Equine Morphine (CII)
Morphine is derived from the opium plant and is primarily used as a pain relief medication. Injectable morphine is preferred for use in equines, as the oral formulations commonly reduce gastrointestinal motility which may lead to colic.
WHAT IS THIS DRUG?
- An opioid analgesic or pain medication
- A narcotic
- Given as an injection
REASONS FOR PRESCRIBING:
- To relieve mild to moderate to severe pain
- Can be administered as an epidural for pain control
This medication is usually administered by a veterinarian. If you are administering, read and follow the prescription label carefully.
Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed.
Give this medication for as long as your veterinarian directs. Do not skip doses or stop giving the medication without consulting your veterinarian.
Baseline blood work may be recommended to assess your horse's general health before starting this drug.
Dose adjustments may be made based upon these results and an assessment of how your horse is responding clinically. It is not uncommon to require dose adjustments if pain levels escalate.
Call ahead for refills.
Ideally, give medication at the same time(s) daily.
Due to the potential for excitation with morphine injections, most veterinarians will administer a sedative first to reduce to risk of behavior changes. Safe handling is required when working with sedated horses as sudden stimulation can result in unpredictable behavior. Protect the sedated horse from extreme temperature changes. Withhold food and water and supervise the sedated horses to prevent grazing until the sedative has worn off.
Common areas for intramuscular (IM) injections include the base of the neck and the hamstrings as they are both large muscles. The base of the neck provides a relatively safe location for the handler and is located in a triangle formed by the crest, the neck vertebrae, and the point of the shoulder. The hamstring locations should only be used by experienced handlers as there are increased safety risks. The top of the rump is not a recommended site because abscesses in this location are difficult to treat.
If you are unsure how your horse will react to oral administration of a medication or to an intramuscular (IM) or intravenous (IV) injection, request assistance or demonstration by your veterinarian.
WHAT IF A DOSE IS MISSED?
If a dose is missed, give it as soon as you can. If it is time already for the next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to the normal schedule. Do not give two doses at the same time.
STORAGE AND WARNINGS:
Morphine should be stored in a childproof container in a cool, dry place at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight.
Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets.
Call your physician immediately if you accidentally take this product.
Narcotic analgesics can mask both the behavior and cardiovascular signs (heart rate) associated with mild colic
Potential side effects:
- This medication can affect the cardiovascular system resulting in a lower heart rate and reduced blood pressure
- This medication can cause reduced gastrointestinal activity due to a decrease in smooth muscle activity
- This medication can affect the central nervous system resulting in stimulated or excitatory behavior changes
- This medication can result in an elevated body temperature
- All injectable medications have the potential to cause an immediate allergic or anaphylactic reaction. Affected animals may have a swelling, hives, changes in respiration, and display signs of agitation. This can be a severe and life threatening reaction, avoid the use of epinephrine.
- Notify your veterinarian immediately if your horse experiences any adverse reactions to this medication
CAN THIS DRUG BE GIVEN WITH OTHER DRUGS?
- Yes, but possible interactions may occur when giving Morphine in conjunction with: acepromazine, antidepressants, antihistamines, central nervous system depressants including anesthetic agents, muscle relaxants, phenobarbital, and phenothiazines
- Drugs other than those listed may also interact with Morphine
- Do not give new food or medications without first talking to your veterinarian
- If your horse experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian
Contact your veterinarian immediately if your horse receives more than the prescribed amount.
What else should I know?
Notify your veterinarian if your horse’s condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.
This product should not be used in horses intended for human consumption.
Check with the appropriate regulatory body regarding the use in competition horses.
Morphine is a controlled substance and should not be given to anyone. As with all prescribed medicines, Morphine should only be given to the horse for which it was prescribed.
It should be given only for the condition for which it was prescribed.
This is just a summary of information about Morphine. If you have any questions or concerns about this product or for the condition it was prescribed, please contact your veterinarian.
TELL YOUR VETERINARIAN ABOUT:
- If your horse has experienced side effects on other drugs/products
- If your horse has experienced any other medical problems or allergies
- All medicines and supplements that you are giving your horse or plan to give your horse, including those you can get without a prescription. Your veterinarian may want to check that all of your horse’s medications can be given together.
- If your mare is pregnant, nursing or if you plan to breed in the near future