Morphine Pharmacology

Morphine has opioid agonist activity that can cause respiratory depression and death in overdose.

Morphine-6-glucuronide is the metabolite that can accumulate and cause CNS toxicity in renal failure.

Be aware of CNS depressants that may enhance the effect of morphine and other opioids. Some examples of CNS depressants include gabapentin, benzodiazepines, older antihistamine, skeletal muscle relaxants, and pregabalin.

Opioid withdrawal is a significant concern when patients have their morphine or another opioid abruptly stopped. Some signs of withdrawal include agitation, mood swings, anxiety, sweating, GI upset, pain, and insomnia.

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Naloxone Pharmacology

Naloxone is a life saving drug that can help manage an opioid overdose situation.

Naloxone blocks opioids receptors so opioid agonists cannot bind there.

One of the biggest risks with opioid overdose includes respiratory depression. Naloxone can help reduce the risk of this if administered in a timely manner.

IV naloxone will have the quickest physiological onset of action, but nasal naloxone may be the best opportunity in the community to get this drug on board quickly.

Be sure to check out our free Top 200 study guide – a 31 page PDF that is yours for FREE!