they unhooked me I then realised how effective the morphine had actually been!

Back with the Pethidine for a few nights and discharged pain free 7 days after first going in to hospital

Overnight stay after jaw surgery – twice. Both times they alternated morphine and Lortab. I could tell when it was morphine time because I had about two minutes to chat with the nurse about how lovely drugs were before I was out.

My usual reaction to opiates is instant pain relief, loopiness, giddiness, quickly followed by sleep. Although I’ve been warned about it, I’ve never experienced nausea or itchiness.

I was an opiate addict for a few years. I mostly stuck to heroin, but I have used morphine recreationally before. The first time I had it (2 100 mg pills, orally) I was vomiting every few hours for two days straight. No other opiate has ever done this to me before or since.