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Is an upset stomach a withdrawal symptom of Morphine?

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Posted on Wed, 6 Jan 2016
Question: Hi,
I am under the care of a pain management practise. For the previous 12 months I have been taking MS Immediate Release 15mg - 2 tabs/day and MS Contin 15mg at bedtime. I have been without any morphine since this past Friday. Today at my appointment at Pain Management, I reported significant pain in both legs, diarrhea since Friday and expressed feeling unsupported when asking for clarification in understanding how I ran short.
I received a complete exam, a review of how to take these medications and received a 28 day supply in prescription form for both drugs. I continued to have diarrhea. Grabbed a snack and off to the pharmacy.
After a light lunch, I took one 15mg MS Immediate Release. Within 5 minutes I felt as though I had a stomach ache. Within 15 minutes I vomited twice. I decided to rest and call the MD.
I am writing because the MD instructed me to either call my primary care MD or go to the ER. As a nurse with 10 years of ER experience (1985-1995), I am sensitive to the appropriate use of this important resource as well, I have not seen my primary since March 2015.
My simple question to this specialist that I do see every 28days is - could this be a result of either being without either drug for 3days or a known cause of Morphine on the gut?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ronald Schubert (31 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
GI upset from both withdrawal and morphine itself

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for contacting HCM with your health care concerns

I a sorry to hear that you are having problems with your pain management team. This past weekend you were without your morphine and had withdrawals over the weekend. Now that you have your medication again you still have problems with nausea and vomiting. Unfortunately you probably are still having withdrawals. Since you were unable to absorb your medication your body is still withdrawing and part of that is nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The other thing is that morphine itself can cause nausea and vomiting. I would recommend trying to eat something and if you tolerate that go ahead and take your morphine. If this does not help you may need to be seen by your PCP or urgent care for anti-nausea medication.

In summary
1. eat something light
2. if tolerated take your morphine
3. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea is due to withdrawal
4. Morphine can cause Nausea and vomiting that is why it is important to eat with your medication

I hope I answered your question. please contact us again if you have any additional questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Ronald Schubert (1 hour later)
Dr. Schubert,

I very much appreciate your detailed answer. I had no idea I was in withdrawal. I pictured withdrawal with diaphoresis, sweating and pain.

My health status is very complex with many co-morbidities. I was running my own business, working on my PhD in Education specializing in the education of health professionals and I was stopped in my tracks.

I watched myself go through cycles of Bandura's theory of change from 2010-2015. I've grieved, sobbed and screamed. I've come out the other side. I occasionally find myself dreaming about the work I loved so very much... My eyes are open and I embrace this new life and dream about how I can smile again.

XXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ronald Schubert (2 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Keep moving forward

Detailed Answer:
I am sorry to hear things have not been to your expectations. With persistence you will be able to overcome this and emerge a better person.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Ronald Schubert

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1984

Answered : 2407 Questions

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Is an upset stomach a withdrawal symptom of Morphine?

Brief Answer: GI upset from both withdrawal and morphine itself Detailed Answer: Thank you for contacting HCM with your health care concerns I a sorry to hear that you are having problems with your pain management team. This past weekend you were without your morphine and had withdrawals over the weekend. Now that you have your medication again you still have problems with nausea and vomiting. Unfortunately you probably are still having withdrawals. Since you were unable to absorb your medication your body is still withdrawing and part of that is nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The other thing is that morphine itself can cause nausea and vomiting. I would recommend trying to eat something and if you tolerate that go ahead and take your morphine. If this does not help you may need to be seen by your PCP or urgent care for anti-nausea medication. In summary 1. eat something light 2. if tolerated take your morphine 3. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea is due to withdrawal 4. Morphine can cause Nausea and vomiting that is why it is important to eat with your medication I hope I answered your question. please contact us again if you have any additional questions