What Is A Lethal Dose Of Morphine?

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on July 13, 2021

Morphine is a strong opioid drug used to treat chronic pain. This is a widely abused substance contributing to the opioid epidemic spreading across the U.S. Overdose can result in major health complications and in some cases death.

Fatal Dose Of Morphine

Morphine is a painkiller found in multiple brand-name medications such as Arymo ER, Depodur, Kadian, Roxanol, and multiple others.

It relieves pain by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain.

Morphine is available in multiple forms: as a solution, an extended-release tablet, and as an extended-release capsule.

If an individual takes 200 milligrams (mg) or more of morphine, it can be potentially fatal.

Morphine is most often used to treat chronic pain, but it can also be used in other instances as prescribed by the medical professional.

Learn more about the fatal doses of commonly abused drugs

About The Lethal Dose Of Morphine

A normal dosage of morphine for adults is 10 to 20 mg every four hours for moderate to severe pain in a solution form. In the pill form, it’s about 15 to 30 mg for adults every four hours.

The lethal dose of morphine is about 200 mg. However, there have been reports of significant adverse effects in individuals under lower dosages than that.

If a person has not built up a tolerance to morphine under a medical setting, the risk of overdose under lower dosages is much higher.

Therefore, if someone is prescribed morphine for the first time and takes more than they’ve been prescribed, their body will not be able to handle it and the effects of overdose will set in.


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Signs Of Morphine Overdose

Under medical guidance, morphine can be safe to use. But if an individual has intentionally or unintentionally taken too much morphine, recognizing the signs of overdose is imperative.

It’s important to note that the amount it takes to overdose is specific to each individual. Any amount of morphine taken over the prescribed dosage can result in overdose.

Morphine overdose may show itself through:

  • irregular breathing or difficulty breathing
  • unresponsiveness
  • slowed heartbeat
  • weak muscles
  • cold, clammy skin
  • blurred vision
  • nausea
  • fainting

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, call 911 right away.

Treating Morphine Abuse

The opioid crisis is affecting an increasing number of lives across the nation. In 2019, almost 50,000 people died from an opioid-involved overdose in the U.S.

If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to morphine, there is hope.

Call our helpline today and find out how you can recover with programs like outpatient rehab, continuing care, group therapy, residential treatment, and more.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on July 13, 2021


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