What is Avinza?
Morphine (INN) () (sold under nearly a hundred trade names) is an opioid analgesic drug. It is the main psychoactive chemical in opium. Like other opioids, such as oxycodone, hydromorphone, and heroin, morphine acts directly on the central nervous system (CNS) to relieve pain.
Morphine has a high potential for addiction; tolerance and psychological dependence develop rapidly, although physiological dependence may take several months to develop. Tolerance to respiratory depression and euphoria develops more rapidly than tolerance to analgesia, and many chronic pain patients are therefore maintained on a stable dose for years. However, its effects can also reverse fairly rapidly, worsening pain through hyperalgesia.
Morphine is the most abundant opiate found in opium, the dried latex from unripe seedpods of Papaver somniferum (the opium poppy). Morphine was the first active ingredient purified from a plant source. It is one of at least 50 alkaloids of several different types present in opium, poppy straw concentrate, and other poppy derivatives. The primary source of morphine is chemical extraction from opium. It is a Schedule II drug in the United States, Class A in the United Kingdom, and Schedule I in Canada.
Morphine was first isolated in 1804 by Friedrich Sertürner, which is generally believed to be the first ever isolation of a natural plant alkaloid in history. Sertürner began distributing it in 1817, and Merck began marketing it commercially in 1827. At the time, Merck was a single small chemists' shop. Morphine was more widely used after the invention of the hypodermic syringe in 1857. Sertürner originally named the substance morphium after the Greek god of dreams, Morpheus (), for its tendency to cause sleep. It is on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important medications needed in a basic health system.