British Lung Foundation
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Use of morphine with lung conditions?

My dad has been on oramorph for a while now, to help open up his airways, not really for pain relief. And his hospice also put him on MST last week for the same reason. However, dad read the patient information leaflet with them and it said do not take if you have a lung condition.

Can anyone shed any further light please?

I will ask about it when I go to work on Wednesday and I do know that sometimes a drug can be licensed for one purpose then be found to have a purpose for something else.

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I can't help in any particular way as regards particular drugs, but I remembered reading this article a couple of years back concerning the use of Morphine in respiratory palliative care. I saved it as at the time as many were still reticent about handing out morphine to lung patients, and I wanted to be able to argue my corner when I reach the stage that my Dyspnea becomes unbearable. Thankfully any up to date respiratory nurses or Docs should be more open to the use of opiates nowadays as I think the guidelines have been improved somewhat. Anyhow, I hope the article will be of some interest and perhaps allay any fears about the effects of morphine on respiratory drive. P.

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interesting article thanks hun

Hi tanyamarie

I don't know if i can help but I am on mst 20mg a day plus( recently) tramadol . The pain clinic put me on mst over seven years ago when my spine started to degenerate, and i developed fibomyalgia there are many painkillers that I cannot tolerate..I was also concerned about the information leaflet but my GP said its rare! It did not affect my asthma at the time, it was well controlled, it is only since February that I have been very ill. I was also put on amytripline 100mg. These were a very old type of anti depressant but were found to work as a painkiller. I still have chronic pain every day. I was told by the pain nurse on the pain management course that I should also take two paracetamol a day apparently it helps the morphine to react better.

I don't think I've helped much but that is my experience of MST and any pain relief is welcome.


I have been on oramorph and mst for a few years. When I have been captured at my local nhs hospital they tend to be extremely careful with both drugs as it can slow your breathing and that not good so I am genrally in agony before I am well enough to have I would say more my mst than oramorph but they don't like to give me much of that either but different people different lungs but this happens each and every time I go in hospital when I was vented in june I was in screaming pain when they exubated me cause they hadn't given me any for 6 days and it was awful but they were worried things could of gotten worse but like I said dif ppl dif lungs and it might be ok for someone else but not me so I am sure the hospice and the doctors know what is best but am sure other ppl on here will have dif experiences and will try to help I hope this has helped a little take care x x x

I have been given injections of morphine to slighty relax my airways when I have been really poorly, I now take Morphine on as when as needed basis, it has been prescribed in the full knowledge that my lung issues are extreme and varied. I believe that your dad's doctors will have taken his lung condition into account fully before prescribing morphine, the best thing you can do to allay your fears is talk to your dad's doctors about your concerns..


Oramorph and MST tablets are often prscribed for breathlessness and anxiety associatated with the feeling of breathlessness. It acts by taking the edge of the sensation of breathlessness. Hope this small bit of infomation helps.

Thanks all, I did say all the above to dad but now I can tell him what you have all said and I'm sure he will be happy with the knowledge xx


I have been on oramorph, MS Continus (forgive correct spellings) slow release powder and capsule, temgeisic patch. I have Copd, pluerisy, recurring pneumonia, severe pain from broken ribs.

I have no problem with any of the morphine medications with my lung problems.

Nurse asked if I had any previous health problems we were told although it states not to take if you have lung problems it's safe as it's to ease pain & relax us

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